February Council Update

The Council meeting on Wednesday February 28 was busy so my reporting will take a few days. There were decisions on 310 Division, the Firefighters’ museum and Parking, plus Miriam Mutton was really unhappy about the way an upgrade to Council Chamber was handled. Although Mayor Lucas Cleveland said he understood and appreciated her concern, he said she is one of seven and the others don’t agree. This post will cover Parking and Miriam’s concerns – the others will be covered in later reports. As well as these four items, Council covered 28 other items (by my count) including approval of seven sets of minutes and two closed session matters. I note that it now seems that closed sessions happen… Read complete articleFebruary Council Update

RFP Issued for Development of Old CDCI West Playing Fields

Officially known as 117 Durham Street, the Town bought the land in 2022 but it took until March 2023 before Council directed what should be done with it.  And now, an RFP has been issued on February 23 to call for development proposals. Although the “primary objective of the call for proposals is to recuperate costs from the purchase of the property” it is also hoped it will help “address the housing crisis”. Council directed that “the lands be a balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units.” Some of the property is “designated as an Environmental Constraint Area” but “Guidance on the developable limit has been informed by an Environmental Impact Study completed in February 2024”. That is,… Read complete articleRFP Issued for Development of Old CDCI West Playing Fields

Town gives update on 310 Division

At the Council meeting on 31 January, Council asked staff to report back on the situation at 310 Division Street.  Brent Larmer has now written a 25 page report with considerable detail on what’s happening.  There are also 4 draft bylaws to be approved which would implement some of the changes recommended – notably amendments to the “nuisance” by-law to prohibit consumption of controlled or illegal substances in public places.  The report talks about Transition House and the ongoing discussions with the County about various aspects (but not yet with Transition House) .  As Brent says, although looking after homelessness people is the responsibility of the County, there is a large impact on the Town.  There is only one such… Read complete articleTown gives update on 310 Division

Cobourg Police Want New Facility

About a year ago, the County decided to look into the idea of a Northumberland Police Force to replace the current Policing by the OPP, Cobourg and Port Hope Police forces. At the time Cobourg’s Mayor Lucas Cleveland suggested that one possible transition would be to start with merging the Port Hope and Cobourg Police forces. Also around the same time, Cobourg Police issued an RFP to assess whether the current building needed to be changed. That study has now been completed and will be provided to the Police Board at their meeting on February 20.  The recommendation is that a new building should be built at a new location for approx. $34M – and that’s assuming there’s no amalgamation with… Read complete articleCobourg Police Want New Facility

Review of Selected Major Projects

At a recent Council meeting, Director of Planning Anne Taylor Scott issued her second annual report on activity in her department – it’s called “2023 Growth Trends Report – Planning & Building Departments”. Anne notes that a full complement of planning staff would be 6 people but there are currently 3 vacancies – that includes Rob Franklin who is on a 12 month leave of absence. Her report makes it clear that her department has been very busy in 2023 with 138 new applications and 141 approvals. They ranged from Heritage Permit applications to Official plan amendments. One big change is the public availability of the Development Dashboard based on the Town’s GIS data – this allows the public to… Read complete articleReview of Selected Major Projects

Mayor Wants Parking Review

At a recent Council meeting, Mayor Lucas Cleveland gave “notice of a motion” to be moved at the next regular Council meeting “regarding Parking Rules, Regulations, and Fines in Cobourg”. His concern is that paid Parking is too complicated in Cobourg and needs to be simplified. It’s too hard to understand for both residents and visitors. He’s talking about downtown and the waterfront area since that’s where parking is “paid” – I’m not aware of any other paid parking. But Lucas also wants to minimize the loss of potential parking revenue. His motion asks staff to “report back … on the steps and recommendations to completely reimagine the parking program/regime within the town of Cobourg to one based on simplicity”…. Read complete articleMayor Wants Parking Review

By-Law Enforcement Report for 2023

At the Community Services, Protection, and Economic Development Standing Committee meeting on  February 7, Kevin Feagan, (Manager, Municipal Law Enforcement & Licensing Services) presented his annual report – this is the second one for this department.  As mentioned by CAO Tracey Vaughan, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being used to measure performance and in the case of this department, they are called “Service Level Agreements” (SLAs).  Apart from Proactive Parking Violations, activity has not changed much from 2022 and SLA performance was not much different.  However, it’s good to see the report. Other departments with annual reports (as far as I know) are Planning, Economic Development and Police (links available in Resources).  As well as By-Law Enforcement, Kevin’s department manages… Read complete articleBy-Law Enforcement Report for 2023

More Concerns about 310 Division

With the Provincial Government now selling the Brookside property, some are hoping that the illegal campers will move to the new Downtown Transition House.  But there are many Cobourg residents who are unhappy about that.  A petition to the County to stop the opening of a large Transition House in Downtown Cobourg got 1000 signatures but because it was online it was not accepted.  But that does not mean the unhappiness goes away. There were 24 items of correspondence received by the County at their Social Services Standing Committee meeting on February 7 (see below).  Although there were duplicates, it’s clear that most want Transition House, the County and the Town to get an agreement together similar to the one… Read complete articleMore Concerns about 310 Division

New Policy to Manage Individuals with Unacceptable Behaviour

Council has acted to approve a Policy that defines what should be done about individuals on Municipal Property who have “unacceptable behaviour”. On Tuesday February 6, the Strategic Priorities and Policy Standing Committee reviewed a Policy written by staff – Keith Hearst and approved by Director Larmer and CAO Vaughan. “The purpose of the policy is to ensure an equitable and respectful environment in municipal facilities for staff and members of the public.” It was in response to “the increase in unacceptable behaviour at Town facilities and directed towards Town staff. There have been an increasing number of instances where Town staff are being harassed while doing their work, and upon entering and exiting municipal facilities.” Since all council members… Read complete articleNew Policy to Manage Individuals with Unacceptable Behaviour

More on Busy Council Meeting

The first regular Council meeting in 2024 was a marathon.  In addition to passing the budget, re-considering Stormwater fees and taking action on Transition House (see earlier reports on this blog), Council also heard an update on the leasing of the Memorial Arena as a Fire fighters’ museum, approved a request to make an exemption on a downtown sign that contravenes Heritage rules and heard about a significant increase in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.  Firefighters gave a verbal report with little information but there is much more detailed information in their planned report to the Community Services, Protection, and Economic Development Standing Committee on February 7. (See the Agenda in Resources).  The sign is for Jacqueline Pennington’s new office… Read complete articleMore on Busy Council Meeting