Cobourg Council has fewer meetings in summer and both the July 23 and August 13 meetings are double – that is, there are back to back Committee-of-the-Whole and Regular Council meetings on those dates. There were a number of miscellaneous issues decided at the July 23 Meetings: a decision on a suggested Pedestrian crossing on King Street, approval of budget to pave some roads, an exception to the noise bylaw to allow the 401 to be repaved, final approval to go ahead with the sale of the Queen Street Parking lot, modification to the “Lame Duck” delegation by-law, improvements to accessibility of Parking Meters and progress on Traffic issues around the bottom end of Division Street. There were also other routine and previously agreed items. See below for details on all of these.
Pedestrian Crossing on King Street
DBIA Chair Adam Bureau submitted a letter to Council asking that they install a pedestrian crossing opposite the Henley Arcade since a large number of people “jaywalk” at that location so a crosswalk there would improve safety. He asked that the crossing be similar to the one at the entrance of Victoria Park (Photo right – This is an uncontrolled crossing and may not be much safer – see Post here) According to CAO Stephen Peacock:
In the absence of statutory provisions or bylaw, a pedestrian is not confined to a street crossing or intersection and is entitled to cross at any point, although greater care may then be required of him or her in crossing.
That is, jaywalking is legal on King Street. Further, since the distance to the closest traffic signal is less than 200 m, the site is not a recommended candidate for a pedestrian crossing. Therefore, Council rejected the request.
Repaving Cobourg Roads
Approval was given to repave the following in 2018:
- the northbound curb lane on Division Street from Patterson Street to Densmore Road,
- King Street from Normar Road to Wilmott Street,
- D’Arcy Street from south of the railway tracks to Spencer Street.
The same company was also contracted to repave part of the Elgin Street Fire Hall’s parking lot (finally).
The MTO plans to repave the 401 from Highway 28 to Burnham Street from September 2018 to Fall 2019. The work will be done after midnight 5 days a week and an exemption to the noise by-law was requested. This was granted.
Approval of the Sale of the Queen Street Parking Lot
This had been discussed at length in a previous meeting but after no additional discussion, a by-law was approved to proceed with the transaction.
Lame Duck period Delegation of Authority
As discussed in my Post here (13 July), Council planned to pass a bylaw allowing CAO Stephen Peacock to have authority to spend large dollar amounts from July 27 to after the October Municipal election. But Simon and Emily Chorley made a presentation expressing concern that this would include the ability to fire and hire a new person to fill the role of Integrity Commissioner/ Ombudsman/ Closed Meeting Investigator. They felt that this person should only be appointed by an elected Council so wanted an exception to be added to the proposed by-Law to exclude management of this role. John Henderson proposed an amendment to this effect and his amendment was passed. The amended by-law was then also passed.
Change to Parking accessibility
On December 20, 2017, Carol Anne Bell-Smith asked the Accessibility Advisory Committee that staff should review parking meters and downtown parking locations to see if they met AODA Standards. They didn’t; the coin slot must be not more than 1200mm (47.25”) above grade. So for accessible parking spaces, meters will be lowered to comply.
A review of AODA also found that there is no requirement for a specific number of on-street accessible parking stalls. If the AODA formula for off-street parking is used, since Cobourg has 242 on-street parking spots including Victoria park, the Town would be required to have 9 accessible parking spaces whereas Cobourg has 15.
The same report from Laurie Wills said that some changes will be made to downtown accessible parking spaces to ensure they are big enough and meet AODA standards in all cases. Also, that pick up/drop off locations will not be provided. It is suggested that existing parking lots be used.
Traffic around Division and Esplanade
There were two unfinished business items on this subject and CAO Stephen Peacock provided reports that he felt should address these items. It had been intended that the release of the Waterfront study would provide guidance but John Henderson thought that traffic studies might be needed so they will remain on the list on Council’s agenda of unfinished business. However, there will be minor modifications to the parking spaces at the bottom of Division but no crosswalk on the Esplanade.
Other Significant Approvals
- Refund of Taxes – re-assessments – $717,928 – The Town’s budget for this (plus the next item) is $600,000 – more on this from December 2017 here
- Refund of Taxes – vacancy rebates $232,979 – Since this requirement was recently dropped (Post 23 March 2018), this will be the last year for these rebates.
- Joint Compliance Audit Committee – if someone complains that an election candidate has violated election finance rules, this committee would investigate. The committee will consist of James Hunt, William (Bill) Graham, Lynn Patry, Tom Tordoff and Lorraine Brace. The committee will be responsible for all municipalities in Northumberland.
- Waiver of fees for a free event to be held by Victoria Hall Volunteers (VHV) on September 30, 2018 to show the “History of Victoria Hall” Documentary film. VHV will be required to submit a grant request to the Town.
- A request for the provision of Loading zones in the Downtown area was denied.
- Council approved the amendments to the Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Phase 1 of the Draft Plan of Subdivision, with conditions, for the Villages of Central Park community as reviewed at a Public meeting. See Post here. (28 June 2018)