On Tuesday April 5th, Perth Council’s committee of the whole met to discuss a large number of issues on the table.
First look at Perth Golf Course lands housing project
The Caivan Community Company provided a high-level overview of their proposal for a multi-phase residential development of the lands surrounding the Perth Golf Course on Peter Street. Their representatives didn’t provide specifics on the types of homes to be built, but did mention townhomes and row housing as likely possibilities. They indicated they were interested in keeping the 9-hole course in operation with a new club-house and planned to integrate this neighbourhood with existing trail systems as well as preserving sensitive wetlands and the river corridor. The first phase would likely be on the lands closest to the existing course entrance and would involve anywhere from 125 to 300 units. They also noted that another bridge would be required to link their new streets to Christie Lake Road. No formal subdivision planning applications have been submitted as of this date.
MPAC pays a visit
Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) dropped into the committee meeting to bring an update on their work. MPAC is mandated by the province to provide a valuation assessment of all properties in Ontario every 4 years. These assessments are used by municipalities to set property tax rates. The last assessment was completed in 2016 and the one due in 2020 was delayed due to the COVID pandemic. (Some assessments require detailed inspections of building interiors.) The two members of MPAC staff attending the meeting could not indicate when the next reassessment will take place. According to MPAC local account manager Kim Bennett, one of the biggest concerns with property owners is how unprecedented rises in home prices will affect their tax bills. She told the committee the most important factor in tax rate changes is a property’s increase in valuation compared to the rise on similar properties in the same municipality. She pointed out that MPAC has its own YouTube channel with a series of informative videos and webinars to help taxpayers understand the process.
Planet Youth looking for volunteers
David Somppi the chair of Planet Youth Lanark County, brought councilors up to date on is organization’s project to reduce substance abuse among youth. He indicated these efforts, based on the very successful work in Iceland (and since duplicated around the world), had reached the stage of having all grade 10 students in the county complete a detailed survey which is now in the hands of the institute in Iceland for analysis. These results and reports, due in June, will be compiled on a municipality by municipality basis. It will be the decision of each community on what actions to take. When asked by committee chair Leona Cameron what his organization was asking for, he replied volunteers to help out with disseminating the reports and recommending actions. He reported that a webinar to educate volunteers would be available in May and anyone interested could contact him through their website at planetyouthlanark.ca.
No action on truck route
Perth’s director of environmental services Grant Machan brought forward a report on the Chetwynd Street truck route completed by the engineering firm McIntosh and Perry. The report was completed after council received complaints on the inability of large trucks to make right hand turns onto Craig Street without crossing into the oncoming eastbound lanes. Mayor John Fenik participated in a ride-along with a professional tractor-trailer driver last year and was adamant that making such a turn in a safe manner was impossible. The Chetwynd route was intended to remove heavy truck traffic off of the Gore Street East business sector. The engineering report indicated that while some incursion into the opposing lane was unavoidable, low speeds and good sight lines minimized any safety risks. The committee voted to receive the report as information with no recommended action.