David West
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
Monthly Newsletter
May 2020
Thank You Richmond Hill
We have all been fully immersed in a very difficult and trying time in Richmond Hill but I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe while following the rules put in place to protect all that we value. In the West household we have been working from home and have made many major changes to our daily routines as so many of us have done. On that note, I wanted to offer my heartfelt thank you to all residents of Richmond Hill that have been doing their part, in ways that are big, and in ways that are more subtle, but just as important to help our community navigate these uncharted waters. The sacrifices that we have all made are substantial and real, and from recent reports, are working.
While we are not in safe waters yet according to our medical experts, there is some early indication that the end of at least the first wave of this storm is on the horizon. The numbers of new COVID-19 infections in Canada and York Region are currently showing promising downward trends and the Ontario government has begun discussing the procedures that we will follow to slowly and carefully reopen our economy in the near future.
There has been some concern about when this reopening will begin and what it will look like, and I am confident that these questions will become clearer as time progresses over the coming days. Richmond Hill will be carefully monitoring the daily Regional, Provincial, and Federal announcements in order to appropriately respond.
Richmond Hill Economic Development staff have used the time wisely during the past weeks to plan for what we need to do to support the economic recovery. Recently Council approved and I was appointed to the Recover Richmond Hill Task Force. This task force is designed to take input from our business community, provincial and federal levels of government, our Economic Development Staff and our Council to give much needed support to our local businesses and ultimately help our collective economy to recover as quickly and efficiently as possible. The first meeting of Recover Richmond Hill happened this week and I am excited to get to work on our economic recovery!
Council and staff have also been very busy over the past few weeks with all that is going on in the community. I have spent many hours more than usual communicating with residents and businesses and responding to some unprecedented needs directly related to COVID-19. There are still many urgent matters that need attention and I want to assure everyone that we will be focussing on all that needs to be done to respond, keep us all safe and recover. Richmond Hill Council has continued to hold remote Council meetings since March when the COVID-19 shutdowns began, and has thus been able to address important issues as they arrive.
I am not personally fond of remote meetings they are unfortunately a necessity under the current situation. Many decisions need to be made to keep us moving forward however I will continue to take the position that some issues that are not particularly time sensitive and/or require significant public input should be delayed until the public can participate live and in person. Even under these extreme circumstances, I believe we need to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that public input is effectively received and properly considered.
An issue that is unfortunately going ahead at this time is the consideration by Council of a proposed revision to the Yonge Bernard Key Development Area (KDA) Secondary Plan. It was my hope to have consideration of this proposal delayed until the fall when we would at least hopefully be back to a more semi-normal, if not normal time. However it would appear that the issue will be considered at the May 13th Council meeting. This plan is a controversial one in the community and I have specific concerns about the significant increases in density proposed for this area over and above the original Council approved 2017 KDA Plan. For more details of this proposal see the article below.
There continues to be a great deal of rapidly changing information that we will all need to keep in focus during the coming weeks. Staying well informed is the best way to help everyone make wise decisions and to keep yourself and your family safe. Below in the Council News section of this newsletter there is a list of four websites that are updated frequently and will be able to supply all the crucial information that is needed. As always, I am also happy to hear from any residents that have questions, comments or concerns.

Please feel free to contact me at any time by email ( david.west@richmondhill.ca ) or by phone at 416-346-3090. I wish everyone all the best and look forward to being able to speak to residents face to face soon!

Banner Photo - City of Richmond Hill Council Members and Staff say "Thank You" to the residents, businesses, and essential service workers in Richmond Hill. ice workers in Richmond
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480
Councillor Highlights
Richmond Hill ‘Good Neighbours’ Sew Masks, Bake for others Amid Coronavirus Crisis
I continue to be inspired by the caring and generosity of members of our community. At the beginning of this COVID-19 Pandemic a number of community members recognized an evolving need to help others. They mobilized their neighbours and sprung into action making Personal Protective Equipment, helping elderly neighbours, and delivering baked goods to those in need. This Liberal Article written by reporter Sheila Wang outlines one such group that I have been proud to support.

Doing our part...
The West Family is doing our part to Flatten the Curve. Residents were invited to complete the page in the April 16th edition of the Liberal Newspaper telling what you and your family are doing to fight COVID-19.

Post it in your window and share a photo of it with ⁦‪⁦‪@myRichmondHill‬⁩ hashtag  #doingourpart . Printable copies -   bit.ly/2yjDXyY
My Video Message to you...
Please click on the attached for my April video message to the community.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority - e-Learning Calendar of Events
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is introducing fun e-Learning videos, activities and resources that will help families deepen their understanding and appreciation of nature, ecology, and cultural heritage - all from the comfort of home! Please click on the link below for their calendar of events that will be fun for the whole family.

Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts - a·P·art {of} presentation
We feel strongly that the Arts have the ability to nourish the soul and in times like these, we could all use a chance to be uplifted. With this in mind, we are pleased to launch our new online program a·P·art {of}.

While we remain apart we can still be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We can be part of an artistic community that embraces supporting each other through the positive impact of artistic expression.
Log onto Facebook every Thursday at 7:30pm for another exciting performance.
www.facebook.com/RHC PA . To listen to a message from Michael Grit, Manager of the RHCPA please click here .
Stay Active at Home
Since Richmond Hill Recreation can’t be there for you in person, they have collected some resources to help you keep your body and mind moving at home.
We're all #DoingOurPart to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Colour, post and show what you’re doing to help protect our community using our window poster.

Tag us on  Twitter Facebook  or use the hashtag #DoingOurPart and we’ll share!  Download colouring page copies .

Some good activities for families during this COVID-19 time. Enjoy!

Richmond Hill Council News
Useful Links during COVID-19
We are all in this together and Richmond Hill is working closely with all levels of government to help stop the spread of #COVID-19. Stay informed and up to date and learn more using the following websites:
City Parks Important Information during Covid-19
Public spaces
While Richmond Hill trails, parks and natural areas remain open, residents are encouraged not to use playground, skate park and other equipment and to follow health guidelines which are posted on signage at all local parks. Please consider activities that allow social distancing between you and others, such as walking, biking and hiking.

The City has placed signage at the entrance to all of the City Parks as shown above.
Yonge Bernard Key Development Area Plan
In 2017 Council approved a Secondary Plan for the Yonge Bernard Key Development Area (KDA). This plan was consistent with the development permissions laid out in Richmond Hill’s Official Plan and met all obligations levied on Richmond Hill from the Province of Ontario and the Region of York. The 2017 KDA Plan was adopted by Council after a great deal of time and input from area residents and stakeholders. I was thankful for the input of many area residents. I do believe that while the plan generally represented more density than most residents would have wished for in their neighbourhood, it was an acceptable compromise given many factors including permissions outlined from the Province, Region and the Richmond Hill Official Plan.

Unfortunately this plan was appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by a number of area developers shortly after being passed by Council. Subsequently, and perhaps more unfortunately, in 2019 a motion to further increase densities beyond the approved 2017 KDA Plan was passed by the current Richmond Hill Council.

As a result of the motion to increase density permissions, a new proposed plan will be presented to Council for debate on May 13 th . I remain opposed to this new proposal as I do not think that the increases in height and density proposed in the plan are necessary or appropriate for the area.

The input that I have received from many residents whom I have spoken with over the years leading up to the creation of the 2017 KDA Plan, and more input now received from this newest increased density plan are consistent. Area residents have expressed that they understand that a reasonable level of development is acceptable but this proposed plan represents development permissions that are above that line and are not in line with their future vision of our community.

I have a number of specific concerns about the plan including the prospect of unacceptable increased levels of traffic while no new additional traffic and transit infrastructure has been proposed between the passing of 2017 KDA Plan and this time.

I am also concerned about increased densities and building heights from a maximum of 15 storeys in the 2017 KDA Plan to over 40 storeys in the new proposal.

It is important that we provide more choice in our collective inventory of more affordable forms of housing. I am very much in favour of helping to supply these more affordable types of housing but to that point I am not convinced this plan would achieve the expected outcome, or at least will not deliver any more than what would have been delivered in the 2017 KDA Plan and/or deliver it in the same time frame.

I have also sought input from a number of experts that feel that the very high density permissions contained in this plan may not be consistent with current market demand for this type of very high-rise development being proposed.

I believe that the 2017 KDA Plan would create a better balance for this area of Richmond Hill, and I also believe it would also create a more vibrant community that would be more respectful with the existing neighbourhoods in the area.

There is no doubt in my mind that our community will experience growth in the future. It is very important that we create plans for growth that balance the needs of the community with protection of existing neighbourhoods, that give Richmond Hill its character, while allowing for an appropriate level of development of our remaining lands.

I do not think that the additional density permissions contained in this current KDA proposal will accomplish this important goal.

To learn more about this plan please visit https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/find-or-learn-about/yonge-street-and-bernard-key-development-area.aspx . You can also read the staff report with all of the plan’s details at https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=32106 . As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or comments.

Click on the link to read an article which appeared in The Liberal on April 30. https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/9964362-fuming-residents-flag-richmond-hill-council-s-secret-meeting/
Council supports Local Businesses Through Creation of Recover Richmond Hill Task Force

Richmond Hill is looking to accelerate economic recovery to address the downturn and uncertainty created by COVID-19. A key step is Council’s creation of the Recover Richmond Hill Task Force at its online April 22 meeting. The role of the Task Force is to recommend measures that assist local businesses to reopen, retool and recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Task Force will also make recommendations that leverage and advocate for regional, provincial and federal government funding to support Richmond Hill businesses.

The Recover Richmond Hill Task Force includes three members of Council – Ward 2 Councillor Tom Muench, Ward 4 Councillor David West and Ward 6 Councillor Godwin Chan. It will also include one member each from the Richmond Hill Board of Trade (RHBOT), the Richmond Hill Village Business Improvement Association (BIA) and the Markham Richmond Hill and Vaughan Chinese Business Association (MRVCBA), along with a York Region Economic Development representative. The city is partnering with the local business associations to ensure all businesses are part of Richmond Hill’s recovery.

The Recover Richmond Hill Task Force will lead the next phase of the City’s economic development response to COVID-19 that will be focused on economic recovery. This will build on the ongoing work with local business to help them navigate closures as well as produce products and services needed to fight the pandemic. Multiple Richmond Hill businesses are pivoting their production to medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19 and staff have helped them to connect to resources and with federal and provincial representatives to receive the needed approvals. The City has also been helping retailers and restaurants to transition to online and takeout sales to help minimize the impact on local business.

Richmond Hill staff have had more than 200 phone and video conference consultations offering individual support to the business community and have been actively engaged with the local business associations. Business support resources are shared online at RichmondHill.ca/BusinessHelp as well as a list of local Businesses Making a Difference as part of the community’s response to COVID-19. If you are a local business that is making a difference during these challenging times, reach out to ecdev@richmondhill.ca to share your story.

For information and updates on City services and facilities, visit RichmondHill.ca/COVID19 or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/myRichmondHill ll. Follow business news on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rh_ecdev?lang=en
Access Richmond Hill moving to 7 day operation
In response to the current needs of our community, the Access Richmond Hill contact centre is extending its operations to 7 days a week.

• Residents will have access to information by email at access@richmondhill.ca or by phone at 905-771- 8800 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

• The extended days of ARH operation ensures Richmond Hill is available to meet our community’s needs and respond to resident and business inquiries during the period of public closure due to COVID-19.
Development Application Yeda Major Mackenzie Inc. - 58 Major Mackenzie Drive West
A request for approval of a Zoning By-law Amendment application to permit a 5-storey residential building comprised of 33 dwelling units, 1.64 FSI and 64 parking spaces has been submitted to Richmond Hill Planning Staff. This property is a just west of Yonge Street, on the north side of Major Mackenzie Drive. For the more information concerning this application please visit http://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/zoning-by-law-amendment-application-yeda-major-mackenzie-drive-west/

This development application was originally scheduled to come to a Council Public Hearing on April 1st but will now be heard on May 20. Any residents wanting to submit written correspondence or delegate live by video may do so by contacting clerks@richmondhill.ca

Upcoming Events
Strides for Stroke to benefit Mackenzie Health


Contact Me
Phone:  905-771-2480
Mobile Phone:  416-346-3090
225 East Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill,
ON L4B 3P4, Canada. 905-771-8800
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