Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council meets at 1 p.m. today. Even though council radically changed the makeup of meetings and set a new start time to 2 p.m. to include all the various types of meetings they might have on any day, they made provision to start at other times (earlier) if they believe there is too much meeting content.

That means a public meeting on planning matters on Official Plan and zoning amendments relating to a tract of land in the West Ridge which will go first according to the agenda.

Charter Construction and Mark Rich Homes intend to build 1,300 new housing units on land bounded by the 15th line of Oro-Medonte (city limit), Bass Lake Sideroad and Lakehead university‘s property amounting to 260 acres. The previous Official Plan designation outlined a broad area of wetland to be protected and required an independent study be done before any development could occur. The subsequent study which the City had peer reviewed, reduced the area.

Of the total land area 41 hectares will be designated as Natural Heritage Features. Part of that move will add 3.79 hectares of parkland to the City’s parks and trail systems network.

The point of this meeting is to change the related wetland boiundary definitions which will allow the developer to submit a draft plan of subdivision.

The draft plan for development includes a commercial block and two school blocks and construction of the subdivision in 7 phases. It also includes a number of single detached homes, 3 medium density blocks (which could be townhouses or apartments), and one high density block (apartment building)

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Dr. Charles Gardner, and SMDHU board members Ann-Marie Kungl and Scott Warnock will be present to provide an update of health unit activities.

Of course details include some stats regarding the pandemic. They say there were 16,000 deaths in Ontario. Specifically in the health unit’s jurisdiction there were 57,000 case resulting in 750 deaths.

They also say there were more deaths in 2022 than in 2021 and 2022 combined and there continues to be between 2 and 11 deaths per week.

Orillia’s contribution to the SMDHU budget went up in 2023 by 4.2% to $486,886. They will also talk about an strategy regarding the opioid crisis, but give no details in their presentation documents.

The next item is the public forum followed by a closed session. The latter is about a land lease opportunity. No further details are included in the agenda.

The council meeting can be viewed online on the City’s Youtube channel.

More in Part 2.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Images Supplied)


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