Clearview election 2018: Candidates for Mayor
We put the following three questions to those running for mayor in Clearview Township. Please see their numbered responses:
1. What can be done to meet the township’s affordable housing targets and address a lack of seniors’ housing?
2. Agricultural land is facing a number of development pressures. As a decision maker, how do you balance population growth and economic development while preserving farmland and the rural landscape?
3. While in office, what specific actions have you spearheaded to improve quality of life in Clearview?
1. Clearview has an active role on the County of Simcoe Affordable Housing Advisory Committee through our planning department staff. In this role we remain engaged in the activities of the greater community and offer our local input to the strategy. Our Deputy Mayor has spoken of this several times. The action needed to allow development of new affordable housing builds is in the renewal of our Clearview Official Plan to keep it aligned with the intent of the County Growth Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement. As building growth in Clearview is focused on the primary settlements of Stayner and Creemore, it is the property owners of development lands that will bring forward their concepts of growth. Our role as council and staff will be to find opportunities to convince developers that a diverse housing inventory is what is needed to complement our existing neighbourhoods.
2. Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Clearview Township. I expect it will remain so as our community increases in population. Our population growth is generally at a slow rate however it is focused on the settlement areas as defined in our official plan. There will be significant building starts in the coming years as the provincial and national economy turn to positive growth. The lands that are within our settlement areas targeted for development will only see activity if public water and waste water servicing is available. Certainly in Creemore and Stayner, servicing capacity is available. Nottawa and New Lowell are not as easily serviced at this time. Agriculture zoned lands need to be used for farming. The official plan for our community provides confidence that we expect these uses to be protected. While pressure to develop in all settlement areas needs some work on in-fill lot creation and small unit count development, council must take steps to call for a review of the official plan to permit development that is complementary to existing homes.
3. I have been serving Clearview on many projects while your Ward 1 councillor. As a member of our Economic Development Committee, I worked with our committee to host business networking events. As a member of the Culture & Recreation Advisory Committee, and past chair, I worked to establish the Recreation Showcase early in my term. I also chaired the committee review of the Recreation Master Plan. I was successful in advocating for the change to the Open Burn Bylaw so all residents of Clearview could enjoy a backyard fire. I worked with the Ward 2 councillor to bring forward a motion to pave the 30/31 Sideroad as it was increasing in local traffic and agriculture traffic. I was the co-chair, then chair of the Small Halls Festival and remain an advocate for accessibility renovations at our Small Halls. I insisted that we bring a Public Participation Period to the agenda of your council meetings.
1. I feel that we have been certainly requesting builders that are coming forward and moving with their developments to consider some mixed diversity of housing that can accommodate our shortage. We continue to meet with developers and Simcoe County staff that have considered affordable housing as well as senior’s housing and have discussed the benefits both from the County of Simcoe and Clearview Township’s willingness to partner in various ways such as donating the land and reducing the development charges and permits. Clearview has been instrumental at the County of Simcoe to have over $4 million designated for affordable housing within the small rural development areas such as Clearview. We may also have to consider some future land tax rebate depending on the sizes of future developments. It may be necessary for Clearview to initiate the development of affordable or senior’s housing projects, because developers feel there is a lack of profitability.
2. Realistically we follow provincial guidelines that are set and used by municipal governments to ensure agricultural lands are protected and control our residential development growth through places to grow provincial legislation. Clearview certainly supports the ongoing development of agricultural related businesses and its diversity.
3. I have spearheaded multiple meetings with the County of Simcoe and local developers to ensure they are able to move forward with their projects.
Continually advocated and consulted with the County of Simcoe and developers for affordable housing and senior friendly housing so that residents can remain in Clearview.
Continually advocates for our small halls in each community and ensures that they will remain a vibrant and vital part of our communities.
Initiated and held multiple town hall meeting in all of our communities to ensure that residents had an opportunity to voice concerns.
We have initiated a public transit system beginning within Stayner linking Clearview to other transit systems in neighbouring municipalities. We plan to grow the transit system to service the other areas within Clearview in the future to ensure connectivity.
Clearview initiated the opening of the first Clearview youth centre in support of our youth.
We have increased the budget for our road maintenance on our rural roads.
We worked with the County of Simcoe to lift road restrictions on various roads within the Creemore area to ensure that they can continue to have financial stability 12 months of the year.
We have created our first Historic Site to preserve our history of Clearview Township (Bethel Union Cemetery).
(Deputy Mayor Barry Burton has been acclaimed.)