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Land expropriation expected to continue along McKay, Veterans

'It is very unfortunate when people get uprooted and are forced to move, however this was inevitable in this case,' says ward councillor
Veterans Drive, at Salem Road, travelling south to McKay Road, in south-end Barrie.

The city could continue with the process necessary to expropriate property needed for a road expansion and new trunk watermain in south Barrie.

Councillors will consider initial approval of a motion Wednesday night to continue the expropriation of 922 Veterans Dr. This would be for the McKay Road expansion and the new Veterans Drive trunk watermain project.

Expropriation is how local governments transfer absolute ownership of property to the municipality, normally for infrastructure use — such as road construction and utilities.

Coun. Gary Harvey, who represents this part of Barrie, said this expropriation process began in April 2022.

“It is very unfortunate when people get uprooted and are forced to move, however this was inevitable in this case as the road will be a few feet from the front of the house at 922 Veterans,” he said. “There are no other properties in this immediate area that will be affected in the future. 

“There was just the one landowner that requested a hearing, which was held in due course," Harvey added. 

City staff began the expropriation of 922 Veterans by delivering to its registered owner, Paul Cooper, a notice of application for approval to expropriate land.

The Expropriations Act permits an owner to make a request, within 30 days of receiving the expropriation notice, for a hearing at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) to ensure that the proposed taking is fair, sound and reasonably necessary.

A hearing was requested and held Sept. 21, 2022 and the inquiry officer’s findings were released Nov. 30, 2022.

The OLT inquiry officer concluded the city’s application for approval to expropriate 922 Veterans is fair, sound and reasonably necessary to achieve the city’s objectives with respect to this project.

City staff say the timely acquisition of this property is necessary to maintain current construction timelines.

The McKay Road expansion, from Reid Drive to west of Highway 400, includes one southbound right-turn lane and one southbound left-turn lane on Veterans Drive, north of McKay Road.

The Veterans Drive new trunk watermain project is for road expansion, intersection improvements, sewers, and watermains on McKay Road West and Veterans Drive.

“Throughout the Salem and Hewitt lands there will be further expropriation at other properties in the coming years for infrastructure requirements,” Harvey said.

At its Feb. 1 meeting, city council could consider final approval to proceed with the expropriation of 922 Veterans Dr.