This time of year, I can almost feel people urging things along to see that final break in the weather and the first signs of the early flowers poking their heads out of the soil. It is coming, almost any day now.
I want to start this month by talking to you about the MWHA dues we collect each year. Each of the Directors on your MWHA Board picks up one Route Book in the Fall to begin the collection process. Each Book has all the houses listed for usually 3 streets adjacent to each other. The Director comes to your front door and seeks to make a personal connection with you. While residents can pay by PayPal or by dropping a cheque for $20 into Directors’ mailboxes, this is one of the few opportunities Board members have to speak with you about your issues. The Director asks whether your listed phone number is still correct and if you would mind giving your email address for our records. This is important to ensure emergency Blasts sent out via our website get to as many residents as possible. We are still collecting this year. We know that each year new people move into our wonderful neighbourhood, people who as yet may not know about the dues collection and what the MWHA does for the community. If you know of neighbours or friends in Markland who are new, ask them on our behalf if they have paid their dues. If not, they can drop a cheque or cash payment into my mailbox at 25 Thicket Road, with their ad-dress and name clearly visible. We will ensure it gets to the Membership Committee. If you have not paid your dues please drop it in my mailbox as well. We need to make sure we can afford to continue the long list of activities we finance for the community. Please help us collect from every Marklander this and every year.
For almost 7 years we have been dealing with the proposed condominium development at 240 Markland Dr. The most recent design - the 4th since the beginning - was presented to the City Planning Department prior to Christmas by the property owner. Your MWHA has worked with our local City Councillor (Doug Holyday, now his son Steven Holyday), and with City Planning staff over the years to ensure that the design meets the bylaws of the City, and is as appropriate as possible to our community. We hosted a packed Markland community meeting on March 29/17 at St. Clement Church. Present was our urban planning consultant, Peter Swinton of PMG Consulting, who has guided and advised us for the last 7 years. The meeting was meant to bring Markland residents up-todate with the newest design, and through the expertise of Mr. Swinton, to point out the changes to previous designs. Also, it was to allow Mr. Swinton to explain where things stand with the City, and the upcoming public process. Finally, every time a new de-sign is submitted, the Planning Department and the owner must host a community information meeting. Our Meeting on March 29 was intended to prepare you for this second meeting, which has now been set for April 20, 2017. As soon as we are informed about where and the time, we will let you know immediately. It is important that you attend.
At the March 29 meeting, we reported on specific changes to this 4th version that your MWHA had urged upon the City Planning staff prior to Christmas. The City Planning Department subsequently delivered to the owner a report dated January 20, 2017. In it it listed the concerns it still had, but unfortunately did not include the main concerns your 240 Markland Committee had conveyed to it just weeks earlier. Your MWHA continues, including through a meeting with the owner, to push for these & others changes. In all the hours and personal time given up by the volunteer members of the 240 Markland Dr. Condo Committee, one could ask what has been accomplished? Quite a lot. The new version reflects changes City Planning staff required along the way. Also, the first design submission over 7 years ago was for a tower 48.7 metres high. The most recent version has a height of 28.7 metres, a reduction of 20 metres. We will continue our efforts to seek more improvements.
You will note in this edition reference to a very important event. For the 2nd year your MWHA is supporting the CAMH OneBraveNight walk in Markland on Friday, April 7. 2017. It is to bring attention to mental health issues of youth and adults. Come out and walk with us. See details in the notice elsewhere in this Marklander.
Bye for now,
Dr. Donald Beggs, President