Environmental Assessment Study for Kirby Road Extension

Between Dufferin Street and Bathurst Street in the City of Vaughan, York Region, Ontario

Click on the links below to learn more about the study.

Class Environmental Assessment

A Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is a planning process prepared by the Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) of Ontario for a class or group of municipal infrastructure undertakings, including roads, water and wastewater projects. The process is approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and through almost three decades it has been proven to be an effective way of complying with requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (1990, as amended).

Applying the Class EA approach to planning and implementation of municipal infrastructure projects allows achieving considerable public, economic and environmental benefits.

The key elements of the Class EA process are incorporated in the following five consecutive phases:

  • Identify the Problem and/or Opportunity
  • Identify and evaluate Alternative Solutions
  • Identify and evaluate Alternative Design Concepts to the Preferred Solution
  • Document the above findings in an Environmental Study Report and make it available for scrutiny by review agencies and the public
  • Complete design and proceed to construction and operation
Since infrastructure projects can vary in their complexity and magnitude of environmental effects, they are classified by the Class EA in terms of schedules. Depending on the EA Schedule, a project may not require to go through all phases of the EA process prior to implementation. For example, Schedule "A" and "A+" projects are limited in scale, have minimal adverse effects, are pre-approved and may proceed to implementation. However, Schedule "C" projects such as construction of new facilities or major expansion of existing facilities that have the potential for significant environmental effects must proceed under the full Class EA procedures.

The Class EA is a self assessment process. In all situations where the approach is applicable to a project, it is the responsibility of a proponent to ensure that the process is carried out as set out in the Class EA document prepared by MEA. As stipulated in the EA Act, proponent means a person who proposes or carries out an undertaking or is the owner or person having charge, management or control of an undertaking.

Proponents, such as municipalities acting in their own behalf or on behalf of private sector developers or private sector developers acting on their own behalf, undertake development of municipal infrastructure. Regardless of the manner in which facilities are funded, any works designated as an undertaking to which Ontario EA Act applies must follow the Class EA process, subject to specific exemptions. Provided the approved Class EA planning process was followed, a proponent has complied with the EA Act.

As noted, certain infrastructure works can have significant impacts on the environment and such projects shall be planned under Schedule "C" of the Class EA. Therefore, it is appropriate that those projects should be subject to review prior to implementation, regardless of who (municipality or private developer) undertakes the planning, construction or who is ultimately responsible for control and maintenance of the works.

Accordingly, private sectors developers proposing projects listed in Schedule "C" of the Class EA document that are servicing residential developments must complete the Schedule "C" Class EA process. In addition, the Class EA document provides means for integrating the requirements of the EA Act and the Planning Act, where a proponent wishes to do so. By coordinating infrastructure planning under the Class EA process and land use planning application under the Planning Act, proponents can meet requirements of both processes in the most expeditious manner.

Background

The City of Vaughan (CoV) Transportation Master Plan (TMP) - A New Path (2013), companion to the CoV Official Plan (2010), identified projects that will improve connections to local and regional infrastructure, provide access to future developments, support transit-oriented nodes and corridors, and enhance transit ridership, cycling and walking.

In 2016, York Region TMP has also identified the need for Kirby Road extension between Dufferin and Bathurst Streets and confirmed the requirement to construct the 4-lane missing link.

The CoV determined the sequence of improvements for the Kirby Road corridor and has authorized Rizmi Holdings Limited (RHL), a private sector developer to act as a sole Study Proponent and undertake the necessary Class Environmental Assessment Study (EA Study) to address missing road network connection and capacity.

Schaeffers Consulting Engineers (SCE) has been retained by the RHL to carry out the EA Study.

Study Purpose

The road alignment may vary within the study corridor due to site specific constraints. The EA Study will identify and evaluate Alternative Design Concepts for the new roadway between Dufferin Street and Bathurst Street and determine a Preferred Design Concept(s).

By eliminating an important gap in the City's transportation network, the Kirby Road Extension will improve capacity, continuity and effectiveness of existing network, including vehicular, pedestrian and cycling opportunities.

Study Area

2016-07-27-4339-Ad Location Plan Overall black and white (1)

Study Process and Timeline

The Study is being planned in accordance with the MEA Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) document (October 2000, as amended) as a Schedule "C" Municipal Road Project. The Phase 1 - Problem and /or Opportunity and Phase 2 - Alternative Solutions have been completed and addressed in the both 2013 CoV and 2016 York Region TMPs. In addition, the Phases 1 and 2 findings will be revisited by the Project Team and this Class EA Study will carry out the Phase 3 - Alternative Design Concepts for Preferred Solution and Phase 4 - Environmental Study Report of the MEA MCEA planning and design process.

Figure below presents an overview of the Class EA process with the scope of the Kirby Road EA Study highlighted with red dashed line.

Picture1

The MEA MCEA process includes mandatory consultation with public and review agencies, evaluation of design alternatives to the undertaking, assessment and mitigation of potential effects of the proposed road extension on the environment.

At the conclusion of the EA Study, an Environmental Study Report (ESR) will be prepared that documents the study process and identifies the preferred alignment and design for the extension of Kirby Road. The ESR will be provided to the CoV for review.

Following their review, City's staff will table a report to the Committee of the Whole meeting on the outcome of the Kirby Road Extension EA Study, which is anticipated in Q1 2019. The report will be recommending whether or not the City will join RHL as a co-proponent of the EA Study, issue a Notice of Study Completion and file the ESR for the 30-day public review period.

Consultation

Public consultation is a vital part of the EA process. At key study milestones, Public Information Centres (PICs) will provide anyone with an interest in this study with opportunity to review and discuss project related issues. PIC details will be advertised in local newspapers and this web page closer to consultation dates.

A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will provide a forum for regulatory authorities, approval agencies, and the City to provide feedback and guidance to the Project Team during the EA Study.

A Citizen Liaison Committee (CLC) will be formed to provide interested community members with an opportunity to discuss options for the proposed Kirby Road extension.

Study Documents

Please click on the respective link below to download the file for review. We encourage you to review the materials and contact the Project Team, should you have any questions or wish to share your valuable input.

Notice of Study Commencement (PDF 146KB)

Notice of Public Information Centre #1 (PDF 152KB)

PIC #1 for this study was held on June 29, 2017.

PIC#1 Display Boards (PDF 9.3MB)

PIC#1 Response Form (PDF 540KB)

Notice of Public Information Centre #2 (PDF 150KB)

PIC #2 for this study was held on June 28, 2018.

PIC#2 Display Boards (PDF 9.7MB)

PIC#2 Response Form (PDF 605KB)

As the study progresses, key information will be posted here. Please visit the project page back!

Who is involved in CLC?

Members of the CLC include local residents associations, businesses, community leaders and municipal government, including York Region and CoV. It is anticipated that the CLC will meet at least three times over the course of EA study.

What are the issues?

The CLC will discuss issues related to:

  • Public concerns about potential environmental impacts and design alternatives of the road extension;
  • Proposed solutions to resolve public concerns; and,
  • Actions aimed at how to best engage with community residents, local groups and organizations that share an interest in the project.

How can I participate?

We would like to hear from you and discuss any concerns or issues related to the project. Consultation with interested stakeholders is a key component of the study. You can let us know of your interest by contacting us and, if you wish, your contact information can be added to the project mailing list. We also encourage you to attend future public meetings where you will have an opportunity to provide your valuable feedback in person.

Who to Contact

Leonid Groysman, M.Sc.

Class EA Lead

KirbyRdEA@schaeffers.com

905.738.6100 Ext. 245

Last modified: July 20, 2018

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