Council confirms opposition to amended development proposal
Posted March 19,
Led in opposition by mayor Mike MacEachern, a majority of councillors
voted last night for a rare rejection of an official plan amendment
that would have permitted the development of 160 residential units to
replace a draft approved 60 lot estate residential proposal, and sets
up the possibility of having to hire an outside planning consultant to
defend the decision if the proponent decides to file an OMB appeal.
Estates subject site
The Town's planning department was recommending the amendment, calling
it "consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, conforms to the
Growth Plan and County of Simcoe Official Plan, meets the intent and
purpose of the Town of New Tecumseth Official Plan and represents good
planning." None of the commenting agencies expressed any concerns with
Instead, the mayor, who didn't have to vote because the required five
to kill the OPA - Paul Whiteside, Fran Sainsbury, Donna Jebb, Richard
Norcross, and Jim Stone were enough to defeat the motion - argued
that he didn't believe the location was right for a 160 unit
subdivision, and wanted instead to keep the proposal estate residential.
There are no requirements in the draft plan approvals that specified
the proponents had to develop the estate homes. The only limiting
factor was the number of lots, 60.
The planning consultants representing the numbered company applicant,
had requested a deferral "to allow for an opportunity for the applicant
to respond to comments," according to a letter included as an
additional item on last night's council agenda. "It is our hope that
this deferral will allow further discussions with Town staff, members
of council, and the public to avoid proceeding to the OMB."
Deputy mayor Rick Milne, who had asked if a compromise number could be
reached without having to deal with the OMB, and Ward 1 councillor Bob
Marrs, who was concerned about the costs associated with fighting the
proposal, were opposed. Ward 2 councillor Jamie Smith declared a
conflict because he represents the mortgage holders.