Mayor Dave Augustyn’s column for the week of 2018 January 22
Info Session for “East Fenwick” Saturday
Town Staff recently issued a notice about an upcoming information session regarding the East Fenwick Secondary Plan this coming Saturday, January 27, from 10:00 AM to noon at Pelham Fire Station #2. (For those unable to make the session, I will ask Staff to post materials on the Town’s website.)
This will be the third time that Town staff and planning consultants will provide information and updates of the study’s process, objectives, and the input received to date.
East Fenwick’s Secondary Plan has been explored by staff, consultants, and residents since last June, beginning with a visioning workshop followed by a design workshop. During these workshops residents had an opportunity to have their say in the plan. Town Council also received a progress report in late-November. (Please check out my “on-line journal” for a link to this presentation.)
The project goals are to develop more detailed planning – called a Secondary Plan – for the East
Fenwick urban area that will provide the framework for permitting new development compatible with the character of Fenwick and consistent with Provincial, Regional and Local planning policies and legislation. This planning will also establish design guidelines for buildings, parks and streets and create a system of public space areas and linkages with natural heritage areas. Finally, the plan should also consider existing transportation and water /waste water infrastructure and suggest any improvements or upgrades.
Following this session, the Consultants will finalize the policies and mapping that will guide the implementation of the Fenwick Secondary Plan. They hope to complete this work in the Spring.
A number of folks keep asking me why we have to formulate these plans and why we have to let the property owners develop their lands.
The East Fenwick area – between Cream and Balfour Streets and Memorial and Welland Roads – was added to the area for urban development in 1987. That means that the property owners have had the right to develop the lands in an urban setting for more than 30 years!
We initiated this “Secondary Plan” process so that the inevitable development might occur in a coordinated way and with public input.
Yet, the development must follow increased density targets from the Province. Why? So that communities make “more efficient use of land” in the urban areas – so that we can protect our rich agricultural land outside of the urban areas.
But, the consultants and the community are doing their best to “buffer” existing homes from some of the medium / higher density developments that might have to occur to meet the Provincial targets. That’s why, for instance, Council approved the large-lot development on Balfour (between Canboro and Welland) – to mirror the type of larger lot home on the West-side of the street.
So, while it’s not really a question of whether this area will develop at some point in the future, it’s a question of what type of development that might occur. That’s where we can have an impact and work to best design the community. And, the way to have impact on the Plan is through this process.
Councillors and I will look forward to working together with the community as the Town develops the East Fenwick Secondary Plan.
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or review documents and read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.ca.