Council Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

In September 2022, the Town announced that they would be buying the old CDCI West playing field on Durham Street.  The purchase price was $2M and the deal closed in December 2022. At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 3, staff will ask Council which of two options should they proceed with: 1) Keep all of it as parkland or 2) sell part of it to a developer on condition of including affordable housing.  In either case, changes to the Official plan are not required but residential housing would require re-zoning. The 2013 Parks Master plan would favour a park but the 2016 Downtown Master plan would favour the mixed plan. To help with a decision, staff spelled… Read complete articleCouncil Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

Sleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

At Council’s 28 February Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council were asked to approve that Sleeping Cabins could be put in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street. Concerned about public approval and how these would be managed, Council asked the organizers to report back at the April 3rd CoW meeting on their public engagement and their governance. To comply with this, the Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) will be presenting their 33 page report at that CoW meeting. No surprise, it is strongly supportive of the proposal and reads as a professional report selling the idea. The report lists community and stakeholder engagements and the results of a survey indicating support and includes a description… Read complete articleSleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

Council Acts on Report of Safe Injection Site

At the Regular Council meeting on Monday night – March 20 – Mayor Cleveland introduced a “Notice of Motion” to say that Council does not endorse the unsanctioned Overdose Prevention site proposed for Cobourg.  (See Resources below for link to report by Pete Fisher).  This usually means that it would be introduced at a subsequent Council meeting but Council passed a suspension of rules of Order that meant it could be dealt with and passed immediately.  Mayor Cleveland, with support from Council and CAO Tracey Vaughan made it clear they had not been consulted and only heard about it from the media plus citizen communication – at the same time as everyone else.  See the full wording of the motion… Read complete articleCouncil Acts on Report of Safe Injection Site

Long Debate on Balder CIP

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Councillors debated whether to approve awarding Balder Corporation the CIP amounts promised for their development. The concern (as pointed out in a previous Post) was that the number of affordable units per the County/Town definition was only 4 compared to the original 15 (20% of 71). The developers made a presentation to Council that included the fact that they were persuaded by Mayor Henderson to change their original plans for a retirement home to be a rental project with a promise of Council support. Their presentation plus subsequent Council discussion lasted 84 minutes. Staff also made it clear that even with no affordable units, the requirements for the CIP would be met. According… Read complete articleLong Debate on Balder CIP

Fewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

At the next CoW Council meeting on March 13, Council will be asked to formally approve CIP grants and loans to Balder corporation despite the fact that there are only 4 affordable units instead of the 15 originally planned.  The project on University Ave West (near William St.) has 71 rental units and is now almost fully rented.  According to advertising by Balder (see graphic in resources below), rents start at $1,540 per month for studios with one-bedroom apartments starting at $1,595 (utilities included).   These rents are higher than initially planned “in response to increased costs associated with the development”. However, according to a report by Cobourg Staff, there are four one-bedroom units which meet the affordable definition used by… Read complete articleFewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

The Total Tax Bill for 2023

Earlier today, there was a Letter to the Editor from Dennis Nabieszko of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association about the true tax increase this year. The extra is the stormwater charge which was previously included in the tax bill from the Town but will now be included on your Electricity/ water/ sewer bill from Lakefront. So far this year, I have received two such invoices with no sign of the stormwater fee so I called LUSI.   They said that there will be a new line item on invoices when the details are sorted out.  LUSI is simply administering the bills and will pass the amount collected to the Town.  This idea was first approved earlier in 2022 and the subject has… Read complete articleThe Total Tax Bill for 2023

Police Review and other Concerns

There were several contentious items brought to the regular Council meeting on Monday, 27 February. Apart from the budget and Councillor remuneration issues previously reported, there was also a major issue raised in correspondence from the Police board plus there were motions about 1) the action in response to the delegations on homelessness, 2) extending the sunshine list to the Library and 3) approval of affordable Housing CIP grants. In 3 of these 4, the vote was divided – more details follow. There were 13 items of correspondence which also had to be dealt with. It’s now clear that this council is quite divided: as commenter Informed says: “The Mayor might not be my favourite person but I certainly didn’t… Read complete articlePolice Review and other Concerns

Bureau Changes Vote on Remuneration – Budget Approved

At last week’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Councillors voted 4-3 to increase their remuneration and this came up for ratification at tonight’s regular Council meeting. But, surprise, Councillor Adam Bureau changed his mind.  Conceding that he might be accused of flip-flopping, Adam said he listened to the people – in particular those demonstrating outside Victoria Hall.  The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and each of the Councillors (except for Aaron) spoke about the reasons for their vote but basically, the disagreement was on whether this is the right time for a raise.  All agreed that a raise was required.  Randy Barber also pointed out that individual councillors did not have to accept the raise – they could for example donate… Read complete articleBureau Changes Vote on Remuneration – Budget Approved

Revisions to Policies on Free Parking

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 21 February, Director of Legislative Services, Brent Larmer submitted a memo that asked Council for direction on the distribution of free or discounted parking passes. This was in response to a discussion during budget deliberations on Community Grants when staff were asked to review the relevant policies. Some groups currently ask for free parking passes as part of the Community grant process but others ask separately as part of organizing a special event. There are three policies that affect the issuing of free parking passes and Brent made recommendations for changes to each of them. Brian Darling moved that staff make the recommended modifications and bring the amended policies back to… Read complete articleRevisions to Policies on Free Parking

Sleeping Cabins – update

At Cobourg Council’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on Tuesday 21 February, there were seven delegations about the proposal to put “Sleeping Cabins” in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street.  Six were in favour and one presented a petition of 36 nearby residents who were against the idea.  Not all of those in favour were from Cobourg – Rob Horgan was originally from Durham but said he “needed a place to go” and even the representative from the “Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective” (NSCC), Alastair McKeating, was from Port Hope.  Several people spoke emotionally about how homelessness was bad and in fact was a crisis.  They were short on what to do about the crisis other… Read complete articleSleeping Cabins – update

New Annual Report by Planning Division

In 2020 CAO Tracey Vaughan commissioned a Service Delivery Review followed by an organization review which resulted in comprehensive reports with recommendations – some of them contentious.  One of the results was a re-organizing of the Planning Department.  The simultaneous retirement of its long-time Director – Glenn McGlashon – and the hiring of a replacement – Anne Taylor Scott – allowed for some fresh thinking.  Economic Development was moved under this Division and a new manager hired (Daniel van Kampen). Planning was then split into long-range, under long-term incumbent Rob Franklin, and Development Review (approving applications etc) under new hire Vanessa Reusser.  Also new is an annual report on activity in this division – including a review of external factors… Read complete articleNew Annual Report by Planning Division