Perth planning dept warns of some enforcement coming
At the committee of the whole meeting for Perth council on Tuesday, February 7th, town development services director Joanna Bowes and chief building official Brian Gass reported on some issues with noncompliance with planning agreements and building codes. They noted that staff turnovers in the past have stalled some enforcement in these areas. They have also received legal advice that some past registered Planning Agreements are non-enforceable and that some of these past approvals are hindering processing and approvals of both Planning and Building permit applications at the involved properties.
While the town enforces parking, property standards and other miscellaneous regulations on a complaint-driven basis, staff notes that using this reactive only policy towards development issues can lead to a public conception that enforcement is not applied equally across the municipality. Planning is, at present, working with several property owners to bring their developments, or the development of those they rent to, into compliance. The majority of the property owners who have received notification are due to life safety issues (floodplain, fire hazards, etc). The Development Services department is set now to work more diligently towards enforcement of existing site plan agreements and building code matters which were not addressed due to understaffing or turnover of staff. These enforcements are viewed as the bare minimum requirements for enforcement under both Planning Act and Building Code Act.
Economic Development Committee sparks debate
The notion of creating an economic development committee sparked a full discussion with councilors Jim Boldt and Gary Waterfield strongly in favour, while others took a more measured approach. Deputy Mayor Ed McPherson questioned the work load it would put on staff and that it might not be a no-cost committee if extra help was required. Councilor Isabel Anne McRae called for a specific focus and set of goals. Mayor Judy Brown noted that the downtown didn’t seem to have any problems attracting businesses and when a vacancy came up in that area, it was soon filled. At the end, the committee instructed staff to take input from councilors and come back with a set of terms of reference for more discussion.
Transit system survey
A public online survey is now on the town’s website to gauge interest for some type of public transit system in cooperation with Lanark Transportation Association. Carleton Place has had such an agreement in place for almost 2 years. No decision will be made until the results of the survey are compiled. You can find it at Perth.ca under the news and public notices tab. The survey is open until February 23rd.