Public gets first look at next phase of north-end...
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Nov 04, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Public gets first look at next phase of north-end subdivision

Stratford Gazette

Jeff Heuchert

A plan of subdivision and zone change application have been submitted to the city representing the next phase of the housing development in the city's north end.

The proposed plan would include 61 single-detached lots directly to the northeast of Briarhill Drive and Forman Avenue, as well as a walking path connecting the subdivision to the Rotary Complex land.

The draft plan is known as Phase 2B of the overall housing development. Phase 2A, which lies directly to the east of 2B and is expected to include 44 single-family homes, was given draft approval earlier this year. The first phase, meanwhile, was approved by the city in 2011 and consists of 126 lots, mostly townhouses, as well as the extension of Forman to the north and McCarthy Road to the west. Thirteen building permits have been issued for that portion to date.

A preliminary subdivision plan was provided at last week's council meeting showing how the road network might look. It was also meant to demonstrate to city staff and councillors the "walkability and pedestrian connections within the neighborhoods," said planner Caroline Baker of GSP Group.

Phase 2B will include a one-block extension of Bradshaw Drive (a new street off of Forman developed in Phase 2A) and one new street. Additionally, with each phase of the development land has been donated for the park space northwest of the Rotary Complex.

Responding to questions from councillors, Baker said students from the nearby high schools will be able to access the rec centre by traveling north on Forman  into Phase 2A and then heading east on Bradshaw Drive into Phase 2B towards either the walking path or park, which will also have access to the complex.

As for connectivity for bikers, Baker noted the Forman extension is being developed with bike lanes, but no lanes have been formalized for the other roads as of yet.

The plan of subdivision and zone change will be considered by the city's planning and heritage subcommittee at a later date.

The following decisions were made by the standing committees of city council and still require final adoption.

Four crossing guard locations eliminated

Midday crossing guard coverage at four locations in the city will be cancelled beginning Dec. 20 as a result of fewer children leaving school during morning nutrition and lunch breaks.

The crossings include West Gore and Church from 10:50-11:50 a.m., West Gore and Mowat from 12:30-1:15 p.m., John and Charles from 11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m., and Britannia and Briarhill from 11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Traffic studies were conducted at each location.

"In many cases, the crossing guards attend the crossing location and they do not cross any children during their shift," states a staff report recommending the reduced hours of service.

The crossings are used by elementary students attending Avon, Hamlet, Shakespeare, and St. Aloysius schools.

According to the report, the principal at Hamlet requested the West Gore/John crossing remain staffed during the morning break because of the amount of traffic. However, city records show only two children crossed there during the entire 2012/13 school year.

Typically when a child leaves the school midday they are picked up by a caregiver and/or parent. The reports states the children must be signed out a the principal's office before leaving the school as well.

The move is expected to save the city approximately $9,000 in 2014.

City takes lead on exotic animals

The City of Stratford is petitioning the federal and provincial governments to implement standard rules to restrict the keeping of exotic animals to address health, public safety, animal welfare, environmental issues, and emergency responder awareness.

The city's protection to persons and property subcommittee began investigating rules for keeping exotic animals after two boys in New Brunswick were killed by an African rock python this past August.

Both levels of government responded soon after by initiating reviews of existing laws for the possession and ownership of such animals. The city's petition asks that municipalities be consulted during the reviews.

The petition will be forwarded to other municipalities, various government officials and municipal organizations.

City endorses postal union resolution

At the request of Coun. Bonnie Henderson, city council has supported a resolution from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers calling on the federal government to focus on revenue-generating services, not cuts, when reviewing the national postal service next year.

The resolution also asks that the review be made open to the public.

According to the CUPW, the government could reduce Canada Post's obligation to provide service or even lay the groundwork for privatizing or deregulating the public post office.

"The corporation has been clear," states the letter to the city. "It wants to dramatically cut service to improve its financial situation."

The CUPW suggests a model of postal banking as a source of revenue, and is recommending the federal government and Canada Post immediately establish a task force to determine how to deliver new financial services.

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