Peterborough County adopted the final draft of its Official Plan with minor amendments at its Wednesday meeting and staff will now forward it to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval.
One amendment involved changing the wording about water and wastewater services from the City of Peterborough to county townships.
The original document stated that services would not be extended beyond city boundaries into any township land until approved by county council.
That was changed to say, rather than applying to all townships, the services shall not be extended beyond the city’s boundary into Cavan Monaghan Township only, and not until an official plan amendment to Cavan Monaghan has officially been approved. Cavan Monaghan Township has its own official plan.
Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden, whose township had asked for the original portion to be added to the Official Plan, said he wanted it because of “some history on the servicing that goes to the airport (in Cavan Monaghan Township)”.
“There is no agreement with Cavan Monaghan for those services. That was done with the county,” he said.
“We’re not included in this. There is $15 million set aside in the City of Peterborough’s budget for 2023 for construction of water and wastewater expansions to the airport, of which there’s an environmental assessment that’s taking place of which we haven’t even been part of the discussion. This condition is extremely important to the township for inclusion so that we are involved in the process.”
A change was also made at McFadden’s request regarding the official plan statement on provincial residential intensification targets for the county — that 15 per cent of all residential developments will occur annually within delineated built up areas in the county over the next 30 years of the province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
He said it was never the intent to have that happen annually, but, rather, over the course of 30 years. The section was changed to omit the word “annually.”
The county has requested the province reduce the county’s intensification target from 40 per cent to 15 per cent, but is still waiting for a response.
County council Deputy Warden Andy Mitchell said the county could not handle 40 per cent intensification — and that the county should be removed from the Greater Golden Horseshoe planning area.
Mitchell said the county has told the province this repeatedly and is “twisted in knots” over planning issues because it is still part of it.
Council passed Mitchell’s motion that council write to the province outlining the dates of previous letters and meetings with them requesting that Peterborough County be removed from the provinces’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Cavan Monaghan Deputy Mayor Matt Graham said the province has never replied to any of Peterborough County’s letters “and that is unacceptable.”
After receiving the plan, the ministry will then issue a notice on its environmental registry and allow 30 days for public comment. Once the commenting period has been concluded, the ministry will then take those comments and do an internal review.
It can approve the whole thing, reject the whole thing, or modify it, said staff. But it’s always been ministry’s past practice that before the municipal affairs minister makes any final decision, that any proposed modifications would come back to the municipality for review, discussion and explanation.
The new plan will have a 10-year time span before it must be reviewed again.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner