Metrus withdraws request for Maple Lake Estates special dealMetrus Development Inc. has withdrawn its request for a special deal (“Minutes of Settlement”) with the Region of York with respect to its Maple Lake Estates (MLE) development in the Town of Georgina.
Metrus advised the Region and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) today that it was withdrawing as an appellant against York Region’s new Official Plan and would not be a party at future OMB proceedings concerning the Region’s Official Plan respecting the MLE lands.
The new Regional Official Plan identifies that over 80% of the MLE site is either inside the Paradise Beach-Island Grove provincially significant wetland in the North Gwillimbury Forest (NGF) or so close to the wetland as to be undevelopable. Environmental policies in the new Official Plan establish protections for the wetland and forest from development. These Official Plan policies are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement’s protection of significant wetlands.
In May 2012, it emerged that Metrus had been seeking a special deal with the Region of York with respect to its MLE property, in return for resolving its Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal of the Region’s new Official Plan. The North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance decided to seek party status in the OMB proceeding to ensure that the new Official Plan’s much stricter environmental protections with respect to the NGF’s wetlands and forests were not watered down or ignored when it came to MLE. As a result of our participation in the OMB process, Metrus decided to drop its appeal and its request for a special deal with respect to MLE.
Once the new Regional Official Plan comes into effect, the Town of Georgina will be obliged to update its Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to make them conform with the Region’s Official Plan. Specifically, these documents will need to be revised to recognize that no development will be permitted on the Paradise Beach-Island Grove provincially significant wetland in the NGF. These Regional Official Plan policies will also affect any new development proposals brought forward by Metrus.
This is a major victory for everyone who wants to see this important natural part of the Lake Simcoe watershed remain intact. But fighting a major developer is costly – we have incurred legal and planning consultancy costs totalling approximately $50,000 to date. We urgently need your financial support to pay our bills and to continue our work to protect the North Gwillimbury Forest.
Chair, North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance
416-260-2080 ext. 2