Protect our forest!
One of the ten largest forests in the Lake Simcoe watershed, the North Gwillimbury Forest is a priceless natural asset for the Town of Georgina. It stretches all the way from the north end of Keswick to Jackson’s Point — an area more than three times larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
Despite the fact that both York Region’s Official Plan and provincial policy make it clear that wetlands and significant woodlands within this forest are off limits for development, Metrus Developments has been trying to transform a 30-year-old approval for a mobile home park on leased lots into a brand new approval for a private lot subdivision that would sit in the provincially significant Paradise Beach-Island Grove wetland.
The North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance has fought this plan every step of the way and has exposed the poor policy decisions made by the Town of Georgina as well as why Metrus’ rule-breaking proposal should never be approved (click here to learn more about our fight.) The citizens of Georgina have overwhelmingly backed our position that we should not be building subdivisions in provincially significant wetlands.
Now Metrus has agreed to discuss a development approvals swap to protect the wetland. But if the company does not get what it wants in these negotiations it will likely be back before Georgina Town Council and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority trying to sway councillors and board members to approve its subdivision-in-a-wetland plan, despite the huge damage this would cause to our region’s natural heritage.
The battle to save the North Gwillimbury Forest is far from over. But together, we can shine some light on the real facts and the need for better decision making by our local representatives, while pointing the way forward to a healthier future for Georgina.
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The North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance is a member of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition
The North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance is a member of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance
LRSCA Subdivisions-in-Wetlands Policy
July 30, 2015 letter from NGFA Lawyer Leo Longo to LSRCA re: No legal or policy justification for withholding DG Group application from the public
June 11, 2015 letter from NGFA Planner Anthony Usher to LSRCA re: Maple Lake Estates and the “Conservation of Land” Test.
May 5, 2015 letter from NGFA Planner Anthony Usher, MCIP, RPP, to LSRCA re: Opportunity for public to review and provide submissions on any Section 28 application filed by Metrus
April 29, 2015 letter from NGFA Chair Jack Gibbons to LSRCA board questioning decision to postpone implmentation of new Watershed Development Guidelines.
April 22, 2015 letter from NGFA lawyer Leo Longo to LSRCA re: Metrus application for Section 28 permit and violation of undertaking to await implementation of new guidelines
Revised draft Watershed Development Guidelines would prohibit development in Provincially Significant Wetlands
Read our new factsheet comparing the wetland protection policies in Central Ontario Conservation Authorities
April 8, 2015 letter from Anthony Usher, MCIP, RPP, to LSRCA
Jack Gibbons speaking notes for LSRCA board meeting on March 27, 2015
Feb. 25, 2015 letter from Anthony Usher, MCIP, RPP, to LSRCA
September 26, 2014 letter from Leo Longo, Aird & Berlis LLP, to LSRCA
September 26, 2014 letter from Anthony Usher, MCIP, RPP, to LSRCA
July 28, 2014 letter from Anthony Usher, MCIP, RPP to LSRCA.
Reply from Mike Walters, General Manager, Watershed Management, LRSCA - August 18, 2014
Keep development out of the Greenbelt Protected Countryside
May 21, 2005 submission to Provincial Coordinated Land Use Review from NGFA Planner Tony Usher.
May 21, 2015 letter from NGFA Planner Tony Usher to Mayor Quirk and council.
Jack Gibbons’ Speaking Notes for his May 13, 2015 deputation to Georgina Town Council
Metrus development application premature
NGFA Planner Tony Usher’s March 11, 2015 deputation to the Town of Georgina re: Metrus’ premature subdivision application for South Keswick
NGFA Planner Tony Usher’s September 10, 2014 deputation to Georgina Town Council re: Metrus’ premature subdivision application for South Keswick
March 2, 2015 letter from NGFA Planner Tony Usher to Georgina Council re: ammended applications.
Town of Georgina must obey the law!
NGFA Lawyer Leo Longo’s August 21, 2014 submissions to Town of Georgina re: its Planning Directions Report
NGFA Planner Anthony Usher’s August 22, 2014 submissions to Town of Georgina re: its Planning Directions Report
Comments on Official Plan Review & Maple Lake Estates
NGFA Planning Consultant Anthony Usher's comments on Georgina's draft official plan (July 31, 2015). The draft plan is certainly an improvement, but should do much more to reflect the important natural values of the Maple Lakes Estate woodlands and wetlands.
According to NGFA planning consultant Anthony Usher’s March 20, 2014 letter to the Town of Georgina, the best option for a Maple Lake Estates development approvals swap would be to provide equivalent development approvals on lands owned by Metrus affiliates in south Keswick.
Click here to read Tony's letter
Map of South Keswick area
NGFA lawyer Leo Longo's response to Metrus' submission to the LSRCA
"Development rights" do not trump requirement for authority to act on its mandate to protect the watershed.
Submissions to LSRCA on need to repeal Maple Lakes Estate Loophole
From NGFA lawyer Leo Longo
From NGFA planner Tony Usher
Comments on Official Plan Review
NGFA Planning Consultant Anthony Usher’s December 20, 2013 letter to Town of Georgina re: Official Plan Review and Maple Lake Estates
MLE loophole not just bad policy — it's illegal
NGFA solicitor Leo Longo outlines why the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's open door policy for development in provincially significant wetlands needs to be immediately repealed.
Read Mr. Longo's legal opinion
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Click here for more NGFA submissions
Environmental group decries Lake Simcoe mobile-home park project: A 30-year-old plan to build a trailer park on wetland may live on despite new rules curbing development in the area. - Toronto Star, May 10, 2015
Landmark agreement could be reached on North Gwillimbury Forest's Maple Lake Estates
- Georgina Advocate, June 24, 2013
'Uphill battle' building over forest development - 70 residents pack hall to help stop Metrus
- Georgina Advocate, April 29, 2013
Georgina residents fight historic development rights on wetlands - Toronto Star, April 22, 2013
Community involvement good for democracy - Georgina Advocate, April 4, 2013
'We will lose' legal battle on development: town - Residents feel plea to halt plan falls on deaf ears - Georgina Advocate, March 28, 2013
300 name petition to stop forest development - Georgina Advocate, March 21, 2013
Legal wrangling on impending Forest development - Georgina Advocate, Jan. 31, 2013
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