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Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Mulvale supports developers

Decision hurried through before environmental studies done

Mulvale supports developers
Mayor Ann Mulvale
Novae Res Urbis (GTA Municipal News)

Oakville council approved last week the controversial official plan amendment that will bring urban development north of Highway 5, in a move opponents have called a puzzling reversal.

OPA 198 brings 7,600 acres into the town's urban envelope, despite the fact that the environmental studies council requested last March before approving the amendment are not yet completed.

"What is council doing passing an OPA now?" asked Renée Sandelowsky of resident group Oakville Green. "One has to wonder what kind of pressure they are getting from developers, and why they are so scared of developers and the OMB."

Developers launched appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board earlier this year, wanting to go ahead with planned developments in the area.

With the passage of OPA 198, the town's position will be similar to that of the developers, Bressa, Trinison, Mattamy Homes and Green Ginger Developments (Great Gulf) Company. Lawyer Jeffrey Davies of Davies Howe, who represents Bressa, said he hopes a settlement can now be reached with the town.

"We expect that the town's approval (of OPA 198) will help to inform its position at the hearing," he told GTA Municipal News, adding that the issue will likely come down to what the opposition groups decide to do.

Oakville Green, which has "hundreds of supporters" from all across Oakville, is in the midst of weighing its options, Sandelowsky told GTA Municipal News.

The group is being supported by Environmental Defense Canada, a non-governmental organization with legal staff.

"We will do whatever we need to do to conserve those lands," she said.

However, Sandelowsky added, the group is now hoping the provincial government will step in, perhaps through the smart growth policy or through new legislation.

Toronto MPP Mike Colle introduced a bill last week to protect the Trafalgar Moraine, situated within the disputed lands, which is similar to the act that now protects the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Oakville Green is also circulating a petition asking the Ontario Realty Corporation not to sell any of the 1,100 acres it controls in the area to developers.

"We feel betrayed," Sandelowsky said. "We don't have the time and energy to waste on our council anymore."
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Categories: Features, News

Tags: Growth , greenspace

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