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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Residential Development on Simcoe County farms allowed to proceed

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has allowed appeals by two landowners in the community of Colgan in Simcoe County that will permit development of farm land for over 600 detached dwellings plus a 170 bed retirement home.  Concern had been expressed by neighbours about increased traffic and the effect the development would have on farming activities on adjacent lands.  The OMB described the issues on the appeals as follows:
  • The development of the two subdivisions on agricultural lands is contrary to the policies in the Provincial Policy Statement and local and county Official Plans that protect agricultural lands.
  • The development of two subdivisions lack the required community plan because a secondary plan has not been approved for Colgan.
  • The amount of development proposed exceeds the limits in the local growth management plan and the county Official Plan.
  • The lack of servicing for water and waste water means that the proposed development is premature.
  • The land uses abutting the Caldwell residence are incompatible as far as the proposed bungalow townhouses and the Commercial use and should be replaced with detached lots.
  • The land use interface between the Manors of Colgan and McMann is inadequately buffered and should be replaced with a road.
  • Mr. Milotic’s demand for a common boundary fence should be agreed to by Wayland Farms.
The OMB found in favour of the appellants on all of the issues, more or less.  It noted with respect to concerns about agricultural operations that, "The right to farm legislation protects Mrs. McMann's farm operation and normal farm practices are protected.  Mrs. McMann has weakened her argument for further protection by severing a residential lot from her own property."  The OMB agreed that a common boundary fence may be appropriate in one location, but suggested that it is open to the neighbour to request a fence view under the Line Fences Act and have the dispute settled in that manner.

Read the decision at: Wayland Farms v. Township of Adjala-Tosorontio.