The hot topic on Monday’s agenda was the potential implementation of a new ‘Heritage Conservation District’. It quickly became clear that the residents who reside in the catchment area are NOT in favour of this. Chambers was quite full on Monday night with home owners from the proposed neighbourhoods who are concerned that this will be an extremely costly venture for them…plus it adds a significant amount of extra hurdles to jump when they are ready to do any renovations on their homes. If this district is implemented, home owners would require approval from the Heritage Committee before making any changes to the facade of their homes. This committee could instruct them what bricks, mortar, doors, windows and even paint colour they would be permitted to use on their home.

The area that is currently being studies includes portions of First St, First Ave, Broadway, Zina, York St, Bythia and KayCee Gardens. While currently in just initial studies, residents of these areas have expressed their concerns. One of their biggest concerns is that there was no public meeting held for residents of the above listed areas to solicit feedback on a possible Heritage Conservation District. It was interesting to find out that there is no legal requirement to consult residents during the study phase at all. In fact, a public meeting won’t be held until after the study is complete.

What do you think about this whole process? Would you want to own a home in a Heritage Conservation District?

Humber College Lease

The Director of the Orangeville Humber Campus, Joe Andrews, was in attendance at Monday’s meeting to update the Town on Humber’s accomplishments over the past 10 years and to advise of upcoming additions to their program offerings. It was wonderful to hear that in the past decade, the Humber Orangeville campus has seen 1150+ students and that 52% of those students have graduated with honours! There are currently 5 full-time programs offered and they are looking to expand over the next few years. Humber is also looking to add more special interest programs and workshops to their repertoire. I was happy to see a motion pass at Council on Monday night to extend their lease agreement for another 3 years! Congratulations Humber – You are always such a great supporter of the community as is shown by your sponsorship contributions of over $150,000 to more than 50 community organizations!

Naming of Lanes

The Town of Orangeville has undertaken a project to name all of the laneways in Orangeville with a financial impact of close to $17,000. A recommendation with name suggestions was brought forward by the Honours Committee to select the #1 choice for each of the Downtown Lanes as well as those throughout Montgomery Village. Retired Fire Chief, Andy Macintosh has spoken to this topic on a number of occasions, and did so again on Monday night, stating that the naming of laneways is a hindrance to emergency personnel claiming that it brings added confusion to people providing proper addresses.

Despite this advice, Council has chosen to go ahead with the naming of the laneways – which seems to be a topic for much discussion. Rather than going with the recommendations as printed, Council has deferred this item to the Council Meeting on Monday, February 12th to ensure that there is time to vote on each lane name one by one. To see the complete list of suggested names, click here.

OPS Hires New Deputy

While not brought up at Monday’s meeting, I felt it important to include the news that Orangeville Police have officially hired a new Deputy! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new Deputy Chief, Leah Gilfoy! Deputy Chief Gilfoy will officially begin her service with OPS on February 26th, 2018 and she comes to us with an extensive resume from Toronto Police Service. She spent time in a number of units including, but not limited to: Major Crime, Drugs and Criminal Investigations and is a provincially accredited Criminal Investigator.

In My Humble Opinions

Coming very soon, I will be taking a hiatus from the political portion of ‘In My Humble Opinions’ – As of May 1st, 2018, the nomination period opens for the next election and at that time, I will be stepping away from writing about Town Council Meetings. But until then, you can count on me to be at the meetings and to share my opinions about the topics!

PS – The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 12th @ 5pm at Town Hall (where it sounds like we will be reviewing the names of 30+ laneways…sigh…)

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