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NGFA submissions to Georgina Town Council and the LSRCA

Keep development out of the Greenbelt Protected Countryside

Jack Gibbons’ Speaking Notes for his May 13, 2015 deputation to Georgina Town Council

Metrus development application premature

NGFA Planner Tony Usher’s September 10, 2014 deputation to Georgina Town Council re: Metrus’ premature subdivision application for South Keswick

Town of Georgina must obey the law!

NGFA Lawyer Leo Longo’s August 21, 2014 submissions to Town of Georgina re: its Planning Directions Report

NGFA Planner Anthony Usher’s August 22, 2014 submissions to Town of Georgina re: its Planning Directions Report

Comments on Official Plan Review & Maple Lake Estates

According to NGFA planning consultant Anthony Usher’s March 20, 2014 letter to the Town of Georgina, the best option for a Maple Lake Estates development approvals swap would be to provide equivalent development approvals on lands owned by Metrus affiliates in south Keswick.

Click here to read Tony's letter

Map of South Keswick area

NGFA lawyer Leo Longo's response to Metrus' submission to the LSRCA

"Development rights" do not trump requirement for authority to act on its mandate to protect the watershed.

Submissions to LSRCA on need to repeal Maple Lakes Estate Loophole

From NGFA lawyer Leo Longo

From NGFA planner Tony Usher

Comments on Official Plan Review

NGFA Planning Consultant Anthony Usher’s December 20, 2013 letter to Town of Georgina re: Official Plan Review and Maple Lake Estates

MLE loophole not just bad policy — it's illegal

NGFA solicitor Leo Longo outlines why the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's open door policy for development in provincially significant wetlands needs to be immediately repealed.

Read Mr. Longo's legal opinion

Conservation Authority staff report not accurate

Our planning consultant, Tony Usher, takes issue with LSRCA staff claims that other conservation authorities allow large developments in provincially significant wetlands.

Read Mr. Usher's response to the staff's report

Conservation Authority should close wetland development loophole

A report from NGFA planning consultant Tony Usher says there is no justification for the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's blanket exemption for developments in Provincially Significant Wetlands. Mr. Usher also finds that this type of blanket exemption does not exist in the policies of neighbouring Conservation Authorities.

Read the full report

Groups call on Conservation Authority to make decision making around development in wetlands public

The David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario Nature, Environmental Defence, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Aware Simcoe and the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance are jointly calling on the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) to make its decision making around issuing"Section 28" permits public and transparent. Metrus will require a Section 28 permit from the LSRCA to proceed with any development activities in the 86% of the Maple Lakes Estates property that has been designated provincially significant wetland.

Read the full letter | Ask the LSRCA to use its powers to protect wetlands.

NGFA solicitor Leo Longo responds to Town's latest assertions.

Mr. Longo points out that the Town's solicitor has fixated on a red herring (inclusion in the Regional Greenlands system) and has missed the bigger picture of a clear requirement to protect all wetlands and significant woodlands.

Read Mr. Longo's response.

NGFA solicitor Leo Longo explains why an Interim Control Bylaw is legally justifiable for the MLE lands.

Mr. Longo points to clear legal precedents that support the use of an Interim Control Bylaw to protect significant wetland and woodland areas while a municipality is in the process of updating its official plan to conform with a new Regional level plan and planning directions.

Read Mr. Longo's response

NGFA planning consultant Tony Usher responds to the reports from the Town's planner and lawyer on the applicability of an Interim Control Bylaw.

Mr. Usher points out that Town staff and its legal advisor have over-emphasized existing property zoning rather than recognizing that in some cases, such as with the MLE lands, these zonings must be changed to conform with the enhanced environmental protections of the revised Regional Plan.

Read Mr. Usher's response

Town continues its quest to green light development in provincially significant wetland and regionally significant forest

On Aug. 3rd, the Town of Georgina issued an "information update" that restates its position that the existing approvals for a mobile home park on the Maple Lake Estate lands trump environmental protection measures. Unfortunately, the town's assertions largely ignore the requirement to bring its official plan and zoning bylaws into conformity with the new York Region official plan within one year. The Region's new plan designates roughly 80% of the MLE lands as significant wetlands and woodlands that are off limits for development.

Read the response from NFGA's lawyer and planning consultant to the Town's information update.

Town turns blind eye to development limits

On July 19th the Town of Georgina issued a media release about Maple Lake Estates and Metrus’s decision to withdraw its request for a special deal.  

The Town’s media release which states that “nothing has changed for the MLE development” is misleading.  It is also inconsistent with the May 24, 2012 email from Velvet Ross of the Town of Georgina which explained why a special deal (“Minutes of Settlement”) with respect to the new York Region Official Plan was necessary to allow Metrus to proceed with the mobile home park development approved 25 years ago.

Please see our lawyer’s comments on the Town’s press release.

North Gwillimbury Forest

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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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