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Joint Council meets to comment on Provincial Planning Review

September 16, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

 

The Provincial Coordinated Land Use Planning Review was the hot topic when Councillors from all municipal tiers met September 8 at the Monora Park Pavilion in Orangeville.

A presentation on Municipal Ethics was followed by an overview of the Land Use Plan by planning expert Chris Tyrrell of MMM Group.

Throughout the evening, various Council members expressed frustration with what they said they felt were unreasonable growth targets and restrictions set by the Province in the Planning Review.

“Tonight, it is up to you to give input and recommendations on what is being proposed,” said Mr. Tyrrell.

Servicing restraints in the County’s urban settlement areas challenge the municipalities’ ability to meet the Provincial Growth Plan targets that mandate Dufferin County accommodate an additional 85,000 persons and 32,000 jobs to the year 2041.

Tyrrell told the Joint Council, the intensification targets for development within the defined boundaries of urban areas, stipulated in the Growth Plan, were a floor, not a ceiling.

“There is no ceiling,” he said, reminding anxious Councillors, unable to hold their concerns, that most were addressed in his recommendations to the County.

However, those concerns led some Councillors to suggest that there was nothing the Province could do if they simply ignored targets in the Growth Plan.

“The reality is the (Provincial) Plan requires the County Official Plan to comply,” Mr. Tyrrell calmly responded.

Mulmur Councillor Janet Horner cautioned Councillors that municipalities could lose Provincial funding by refusing to cooperate.

The MMM Group’s many recommendations to the County of Dufferin included: expressing concern to the Province that the growth targets altered the very character of Dufferin urban settlements; stressing that the County’s ability to maintain current job to population ratios was problematic; and requesting that rural municipalities be assured that they will have a proactive role in identifying natural heritage and agricultural systems in the proposed Provincial mapping.

The Councillors’ comments and concerns on proposed recommendations were gathered to review before submission to the Province.

All Ontario residents may review the policy and submit comments by October 31 by visiting: ontario.ca/landuseplanningreview.

         

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