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Email sent to Jack Gibbons from Velvet Ross, Manager of Planning, Town of Georgina on May 24, 2012.

Dear Jack,

Although Harold is away this week, I am taking the liberty of replying to your earlier email addressed to Mayor Grossi and all members of Council.

Earlier this month Harold Lenters attended a meeting at the Region to discuss the transition policies proposed within the new York Region Official Plan (YROP).  In particular, the wording proposed by YR staff indicated: “That legally existing land uses that conform with in-force local official plans, zoning by-laws and Ministers Zoning Orders, at the time this Plan is approved, are permitted to continue to the extent provided for in the local official plans and zoning by-laws.”  Our concern was that the wording only referred to “legally existing land uses” which could infer that it only recognized uses that are already in existence.   

As Harold had indicated to the Region at that time, we were concerned with circumstances that would not be protected through the transition policies insofar as situations where a development or use has not been developed yet, however it meets the tests of complying with in-force Official Plans, Zoning By-laws or Minister’s Zoning Orders.  The early May meeting dealt with the situation as it applies to Metrus in particular with regard to their existing approvals for both the Maple Lake Estates lands (1073 lots – registered as Plan 65M-2903), and their smaller parcel to the south side of Deer Park Drive, now known as the Maple Lake Estates II lands (31 lot estate residential subdivision, recognized in our OP by an Estate Residential land use designation and zoned accordingly since 1983).  We’ve been calling them the MLE and MLE II lands.  It is my understanding that in order to try and resolve the issue, the Region initiated Minutes of Settlement discussions with Metrus on this matter.

 Since attending the meeting, and primarily the end of last week, Harold and I have been working with YR staff in reviewing the YR draft Minutes of Settlement (MOS) that they were putting together to appease the situation of how the transition policies would potentially affect the two MLE parcels.  In accordance with those discussions, the Region drafted the wording of the MOS which would recognize the existing Planning Act approvals and development agreements for both MLE and MLE II, such that they would be permitted to develop in accordance with the existing policies and zoning, and in implementing the existing Planning Act approvals, and YR would not require anything further respecting the environmental elements of the properties.   York Region does however recognize that they have no authority over additional requirements of federal, provincial, nor conservation authority jurisdictions that may affect the implementation of the current approvals.  As further requested by the Town, the MOS is to indicate that should the Town adopt amendments to the existing policies that would apply to the subject lands, nothing in the MOS would abrogate the appellants’ rights from appealing such amendments to the OMB.

In this regard, the Town has been privy to the discussions between the parties (i.e. YR staff and Metrus) as we wanted to ensure that the existing development permissions (i.e. OP policy, zoning provisions, devlpt agrmts, etc) are recognized and not fettered by the Region’s transition policy wording.

While Tony Usher had contacted Harold and I by email on May 15 regarding the Regions proposed wording changes to the transition policies giving recognition to existing Planning Act approvals through proposed Minutes of Settlement, we appropriately advised him that as the MOS was in regard to the work the Region was doing, he should contact Barb Jeffrey at the Region on this. 

 Harold and I are satisfied that the draft MOS protects the interests of the Town and the Region, while at the same time recognizes the existing development rights of Metrus pertaining to the MLE and MLE II lands.  I presume the Region will continue to keep us informed on discussion matters as they proceed.

Velvet L. Ross, MCIP, RPP, Manager of Planning
Town of Georgina

See our lawyer's response to the town's press release denying that Metrus' recent decision to not proceed with Minutes of Settlement will affect development of the MLE lands.


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Cedar tree in wetland

The North Gwillimbury Forest includes the York Regional Forest and the Arnold C. Matthews Nature Reserve. The Reserve will be cut off from the rest of the forest by Metrus' proposed Maple Leaf Estates.

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