Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen
As of the writing of this update, the Province is scheduled to enter Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen the week of June 14. This three-step plan was implemented to safely and cautiously reopen the province by gradually lifting public health measures based on vaccination rates and improvements in key public health indicators. Step One will see the ease of some restrictions, with an initial focus on outdoor settings. A simple, easy-to-understand summary of the restrictions can be found on the Province’s “Reopening Ontario” webpage at www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario.
Though the stay-at-home order has lifted, the current emergency brake shutdown restrictions will remain in effect until we are cleared to enter Step One of the Roadmap. As always, anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who may be exhibiting symptoms of the virus should use the Province’s self-assessment tool to determine what they should do next, including getting a test and isolating if necessary.
Farmers’ Market Open for the Season
The Springwater Farmers’ Market - Elmvale opens on Friday, June 18 to kick off the summer! We are thrilled to work once again with our local vendors and carry this important community tradition forward under the proper safety precautions.
The Farmers’ Market will operate every Friday, 9 am to 2 pm, through September 17 in the municipal parking lot at 33 Queen Street West. Please wear a mask, practice safe physical distancing and do not attend the market if you are feeling unwell.
If you are interested in becoming a vendor, you can obtain more information at www.springwater.ca/farmersmarket
Community Safety and Wellbeing
Everyone has a role to play in safety and well-being, and over the past year, local municipalities have come together with police and community partners across different sectors to develop a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWP) for South Georgian Bay and Springwater. The plan, which is required under the Province’s Safer Ontario Act, 2018, will outline strategies and actions to ensure that all residents enjoy the opportunity to feel safe, connected and well.
We recognize that not everyone experiences the same sense of safety and well-being and that the struggles are unique to each person. Our CSWB Plan has prioritized three areas of focus: mental health and addictions, housing, and access to services. With strong, committed partners and by engaging those with lived experience, we can leverage and aid efforts that support safety and well-being already underway, and find new ways to work together to address these areas of risk.
We are very excited to move the strategies forward with our residents and community partners.
Municipal Comprehensive Review Update
Under the Province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, all upper tier municipalities are required to bring their Official Plans into conformity with provincial policy by July 2022 through a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). The County of Simcoe initiated its MCR process in 2018 to specifically review and update planning policy regarding key themes.
In accordance with provincial requirements, the Township has launched its own Official Plan Review (OPR), focusing on many of the same planning policy considerations at a local level. The revised plan will shape how the Township grows and changes over the next 20 years and provide guidance on housing, industry, retail and community amenities, with protections for environmental and heritage features. See more information on springwater.ca/business-and-development/official-plan regarding the OPR.
The public and had the opportunity to express during this County process by submitting comments for a Public Meeting held on June 8. Springwater Council approved staff comments regarding the MCR which were submitted to the County. More information on https://www.simcoe.ca/Planning/Pages/MCR.aspx.
Building Services Impacts
The Township’s Building Services Department will be migrating to a new building permit system during the months of May, June and July. The new system will allow for enhanced features, such as online permitting, a user-friendly data interface and online payments.
In order to facilitate the implementation, residents may experience temporary service disruption to allow for training, migration of data and testing of the new software. Thank you for your patience and understanding as our staff work through this transition.
The Township’s consultant, Kenn Smart, made a presentation to the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority Board of Directors regarding issues with the Swaley Drain outlet. The Township was successful in obtaining Board approval of a motion it brought forward in line with the recommendations of Kenn Smart. As a result of this, NVCA staff will work with Kenn and Springwater staff to move towards the issuance of a work permit, while ensuring any environmental concerns are met. We are pleased to move forward with this project, which has been in the works for many years and is now targeting to commence by December 2021.
Cannabis Production Facility Update
Council continues to review potential policy amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law for cannabis production in Springwater. Preliminary draft policy amendments have been presented based on recommendations of the Cannabis Production Review Study prepared by WSP consultants. In accordance with the Planning Act, a virtual public meeting was held regarding this on May 31. Input was received from various parties and staff will consider these and any other comments received in future to prepare a final recommendation report for Council’s decision on the proposed amendments.
Council in its meeting last week agreed to extend the Township’s one-year Interim Control By-law related to cannabis production (ICBL) put in place June 2020, for an further 6 month period to enable finalization of the appropriate policy amendments. Further information regarding this and an opportunity to submit your comments can be found under cannabis production at https://www.springwater.ca/en/business-and-development/planning-and-development.aspx
These comments reflect my thoughts and not necessarily those of Council. Stay well.