COUNCIL BRIEFS: JUNE 21, 2016

Council Briefs-001

Tuesday was the first full day of summer, so possibly the season is to be blamed for my tendency to want to fall asleep all through Thorold City Council and General Committee. Then again, maybe it was just so boring that it was hard to stay awake. There were, however, a few items that may be important to someone affected and others are just a little interesting. The following are those few:

  • A presentation was made by Susan Morin of Venture Niagara, who runs Thorold’s Tourism Programme now. She highlighted the strides that have been made, the good results so far, the planning of an ambassador programme, and her work with the Tourism Advisory Committee. (I have to admit to a possible bias here since I’m the chair of the committee.) It was a great presentation and, if you’d like to hear how Thorold has a tourism future, watch the presentation on the streamed or Cogeco coverage of Council.
  • Councillor Ugulini announced a bicycle ride (I didn’t hear a date) that will start in downtown Thorold, go to Port Robinson, cross the Canal on the Port Robinson Ferry (Bridge-It), to Niagara Falls and overnight in Fort Erie, to finish by riding back the next day by way of Port Colborne to Thorold downtown.
  • Councillor Handley complained about the weeds downtown and hopes that, when they’re cut for an upcoming photo shoot, that the practice will continue, though he expressed doubts. I’m thinking this might be a Property Standards issue and maybe the City should treat it like any other and charge the owners of the properties to clear it if they won’t do it themselves. (Of course, if it’s City property, where it won’t do much good.)
  • Thorold Non-Profit Housing wrote a letter to Council asking for the south end of Battle of Beaverdams Park, where the parking lot is, and/or a lot at the south end of Welland Street that the City owns, for construction of a senior’s affordable apartment building. They were given a grant, but the building must be constructed on remediable brownfields lands to qualify, which these properties do (the parking lot is atop the third canal). The request has gone to staff for a report.
  • The study on the effects of residential housing with five or more bedrooms came back to council Tuesday night. Council adopted the accompanying staff report recommending approval of all the possible recommendations in the report, including a Master Plan Amendment, zoning by-laws, parking restrictions, and licencing. When all is in place, these measures will likely mean a restriction on the size of driveways and the number of “usable” rooms (it might be called a den or a workout room until the students move in) and parking restrictions on streets (and maybe eve the staff to enforce them).

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