Update #3 from Gord

September 13, 2019

At our Information Session in Newcastle on Thursday, September 12th, over 250 people attended making it standing room only in the packed hall.

Everyone was reminded that Rezoning Clarington is a volunteer group of local land owners who came together to inform and help other property owners understand how the zoning designations were changed and the impact that these changes can have on the lives, their properties and their futures.

Of most importance was the news about the two Motions passed by the Clarington Council Committee on Monday, September 9th.

A Motion made by Councillor Joe Neal, seconded by Councillor Margaret Zwart, reads:

1.  Staff be directed to delete the Environmental Review Area (90 meters) and Minimum Vegetation Protection Zone (30 meters) from the draft zoning by-law amendment.

The second Motion, made by Councillor Joe Neal and seconded by Councillor Corinna Trail reads:

1. Planning Services Staff be instructed to pause their work on the rural portion of Zone Clarington for a period of three months until (a) decision has been rendered for the East Gwillimbury LPAT case; (b) there is greater clarity on the PPS revisions from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs; (c) it is confirmed that the CA’s will have capacity to assist with the review of natural heritage features.

2. Staff report back within 3 months on any changes that have taken place with respect to paragraph (1).

3. Staff report back on September 30, 2019 on the process for municipal led Official Plan amendments to the Clarington Official Plan, for correcting errors in EP designations at no cost to the landowners.

4. Staff report back on September 30, 2019 on notifying landowners of the EP changes which took place in the recent Official Plan amendments, as well as EP changes for Zone Clarington.

5. The inspection of properties by municipal staff to continue where requested by landowners.

Councillors Neal and Councillor Trail spoke to the Motions and explained them to everyone.

If you would like a full copy of the 2 Motions made, contact the Clarington Municipal Office, search the Municipality’s website or find it on the Rezoning Clarington website at www.rezoningclarington.ca under “Update and News”.

These Motions are to be ratified by Council on Monday, September 16th. Plan to attend that meeting beginning at 7 pm. to witness the debate and the vote on the Motions.

On July 2nd, a motion made by Corinna Trail and seconded by Joe Neal is asking the Planning Department to report on:

– the process they propose to use to provide free site visits in respond to requests made by individual property owners for clarifications and corrections to the EP designations on their land.

– how all individual property owners will be notified of changes to their property’s zoning designations as a consequence of increasing environmentally protected areas in rural Clarington.

These reports will be given to Councillors on September 30th. They will give us a better idea of how and when the Municipality may be notifying every landowner affected, andhowthe Municipality proposes to make free site visits so that clarifications and possible corrections may be made on the zoning designations on your land. Plan to also attend the Council meeting on Monday, September 30th at 7 pm.

We heard from Dan Zeger, who after a fire destroyed one of his buildings, he was told he could not rebuild it on the same site without an environmental assessment as the site was now in an Environmentally Protected area. A video shown reports on a similar situation near Ottawa where the local Conservation Authority stopped a couple’s work around their home. (The video is available on our website). Following that, we heard from Brian Layng on the impact that an Environmental Protection designation can have on your property value. Linda Mash, another real estate representative, reported that the property value of one of her listings has been reduced by 50% with the Environmentally Protected designation.

Our group, Rezoning Clarington, continues to work on behalf of Clarington’s property owners by holding information sessions, continuing our research and meetings with key people. We recognize it is important to let our Provincial Minister’s of our concerns and we are looking forward to meeting with them. We thank our MPP’s for their continued help and support.

Over 6,400 property owners will be impacted by the changes in the Official Plan for rural Clarington. We know that many of them are not yet aware of the changes. Please make sure your neighbours and friends are aware of the possible changes to their land’s EP designations and the impacts it will have. We remind you that the Municipality began their work focusing on the rural areas of Clarington, however the urban areas will also have EP designations affecting their properties.

So plan to show your support for the Motions now before Clarington Councillors and your continuing concerns by attending the September 16th and September 30th meetings at the Clarington Municipal Offices at 7 pm.

We thank the Councillors Jones, Neal, Trail, and Zwart and MPP Lindsey Park who joined us in Newcastle. 

Thank you to the volunteers who have worked to make this information session a success. We also appreciate the donations received to help us provide maps to individual land owners, pay for the hall rentals, maintain our website and continue to work on your behalf.