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HomeNewsCity Says Ministers Zoning Orders (MZO)Account For 10,000 Of The Proposed 17,000...

City Says Ministers Zoning Orders (MZO)Account For 10,000 Of The Proposed 17,000 New Housing Units In The Planning Process

KAWARTHA LAKES-City of Kawartha Lakes council has adopted a Kawartha Lakes Municipal Housing Pledge that will support the provincially-set target of 6,500 new housing starts in Kawartha Lakes by 2031.

Mayor Elmslie commented, “This Pledge is another step along the path to creating the housing needed in Kawartha Lakes.” said Elsmslie.

The local target is part of the provincial goal to build 1.5 million new homes by 2031.

CAO Ron Taylor explained to council that the municipality was planning growth to 2051 which essentially meets and exceeds the 6,500 target, although the timeline has been accelerated by the province.

The three-year targets are: 477 starts in 2023, 542 starts in 2024 and 650 starts in 2025. It’s anticipated that subsequent years would have higher targets per year. Kawartha Lakes says it is on track to meet 80% of the 2023 target, a threshold which will provide funding for growth related infrastructure. Details on the funding are expected from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by the end of the year.

Officials say staff has a plan to support new development and a growing community. These plans involve critical infrastructure such as water, wastewater, roads and bridges. Two such plans are underway and open to public input:

Master Transportation Plan: To learn more, attend upcoming meetings and have your say, visit the Jump In, Kawartha Lakes engagement website.

Water and Wastewater Servicing and Capacity Master Plan: To learn more visit the Major Projects page, City-wide projects section on our website.

There are several other master plans and strategies being refined to support the growth of the community, many will be updated in 2024 according to the City

The municipality says it has more than double the interest needed to meet development targets. Taylor noted that there are more than 17,000 “active” applications in the planning process estimated to be completed or advanced between now and 2051. Ministers Zoning Orders (MZOs) account for over 10,000 of these proposed housing units. The Province is reviewing all MZOs and may make changes in the future. Approximately 7,000 units are actively in the planning and development process.

“The previous Council endorsed the MZOs; this Council committed to this Pledge, our commitment to enabling needed housing in Kawartha Lakes.” Mayor Elmslie noted. “We’ll need the support of other levels of government to have the critical infrastructure and corresponding services in place to support 6,500 new homes. A portion of those new homes will be ‘true’ affordable units. We have a waiting list of almost 10 years and this Pledge is part and parcel of getting shovels in the ground.”

A Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) was initially meant for situations of extraordinary urgency but is now being used much more often. It overrides local planning authority to approve development without the need for expert analysis, public input, or any chance of appeal.

The Kawartha Lakes Housing Pledge also commits to establishing a full range of housing types, including a commitment to “true” Affordable and Supportive Housing units.

Alongside the construction phase, a variety of population-supporting services will be needed, such as schools, hospitals, recreation and other services. The Pledge makes note that the municipality is relying on provincial investments within its jurisdiction, such as regional transit connections, education in the trades, workforce development and highway expansion. Under the current request for additional provincial support for health care, including the Ross Memorial Hospital, investment in Primary Care and the corresponding health system, including the critical need for family physicians in the area.

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