LSRCA sides with developer over Town — Issues wetland destruction permit
AWARE Simcoe note: the staff recommendation was approved unanimously by the board members in attendance. The March 23 2018 motion was –
Moved by: S. Macpherson (Oro-Medonte)
Seconded by: K. Ferdinands (Whitchurch-Stouffville)
BOD-049-18 RESOLVED THAT Staff Report No. 10-18-BOD regarding Maple Lake Estates (DG Group) Permit Application and Proposed Land Transfer be received; and
FURTHER THAT LSRCA be authorized to enter into an agreement that binds Maple Lake Estates Inc. and Stag Hollow Country Homes Ltd. (represented by DG Group) to the transfer of lands abutting and adjacent to the Maple Lake Estates property to public ownership; and
FURTHER THAT the Permit Application from Maple Lake Estates Inc., dated and received May 21, 2015, for the Maple Lake Estates development be approved with the following condition:
• This permit will only be valid upon the transfer of the lands (identified in Attachments 2 and 3) into escrow to be transferred into public ownership (Regional Municipality of York or Town of Georgina). CARRIED
From the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance March 23 2018
It has been a roller coaster couple of days for our forests and wetlands. On Thursday, Georgina Council took the remarkable step of finally recognizing the need to take concrete action to protect the Paradise Beach-Island Grove Provincially Significant Wetland and unanimously adopted Councillor Dave Neeson’s motion calling on the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) to reject DG Group’s wetland destruction application.
But the Town’s appeal fell on deaf ears at the LSRCA board meeting today, where members agreed to approve the permit. The LSRCA board, like deer in a developer’s headlights, agreed to accept a staff recommendation that in exchange for handing over lands in the Greenbelt Protected Countryside that are off-limits to development, DG Group be allowed to build a giant subdivision in a provincially significant wetland. (Georgina’s representatives, Mayor Quirk and Councillor Davidson, were recused from voting on the issue).
Of course, there was no need for the LSRCA to strike any sort of deal with DG Group as it had full authority to deny the Section 28 wetland permit, but the board made it clear through its actions that it is much more interested in serving a developer’s interests than those of residents or the environment it is supposed to protect.
Please immediately contact Premier Wynne and Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro and ask them to issue a Zoning Order prohibiting development on the Maple Lake Estates’ provincially significant wetlands.
Jack Gibbon, North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance
Dear LSRCA board member: on Friday March 23, vote to preserve a wetland from development
The following letter was sent March 22 2018 by AWARE Simcoe to the Simcoe County members of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation authority board
We are writing to you in your capacity as a director of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. At your board meeting tomorrow you will decide on a staff recommendation that you approve a 1,073-unit subdivision proposed by DG Group impacting a Provincially Significant Wetland at Paradise Beach-Island Grove.
Your staff recommends that the Authority issue a Section 28 wetland destruction permit despite acknowledging that DG Group’s application fails the “conservation of land” test required for such permits.
There is a proposed exchange of lands that in our view does not convey a net environmental benefit.
AWARE Simcoe considers the proposed subdivision, known as Maple Lake Estates (MLE), to be contrary to the Provincial Policy Statement, the Conservation Authorities Act and the LSRCA’s current Watershed Development Guidelines, all of which prohibit development (except infrastructure) on provincially significant wetlands.
In 2010, a Ducks Unlimited Canada study calculated that we have lost 72 per cent of southern Ontario’s large inland wetlands. These key ecological features store floodwaters and sustain biodiversity. The loss has continued at an alarming rate. DU noted that wetlands contribute valuable ecological services in removal of phosphorus and other nutrients. Another study, by LSRCA, estimated that wetlands provide $435 million in ecological goods and services to the Lake Simcoe watershed each year.
We are close to the tipping point. In an age of extreme environmental vulnerability for our species and others, we rely on you, our political representatives, to be good stewards of what is left.
We trust you will bear in mind your “conservation” mandate and reject the DG Group’s request to destroy the Paradise Beach-Island Grove PSW, voting instead to support the long-term health of Lake Simcoe.
Chair, AWARE Simcoe
These are the Simcoe County members of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservatiob Authority board of directors. You too can let them know how you feel:
Barrie Councillor Peter Silveira <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Barrie Citizen Representative Jay Dolan <email@example.com>,
Orillia Councillor Sara Valiquette-Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Bradford West Gwillimbury Councillor Peter Ferragine <email@example.com>,
Innisfil Councillor Richard Simpson <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
New Tecumseth Councillor Shira Harrison-McIntyre <email@example.com>,
Oro-Medonte Councillor Scott Macpherson <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Township of Ramara No representative for 2017-18 (AWARE Simcoe question: why does Ramara council not consider Lake Simcoe to be a sufficient priority for it to have a representative on the board?)