Maple Lake Estates - It's up to York Region now
Monday Jul 18th, 2016
The Town of Georgina’s flawed Official Plan, which leaves the door wide open to the paving over of provincially significant wetlands on the Maple Lake Estates (MLE) property, needs to be fixed — fast.
That job is now in the hands of the York Region Council, which must approve or amend the Plan. Obviously, approving a Plan that gives more weight to three-decade old planning approvals than to current provincial law and policy is a bad idea. We’re hoping a majority of York Region councillors will understand — and act on — their legal obligation to protect provincially significant wetlands.
After all, our entire region will benefit from fixing Georgina’s Plan: The North Gwillimbury Forest is one of the ten largest remaining forests in the Lake Simcoe Watershed. Allowing the development of a large mobile home park in the heart of the forest would divide it in two and deal a huge blow to the already fragile Lake Simcoe ecosystem.
The Town of Georgina drew up its Plan based on the erroneous belief that it was going to be able to arrange a “land swap” involving a parcel of prime agricultural land located within the Greenbelt Protected Countryside. It was a bad bet, as the provincial government has now nixed that idea in its Greenbelt review.
The real solution is to bring the Town’s Official Plan into full compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement, which prohibits development on provincially significant wetlands (80% of the MLE property is classified as provincially significant wetland) and with the Region’s own Official Plan, which prohibits development on Georgina’s wetlands and significant woodlands.
We urge you to contact the members of York Region Council listed below and ask them to prohibit development on the Paradise Beach-Island Grove Provincially Significant Wetland in the North Gwillimbury Forest. Or click here to start a message to all the councillors in your email program.