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Woodington Lake withdraws MZO request for second time

January 20, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Woodington Lake Golf Course in Tottenham has withdrawn a request to consider a Minister’s Zoning Order regarding a proposed large development on the north west side of Tottenham.

A Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) allows developers to appeal directly to the province to get permission to develop land.

MZOs are controversial as they were originally intended to work in sparsely populated communities that lacked a municipal government structure to make decisions on remote developments.

A change in legislation a couple of years ago allowed developers across the province to appeal to the government to be allowed to develop land by going over the authority of local municipalities.

The development proposal was originally brought to council in March of 2021. At that time, Woodington Lake was granted a deferral to get more information from the public. It also held a public meeting about the development via an internet conference that allowed local residents to ask questions.

The new proposal was supposed to be presented in May, but it was withdrawn several days before the council meeting.

The proposed development would take place over a long period of time – from ten to 20 years – and included residential units a retirement home.

Redevelopment at the golf course would include a new hotel, conference centre, and a spa.

The original plan also called for manufacturing plants that would create a number of permanent jobs in the town. However, at least one manufacturing company dropped out of the plan.

On January 14, the Town announced that the updated MZO request had been withdrawn and it will no longer be on the Committee of the Whole agenda for the January 17 meeting.

An MZO could fast-track developments once they get the green light from the Ministry. The Ministry only approves MZOs and does so without and kind of restrictions.

The proposed development has seen considerable opposition from local residents who claim it will double the size of the Town and produce more negative results than positive.

Those opposed also point out the fact that MZOs allow development with no regard to environmental issues.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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