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Tree clearing halted after complaints to the town

Teromi plan of subdivision must wait for decision on proposed land swap

On Wednesday night, Innisfil Town Council received a update on the status of the Teromi plan of subdivision, located at the Southeast corner of Mapleview Drive and 25 Sideroad.

Attention was focused on the property by recent activity - clearing of some trees, to create what appears to be an access road into the forested lands.

The 15-hectare property is the subject of Draft Plan of Subdivision, Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications, all filed in 2018. The land is currently zoned “Future Development.”

The proposal for 231 dwelling units (79 detached homes, 18 semi-detached, 13 townhomes and 121 apartment units), a commercial block, public park and stormwater management facility includes a proposed land exchange with the municipality that is still under review by town staff and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA).

Coun. Ken Fowler noted that the landowner recently cleared some trees and vegetation on the site, leading to complaints and inquiries from the public, and the subsequent engagement of town planning staff and bylaw enforcement.

The landowner was told to halt the activity while the decision is pending, Fowler said.

“What was done, cannot be done again,” he added, noting that the landowner has now been advised that no heavy equipment is allowed onto the property, at this point.

“The LSRCA is now aware and involved. The county is aware and involved. Planning is aware and involved. Bylaw is now involved,” said Fowler. “We can all breathe a sigh of relief… We have multiple agencies now involved.”

Council heard from Jordana Masi, who spoke in Open Forum on the issue, on behalf of a residents' group. She also mentioned the tree-clearing.

Masi, an Innisfil resident, pointed out that the Teromi plan of subdivision still demonstrates “no conformity” with provincial policy, the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, Simcoe County Official Plan or the town's own Official Plan, does not offer a plan for stormwater management and relies on an “outdated” Environmental Impact Study.

The property contains wetlands and a watercourse, Masi told Council – along with species at risk, and a potential for flooding. She objected to the developer-proposed “land exchange”, as part of an offsetting agreement.

A staff update, presented for information only, indicated that the developer has asked to swap a three-hectare piece of land at the southeast corner of the property, for lands 1.472 hectares in size, owned by the Town of Innisfil, just to the northlands designated as Open Space (OS).

The developer is proposing to build residential units on the OS lands.

The update notes that the proposal was referred to the LSRCA in 2019, and is still under consideration. A public meeting will be held, once a decision is reached and recommendations are made.

The information will be posted on the web page in future.

Coun. Fowler encouraged members of the public to get involved by watching the webpage and registering for further updates.