Council has confirmed its priorities for the next two years, reflecting the evolving needs and interests of the community and building on the great work of the City to date.
Richmond Hill’s Council Strategic Priorities 2020-2022 set the City on a solid path to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, minimizing the financial impact on residents while continuing to emphasize environmental initiatives, community building and transportation.
Council endorsed four key priority areas at a Council meeting on November 25:
Balancing Growth and Green
Recognizing the critical balance between economic development and environmental protection, this includes stewardship of green spaces such as wetlands, parks and trails and longer-term sustainability planning and climate action initiatives, alongside decisions that promote responsible economic intensification and prosperity.
Examples of major projects: Official Plan Update; Resilient Richmond Hill; Parks Master Plan; Urban Forest Management Plan; Climate Change Framework; Comprehensive Zoning By-law
Council will endeavour to keep tax increases to a minimum in order to emerge from COVID-19 in a strong financial position.
Examples of major projects: Financial Sustainability Strategy; Revenue Generation Initiative; Asset Management Plan; City Transformation Project
Strong Sense of Belonging
This is a placemaking priority that combines a desire for everyone to feel welcome in Richmond Hill and a commitment to community building in places like the downtown core, Lake Wilcox and the Richmond Hill David Dunlap Observatory.
Examples of major projects: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative; Age Friendly Community Initiative; Recover Richmond Hill Action Plan; Affordable Housing Strategy
Getting Around the City
Council will prioritize ease of movement around the city by promoting Richmond Hill’s multiple transportation interconnections, being well-positioned for the Yonge subway extension and improving active transportation networks for cyclists and pedestrians.
Examples of major projects: Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plan; Yonge North Subway Extension project; Transportation Master Plan
These priority areas align with the feedback received by more than 800 residents through a community survey run in September 2020. The top five areas of concern identified by residents were protecting the environment, keeping tax increases low, maintaining and enhancing infrastructure, advocating for the subway extension into Richmond Hill and improving transportation networks. A comprehensive list of projects planned to support the priorities can be found in Appendix B of the staff report.
I am pleased that this project is now complete and the Plan is in place, but as I said at Council, I also expect that we can use this Plan as a foundation to go further on a number of of these key areas. Stay tuned for further updates.