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Oro-Medonte, developer land on tree, landscaping agreement

Stop-work order had been placed on Line 3 North property on Dec. 11 by county forester; issue has since been resolved, council hears
This parcel of land, located at 2735 Line 3 N., in Oro-Medonte Township, has been approved for 127 single-detached homes, a parkland block and a stormwater management block.

Sometimes all it takes to work out differences is a little time and a little conversation.

Two weeks ago, Oro-Medonte Township Coun. Lori Hutcheson was at loggerheads with the developer of a project at 2735 Line 3 N., called Eagles Landing Estates.

The developer was looking for township council to approve a zoning-bylaw amendment application and plan of subdivision application for a development that would include 127 single-detached homes, a parkland block, and a stormwater management block.

The same developer owns Eagles Rest, which is directly across the road from Eagles Landing on Line 3 North. Eagles Rest was originally a 106-home subdivision that was increased to 208 homes.

Hutcheson wasn’t supporting the Eagles Landing Estates project.

Oro-Medonte Coun. Lori Hutcheson. | Wayne Doyle/BarrieToday

“I do want to confirm that it is the same developer who has broken ground for Eagles Rest,” she said at the Feb. 14 township council meeting when the applications came up on the agenda.

“What we have seen from the developer, really, is a disregard for what I believe our community is about and the process they should go through with our township," she added. 

Hutcheson said the developers were made aware during the community consultation process that residents wanted to protect the tree canopy at Eagles Landing.

“We've seen trees taken from the proposed subdivision site prior to any approvals in place,” she said. “The county forester had to come in and put a stop order in place to stop the clear cutting on that property.”

According to Graeme Davis, Simcoe County’s forester, the upper-tier municipality was notified of the potentially illegal tree cutting on Dec. 7.

After county staff confirmed no authorization or exemption to permit the tree clearing was in place, the county visited the site and a stop-work order was placed on the property Dec. 11.

“Generally speaking, under a development scenario, the forest conservation bylaw provides for the protection of woodlands — as defined under the bylaw — until such time as an exemption is in place which permits tree clearing to proceed,” Davis said in an email to BarrieToday.

“Authorization can take many forms, generally enabling the local municipality to control the process," he added. "At this time (Feb. 15), we have not received notification from the township that the developer has met the conditions required in order to proceed.”

According to Andy Karaiskakis, the township’s manager of planning services, the tree issues have been resolved over the past two weeks.

“Staff have updated the schedule of conditions of draft plan approval for the subdivision,” Karaiskakis told council Wednesday night at the township’s regular meeting. “With respect to tree planting, along the northerly and westerly boundaries of the subject property, it’s a continuation of the southerly, three-metre vegetation strip of the boundaries of the subdivision.”

The developers will submit a landscape plan for the rear of the property, Karaiskakis said, which will provide a visual buffer and ensure long-term preservation of the tree buffer zone.

“First of all, thank you so much to the developer and to planning for sitting down and working out some of these concerns and addressing them in today’s report,” Hutcheson said Wednesday night. “I really appreciate the flexibility of both parties. We’ve been able to come to a better solution for some of the concerns of the community with regard to this subdivision.”

Township council approved the applications Wednesday night.

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Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Wayne Doyle covers the townships of Springwater, Oro-Medonte and Essa for BarrieToday under the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI), which is funded by the Government of Canada
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