Currently Browsing: Planning Policy Reviews

Protecting Farmland

On Wednesday, April 10 7-9 there is a meeting focused on farmland in King Township and Ontario, and the importance of preserving productive farmland into the long term future.  Concerned Citizens of King Township are hosting it with guest speakers from the Ontario Farmland Trust and FarmLINK.  For many years the issue of our farmland, specifically on how it is continues to be paved over, has been an issue of concern.  The proposed Bill 66 escalated concerns in its original form as it clearly threatened the Greenbelt and its farmlands.  Fortunately the outrage was strong enough that Schedule 10 was removed from the Bill but risks continue given the Province’s intent to modify the Growth Plan.  The April 10 meeting will be an excellent way to learn about policies protecting our farmland and to network with others who recognize the importance of this issue.  The meeting is in Schomberg at the Community Hall (325 Main Street.)

Growth Plan Proposed Changes

On 2/25 Council agenda there is a staff report reviewing the proposed submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as a response to proposed changes to several pieces of legislation including  the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and several others. As I write this post there is much that I do not fully understand.  The potential changes are significant and may happen fairly quickly; hence I want to give you some comments.  You can do your own research and ask questions and/or submit comments on the Environmental Registry.

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Bill 66 Section 10

On Council 1/14 agenda there is a report on Bill 66 which includes the Planning Staff’s recommendations for feedback to the Province by January 20.  In earlier posts I have reviewed why I consider Bill 66 Section to be regressive and bad for communities. My perspective is not changed.   It is said that the Bill is all about giving control to the municipalites so that they can act quickly to attract businesses.   It is really about giving control to a property owner in order to build a factory on lands currently protected.  Per Bill 66 a property owner with such lands asks the municipality to implement an open for business bylaw (OfB); and a willing municipality can choose to comply with no public consultation.  The Bill is very short sighted:  both about the consequences and the benefits. (more…)

Keele One

At last Council meeting (December 10) there was a report on Keele One.  Several residents made deputations citing concerns:  about process and some specific details.  I can appreciate that some citizens were somewhat surprised that we were at the stage of approving the plan  as it had been some time since the project had been at Council.  There was a lengthy hiatus due to new issues being identified by TRCA which had to be addressed; as the latter was successfully resolved we could finally move forward with an implementing bylaw. As a result of the deputations changes were made to by-law:  potential uses in the commercial space was reduced and the floor space calculation was better defined.  Here is the implementing by-law.

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Bill 66 Section 10: why its bad for communities

Since my first post about Bill 66 which, if passed as currently written, enables municipalities to pass an “open-for-business” by-law, I have been learning more.  I am now even more concerned.  As written this Bill can impact every municipality in Ontario if the local Council so chooses; and those Councils who decide to implement such a by-law can do so without any notice to their citizens.  This by-law enables development in areas currently forbidden because of threat to drinking water and environment; and it allows disregard for  sustainable land use planning criteria.   Many people are already voicing their opposition to current Bill 66 by signing petitions prepared by Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and Ontario Nature.  I encourage you to consider adding your voice. (more…)