Erin council approves updated parkland dedication bylaw

ERIN – Council here has approved an updated parkland dedication bylaw, bringing the town up to planning act requirements/standards. 

At a Sept. 8 council meeting, staff bought forward a report proposing a new parkland dedication bylaw to replace the existing one. 

“The town’s current parkland dedication bylaw is somewhat out of date and doesn’t necessarily utilize all of the tools we have under the planning act,” director of planning and development Jack Krubnik told council. 

“So we are neither requiring as much needed parkland as we can require under the planning act or collecting as much cash in lieu as we can acquire,” he added, referring to the targets set out in the town’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, which was approved in 2019. 

The cash in lieu, the report noted, is put towards purchasing of lands or enhancement of existing facilities.

The 2019 report identified existing parkland facilities and, among other things, the town’s projected demand for parkland and recreational facilities to the year 2041. 

The town primarily acquires new parkland through land dedication or cash-in-lieu of parkland provisions of the planning act for new development or redevelopment.

“This will become more critical as development and redevelopment demands increase in the town and so this report proposes a new parkland dedication bylaw to replace the existing parkland dedication bylaw to provide better clarity on the implementation of the current official plan policies going forward,” Krubnik said. 

Key aspects of the parkland dedication bylaw include how much land can be acquired for different types of development; when is cash-in-lieu required or appropriate and when is it collected; what land uses, if any, should be exempt from parkland dedication; and how can cash-in-lieu funds be utilized.

“It’s also a good way for us to prepare for what’s coming down the pipe,” councillor John Brennan said. 

“And I think it shows that staff are not being reactive so much as proactive in terms of setting us up to be more successful in the future.”