David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

December 2019


                         Phone:  905-771-2480      Mobile Phone:  416-346-3090      

Access Richmond Hill:  905-771-8800 -  After Hours Emergency Number:  905-884-8013

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Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue
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Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year

At this festive time of year I hope that you have an opportunity to rest and spend time with family. I also want to take the opportunity to wish everyone Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year.

The New Year is also a time to look back and make changes for the future. In this spirit the Richmond Hill Ward 4 e newsletter will be getting an update in January. A new easier to read format is the goal. 

This e newsletter continues to be well read and well received by the community and I have been pleased to produce this monthly publication during the years that I have been in office. It is important to keep Richmond Hill residents up to date and informed about the activities and decisions of your Council and it is with this in mind that a new and improved e newsletter will be launched in January.

As always please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, kudos or concerns. During the holiday period I can be reached by email or cell phone and you can always reach the City through Access Richmond Hill at access@richmondhill.ca or by calling 905-771-8800.


Sincerely,
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480

Banner Photo - Photo courtesy of Chris Robart taken at the Richmond Hill
Santa Claus Parade. 
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Councillor Highlights 

1.  Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law Public Consultation


In early December Richmond Hill Planning Staff hosted a well attended citizens' meeting regarding the Yonge Bernard Key Development Area (KDA). 

For the past several years Council and area residents have worked together to produce a KDA plan that would guide future growth for the area around Yonge and Bernard/Canyon Hill. The Yonge Bernard KDA Plan was finally approved during the last term of Council.

However, in April of this year the newly approved plan was repealed by a majority of Council, and direction was given to staff to increase the densities in the area beyond what was in the past plan. I continue to be opposed to the repeal of this plan for a number of reasons. I believe it was a valid plan that reflected densities that were higher than present, but met our provincial growth obligations and most importantly represented a reasonable and functional level of development for the area.

Residents at the meeting had some tough questions as to how a new plan could accommodate increased densities beyond what was outlined in the repealed plan. I appreciate that so many people showed up to make their feelings known and I will be actively involved in ensuring that whatever plan we finally approve can be justified. There will be further community meetings in the winter and more information can be found on the website -  CLICK HERE  

2. Santa Claus came to Town
Photo courtesy of Chris Robart
Santa Claus made his annual visit to Richmond Hill in November for the Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade. 

The parade is a well attended and much enjoyed event that runs along Leslie St.  








4. Richmond Hill Raises the Flag for the Elimination of Violence Towards Women and Children
As we do each year in December, Richmond Hill staff and Council gather to raise the flag to mark the anniversary of the murder of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Quebec that occurred on December 6th, 1989. 

Again this year we were honoured to have representatives from Yellow Brick House join us. Yellow Brick House is an organization that is dedicated to supporting women and their children who have been victims of domestic abuse. Thank you to all the Yellow Brick House staff and volunteers for the important work they do in supporting, addressing, and reducing violence against women in our community. To learn more about Yellow Brick House please visit -  https://www.yellowbrickhouse.org/

5. Targeting Climate Change
The citizen's group known as Targeting Climate Change met recently to discuss the important issue of Climate Change and what citizens and governments can do to impact positive change. I am proud to support the work that this group has been doing over the past year. If you are interested in getting involved please visit-  https://www.facebook.com/events/2118654528427079/ 

6. Toy Mountain in Richmond Hill
Again this year Richmond Hill helped to collect toys for the Salvation Army to distribute to families in need during the holiday period. CTV News and host Tom Brown did a live Toy Mountain broadcast from the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Thanks to all citizens who contributed to this cause.  
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Richmond Hill Council News
1.  Richmond Hill's 2019 National Public Works Week Recognized with a National Award!
Mayor Barrow and Richmond Hill's National Public Works Week (NPWW) Organizing Committee were presented with the Canadian Public Works Association's (CPWA) highest award for this year's NPWW program. Richmond Hill's NPWW events were held in May and included the Public Works Open House and Healthy Yards event, the York Municipalities' Public Works Challenge and elementary school tours of the Operations Centre. NPWW highlights the important role Public Works professionals play in everyday life and illustrates how they contribute to building vibrant, connected and sustainable communities. This is the fourth year that Richmond Hill has received the CPWA's NPWW Award. For more information about NPWW in Richmond Hill, visit RichmondHill.ca/NPWW.

2. Richmond Hill Official Plan Update Underway
Council endorsed initiating a process to update the Official Plan. The update will establish long-term planning vision and goals for the City to the year 2041. The update will take into consideration land-use policies that have changed at the Provincial and Regional levels since the Official Plan's adoption in 2010. This process is a foundational part of any future growth for our community so I would encourage all residents to participate in upcoming public consultations. 

3.  Richmond Hill Approves Changes to Council Meetings
Effective January 1, 2020, Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings will be eliminated and all matters normally considered by COW meetings will be placed directly on the Council agenda. Council meetings will continue to be normally scheduled for the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, beginning at 9:30 a.m. I continue to believe and advocate that Council meetings in the evening (like we used to have) or at least the late afternoon, would give members of the public a better opportunity to participate. 

4.  New Animal Services Provision begins December 1
Richmond Hill has entered into a service agreement partnership with the City of Vaughan for the provision of animal services, including by-law enforcement, domestic animal shelter and public education and outreach.
 
Beginning December 1, Richmond Hill residents will contact 905-832-2281 or animal.services@vaughan.ca for animal services. The Richmond Hill website will be updated to reflect this change when the new service takes effect.
 
Richmond Hill and Vaughan issued a joint press release November 26th regarding the new arrangements.

5.  Regional portion of York Region Property Tax Bill to Increase by 2.96%
While the City of Richmond Hill works to approve our own City budget the Region of York is also deliberating their Regional Budget. It is important to remember that Richmond Hill collects taxes on behalf of the Region of York and the School Board, but only approximately 28% of the total taxes goes to the City while approximately 50% of the total tax bill goes to the Region. As such the rate set by the Region will always have a significant impact on the final tax amounts that are paid by Richmond Hill residents.

Details and highlights of the Region's budget appeared in a recent article in the Liberal.  To view this article please click  here .

6. Deloitte Completes Province funded efficiency Audit in Richmond Hill
At the Budget Committee of the Whole meeting on November 26th, the Committee received a report from Deloitte that identifies opportunities to reduce non-personnel spending. Staff will report to Budget Committee of the Whole about implementation of the recommendations in March 2020. The Province of Ontario funded this review through its Audit and Accountability Fund. The views expressed in the Deloitte report do not necessarily reflect those of the Province. The report can be viewed  CLICK HERE

7. Council Considers Proposed Changes to the Noise Bylaw
Sound is a natural part of our surroundings and is part of a vibrant community; however, when sounds are unwanted or too loud they are considered to be noise. Municipalities have traditionally played an important role in the regulation of noise through the administration and enforcement of noise by-laws. Noise By-laws establish acceptable community standards for a vast array of different noise types and help to balance competing community interests and opinions about acceptable sound levels.  A staff report was recently received by Council that outlines progress and direction of our bylaw staff toward an update to the Richmond Hill Noise bylaw. I believe that this update is long overdue and I will welcome the final report and recommendations for this bylaw update in the New Year when it is presented to Council for adoption.  To view the staff report click here.  

8. The Fate of The Jefferson Schoolhouse
Great Cities and Towns all over the world contain many similar elements. One of these elements is the successful preservation of important heritage buildings. These historically significant landmarks create an anchor for new development and they create a differentiation from one city to another.  These preserved and repurposed buildings then become one of the foundations of the unique culture  of a place. 

Preserving and repurposing older buildings does require some creativity from the designers of new buildings in order to incorporate the old into the new, but in any great city there are many examples where this has been done successfully.

At the present time there is an application from the owner, to demolish the Historically Designated 151 year old Jefferson Schoolhouse at 11575 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill. The Heritage Richmond Hill Committee (HRH) (which is a citizen committee of Council) has recommended to Council that the demolition be denied. This HRH recommendation and the request for demolition will be considered by Council on January 22nd, 2020. 

I am firmly opposed to this request for demolition and I hope that Council will follow the HRH and staff recommendation contained in the staff report to save this building. There is currently an approved plan (from 2012) in place to redevelop the property and retain and restore the historic schoolhouse so I have no doubt that incorporating this old building successfully in a new development is a viable and desirable possibility.

To view the staff report related to this issue please visit -  CLICK HERE

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Ward 4 Development Applications

Dogliola Development Inc. and Campo Ridge Home Corp.
An application has been received related to lands at 10898 and 10922 Yonge Street (near Canyon Hill Avenue and Yonge Street). The application is for 4 towers ranging from 25 to 29 storeys. I will be hosting a Residents' Meeting about this application - see details below. The matter will also be considered on January 22, 2020 at 7:30PM at a Council Public Meeting. If you have comments or questions about this application in the mean time please feel free to contact me.




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1st Sustainability Symposium in Richmond Hill


Register here:  CLICK HERE
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4th Annual Maple Syrup Festival


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52nd Richmond Hill Winter Carnival 

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City-wide Snow Windrow Removal Service
Earlier this year, Council approved an expanded snow windrow clearing service for all local, residential driveways.  A snow windrow is the pile of snow left at the bottom of a driveway after a snowplow has cleared the road.
 
Starting with the first significant snowfall this winter, plows will remove one car's width of the snow windrow so you have a path to your street.
 
To ensure the success of this program, we need your help. Please...

Don't park on the street or over the sidewalk when it's snowing or before snow is expected. This applies even if you have a temporary parking permit. Keep the roads clear for plows and emergency vehicles - or you will be ticketed and/or towed.

1. On waste collection days, place your garbage, blue boxes and green bins one meter from the curb on the right side of your driveway (if you're facing the house). This will allow the plow to remove the snow windrow without disturbing your waste bins.

 

2. Don't park near the bottom of your driveway. Windrow clearing can only happen if there is at least four feet of clearance between the road and your vehicle.  


 
If you previously received our snow windrow clearing service, you do not need to apply again. You'll automatically receive this service.

 
Visit RichmondHill.ca/WinterUpdates for more information and to track our plows online.

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Winter Maintenance Update... 
What you need to Know



Please Note:  Beginning November 7, a Winter Maintenance Update button is on the  Richmondhill.ca homepage. This takes you directly to the  Snow Removal News and Notices  page which contains information about winter maintenance operations, snow windrow clearing operations and parking regulations. This page is updated regularly in the event of a winter storm. To receive updates on Winter Maintenance Activities automatically, click the "Receive email updates" link at the bottom of the webpage.
 
This page also includes a link to the Track my Plow application, RHPlows which displays the current and recent locations of plows in Richmond Hill. Please note that the system is on a 10-minute delay.

Through the winter months, the City staff will be using a number of communication tools to share information about winter maintenance activities. This includes social media, media relations and the Richmondhill.ca website.

For specific inquiries about winter maintenance activities, please contact Access Richmond Hill at 905-771-8800 or by email to access@richmondhill.ca. During winter events when the snow windrow service is activated, Access Richmond Hill will extend phone service to 8 p.m. during weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
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Zone Richmond Hill

The City of Richmond Hill is undertaking a comprehensive review of all the in force Zoning By-laws. It is the intent that the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review will culminate in one document that will establish "as-of-right" permissions for all properties in the City and enable residents and landowners to develop their lands in a predictable and consistent manner. The new Zoning By-law will:
  • Conform to the policies and provisions of the City's Official Plan ;
  • Provide for a consistent and predictable approach to similar land uses on a City-wide basis;
  • Reflect modern development trends and standards
  • Provide for appropriate protection for stable neighbourhoods and sensitive areas; and
  • Provide for ease of administration and increased accessibility to the public in a readily available and easily understood web-based format.
Zoning By-laws affect all properties in Richmond Hill and ensure that development occurs in a responsible and predictable manner

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Recycling and Waste in Richmond Hill

Material Intake Area
I recently had the opportunity to learn more about waste disposal and recycling in our community during a tour of The York Region's Material Recovery Facility. The facility is located in East Gwillimbury, and it processes and sorts recyclable material from all nine York Region municipalities. It is the place where all of Richmond Hill's Blue Box Material ends up before being sold as material for conversion into other products.
 
In Richmond Hill, garbage and recycling is picked up from our homes under the City's jurisdiction but the ultimate disposal of waste and processing of recyclable materials is undertaken by the Region of York, on behalf of all nine Regional municipalities. 
 
Given recent changes in the market for recyclable material, and specifically the market's tolerance for contaminants in sorted recyclable material, it is more important than ever that we, as individuals do the best that we can to put only materials that are accepted for recycling, in the blue box. For example, plastic bags are not accepted in our Blue Box program but are one of the most common contaminants at this facility that needs to separated and removed.
 
The Material Recovery Facility employs a complicated series of devices to automate the separation of materials, but items like film plastic are primarily removed by hand and this is a labour intensive process. The rest of the materials are removed by an elaborate, impressive, series of magnets, devices that separate  material by blasts of air, and optical sorters.  These processes successfully sort tons or recyclable material each day. 

One of many material sorting areas
The facility costs about $10M per year to operate. While the demand and resulting revenue for recyclable materials continues to be volatile the cost of disposing of this material is still more expensive than recycling, so an effectively run facility like this is still a better alternative than disposal. Needless to say an effective recycling program is also far more environmentally responsible for our communities.
 
We all have a part in making this process even more cost effective by being efficient in our recycling practices. To learn more about the facility and the recycling program in York Region and Richmond Hill please visit the links below.
   
For a link to find out what can and can't be placed in the Blue Bin  CLICK HERE

To view video with more detail about the operation about this facility click here - https://youtu.be/8QOuF3eMUyM

To find out more about York Region Waste and Recycling Programs - CLICK HERE

Bales of Material ready for Sale
Aluminum Cans Ready for sale






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First Night -  New Year's Eve Celebration


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Great Things To See And Do Around Town


Looking for interesting things to do this month in our Community? Look no further - below is a listing of various community events that I would like to promote on behalf of the various organizers.                                                                                                              


Chorus York
Music Workshop
December 10





























Chorus York - Romantic Melodies
February 14


























Richmond Hill 
Philharmonic Orchestra
Sounds of the Season 
December 14

For tickets visit  rhpo.ca/tickets or call 905-787-9911
















Mosaic Interfaith
Coldest Night of the Year
February 22, 2020

I hope you join to walk again this winter, you can register at
 














































There are also other ways to help!
Donate or join to the Mosaic Family team -
 
CLICK HERE
 



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