Simcoe County Agrees to Press the Pause Button on Additional Population Allocation in Springwater

Simcoe County Agrees to Press the Pause Button on Additional Population Allocation in Springwater
Posted on 05/25/2016

Springwater Township / May 25, 2016 – The Township of Springwater is pleased with the outcome of the hearings held by Simcoe County Council on May 24, 2016 regarding the requests for population allocation under the County’s 20,000 Population Allocation Program.

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was amended in 2012 to provide the County with the discretion to allocate to its area municipalities additional population of up to 20,000 people over and above the population forecasts in the Growth Plan.  As a result, the County Official Plan was amended to provide the opportunity for municipalities and developers to request a portion of the available 20,000 excess population and authorizing County Council to make policy decisions approving or denying those requests.

Six requests for Midhurst, totalling an additional 6,120 people, were considered at the hearings. Five of those requests were denied by County Council, and one request for an additional fifteen (15) people on private services was approved for Old Second South Road. This 5-lot development proposal remains subject to Township of Springwater planning approvals.

In January 2016, Springwater Council passed a unanimous resolution to not support any private requests for allocation within Springwater. As a result, Mayor Bill French and Deputy Mayor Don Allen, who sit on Simcoe County Council, recused themselves from the May 24th hearings.

Barnet Kussner of WeirFoulds LLP, legal counsel for the Township of Springwater, presented Springwater’s case in support of pausing additional allocations within the Township, citing concerns related to growth management, infrastructure needs and employment. The Township has already authorized a mandatory review of its 1998 Official Plan, including a comprehensive Growth Management review, and it asked the County to pause any further allocations pending the completion of that process in 2018. The Township’s current Growth Management Plan (under which the Midhurst Secondary Plan was adopted by a previous Council) dates from 2004, even before the Growth Plan was established.

“We are pleased that County Council recognized the importance of permitting local Councils to maintain control over growth within their own municipality,” says Mayor Bill French.