The residents of Mill Road and Elmpine Trail, south of King Road, are unanimously opposed to a proposed development on a farm property just to the south of them. The Applicant (Pacifico) is asking that the existing Mill Road area homes be rezoned as a new Hamlet, with the hopes of expanding the hamlet to include the land to the south and re-zoning land from its current designation as Protected Countryside and Greenbelt Natural Heritage. The developer wishes to build 68 homes, an assisted living building, community centre and commercial buildings. The current Provincial Policy Statement directs development to occur within existing built-up areas with full-municipal services. The tricky part is that the Applicant is pursuing a legal loophole, by taking York Region to the OMB, arguing that because the Township approved OPAs 58 and 580 some years ago (the latter “580” being required as an ORM conformity exercise prior to the Greenbelt Legislation), the Region should be required to sign off on it. Under OPAs 58 and 580, the farmland under question was in a less restrictively category; however presumably it will be argued that they ultimately became redundant because of the Greenbelt legislation which supersedes the ORM Plan.
Last month Township Council had a public meeting on this application and CCKT spoke against this application. In addition, Council held a second but related public meeting and they voted unanimously to withdraw the Township’s approval of OPA 58-580. The outcome of this proposal could set a precedent for other developers who hold large parcels of land in rural King and are waiting patiently for an opportunity to develop them.