PUBLIC MEETING

THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF PEEL

MINUTES

February 15, 2007


PURPOSE:

To hold a Public Meeting pursuant to Section 26(3) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended, to discuss revisions that may be required to the Regional Official Plan as part of the five-year Official Plan Review

 

 

1. ROLL CALL

 
Members Present:
E. Adams*; G. Carlson*; C. Corbasson; F. Dale; S. Fennell*; G. Gibson; A. Groves; N. Iannicca*; E. Kolb; K. Mahoney;
H. McCallion*; S. McFadden; G. Miles; E. Moore; M. Morrison; P. Mullin; P. Palleschi*; C. Parrish*; M. Prentice; P. Saito;
J. Sanderson; J. Sprovieri*; A. Thompson; R. Whitehead*
   
 
Members Absent:
R. Paterak, due to other municipal business
   
 
Also Present:
D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; R. K. Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor;
D. Labrecque, Treasurer and Commissioner of Finance; J. Menard, Acting Commissioner of Social Services; L. Nashman, Commissioner of People, Information and Technology; J. Smith, Acting Commissioner of Health; N. Tunnacliffe, Commissioner of Planning; K. Ward, Commissioner of Housing & Property;
M. Zamojc, Commissioner of Public Works; C. Gravlev, Regional Clerk, J. Ireland, Legislative Co-ordinator
     

_____________________________________
*See text for arrivals
¨See text for departures


2. OPENING OF PUBLIC MEETING

Regional Chair Kolb called the public meeting to order at 9:37 a.m. in the Council Chamber, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton. He stated that the public meeting was open and was being held pursuant to section 26(3) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended.

Councillor Fennell arrived at 9:38 a.m.
Councillor Sprovieri arrived at 9:38 a.m.
Councillor Whitehead arrived at 9:39 a.m.


3. CONFIRMATION OF NOTIFICATION

Charlotte Gravlev, Regional Clerk stated that Notice of the Public Meeting was given in accordance with section 26(4) of the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990, as amended, by publication in the following news media:

  Mississauga News December 28, 2006
January 3, 2007
January 10, 2007
  Brampton Guardian December 28, 2006
January 3, 2007
January 10, 2007
  Caledon Enterprise December 28, 2006
January 3, 2007
January 10, 2007

Further, it was noted that Notice of the Public Meeting was posted on the Region of Peel website as of January 2, 2007 (www.peelregion.ca) and background materials relating to the review of the Official Plan were available to the public on the website as of January 15, 2007.

Councillor Iannicca arrived at 9:42 a.m.
Councillor McCallion arrived at 9:43 a.m.
Councillor Palleschi arrived at 9:46 a.m.


4. FURTHER NOTICE REQUEST

Regional Chair Kolb stated that if any person would like further notice of the future passage of any revisions that may be made to the Regional Official Plan as a result of the current five-year review process, that they should give their full name, address, postal code, and telephone number, in writing, at the Clerk's reception counter prior to leaving the meeting.

Regional Chair Kolb advised that further written submissions could be forwarded to the Clerk's Division or directly to the Planning Department.


5. STAFF PRESENTATIONS

a) Arvin Prasad, Director, Planning Policy and Research, Regarding Revisions that may be Required to the Regional Official Plan (ROP) as Part of the Five-Year Official Plan Review

Received

Councillor Adams arrived at 9:50 a.m.


6. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

a) Oral Submissions

i) Neil Freeman, Director, Planning Policy and Approvals, Ontario Power Authority, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Neil Freeman, Director, Planning Policy and Approval, Ontario Power Authority (OPA), provided an overview of the activities of the OPA as they relate to Peel Region, and noted areas of common interest for OPA and the Region. He advised that staff from the OPA would like to work with Regional staff during the review of the Official Plan to ensure consistent planning and avoid the two organizations working separately for similar goals, such as the development of hydro corridors and major transportation infrastructure routes. Neil Freeman also provided suggestions for improving building efficiency and realizing cost savings through the integration of energy efficient building techniques and the creation of district heating in city centres. He noted some future concerns for the OPA in Peel Region include the requirement for increased power generation in South Peel, as well as the development of transmission corridors to accommodate increased growth in North West Brampton and Halton Region.

ii) Shelley White, CEO, United Way of Peel and Member of the Strong Communities Coalition (SCC), Providing an Update on the Work of the SSC in Raising Attention to the Funding Inequity in Human Services and to Support the Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Shelley White, CEO, United Way of Peel and Member of the Strong Communities Coalition (SCC), outlined the concerns of the United Way of Peel and the SCC regarding funding inequity for social services in the 905 region surrounding the City of Toronto. She suggested that the Region of Peel should, through it's Official Plan review, recognize the issue of increasing population in urban areas (as mandated in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe) in the absence of increased funding for social programs to correspond with the population growth. She requested the support of Regional Council for the recommendations of the SCC to the Province, which were outlined in a staff report from the Social Services Department to General Committee. The report was recommended for approval to Regional Council for the February 15 Regional Council meeting.

Councillor McCallion stated that she agreed with the suggestions made in the presentation regarding the inequity of funding for social services, but recommended that other issues such as under-funding of education by the Province and the imposition of the cost for social services in the City of Toronto on the regional municipalities in the GTA, known as Toronto Tax Pooling, should be included in the comments to be made from the United Way of Peel and the Strong Communities Coalition, to the Premier of Ontario.

Shelley White responded that although she is aware of these issues, the United Way of Peel is not in a position to comment on the issue of tax pooling due to the fact that such a stance would create a situation in which one United Way organization would be in conflict with another, namely the United Way of Toronto. She noted that the United Way is currently working with the education sector to create collaborative approaches to addressing the concerns related to under funding in the education and social services sectors by the Province of Ontario.

iii) Peter Orphanos, Chair, Sierra Club of Canada, Peel Region Group, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan, and Providing Suggestions for Local Action to Reverse Climate Change

Received

Peter Orphanos, Chair, Sierra Club of Canada, Peel Region Group, outlined the ways in which the Sierra Club of Canada recommends the Region's review of the Official Plan reflect concerns regarding climate change, and he provided suggestions for how this could be carried out, such as through the creation of a Peel Region Climate Change Strategic Plan. He noted that there has been increasing public concern regarding environmental issues, and suggested that the Region of Peel take measures to ensure the Kyoto Protocol is enforced within the Region, regardless of whether or not measures are implemented by the federal government.

See also Items 6 b iii and viii

iv) John Stillich, General Manager, Sustainable Urban Development Association (SUDA), Providing Recommendations for Specific Measures Regarding Energy Prospects, Land Use and Transportation

Received

John Stillich, General Manager, Sustainable Urban Development Association (SUDA), explained that SUDA is a charitable corporation which promotes a healthy natural environment through better city building. He advised that SUDA would like to be consulted throughout the review of the Regional Official Plan, and noted that the Association has concerns and suggestions regarding the effect of human activity on the environment, and the constrained future for energy production in the face of increasing consumption. John Stillich recommended that the Region must go beyond protecting woodlots and wetlands, and prepare a risk management strategy for dealing with high energy prices.

See also Item 6 b ix

v) Dwight Matson, President, Peel Federation of Agriculture, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Dwight Matson, President, Peel Federation of Agriculture, advised that he is a farmer in Peel, and that the agriculture industry in Ontario is changing, particularly in near-urban areas such as the northern areas of the Region of Peel. He suggested that land use policies need to change to ensure that farming in near-urban areas remains sustainable and economically viable for landowners, and in order to avoid deterioration of land and buildings. In addition, he advised that concerns regarding land designations (rural and agricultural) need to be addressed to ensure that land can be used to its full potential and is not constrained by the designation assigned to it, including limiting restrictions on land designated as "prime agricultural". He further requested that all agricultural land be regulated with the same requirements and restrictions, regardless of whether or not it is located in an environmentally sensitive area such as the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment, or the Oak Ridges Moraine. Dwight Matson requested that a meeting be organized between the members of the Peel Federation of Agriculture and Regional staff to discuss possible amendments to the Regional Official Plan. He requested that the meeting be held during the winter months to allow as many farmers as possible to attend.

Councillor McCallion advised that she has concerns regarding the subsidization of farms in Quebec and the effect that subsidization programs in other provinces has on farming in Ontario. She noted that she is looking forward to being a part of the Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group (PAAWG), and that she has already advised the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Premier of Ontario regarding some of her concerns related to agriculture in the Region of Peel.

See also Items 6 b iv and x

Councillor Carlson arrived at 10:30 a.m.
Councillor Parrish arrived at 10:36 a.m.

vi) Karen Hutchinson, Executive Director, Caledon Countryside Alliance, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan on Behalf of the Members, Board and Staff of the Caledon Countryside Alliance

Received

Karen Hutchinson, Executive Director, Caledon Countryside Alliance (CCA), advised that the CCA is a non-profit organization which works to promote the development of local food systems and an awareness of food sources by urban residents, as well as environmentally conscious programs for Caledon residents. On behalf of the CCA, Karen Hutchinson provided copies of studies regarding climate change, and requested that the reports be considered by Planning staff during the review of the Official Plan. The reports included the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, completed in part by the United Nations; the documentary from Al Gore titled An Inconvenient Truth; and the economic review of climate change which was released in 2006 in the United Kingdom.

Karen Hutchinson noted that the CCA has been a leader in developing a local food system, and suggested that the development and strengthening of a local food policy and system would be integral to the future of the Region of Peel. She further suggested that agriculture and agriculturally related industries should be promoted and supported through Regional Official Plan policies.

See also Item 6 b xi

vii) Nick Ferri, Chair, Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group (PAAWG), Regarding Agricultural Issues in Peel Related to the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Nick Ferri, Chair, Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group (PAAWG), outlined the role and mandate of PAAWG, and presented some of the concerns of farmers in the Region of Peel related to urban development and increased pressures on agricultural land surrounding the urban centres in Peel. He noted that with increased demand for ethanol due to changes in provincial policy regarding the use of ethanol in gasoline, demand for corn crops will increase, and the cost of other related products produced from corn will increase as well. He suggested that restrictions currently placed on agricultural land and enforced through Official Plan policies should be removed in order to allow farmers to operate their businesses in the increasingly competitive agricultural market. He also suggested that a public transit service to pick-your-own operations during peak season would increase sales, and decrease traffic congestion on rural roads.

Nick Ferri further suggested that infrastructure and jobs should be established before the expansion of urban areas is approved to ensure that employment is available near residences and to decrease traffic gridlock.

Nick Ferri noted that although programs which preserve natural resources are beneficial, that a program such as environmental credits should be introduced to compensate landowners on an annual basis for land which cannot be used for agricultural purposes due to restrictions placed on it. He suggested that funding for this program could come from carbon credits, which would be purchased by other businesses in Peel which create greenhouse gases.

Echoing the comments made by Karen Hutchinson of the CCA, Nick Ferri suggested that Peel should set up a food policy council, and encourage schools, businesses and individual citizens to purchase locally grown food products. He suggested that a food policy council could be established as a subcommittee of PAAWG. As consumption of local foods increases, Nick Ferri suggested that the Region should implement policies to encourage local farmers to grow market garden crops in order to meet the demand. The target audiences of such policies would likely be young farmers and recent immigrants with farming backgrounds.

Councillor Thompson concurred with the delegate that the use of the "prime agricultural land" designation may hamper some farmers from utilizing their land to its maximum potential.

Councillor Fennell thanked the delegation for the presentation and noted that the Region is attempting to involve as many parties as possible in the review of the Official Plan in order to ensure that as many concerns as possible are heard and addressed through the process. She noted that the Region of Peel adopted its Official Plan later than many other municipalities, and since that time it has grown to be a strategic document which recognizes the challenges of developing sustainable infrastructure for the Region. She suggested that the Official Plan is a document which allows for strategic decision making to take place, and attempts to ensure sound planning rather than fragmented decision making. Councillor Fennell further suggested that future infrastructure development will need to take into account environmental impacts, rather than just looking at affordability.

In regard to the recently approved Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) Number 15 (North West Brampton Urban Expansion), Councillor Fennell noted that policies intended to protect the natural environment and to increase intensification in downtown Brampton were included in the Official Plan, and were the central features that allowed the City and the Region to settle the appeals to the Official Plan Amendment with the Sierra Club of Canada and the Province of Ontario. She suggested that in order to affect further changes to infrastructure, the provincial and federal governments need to be lobbied and consulted.

Councillor Fennell suggested that the property tax base is unable to sustain and develop initiatives such as infrastructure due to the fact that municipalities are required to operate programs such as health and social services from property taxes, unlike the other provinces in Canada which fund such programs from the provincial tax revenues. She noted that municipalities would be more free to invest in emerging technologies if responsibilities which have been downloaded to the property tax base were once again funded by the provincial government.

Councillor Morrison noted that the CCA is currently working hard to promote the "Grown in Peel" local food program, and she asked whether or not PAAWG is involved in the program as well. Nick Ferri advised that PAAWG is heavily involved in the Buy Local, Buy Fresh local food program in Peel, which was started by the CCA.

Councillor Morrison echoed the concerns of several previous speakers regarding the deterioration of rural properties near urban areas, particularly in the "white belt" (the area shown in the Places to Grow Growth Plan between Mayfield Road and the provincial Green Belt Plan area). She suggested that stronger policies to ensure that these lands are kept economically viable should be implemented, and noted that the Town of Caledon will oppose large developments in the white belt area, when the time arises to consider development in those areas. She further noted that policies may need to be changed to reflect the possibility of designating smaller parcels of land for agricultural uses in order to reflect the changing nature of near-urban agriculture, which in some cases includes market garden farming properties which consist of small acreages.

Councillor Morrison advised of her support for Nick Ferri's suggestion to implement environmental credits.

Councillor Morrison noted that Nick Ferri is a market garden farmer, and Dwight Matson is a dairy farmer, whose brother owns and operates a vineyard and winery on the same property in the Town of Caledon. She advised that these types of alternative agricultural practices are beneficial in the changing environment of rural Peel to allow farm families to remain in the agricultural industry.

Councillor Morrison requested that PAAWG review the possibility of requiring developers to pay for the cost of providing a setback for market garden farms in urban areas (the setback to be provided from development lands) in order to ensure that such businesses continue to be able to operate. She suggested that this review either be conducted by PAAWG, or through the Official Plan review.

Nick Ferri agreed to consider the suggestion by Councillor Morrison, and suggested that such as system would be beneficial to his business as well. He noted that a setback such as the one described by Councillor Morrison could mean the difference between viability and bankruptcy for many small agricultural businesses in Peel.

Councillor Palleschi asked for clarification of the rules regarding public meetings, and he noted that at the City of Brampton, during public meetings, members of Council are permitted only to ask questions of the delegations and not to make comments, in order to allow as many speakers as possible to be heard.

Regional Chair Kolb stated that the Region of Peel Procedure By-law allows for members to ask questions of delegations. He agreed that some of the comments were lengthy, but that he attempted to be fair in allowing all members of Council a chance to speak in response to the delegations presented. He advised that no further comments would be accepted from members of Council, with the exception of questions to the delegations.

viii) Elbert van Donkersgoed, Executive Director, Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee (GTA AAC), Regarding Agricultural Issues and the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Elbert van Donkersgoed, Executive Director, Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee (GTA AAC) explained that the GTA AAC is mandated to implement the GTA Agricultural Action Plan, agreed upon by the parties which make up the GTA AAC. He advised Regional Council that the implementation of the Action Plan will require amendment to some of the Regional Official Plans in the GTA, including the Peel Official Plan. He noted that consistency in Regional Official Plans would be beneficial to near-urban farmers in the GTA in order to ensure consistent application of, and benefit from, the Agricultural Action Plan. He suggested that policies need to ensure that farmland is protected for farming, and not protected from it. He suggested improved commuter routes to keep commuters off of rural routes to ensure the continuation of normal farming practices in Peel Region. Elbert van Donkersgoed provided a list of seven suggestions from the Agricultural Action Plan which would assist in the protection of agricultural interests in Peel Region, further outlined in his written submission.

See also Item 6 b xiii

ix) Gilbert Boland, President and Katharine Jurcic, Development Planner, Venta Developments, Providing Comments Regarding Highway 410 and The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) West Corridor, and Requesting Related Amendments to the Regional Official Plan

Received

Gilbert Boland, President, Venta Developments, emphasized the importance of the proposed east-west transportation corridor in Peel Region, and suggested that the Highway 410 extension should be extended to the multi-modal east-west corridor, rather than terminated at Highway 10. He suggested that amendments to Regional Official Plan policies should be changed to reflect the suggested alignment for Highway 410.

Councillor Moore advised the delegate that Highway 410 is a provincial highway over which the Region of Peel has no jurisdiction. Gilbert Boland advised that he is aware of the jurisdictional authorities, but suggested that the current proposed alignment would, in his opinion, be short sighted, and would end up costing taxpayers more over the long term than simply extending Highway 410 to the proposed corridor once the alignment is approved. He further noted that the previous provincial government had proposed to extend Highway 410 to Highway 89 under a program called "The Road Ahead", which was discontinued by the current provincial government.

See also Item 6 b v

x) Pat Chrisjohn, Policy Analyst, Housing and Property, Region of Peel, Providing Comments on the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan on Behalf of the Peel Advisory Working Group on Older Adults' Housing

Received

Pat Chrisjohn, Policy Analyst, Housing and Property Department, Region of Peel, made a presentation regarding the increasing older population, and the diverse housing needs of that group. She noted that a number of older adults are currently moving out of the Region of Peel in order to find housing suitable to their needs and liking which may not currently be available in the Region of Peel. She suggested that the review of the Official Plan include the consideration of alternative housing options for older adults, and incorporation of those concepts into the development of new types of communities.

xi) Stephen Townsend, Resident, Town of Caledon, Providing Comments on the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Received

Stephen Townsend, Resident, Town of Caledon, advised that he was appearing as a private citizen and not on behalf of any organization or interest group. He recommended that the Region of Peel request the Ministry of Transportation to not proceed with development of the Bram West Parkway, Highway 410 or Highway 427 until the completion of the environmental assessment for the multi-modal east-west corridor is confirmed, in order to avoid building the above-mentioned highways without considering the ramifications of their locations in regard to the east-west transportation corridor.


b) Written Submissions

i) Phil King, President, Orlando Corporation, Letter dated January 31, 2007, Providing Comments on Behalf of Orlando Corporation Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

ii) Ken Whitbread, Manager, Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC), Letter dated January 16, 2007, Acknowledging Receipt of the Notice of Public Meeting and Open Houses Regarding Amendments to the Region's Official Plan and Requesting that the NEC Continue to be Consulted and Notified throughout the Current Five-Year Review Process

Referred to Planning

iii) Peter Orphanos, Chair, Sierra Club of Canada, Peel Region Group, Letter received February 13, 2007, Requesting that Changes to the Official Plan through the Five-Year Review Reflect Environmental Concerns

Referred to Planning

See also Item 6 a iii and 6 b viii

iv) Elaine Simpson, Member Service Representative, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Peel Simcoe York, Letter dated February 12, 2007, Forwarding Concerns Related to the Agricultural Community for Consideration during the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

See also Items 6 a v and 6 b x

v) Paula Tenuta, Director, Municipal Government Relations, Greater Toronto Home Builders Association - Urban Development Institute (GTHBA-UDI), Providing Comments on the Review of the Regional Official Plan, and Requesting that the GTHBA-UDI Continue to be Consulted and Notified Throughout the Current Five-Year Review Process

Referred to Planning

vi) Glen Gumulka, Executive Director, Smart Commute Mississauga, Providing Comments on the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

vii) Alan Young, Associate, Weston Consulting Group Inc., Letter dated February 8, 2007, Requesting that Weston Consulting Group Inc. Continue to be Notified Throughout the Current Five-Year Review Process

Referred to Planning

viii) Stephen Townsend, Resident, Town of Caledon, Providing Additional Comments on the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

See also Items 6 a iii and 6 b iii

ix) John Stillich, General Manager, Sustainable Urban Development Association (SUDA), Providing Recommendations for Specific Measures Regarding Energy Prospects, Land Use and Transportation

Referred to Planning

See also Item 6 a iv

x) Dwight Matson, President, Peel Federation of Agriculture, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

See also Items 6 a v and 6 b iv

xi) Karen Hutchinson, Caledon Countryside Alliance, Regarding the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan on Behalf of the Members, Board and Staff of the Caledon Countryside Alliance

Referred to Planning

See also Item 6 a vi

xii) Nick Ferri, Chair, Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group (PAAWG), Regarding Agricultural Issues in Peel Related to the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

See also Item 6 a vii

xiii) Elbert van Donkersgoed, Executive Director, Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee (GTA AAC), Regarding Agricultural Issues and the Five-Year Review of the Regional Official Plan

Referred to Planning

See also Item 6 a viii


7. CONCLUSION AND CLOSING OF PUBLIC MEETING


8. ADJOURNMENT

Regional Chair Kolb officially closed the meeting at 11:55 a.m.



RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:



Regional Clerk