Councillor, Ward 1 Aurora

Council Highlights – May 28th, 2024

Highlights of the Meeting of Council on Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Cultural Action Plan, 2024 – 2028
Aurora Town Council approved the 2024-2028 Cultural Action Plan (CAP) which underpins the Town’s cultural planning efforts. The CAP aims to enhance cultural experiences, boost economic development, and strengthen community cohesion while nurturing meaningful engagement with our diverse populations. Formed through extensive engagement with cultural sector partners, it outlines nine objectives for the next four years. Key initiatives include exploring space for local artists and entrepreneurs, increasing heritage experiences during Culture Days, hosting an annual Cultural Summit and utilizing the resources of our Cultural Services division in the downtown Promenade redevelopment.

Petch House Update
Aurora Town Council approved proposed renovations of the Petch House so that the venue can be used on a seasonal basis as a Wedding Chapel. Renovations to achieve this are estimated to cost $50,000 funded from the Heritage reserve fund. Based on feedback from the Heritage Advisory Committee, staff will ensure messaging and promotion of the historical significance of the Petch House is created and displayed at the site and through other promotions. Additional enhancements could be considered in the future.

Aurora War Memorial 100th Anniversary
Aurora Town Council approved a plan to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Aurora War Memorial and Peace Park. Since 1925, Aurorans and nearby communities have gathered here to honour those who sacrificed in global conflicts. The plan includes site enhancements, exhibitions, street banners, a commemorative ceremony and a new memorial for Indigenous contributions. The estimated cost is $144,000 and staff are seeking grants to offset expenses.

Aurora Town Square Rotary Clock Project
Aurora Town Council accepted the Rotary Club of Aurora’s offer to fund a rotary clock at Aurora Town Square. The two-sided clock, common in downtown areas and parks, will include installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacement. The only cost to the Town would be site preparation (electrical wiring and foundation) estimated to cost $6,000 to $9,000. The clock will sit behind the amphitheatre and be clearly visible from the Square and the street.

Endorsement of York Region Modifications to the Town’s Updated Official Plan
Aurora Town Council endorsed York Region’s proposed modifications to the Town’s Updated Official Plan. The plan, forwarded to York Region for review to ensure it aligns with the Regional Official Plan (2022), cannot take effect until approved by the Region. With the Council’s endorsement, York Region is expected to approve the Updated Official Plan by June 2024.

Financial Impacts to Development Charge Revenue as a Result of Legislative ChangesAurora Town Council received a report on the financial impacts of recent changes to the Development Charges (DCs) Act. DC’s are fees that municipalities levy on developers to fund new infrastructure and services needed due to development. Recent changes to the Act have reduced the revenue the Town can collect, driven mostly by the volume of affordable, additional residential and purpose built rental residential units. The report does not account for the proposed changes to the Bill 185, Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act which aims to reverse some of the changes to development charges and restore the ability to collect more funds from growth.

Endorsement of the Active Transportation Master Plan
Aurora Town Council endorsed the Town’s first Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP). Developed with the community and its partners, the ATMP is a 20-year blueprint for enhancing active transportation, including walking, cycling, wheelchair use, rollerblading, skateboarding, and assisted active transportation like e-bikes and electric scooters. The ATMP outlines recommended actions to achieve Aurora’s vision for active transportation and provide policies and guidelines to ensure alignment with best practices. Implementation of the proposed active transportation facilities will be included in future Capital Budget Planning processes.

Traffic Calming Measures on Tamarac Trail
Aurora Town Council received a report regarding traffic calming measures and an all-way stop control request on Tamarac Trail. Although the report initially recommended against these measures due to unmet criteria, Council amended the motion. The amended motion includes the installation of an all-way stop at Tamarac Trail and Albery Crescent, flexible traffic sign calming measures and if deemed necessary by staff, additional urban shoulder traffic calming measures and centre lines.

Motion on the Establishment of a Heritage Grant Program
A motion put forward by and adopted by the Council requests that staff create a Heritage Grant Program to provide financial assistance to property owners to preserve and restore designated heritage properties in the Town of Aurora. Staff will consult with the Heritage Advisory Committee regarding the development of the program and present a report outlining the new program to Council for review and approval at a future Council meeting.

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