Are small changes ever truly “small?”

There are now two active cases in Ward 1 which appear to be very small in terms of numbers; but, one as to ask whether the impact, the long term strategic impact is small?    Two houses here, three houses there on lands currently not zoned for residential housing and on lands of environmental significance; what is the significance?

1st case–As I reviewed in an earlier posting there is a proposal to permit two residences to be built on two parcels of land which are effectively “peninsulas poking into the Environmental Protection Area of King City.” Currently per the York Region Official Plan the two parcels are zoned rural and as such non-farm residential is prohibited.

2nd case–At May 16 Council a Public Meeting is being held to initiate the public process for assessing an application to re-designate property from transitional zoning to a zoning enabling 3 residential lots on the south side of Wellington St. in Snowball.  In our Hamlet Secondary Plan the subject lands are designated Hazard Lands and Oak Ridges Moraine Countryside Area; it is within the Oak Ridges Moraine Rural Settlement Area boundary.  In the planning report it is described as largely consisting of an abandoned agricultural field with a watercourse, wetland and woodland area at the rear.  To the west of the subject property there is a wetland.  The east and to the south it is agriculture.

The proposed zoning for the Snowball project is more complex than simply allowing the residences.  Full descriptor is Hamlet residential-exception and Oak Ridges Moraine Feature Protection.  The concept is that the houses would not be in the buffers to protect the natural hydrological and environmental features but they are within the minimum area of influence.  Read the Planning Report here.

It is really quite incredible that there can be so many layers of land use planning and yet there is still so much room for interpretation as to what is the right answer.  And just because its “only” 3, we can’t skim over it!

2 Responses to “ “Are small changes ever truly “small?””

  1. Debbie says:

    I appreciate your comments Jeff. Agree totally–need to assess impact on factors such as connectivity and impact on wetlands. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Jeff Laidlaw says:

    Hi Debbie:

    You already know my views on the Snowball proposal; but I think it’s important for your followers to know that the Snowball boundaries were altered during the Oak Ridges Moraine Conformity Process to (as Gaspare Ritaca of King Township Planning Department put it) reflect property boundaries and ownerships. The parcel in question for subdivision is a small 2 acre piece cut out of a much larger farm property, which, if boundary adjustments were being made as a result of property boundaries and ownership,should have been excluded from consideration as potential residential building properties. One also notes the considerable environmental features associated with the proposed subdivision of land and wonder at the effectiveness and respect for the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.

    Yes, I agree on the surface of it, the issue of whether to allow three additional buidling lots in Snowball seems small; but the principles of the matter seem to me very large indeed in our GREEN KING.

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