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Council votes tonight on southend high school plan

Councillors working to reverse last week's committe recommedation to approve a high school site site plan
Coun. Sergio Morales

Some Barrie city councillors are working behind the scenes prior to tonight's meeting, hoping to convince the majority to vote down the site plan for a southend high school.

Coun.Sergio Morales says at least one councillor who voted in favour of approving the plan has had a change of heart, and he is hoping the motion will be defeated.

"Council's really reconsidering the option that was accepted at general committee,"  he said.

General committee voted 5-4 to approve the Simcoe County District School Board's plan to build a new secondary school on property at Mapleview Drive and Prince William Way. A longstanding dispute over the exact placement of the school building has resulted in a delay of over 18 months and general committee has voted to end the stalemate and approve an exemption to planning rules.

Coun. Arif Khan and counc. Peter Silveira were absent. Khan is still on vacation this week.

"What's happened since Monday is I think members of council have realized the importance of ensuring that the growth plans for the annexed lands are respected.

I think theres been a realization of priorities ... so we are pushing it and we will see what happens on Monday."

The motion council will be debating is to approve the Board's plan to build the school on the southern most part of the land at Prince William Way and Mapleview Drive. That plan does not comply with the city's planning rules for the area which require buildings to be placed near roadways.

If the motion is defeated, options include presenting another with more stipulations or taking no action.

The school board has referred the issue to the Ontario Municipal Board for a decision, a move that will delay the process for several months.

"If we lose this by one vote because Arif (Khan) is away on a family vacation, then I will be holding him to the fire," Morales said. "He knew this vote was coming and he knows how important it is."




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Robin MacLennan

About the Author: Robin MacLennan

Robin MacLennan has been a reporter, photographer and editor for the daily media in Barrie, across Simcoe County and Toronto for many years. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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