Council News and Hilights March

1. Update – Richmond Hill Challenges OMB Parkland Ruling

It was announced a few days ago that Markham, Oakville and Mississauga will support Richmond Hill in our challenge of the recent OMB Parkland ruling. This Councillor appreciates their support. These communities, as well as other GTA communities, will be just as negatively impacted by this OMB ruling as Richmond Hill will be. Our residents have told us that sufficient parkland now and in the future is important – this OMB ruling says it is not and I believe the ruling is short sighted. Access to natural spaces is important now but will become more so as our population grows. We recognize, acknowledge and are planning for our future parks needs in the Parks Plan. The OMB ruling does not reflect this understanding.

The latest news on this issue can be found here – https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/5526557-markham-backs-richmond-hill-in-omb-parkland-fight/

A good synopsis of this issue can be found at

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/02/24/richmond-hill-and-omb-face-off-in-a-duel-over-parkland-and-developers.html 

2. Valley Land Restoration Report to Council
As we have grown and become a more urbanized environment, there has been a change in the water runoff regime in our community. As more paved and hard surfaces fill our community, more water from rain fall and snow melt episodes tends to run off quickly into streams and storm sewers rather than absorb into the soil. Partly as a result of this fact, and the need to protect property and infrastructure from flooding, our staff prepared a report on the environmental restoration needs in our valley lands. Council approved a plan to rehabilitate 10 priority sites over the next 10 years. The priorities will be added to our Capital Budget. Some of these potential restorations are located in Ward 4, including the Mill Pond, and the area South of Shaftsbury Avenue known as the Elgin Mills Greenway. For more information please click here.
3. Richmond Hill Earth Hour Report
As a result of our efforts during Earth Hour a 4.1% energy use decline was reported by Powerstream. Congratulations to all who participated in this initiative to bring awareness about our electricity use and its implications to our natural environment.
4. Safe Drinking Water Act Report
In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, Council received the 2014 Municipal Drinking Water System Report for Richmond Hill’s water distribution system. The report confirms Richmond Hill’s commitment to provide safe drinking water to the community. It also details Richmond Hill’s compliance with provincial standards for testing and reporting processes and its inspection rating of 100 per cent under the Ministry of the Environment’s Municipal Drinking Water Inspection Program. Rigorous sampling and testing throughout the drinking water system has been completed and confirms Richmond Hill’s drinking water is safe. The Report will soon be available for viewing on the website. For more information, visit