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Questions for the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Apirl 29, 2015

Mayor Geoffrey Dawe
Chair, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)

And

Mr. Mike Walters,
Chief Administrative Officer, LSRCA

Dear Mayor Dawe and Mr. Walters:

I have received a copy of your April 28, 2015 letter to Lake Simcoe Watershed Residents re: the DG Group’s Maple Lake Estates property which is located on the Paradise Beach-Island Grove provincially significant wetland (PSW) in the North Gwillimbury Forest in the Town of Georgina.

Your letter raises a number of important questions which I am hoping that you will answer.

  1. According to your letter, the LSRCA supports a transfer of the DG Group’s development approvals from the Maple Lake Estates property to the DG Group’s adjacent farmlands that are in the Greenbelt Plan’s Protected Countryside.   These farmlands are also off-limits to development according to the Official Plans of the Town of Georgina and the Region of York.  Could you please explain why the LSRCA believes that these lands are an appropriate location for a development approvals swap?

  2. While the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance (NGFA) supports a development approvals swap, we do not believe that the DG Group/LSRCA proposed location is appropriate.  We believe that the most appropriate location for a development approvals swap are the DG Group’s lands in the Keswick urban area as this would promote intensification and avoid any expansion of the existing urban designation into the Greenbelt.   Please see our planning consultant’s December 20, 2015 letter to the Town of Georgina on this issue. Were the LSRCA board members made aware of our alternative proposal during the LSRCA board’s secret session on April 24th?  

  3. Has the LSRCA received a legally-binding undertaking from the DG Group that it will not submit a Section 28 permit application, before June 1, 2015, for permission to proceed with its 1,073 Maple Lake Estates mobile home park development on the Paradise Beach-Island Grove PSW? 

  4. If your response to question #3 is “no”, is the LSRCA concerned that its decision to delay the implementation of its new Watershed Development Guidelines until June 1, 2015 will give the DG Group a one month window to apply for a Section 28 permit for its Maple Lake Estates project under your existing rules?   As you know, your existing rules state that “the LSRCA will grant approval for development on lots within registered Plans of Subdivision” on PSWs.   At the present, the LSRCA is the only conservation authority in Central Ontario that permits subdivisions on provincially significant wetlands.

  5. If the LSRCA receives a Section 28 application from the DG Group to proceed with its Maple Lake Estates project will it:

    1. Immediately notify the NGFA and all residents of the Lake Simcoe watershed that it has received this application?

    2. Permit the NGFA and all residents of the Lake Simcoe watershed to review the application, and provide submissions to the LSRCA, before it makes its decision to approve or reject the application?

Yours sincerely,

Jack Gibbons
Chair
North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance

 




 

Blue heron

Waterbirds such as herons rely on these wetlands

Pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpeckers need older forests

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The North Gwillimbury Forest stretches all the way from Orchard Beach to the Hedge Road in Jackson’s Point. It contains the Arnold C. Matthews Nature Reserve, which will be cut off from the rest of the forest by Metrus' proposed Maple Leaf Estates.

 

 
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