• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

UPDATED Citizens group wins at LPAT, town to rezone wetlands, woodlands

In Agencies
Jan 17th, 2020
North Gwillimbury wetland © Tim Hagen

North Gwillimbury wetland – Tim Hagen photo

Georgina moves to prohibit development on Maple Lake Estates’ wetlands and woodlands

From Jack Gibbons North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance

At its meeting yesterday, Georgina Town Council examined the implications of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) decision on Maple Lake Estates (MLE) released just before Christmas.

Town staff confirmed that the LPAT decision has amended the town’s Official Plan so that almost all of the MLE property is now designated Environmental Protection Area, and that this obliges Council to rezone the property accordingly. Mayor Margaret Quirk responded, “I think we need to be very clear to the public that the zoning will be changing on the property.”

Council directed staff to report back this spring on the required rezoning. However, it is still possible that the landowner, Maple Lake Estates Inc., could request a review of the LPAT decision (the deadline for doing so is January 20). If a review is requested, council noted that any rezoning would be put on hold until the outcome is known.

Click here to read the town’s news release.

Time for Georgina to rezone Maple Lakes Estates property, forest alliance says

From Jack Gibbons, North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance January 10 2020

Yesterday, the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance’s (NGFA) lawyer, Leo Longo, sent a letter to Mayor Quirk and Council outlining the next steps that must be taken to protect the forests and wetlands on the Maple Lakes Estates (MLE) property as a result of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) decision issued just before Christmas.

According to Mr. Longo’s letter:

-The LPAT has amended the Town’s Official Plan by designating at least 92% of the MLE lands as an “Environmental Protection Area”.
-The only matter that was before the LPAT was the Town’s Official Plan. The Town’s Zoning By-law was not before the Tribunal for its consideration or revision. Therefore, Council must rezone the lands that have been designated “Environmental Protection Area” to an appropriate site-specific Open Space Zone that prevents any development on MLE’s wetlands and woodlands and their buffer areas.
-As the passing of this zoning is required by the Planning Act and is an exercise of Council’s legislative powers, there can be no credible suggestion that any claim for damages or compensation arises or results from such rezoning.

To read Mr. Longo’s letter please click here.

On Wednesday, January 15th, the Town’s Director of Development Services, Harold Lenters, will provide Georgina Town Council with his verbal report on the LPAT decision. The Council meeting will commence at 9 a.m. You will be able to watch Mr. Lenters’ report online by clicking here: https://www.georgina.ca/municipal-government/council-meetings/livearchived-meeting-broadcasts

LPAT designates Maple Lake Estates’ wetlands and woodlands as “Environmental Protection Area”

from Jack Gibbons North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance December 20 2019

In a decision issued yesterday, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has amended the Town of Georgina’s Official Plan by designating the Maple Lake Estates’ (MLE) wetlands and woodlands as an “Environmental Protection Area.”

The new Environmental Protection Area designation applies to 92% of the 200 hectare MLE property, which is located in the North Gwillimbury Forest.

The LPAT decision was made as a result of the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance’s (NGFA) successful appeal of the Town of Georgina Official Plan, which had designated these ecologically sensitive lands as “Urban Residential.”

The NGFA’s appeal was opposed by the DG Group (owner of the MLE lands), the Town of Georgina and the Region of York.

The Town of Georgina is now legally obliged pursuant to Section 26(9) of the Planning Act to amend its MLE Zoning Bylaw to bring it into conformity with the Official Plan’s new Environmental Protection Area designation. That means it must create a new MLE Zoning Bylaw that prohibits development on MLE’s wetlands and woodlands.

In addition, the Town must now immediately pass an Interim Control Bylaw to prevent the DG Group from building a residential subdivision on the MLE’s ecologically sensitive lands and allow the Town time to amend the Zoning Bylaw.

Please contact Mayor Quirk and members of Council and ask them to pass an Interim Control Bylaw now.


Thanks to our lawyer, Leo Longo, our planning expert, Tony Usher, our board members, Jim Keenan, Erin Kemp, Mary Lovett, Dan Merrill, Mike Sanderson, Sandra Villiers and Linda Wells, and our generous financial supporters who made this victory possible.

To read the LPAT’s decision please click here.


Time for Georgina to rezone Maple Lakes Estates property, forest alliance says 

3 Responses to “UPDATED Citizens group wins at LPAT, town to rezone wetlands, woodlands”

  1. Ann says:

    This is fantastic news for the North Gwillimbury Forest and Wetlands, and the protection of Lake Simcoe!

    • Pat Thompson says:

      Great decision! Wetlands are our water to drink in the future and so many people are unaware of their importance. Thank you. Pat

  2. Judi says:

    Awesome news! Citizens sometimes get frustrated with OMB/LPAT decisions which too often seem to go the way of the developers. Let’s celebrate this BIG WIN!!

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