What a privilege it has been to meet so many new people in Lloydtown and Schomberg. After living in Schomberg since 1985, you would think I would already know everyone. The people of Lloydtown and Schomberg are both concerned and excited about the future of the Hamlet and Village. They value the heritage character and small town feel, and want to balance that with limited growth including opportunities for job creation, affordable housing and transit options. With development pressures on the horizon people have raised several concerns:
- Traffic Speed: Like all of Ward 4, traffic speed is the biggest concern and seems to be an issue on most roads. Of particular concern is Church Street, Western Avenue and Main Street (where congestion adds to the issue). We need a strategy to address this issue that examines traffic calming measures (particularly around the two schools), safe places for pedestrian crossing, changes in speed limits and opportunities for enforcement.
- Main Street: Although parking was identified as a major concern, many people see huge opportunities to rejuvenate Main Street. It could be a centre for viable small business providing shopping and services for locals, while providing affordable housing and becoming a destination for tourism. I am a member of a team involved in a Township supported revitalization strategy. Preliminary community consultation and data collection has been completed. In the next year we will see a new vision for Main Street and a plan to find the partnerships and funding to make that vision a reality.
- Residential Development: No one has objected to modest controlled growth as long as it fits into the character of the community. There was discussion at the doors about both the proposed Roselena Extension neighbourhood and the 66 Main Street neighbourhood. Issues centred around increased traffic volumes; respect for environmental features including tree protection, the floodplain and well water protection; provision of adequate parking; architectural character that both compliments heritage values and respected neighbours; and housing options that addressed the needs of the community (specifically smaller homes for those trying to get into the market and those who are downsizing). The good news is that there is active community engagement with these proposals.
- Truck Storage: Many residents raised concerns about the unsightly and polluting truck storage at the corner of the 19th Sideroad and Highway # 27. Although the lands were zoned for open storage in 1974, the use is no longer appropriate today. This property forms part of the entrance to Schomberg and Lloydtown. If we are serious about inviting people to our communities, then this property needs to be cleaned up. The first approach is to screen the site; then we need to work with the owner, the bylaw department, the Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment to come up with a long term solution. The new rural zoning program may be helpful in redefining this site.
Voting day is October 22 and the polling station is at the Trisan Centre. I encourage you to vote no matter who you support. If you have any questions or want to learn about my qualifications and background visit my website at MaryAsselstine.ca or give me a call at 905-715-5820.