On May 16, 2016 County Council denied a request for a 6,000 population allocation for lands which had previously been approved by the Township of Springwater and County of Simcoe for potential development.
Landowners took action against the County of Simcoe and Township of Springwater at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with the intent of overturning County Council’s decision by arguing jurisdiction.
This past Tuesday morning (September 27), legal counsel provided a further update to County Council. County Council, having weighed the update and legal opinions, proposed the settlement agreement that was subsequently finalized on September 28, 2016. It is important to note that the settlement allocated half of the developers’ original request.
The agreement provides certainty and avoids what could have been a lengthy, unpredictable and very expensive legal battle with vast and variable outcomes which could have resulted in the County of Simcoe surrendering its authority to plan our communities to the Ontario Municipal Board. Even if the County had been successful at the OMB, there could have ensued expensive and equally unpredictable appeals to the Courts.
While Springwater Township’s initial reaction was unfortunate, a second reflection would reveal that the settlement put forward by County Council firmly places all of the decisions surrounding any development in the hands of Springwater Township. For clarity, all zoning, subdivision details, and the density of development will be protected and under the direction and control of the Township of Springwater. County Council had the best interest of all involved including Springwater Township when making this decision.
To the benefit of all our residents living across the 16 municipalities in Simcoe County, the County now retains the legal jurisdiction to manage and allocate population growth within our region with input from our municipalities. The County of Simcoe will continue to work with our partners to ensure continued fair, equitable and good planning practices take place.
Simcoe County Warden