Qs FROM CONSTITUENTS: TALISMAN CANDIDATE SURVEY
This blog series explores some of the questions I have been asked by Grey Highlands' constituents. This post reviews the questions asked in the Talisman Candidate Survey Election 2022.
Talisman Candidate Survey Election 2022
What is your vision for the Talisman site?
In some ways, it is much easier to present what I do not want, then what I vision for the entire Talisman site; I do not want a Blue Mountain. And, honestly, I don’t think many people do. My vision of Talisman includes:
Smaller-scaled development that evolved in cooperation with the community.
Adherence to the current land use designations.
Publicly accessed lands.
Buildings and landscapes that reflect and enhance the natural beauty of this landscape.
This site as an employer and economic driver within our community.
Do you support the goals of the Niagara Escarpment Plan “To provide for the maintenance of the Niagara Escarpment and land in its vicinity substantially as a continuous natural environment, and to ensure only such development occurs as is compatible with that natural environment”?
I believe that some development can occur on parts of the lands referred to as the Upper and Lower Talisman Lands. Any development that occurs here must conform with the Official Plans of both Grey County and the Municipality of Grey Highlands. It is also subject to laws of The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC), as well the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. These will ensure development is compatible with the natural environment.
I have heard concerns that the Ontario Conservative government will strip Conservation Authorities of their funding or powers or both. I share those concerns, and have supported resolutions asking for increases in funding. I believe the Municipality should be advocating for our CAs.
Do you support development on the Talisman lower lands - the 75 acres encompassing the former golf course and the Beaver River?
Much of this land is zoned Hazard (H) and there should not be any development on these lands. There is a portion of this land that is zoned Recreational (REC), and as it is zoned today, there could be some development / housing on these lands. In the past, it's my understanding that there was a vision where there would be condos overlooking the golf course. This area has fewer of the infrastructure issues associated with The Upper Talisman Lands.
Do you support public access to the lower lands including the riverbank?
Yes, I do; however, this is an environmentally sensitive area, for example, the riverbank. Any use here needs to be reflective of a river's sensitive nature.The Beaver River is public land. I am sure there could be a solution.
Do you support development on the Talisman upper lands? This is currently agricultural land.
Yes, I do. The The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) sees these lands a REC while Grey Highlands has them currently zoned Development (D). In summary, they are not zoned agricultural but the land is currently rented out to a farmer.
I believe a small, mixed-use development is appropriate here or perhaps something really cool that falls under the category of recreation. Maybe it could be something completely different? I am open to anything that works with the land and the community.
Do you support public access to the top of the former ski hill, which offer unique views to the Beaver Valley and Georgian Bay?
Do you support redevelopment at the site of existing buildings at the Talisman site?
At this time, the Talisman lands are owned by different companies with the buildings and ski hill owned by one company and the lower and upper lands owned by another company. Do you support a municipally led planning process for the entire site that is based on up-to-date studies and citizen input?
Yes. A municipally led, end-to-end vision of Talisman was the intent of the original Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), and despite its failure, I believe that open communication is always best and I welcome the opportunity to have all players at one table working towards one unified vision.
On this topic, I was displeased to see that The Niagara Escarpment Foundation (NEF) declined the invitation from The Planning Partnership to join the Community Reference Group (CRG) for the Beaver Valley Development Group’s proposed development.
How will you ensure citizens are meaningfully involved in municipal decision making?
I believe we should be trying to reach as many people as we can via as many different mediums as possible, for example, local paper, social media, news releases, electronic newsletters, in-person roaming engagement sessions (reimagine), in-person events, online surveys and so on. Hopefully, my blog will become one more tool for me to inform and promote civic education.
Additionally, I think that technologies like Zoom should be continued alongside in-person meetings when possible. This increases the amount of staff required per meeting, but I do believe it increases the likelihood of civic engagement.
As the mayor of Grey Highlands, I will create diverse, equitable, and inclusive civic spaces. See my blog post on how I will make Grey Highlands more collaborative and transparent.
And finally, a shout out to the Grey Highlands Municipal League. I am hoping that with more people running, it means more people voting, which means more people paying attention and engaging. A girl can dream!
See all the questions I have been asked throughout the 2022 Campaign!