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Woodington Lake submits new request for Tottenham development

August 27, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The Town of New Tecumseth has received an updated Request for Consideration regarding a Minister’s Zoning Order from Woodington Lake Management, on lands north and east of the golf club reaching all the way to the 5th Line.

The request will be discussed at the Town’s Committee of the Whole agenda on September 27, 2021.

The owners of Woodington Lake Golf Club submitted a request for consideration of a Minister’s Zoning Order in March, but withdrew the request on May 26, and the discussion was removed from the Committee of the Whole agenda of May 31, 2021.

Woodington Lake hosted an on-line round table discussion about the proposed development on May 6, and invited the public to ask questions.

At that time, Woodington Lake management said they knew there are “a lot of people here that may be new to hearing about this proposal, or who may have strong opinions already,” adding “We’re going to listen to your interests and record what you have to say.”

The proposed development included a mix of residential and manufacturing. At that time the number of residential units had been reduced.

It was not known then if Woodington Lake was going to resubmit a proposal.

The new submission claims the development will produce 250 permanent jobs.

It also says the it may result in the building of 3,250 dwelling units built over the next 10 to 20 years.

Using their own estimate, Woodington Lake says the full build-out of the subject lands will result in development charges to the Town in the range of $225,000,000 to $275,000,000 or more.

The submission request also states “Woodington is committed to ensuring that the project is develops with attention to high quality urban design and that the proposed uses will develop in a manner that meets the objectives of the Town and the Province.”

Many local residents are opposed to the plan citing everything from the act that it will double the size of the Town to an inadequate water supply.

Others are opposed to the fact that a Minister’s Zoning Order is being used and allows developers to build on environmentally sensitive land.

A Minister’s Zoning Order allows developers to circumnavigate local channels and appeal directly to the Ministry for the green-light to start developing.

The system was designed to allow the provincial government to take charge in sparsely populated areas where no municipal government was available to make decisions. That changed last year when new legislation opened up the process to include a wider scope.

The decision was not popular with environmental groups who see this style of Minister’s Zoning Orders as a way for developers to build on protected and environmentally sensitive land without consulting conservation groups.

The Minister’s Zoning Orders are issued with a “yes or no” result, meaning no conditions are applied by the Ministry to protect sensitive areas.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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