As I finalize this newsletter article, we are finally experiencing Winter 2016. I enjoy the snow and our changing seasons, but by April I will be ready for the spring again. I love that the days are getting longer and that it is light again when I leave work at the end of the day. I worked very hard to continue to cycle to work this winter. I ride my regular commuter bike when the roads are completely clear and my "fat tire" bike when there is snow and ice. You can read all about my winter cycling adventures on my Active Transportation Blog: dianelfreeman.wordpress.com.

Around the Ward and City Comprehensive Zoning By-law review:

1. This is the first time in almost 50 years that the City of Waterloo has undertaken a City wide review of their zoning By-Laws. Over the next 6-12 months the City Planning team will be undertaking a series of public meetings where they will seek comment from the public on a new comprehensive document that will create all new zoning by-laws for the whole City. This will align the by-laws to the Official Plan.

I am frequently asked by citizens, why does the City allow for property owners to seek a zone change? Now is the time to get the preferred zoning put in place for our area.

2. Loose Leaf Collection: Many of you participated in the review of the future of the leaf collection. The report on this matter is expected to come to Council in the spring.

3. Application for Rezoning– 355 Lexington Road (southeast corner of Bridge and Lexington): As many of you may know, an applicant was proposing to rezone the subject lands from Single Residence Three (SR3) to Medium Density Three (MD3) with site specific provisions. This application was being advanced to permit the development of the lands with 8 terrace dwelling units, each with two bedrooms. Subsequent to the Informal Public Meeting in October, the applicant requested a neighbourhood meeting at which they proposed changing their request to rezone the property from Single Residence Three (SR3) to Single Residence One (SR1-10) with site specific provisions. This application is being advanced to permit the development of the lands with three single detached residential dwellings. At this time, there is no schedule for a Formal meeting on this application. If you are interested in attending a future Council meeting regarding this application please watch for the notice to be posted in the Waterloo Chronical or contact the City planner Trevor Hawkins ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and ask to be added to the email list related to the application. Further details are located at the following link: http://www. waterloo.ca/en/business/355-lexington-rd. asp

4. Stormwater Credit Program: Did you know? The City of Waterloo offers a credit of up to 45% of the stormwater utility fee for properties that manage their stormwater. Residential stormwater management techniques can include rain barrels, trees, cisterns, infiltration measures or rain gardens. The stormwater credit program is also available for commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-residential properties, based on the stormwater quality, quantity and education measures in place. You can complete an application online or by downloading a PDF application at http://www.waterloo.ca/ en/living/creditprogram.asp for either residential or non-residential/multi-residential.

5. Jane's Walk: Join me on Saturday May 7th as I lead a community bike ride to City Hall as a part of the global Jane's Walk festival. Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizenled walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours. Instead of a walk, I will be hosting a family friendly bike ride. We will start the ride at 10 am on May 7th outside of Galaxy Cinemas at Conestoga Mall. We will travel on offroad trail systems to City Hall and UpTown Waterloo. The ride including the return trip will be approximately 2 hours. During the ride we will discuss how the City became a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community and our plans to become Gold. We will also explore and talk about a variety of different City and Regional cycling infrastructure. In the event of rain this ride will occur on May 15. A GRT bus is scheduled for a free the trip back to Conestoga Mall from Uptown Waterloo. Dress appropriately to the weather conditions. Ensure bike tires are properly inflated. Bring water and a snack for the ride. You may want a camera to take some photos and a bike lock if you plan to stay in UpTown and explore. Although this is a family friendly ride, confidence on two wheels will be necessary. Helmets are mandatory for all riders. Information on this ride and other Jane's Walks planned for Waterloo Region on May 6, 7, and 8, 2015 is available at: www. janeswalk.org

 

Shop Local The ION construction will continue to create significant challenges for road users during 2016, but even larger challenges for retailers located within the construction zones. When the ION work is completed we need to ensure that our retail businesses are also still there. Please consider all of the ways in which you can support businesses operating at Conestoga Mall and UpTown Waterloo.

 

Volunteer There are many opportunities to volunteer with events and programs in the City of Waterloo. You can sign up on-line at: http:// www.waterloo.ca/en/living/volunteer.asp. Here are some examples of things you can sign up to volunteer with: 1. Office Assistant: Waterloo Home support 2. Volunteer driver: transport seniors to or from the Adult Recreation Centre 3. Waterloo Home Support: driver or shopper for seniors 4. Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival 5. Sun Life Financial Waterloo Buskers Festival 6. Open Streets 2016 - http://www.openstreetsutw.ca/ 7. Winterloo 2017

I welcome your comments on my columns so please do not hesitate to contact me at: email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it twitter: @dianelfreeman

 
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