October Planning and Development Committee

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Wednesday the 2nd saw 52 people attend the October meeting of the Planning and Development Committee of Council.  All attended to voice concern over the proposed development at 420 King Street.  Sadie Moranis Inc. proposes to restore the heritage listed building on the site and build 16 apartment units. The proposal and Planning Department comments are found at

http://calendar.county.simcoe.on.ca/upload/PDCC%20October%20Agenda.pdf .

Deputations by 15 people in opposition to the plan often ended to applause.   Concerns included: a perceived safety hazard from increased traffic, decreased home values in the surrounding neighbourhood, increased light and noise levels, and removal of stately old trees.  A common thread throughout the presentation was the sense of ignoring our heritage and of irreversibly changing the stately character of the neighbourhood that sits at the main entrance to the Downtown.

Council was reluctant to proceed further with the current proposal given the strong citizen’s reaction.  Both the Mayor and Councilor Canning felt the issue was bigger than this single proposal as it involved changes not only to the zoning of this site but also to the Town’s official plan.   The Town’s Planner agreed and the matter has been referred back to the Planning Department.

The Planning committee received a site plan to grade, drain, pave, landscape, fence and sign the entire lot at 351 William Street.  Infrastructure Ontario, a provincial agency acts as custodian of the site as a result of the bankruptcy of landowner Dominion Electroplating Inc. Paving is an interim measure to contain soil contaminants until full site restoration can be achieved.

Committee agreed to a public meeting to allow for input from the public on proposed changes to the “incidental signs” portion of the sign bylaw.  Committee also agreed to reiterate its support for source water protection and preservation of agricultural lands when considering planning proposals.

The Mayor and Mr. Crown reported funding of and progress on the new Website and the creation of a strategic plan for the Huronia Economic Alliance (HEA).  Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay Township have all passed motions to fund an Economic Development office. This represents a significant step in the continuing cooperative efforts among the four municipalities and is thanks to the hard work and foresight of all the Mayors, their respective Councils and staff.  As if to herald this auspicious event, Mayor McKay announced that a significant expansion of a local industry was imminent and that ShopCity (http://www.shopcity.com) opened its new headquarters at the corner of King Street and Hugel Avenue.  Friday the 5th will see the Assistant Deputy Minister for Industry visiting Midland to discuss how the province might participate in Midland’s future.

Stewart Strathearn

Midlandcommunity.ca

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