• Stouffville’s Council convened twice yesterday, first for a general Council Meeting and then for last night’s Public Planning Meeting.
  • Council approved a zoning change to permit daycare uses in a heritage building at 6082 Main Street.
    • Local concern over the plan has focused heavily on the proposed driveway operations and hardscaping plan.
    • Such matters are formally considered through the upcoming Site Plan process, which is usually delegated to Staff.
    • However, Staff will bring the site plan to Council at a future date for approval to allow for further public engagement
  • A resolution from Mayor Iain Lovatt to create a Youth Council was supported.
    • Stouffville has been without a Youth Council for roughly 20 years.
    • Staff will bring proposed terms of reference for the new committee in Q2.
  • Councillors received a report on the Whitchurch Stouffville Public Library’s 2023 Strategic Plan successes, which include:
    • 11% increase in circulation
    • 86% increase in program participation
    • 36% increase in visitors, reaching a total of 204,727
    • 152% increase in Latcham Art Centre visits

The Elm Road infill townhouse development covered earlier this week was presented at last night’s Public Planning Meeting. One attending resident spoke to the proposal, echoing concerns already mentioned in the Staff report and detailed in our previous reporting. 14 of the 15 pieces of written correspondence submitted to the Town opposed the project.

Recognizing neighbourhood objections and acknowledging that his views may be unpopular, Mayor Lovatt told the proponent that the removal of 12 previously planned basement auxiliary suites was “a mistake.” As lacking parking is the primary reason why they were not maintained within the plan, Lovatt suggested investigation into creative solutions to allow for greater parking and subsequent inclusion of the canceled units.

Lovatt also suggested the developer could consider requesting a reduced parking requirement for the project. While townhomes like those proposed require two parking spaces per unit, low-rise apartment buildings such as the one across the street only require 1.5 spaces per unit. Current by-laws also require secondary units have their own additional parking space.

“You want to reduce the number of cars that are on this site? Ask for 1.5 [spaces per unit],” Lovatt offered. “Let’s deal with the parking issues so people can actually afford a home and have a revenue generator, and we can provide affordable housing.” He also noted nearby municipal parking lots where future residents could obtain parking permits.

The developer’s planner said he would take Lovatt’s comments into consideration; however, he noted that municipalities tend to oppose such ideas. No other councillors offered comments, making it unclear whether Lovatt’s suggestions would be supported by a majority of Council members.

In other planning and development news, Mayor Lovatt revealed that there is a prospective private college and student residence currently being considered for Stouffville. This arose during discussion of another approved resolution regarding new Federal policy surrounding public-private post-secondary institutions—notably their exclusion from offering international students who successfully complete a program of study a Post-Graduate Work Permit.