KAWARTHA LAKES-A small victory for some residents in the Cameron area who are opposed to a large new development along the shores of Sturgeon Lake.
Flato Developments has asked City council to approve zoning changes for 156 hectares of agricultural lands it purchased in the area.
Flato proposes to rezone the subject lands to permit a recreational development including a golf course and associated uses, a marina, 423 recreational dwelling units in the form of 84 rental dwelling units, and 339 ownership dwelling units at Ranchers Road and Long Beach Road. The population of Cameron is currently 221 residents according to the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Some residents are in favour of the plan but a number of residents voiced their concerns with 32 people providing written correspondence to the City. almost 300 people signed a petition against the rezoning.
The concerns generally focused on traffic on Long Beach Road and Ranchers Road, lack of existing infrastructure along roads, location and ownership of water and sewage services and the environmental impacts on Sturgeon Lake and current agricultural lands.
Sylvia Keesmaat is a professor at the University of Toronto. She is also a permaculture farmer who has lived in the area for almost two decades and is opposed to the development. Keesmaat says Flato plans to draw its water from Sturgeon Lake.
“It’s a concern partly due to the amount of water but also that it’s coming off the lake as healthy water and it’s going to flow back down to the lake as polluted water.” She explains in detail the concerns in the video below.
On Tuesday council voted to send the rezoning back to staff to look into concerns raised by residents. A Stage 2 Archeological Assessment has also been requested by Alderville First Nation.
We contacted Flato Developments for comment but have not yet had a response.
Kawartha 411 News was first to report on Flato’s use of Ministers Zoning Orders in 2021. Find out more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2021/06/08/some-developers-circumventing-municipality-using-ministers-zoning-order-to-fast-track-approvals-for-local-projects/
In 2021 residents told Kawartha 411 News they suspected Flato would use a process called a Ministers Zoning Order (MZO)to fast-track approval for the project.
“These approvals are now diving deep into areas of decision-making that formerly were the responsibility of municipalities. They include individual development proposals that may or may not have any support from local governments or the public.” said Tim Grey Executive Director of Environmental Defence.(ED)
So far no request has been made for the Cameron Development that we are aware of but the company has requested one for the Lindsay development.