A special council meeting took place on May 19th to address two issues that could not wait.
First was the approval of a tender to build a new Public Works Operating Centre on the site of the existing facility at 1470 County Rd. 10 in Cavan. The existing building at that location will be retained for the storage of public works and parks equipment. Mortlock Construction submitted the successful tender, and the project is expected to begin this month.
The second issue requiring a quick response was the request by Peterborough County to approve a map of the Millbrook Settlement area they had prepared for inclusion in their draft County Official Plan, which they intend to submit to the province by the July 1st deadline.
While Cavan-Monaghan opted to prepare its own Official Plan (OP) for the township, this plan must be consistent with the County’s documents.
In preparation for the new plan, the County prepared a Growth Analysis study with Hemson planning consultants. The report concluded that Cavan=Monaghan required an additional 74.7 ha to be earmarked for residential growth and another 34.1 ha for employment growth in order for the township to accommodate its share of potential growth expected in the next 30 years (to 2051).
Council was not prepared to commit to a final map of these lands at this time because they are almost finished their own Growth Management Study and the Master Servicing Plan for the township, both of which will provide critical information for making appropriate land use decisions.
To allow the County to proceed, Council approved the temporary use of the County’s map of the urban settlement area with a caveat: on the map there will appear a note with an explanation that the boundary is subject to refinement once the township has completed and reviewed its own studies.
Provincial policy mandates residential growth occur in serviced settlement areas wherever possible. In Peterborough County, there are four settlement areas with municipal servicing: Lakefield, Havelock, Norwood and Millbrook. The forecasted growth allocated to each of these settlement areas can be accommodated within the existing settlement area boundaries in all of these centres except Millbrook, which is why the County required an updated map.
The map the County is using for the Millbrook Settlement area is only a broad guideline. Cavan-Monaghan is the only township that is conducting its own Growth Management study to determine the way forward in managing growth within the township. How, what and where growth will occur in the municipality will be established in the township’s own Official Plan which will be informed by these planning studies.
Growth in any rural municipality is controversial and requires sensitivity to the interests of preserving a small town environment while managing provincial legislation focused on the development of larger urban centres. There are many competing demands for land use, but regardless of local preferences, municipalities have to play ball with the province or risk having them take greater control over local planning decisions. After last month’s accelerated approval of the More Homes for Everyone Act 2022, it’s clear where the direction in which they are headed. KG