Will Daintry Crescent Park happen?

According to Michael Clark, there is a long history of a promise of a Park on Daintry Crescent.  Michael is a resident of Daintry Cres and he spoke at last night’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting.  Michael said that when houses were first built on Daintry crescent in 1992, they were on the north side of the road with a strip on the south side that bordered on the railway line.  The developer intended to then build Townhouses on that strip but permission was denied because they would be too close to the Railway – so the land has been vacant since that time and the Town eventually took ownership.  There were promises that it would be made a Park but the Town did nothing except for occasional grass cutting.  Michael and other residents are now looking for some kind of guarantee that a Park will be created.

In December 2021, Council tentatively agreed that Habitat for Humanity could move a house onto a piece of the Daintry Crescent land (at the end) but did not decide on what the rest of the land would be used for.  Given that homes may not be built there, there are two options: 1. Leave it as it is – with occasional cutting of the grass, or 2. Declare it a park with money being spent to add trees and amenities like benches.

Staff and Council seemed to think that this would mean a rezoning of the land to Parkland.  However, when asked, the new Director of Planning and Development, Anne Taylor-Scott, said that in her experience it just needed a decision by Council to make it a Park.

Also on the CoW agenda was a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to proceed with re-zoning and take measures to make the strip of land a Park. In line with these recommendations, Councillor Emily Chorley made the following motion:

THAT Council receive the recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee regarding Daintry Crescent Park.
And FURTHER THAT Council authorize the Committee’s recommendations as follows:

  • That Daintry Crescent Park be rezoned as park land in a timely manner (subject to the rezoning process outlined in the Ontario Planning Act):
  • That Daintry Crescent Park be subjected to an accessibility audit and urgently upgraded to enhance accessibility (curb cuts, etc)
  • If the municipal land currently under consideration for development were to be deemed unsuitable for development that the lot(s) be reincorporated into parkland:
  • That a plan for new signage, trees, benches, pathways and accessible features be drafted and costed, and that funding options be presented to Council by May 30 2022.

After debate on whether the rezoning could be part of the comprehensive zoning by-law review currently being done (it could), Council passed the motion.  Since there is no money in the 2022 budget for the required conversion to a Park, the earliest implementation would be 2023.  So there is still no real guarantee that Daintry Cres Park will happen.

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Gerinator
26 January 2022 1:48 pm

What wait, with a swoosh a decision was made! Don’t let that become a habit.

Pamela Jackson
26 January 2022 10:44 am

Interesting comment by Anne Taylor Scott “…it just needs Council to make a decision…” Therein lies the problem, reading your excellent blog from a distance it has appeared for a long time that this Council is incapable of making a decision. Any decision. Now it’s up to the voters of Cobourg, in the next election make a decision to vote in some “thinkers and doers”, Cobourg deserves better. .

Ken
Reply to  Pamela Jackson
26 January 2022 11:28 am

I agree Pamela! What has happened to our ‘Feel Good Town’? Too many ‘fence sitters’ on council maybe?
A very good presentation by Michael and therefore no reason not to turn this area in a park!

Pete M
Reply to  Ken
29 January 2022 6:40 pm

What no consultants report????
Because an new Director of Planning in charge.
Will be interesting to see what happens with this Director as other planning issues come forward.
Interesting to see how council responds to this streak of confident independence.

Bryan
Reply to  Pamela Jackson
26 January 2022 1:06 pm

Pamela J,

Agree, there are some members of Council who actively practice “dynamic inaction”.
In this case however, Clr Chorley has competently steered the Daintry Park issue through the procedural hurdles and her motion (which passed) to rezone the Daintry greenspace from residential to parkland pending a review by Planning, as required by the Planning Act, shows that Council does get things done when properly led.

I also agree that the “deadwood” needs to be removed and, as you put it
“… vote in some “thinkers and doers…”
And yes, Cobourg does deserves better.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bryan
Tucker
26 January 2022 10:33 am

After reading about the relocation of a house to Daintry Cres. I took a drive over there. I was amazed that the town would do such a thing. It doesn’t belong there. It doesn’t match the other styles of homes. Tiny little red brick house, pluncked so close to the end home on the street. If I was that home owner, I surely would have objected to the house being moved there in the first place. Can you just imagine all sorts of unwanted/neglected houses on that land. Shameful that the town can’t find a little cash to put in some benches and trees but can find just enough to put up porta-potties downtown. Take up a collection from the present homeowners and plant the trees yourself.

Ken
Reply to  Tucker
26 January 2022 11:24 am

Maybe a ‘go-fund-me’ page could be started?…..only if the Town doesn’t have the money?

Tucker
Reply to  Ken
29 January 2022 11:37 am

But the “town” should have money, it’s OUR tax money.

Bryan
25 January 2022 4:59 pm

John,
 
You wrote: “…. the new Director of Planning and Development,
Anne Taylor-Scott, said that in her experience it just needed a decision by
Council to make it a Park ….”
 
I doubt the director’s words will reassure the Daintry residents, given the Town’s history of “broken promises” regarding this “park” as outlined by Kareen Hewitt and Michael Clark in their delegations to Council and the PRAC. “Parkland” zoning status makes it that much harder for someone (Town, developer) to use these lands for other purposes.
 
Further: “Since there is no money in the 2022 budget for the required conversion to a Park, the earliest implementation would be 2023. So there is still no real guarantee that Daintry Cres Park will happen.”
 
The “park” has been getting minimal maintenance: grass cut regularly and the odd tree planted. That is already covered in the current budget and will continue. The additions that Michael Clark outlined can be done sometime in the future. They are not an immediate priority.
 
I agree that “there is no real guarantee” that the rezoning will happen. The Daintry residents have heard this before and is why, for them, rezoning the Daintry greenspace to parkland to protect its “park” status is a priority. The PRAC motion and Clr Chorley’s motion reflect this concern. As Clr Chorly noted in her motion: “in a timely manner”

I don’t think “budget” is a limiting factor. The cost for conversion to a park should be minimal. It’s mostly Town paperwork. As noted above, the additions to the park are not part of the current issue.  

Last edited 3 months ago by Bryan
Dunkirk
25 January 2022 4:48 pm

In 1864 after the collapse of the Cobourg-Peterborough Railway, Mayor George Daintry was said to declare that ‘Cobourg isn’t dead yet!’….156 years later, it appears he still might be right and his fateful quotation might look good on a new Park sign bearing his name.

Gerald Childs
25 January 2022 2:33 pm

Will those motions still be valid after the next municipal elections in October 2022.

Last edited 4 months ago by Gerald Childs
Concerned
Reply to  Gerald Childs
26 January 2022 11:36 am

Any council and change the decision of a previous council on zoning.

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned
31 January 2022 5:11 pm

Concerned,
Council can do that if presented with a valid rezoning request, properly supported and having passed the various procedural “hurdles” including the Town’s public engagement policy ADN21.
The final test is what is the benefit to Cobourgers.