San Marco is seeking a site-specific Official Plan Amendment (OPA) to
re-designate the subject lands
from Rural Agricultural and Hazard Land to Urban Residential and Open
Space, to permit a 336 unit housing development comprised of seniors'
housing, a seniors' extended care facility, a community centre, and a
small park, on its 33.7 hectare property at 6209 14th Line.
The developer has turned to the OMB because The Town failed to make a
decision on its OPA application within the statutory time limits.
The first pre-hearing was held Feb. 7 before OMB member Anne Milchberg.
Participant status was granted to eight neighbours and property owners.
Additionally, Party status was granted to the Ministry of Municipal
But OPDI/Mattamy's request was opposed by San Marco, represented by its
counsel, Ronald Kanter, who "expressed doubt that OPDI's and
Mattamy's interests were related to his client's due to the differences
in property size, and he was concerned that the scale of the
requestor's property and their interests would slow down and encumber
the hearing of his client's matter," according to Ms. Milchberg's
ruling issued Feb. 20.
Counsel for OPDI and Mattamy, Christopher Barnett, argued the parties
have similar interests because "like those of the Applicant, are
currently outside the Urban Boundary of the Town, and that both his
client and the Applicant are focused on the provincial policies
dictating settlement and growth (i.e., the Growth Plan for the Greater
Golden Horseshoe, or “Growth Plan”).
"It appears that both the Applicant and Mr. Barnett's clients may have
the aim of having their properties included within an amended Urban
Boundary," according to the ruling. "Mr. Barnett noted that there may
be a concern as to how population targets are "used up" by emerging
developments, including by the Applicant's proposal. The consumption of
population targets by other developments would have an impact on his
clients' own development plans."
New Tecumseth, represented by Jay Feehely, who in this instance was
also standing in for Simcoe County counsel, Marshall Green, supported
OPDI/Mattamy's Party status request.
Party status allows for exchanging documents, presenting evidence,
questioning witnesses and making submissions to the Board. A party may
also request costs, adjournments or a review of the OMB's decision.
"The Board will grant the request for Party status by OPDI and Mattamy
because their stated interests are clearly planning related and
relevant to the matter before the Board, and because of the geographic
adjacency of their lands to those of the Applicant," according to Ms.
Milchberg. "The Board appreciates Mr. Kanter's observation that the
subject property is much smaller than OPDI's and Mattamy's lands, but
this difference should not deprive him of a fair, efficient and focused
hearing of his client's appeal, without scope creep, if aided and
guided by a disciplined, rigorous Procedural Order."
A second pre-hearing conference is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27,
2018 at 10:30 a.m in the council chambers which will deal with issues
list(s); lists of parties and participants; witness lists; length of
hearing; order of evidence; timing of the submission and exchange of
expert witness statements; and timing of submission and exchange of