North Frontenac will be revisiting how it handles planning following a discussion at its regular meeting last Friday in Ompah.
Currently, planning work (subdivisions, condominiums, severances, minor variances, etc) is handled by Frontenac County on behalf of the Township.
But a recent report from director of planning and economic development Joe Gallivan says that the current workload leads to an unacceptable amount of overtime and therefore justifies the hiring of a junior planner with a salary in the range of $90,000 per year.
Gallivan’s report suggests that salary should come out of the County levy but also acknowledges that that might not be approved by County Council as the services provided would only be applicable to Central Frontenac, North Frontenac and Frontenac Islands. South Frontenac has its own planning department.
Mayor Ron Higgins agreed in a report to Council that the position should be covered by the County levy and also that that might not be approved by County Council.
“For North Frontenac, the priority today is an updated Zoning Bylaw (the current one is from 2004) which we wanted to have completed this past spring,” Higgins said. “I recommend we issue an RFP and hire a consultant to update our Zoning Bylaw to ensure that we have a Zoning Bylaw that meets the Building Code, other legislation and Official Plan requirements by spring 2018.”
“I don’t think a County planner should be making field trips on every application,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “Our committee of adjustment is quite capable of making site visits.
“The County planner is wasting its resources (and) there’s a real deficit in management.”
“We should have a discussion on whether to stay with County planning or hire a contract planner,” said Higgins.
Central Frontenac Council had a similar discussion at a recent meeting.
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North Frontenac will continue to review its strategic plan in the new year.
“This is a big document and I don’t think we’ve had the time to review it adequately,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I’d like to see it accepted provisionally.”
“We need it for the budget,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.
“I’m glad to see something about seniors housing in there (but) I feel it’s mainly your document,” said Inglis. “We haven’t had much discussion and I have something about the budget I’d like to get in there.”
“The main thing is affordable seniors housing (which was added by amendment),” said Higgins. “We’ll continue to review it in the new year.”
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Following a public meeting on the subject, Council approved changes to the Fees and Charges Bylaw.
The fee for a Private Lane Name Sign increases to $400 from $250.
The Entrance Permit fee changes to $70 from $40.
The Blue Box Recycling Bin fee changes to $10 from $7.
The Composter fee changes to $40 from $30.
Township ball caps are $8.85.
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After Council considered some funding requests, Coun. Gerry Martin wondered aloud: “how come we never see any requests from GREC (Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake that many North Frontenac residents attend)? Are they not aware that we give out grants?”
“They will be as of Thursday,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal, while watching The Frontenac News reporter scribbling down Martin’s words.