Just how frequently has iLoveMidhurst.ca been viewed since December 2011?

September 26, 2015

In total, 53,915 times, 1,198 monthly, or 39.9 views per day.

20150926 Traffic ilm

The 10 most viewed posts in 2015 are:

  1. Why are people nailing old shoes to a dead maple tree in Springwater township?
  2. A 600 acre Waverley Quarry in the making?
  3. An 83-foot-high KKK fiery cross shone like a beacon over Barrie and Allandale in 1926 and the surrounding countryside
  4. Map showing areas of Midhurst Secondary Plan the Province will not dispute
  5. Is Metrus (DG Group) doing a deeply cynical end run by clear cutting the David Dunlap Forest in Richmond Hill?
  6. How much carbon dioxide does one mature sugar maple tree remove from the atmosphere?
  7. Corruption in local government: 5 Types
  8. Trees breathe for us
  9. Municipal corruption and Thomas Nast, cartoonist
  10. What legal duty of care does Springwater Township CAO Robert Brindley have to the citizens of Springwater Township?

Cross-published by Les Stewart on SpringwaterParkcc.org.

Twenty-eight months for an explanation of how 300 hectares of sprawl was approved via a “Special Rule”.

April 15, 2014

By our good friends, one of the developer’s Toronto lawyer.

Debt Atwood

An alert from AWARE Simcoe, Midhurst: ‘Special Rule’ makes the sprawl okay pdf:

The importance of the “Special Rule” that then Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli brought in to make the Midhurst Secondary Plan legal was spelled out by a lawyer at an Ontario Municipal Board pre-hearing.

Ira Kagan, representing the Midhurst Rose Alliance, told board panellist Marc Denhez that among the special regulations introduced by Chiarelli on January 19, 2012 as part of a Simcoe County addition to the Places to Grow Act, was the “300-hectare rule,” as he called it.

“It said that within the Midhurst settlement area, 300 hectares could proceed to development without worrying about any population forecasts within the growth plan,” Kagan explained.

The special rule allowed the province to withdraw a portion of its appeal of the 756-acre project, Kagan said.

Special thanks to Mr. Ira Kagan, Kagan Shastri LLP from 188 Avenue Road for explaining this to our community.

Ira Kagan

Ira Kagan

I am told this Special Rule is informally called the “Geranium Rule”.

More News: It appears the City of Barrie is unwilling to subsidize the sprawl’s infrastructure costs to the citizens of their municipality.

So…Springwater Township taxpayers will be picking up that tab for Barrie’s expanded roads, intersection, services, etc. to serve the new “Town of Midhurst”.

Less skeptical, better-case scenario: the township gets to go deeper into debt with this development.

Is Springwater Township cheating by starving citizens of information?

June 7, 2012

Why so long to respond to a simple request?

A great letter to the editor in the Springwater News that raises, again, the issue of unreasonable secrecy.

Midhurst Development – Scrap It!
H. Hutton

It was with great interest that I read Ms. Kim Hand’s letter in the Springwater News of May 24, 2012

I am in total agreement with every point she has made. My family are relatively new to the village and we are appalled at the way this “development” plan has been executed.

To address the point made by Ms. Hand regarding the Township maintaining the residents were “adequately engaged and informed”. She is correct in that this certainly does not seem to be the case. We purchased just over 2 years ago and, while we were told of a certain amount of development in the village, neither our Agent or our lawyers apparently had any idea that the expansion plan had grown to such an overwhelming size! It seems that the authorities involved have played their cards very close to their chest.

On May 9, I wrote to the township asking when, where, and in what form, notifications of the meetings to discuss this plan were made public. As of this writing, no reply has been forthcoming. When asked for details of the last meeting, which was NOT open to the public, I was told that the Township could not divulge that information, but they did inform ahead of time that there was a meeting (?).

I urge all residents of Springwater to take a close look at the proposed plan; look at the new road designations, and the actual proposed size of thee roads. The By Laws may (laughingly) give them seemingly unthreatening names like “collectors road” but consider the proposed width of those collector roads. Some folks are going to end up with a very small front garden or no garden at all!

Ms. Hand is correct, this is OUR village. This “Plan” needs to be scrapped or greatly amended.

H. Hutton Midhurst Resident

The Linda Collins administration responds to 5 questions

May 9, 2012

“The Council of the Township of Springwater would like to thank the Midhurst Ratepayers’ association for their presentation to Council on the Midhurst Secondary Plan.”

The direct link to the Township website is here. You can download a Word or pdf copy on iLoveMidhurst.ca.

By the way:

Mr. Jack Hanna, Councillor Ward 5 (Midhurst) made the following statement in his email distribution today:

Ward 5 Constituents

In an effort to keep everyone informed, I have forwarded the Township’s reponses to the Ratepayers’ questions.

If you have provided your email address to the Township in the past, you may have already received this information.

Please note, I was not included in the drafting of the responses.

The Township’s response is reproduced in its entirety below.

The Council of the Township of Springwater
May 9, 2012

Council’s response to Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association questions of April 16, 2012

The Council of the Township of Springwater would like to thank the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association for their presentation to Council on the Midhurst Secondary Plan. During the presentation there were several questions that were posed. The following points contain the Township’s responses to the questions presented that evening:

Question 1: Would Council explain to us why an annual urban growth rate of 30% is necessary in our rural village?

Answer: The Township has not designated an annual urban growth rate. There are no set annual growth rates for any settlements in the Township of Springwater.

Question 2: How does Council plan to protect the existing Village of Midhurst from serious traffic congestion?

Addressing traffic is important to the Township. The Township has completed work that includes a traffic study, which evaluates the anticipated traffic flows and identifies required upgrades in the settlement area to address this concern. The upgrades required include additional road connections to existing arteries, urbanizing of selected roads to include sidewalks, widening of some roads from two lanes to four lanes, addition of turning lanes, and signalization of key intersections.

Question 3: What measures will Council take to deal with the inevitable land use conflicts and damage to our natural environment that will arise from intensive urbanization under the Secondary Plan?

The Midhurst Secondary Plan identifies and delineates environmental corridors through environmental protection designations to provide for natural spaces and connections. The Midhurst Secondary Plan was also reviewed by the Ministry of the Environment. The planning process, through plan of subdivision, zoning and site plan, provides tools for Council to control how development will occur. Engineering requirements will also be mandated that have strict requirements on design and measures that focus on the protection of the environment. For example, treatment of storm water is enhanced (storm water ponds which are to also provide an aesthetically pleasing open space area) through requirements within subdivision agreements to ensure that storm water management plans are provided to the satisfaction of the Township and Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA). One of the requirements within a storm water management plan is to reduce or remove pollutants from storm water (quality and quantity control) before it is conveyed back into the watershed.

Question 4: How much more of the taxpayers’ money does Council propose to spend promoting and defending a plan that the voters of Midhurst don’t want?

The Midhurst Secondary Plan has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by a number of parties including the Province of Ontario. Township Council has not provided any direction to staff for the expenditure of taxpayers’ funds towards the defence of the Midhurst Secondary Plan at the Ontario Municipal Board.

Question 5: Will Council do the right thing, repeal the Secondary Plan and develop a strategy to work collaboratively with the community to create a Secondary Plan that reflects the voice and wishes of the voters of Midhurst?

Answer: Consultative sessions were held between 2004 and 2008 prior to the approval of the Midhurst Secondary Plan. There have also been several Public Information Meetings in 2008 that solicited public input prior to approval by Springwater Council in November of 2008. Additional meetings were held afterwards to give ratepayers an opportunity to gain additional information on the Secondary Plan. A schedule showing these meeting dates is included in the Midhurst Secondary Plan section of the Township website. (Municipal Services > Planning & Development > Midhurst Secondary Plan)

The Midhurst Secondary Plan was developed as an integral part of the Township’s future planning and growth requirements. Planning policy requires a balance of competing interests and the provision of equity and accountability for all citizens and affected stakeholders. There are many different types of citizens (residential, corporate) within the Township, and as a result, the answer to what is the “right thing” depends on the perspective of who is asking the question. As such, the “right thing” as mentioned, may be perceived to be in the best interests of the residents of Midhurst, but may not be in the overall public interest of the Township as a whole. Therefore, Council’s position moving forward will need to consider the impacts to the citizens (resident, corporate) and the Township as a whole.

The Midhurst Secondary Plan is currently before the Ontario Municipal Board. In these circumstances, the Ontario Municipal Board now has jurisdiction over the Secondary Plan and it is questionable whether it is legally open to the Township to repeal it unilaterally in any event. The Township’s status before the Ontario Municipal Board is essentially the same as that of the Province and other parties to the Ontario Municipal Board appeals. The Township can advocate for changes to the Secondary Plan at the Ontario Municipal Board, but any changes would have to conform to the Growth Plan including Amendment #1 as the solution imposed by the Province for the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

Irreversible, unprecedented sprawl is not dictated by former Doran Road farmers or developers in Springwater township.

April 19, 2012

If you heat your home with wood and you’re cold, one strategy is to chop up your furniture.

Responsible for the future development in Midhurst, from left to right, Brent Spagnol, manager of planning, Springwater Township Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley pose in front of the new township offices in Springwater.

Today’s Barrie Examiner; Growing attraction: Springwater Township officials say plan for massive growth in Midhurst made in good faith by Cheryl Browne. Word pdf

Mayor Collins:

“We believe growth should be planned and developed by council and not dictated by the developers,” said Mayor Linda Collins.

“Development doesn’t just happen. Developers would just buy the best land with the best vistas and the best drainage and there’d be no input by the township.

“We made the Midhurst Secondary Plan in good faith, in that we’d mitigated the concerns the residents were raising, knowing we need to preserve the culture of Midhurst.”

Good faith is a legal term and irrelevant to the public policy discussion in April 2012. It has some use as a distraction and excuse. Why not just start up with parroting that it’s a “Done Deal” again?

With new information, Council is statutorily bound to do the peoples’ will and change their Official Plan to preclude the implementation of the Midhurst Secondary Plan.

The only question is: knowing what they know now,  what will they do (not talk) about it.

Why not “talk traffic” at the Midhurst Petition Blitz this morning?

January 28, 2012

There are some “fairy tale” traffic planning maps at the Community Hall to review before you sign up as a member of the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Finlay Mill Road is expected to take 17,500 vehicles per day by 2031 (5,400 in 2011).

  • That’s a 224.1% increase.

To Compare:

  1. 20,500 — Bayfield Street (from Barrie outskirts to Simcoe Road 27),
  2. 72,700 — Highway 400 (Highway 26 1C to Bayfield Street to Duckworth Street)
  3. 103,000 — Highway 400 (Dunlop Street to Bayfield Street)

Source: Ministry of Transportation, 2008 volumes

So the Township planning boy wonders suggest that Finlay Mill Road can actually handle traffic volume that is +24% (almost 1 in every 4) of the vehicles that goes on Highway 400 between Bayfield and Duckwork Streets?

St. Vincent is even higher volume through an environmentally sensitive area.

The Township planner said that St. Vincent Street would not be a 4 lane highway but considering the staff turnover there, who are you to trust?

The Petition signup:  brought to you by your neighbours who have given credible municipal leadership that is consistent with past leaders…since 1819.

St. Vincent Street +3 lanes from Pooles Road to the Barrie Golf & CC

December 12, 2011

Busy streets highways divide communities and hurt the most vulnerable.

A child’s first, and often deepest, out-of-family relationships are their school mates.

Excited children wanting to go to their friend’s house. A mess of school buses from Forest Hill, Sister Catherine Donnelly, Eastview and St. Joseph’s.

Sure they say they’ll install cross walks. Sure all the children will walk the additional 100 m and not cut over St. Vincent’s Highway. Absolutely: all motorists obey cross walks.

But children are children and they will cross that now +3 lane wide St. Vincent Street chasing a ball or going to see their mates.

I know a bit about this. I did exactly this stunt in the summer of 1967 on Bayfield Street/Snow Valley in front of our house wanting to go play with my best friend. Three months in RVH because of a brilliant surgeon called Robert Delaney.

  • Will the township councilor (circa 2008) be paying attention then?

Let’s hope at least Carson Road is punched through from Bayfield to St. Vincent first. That way the ambulances can cut across that way from their depot next to the new Ultramar gas bar.

— St Vincent de Paul Image Archive (John Rybolt CM), DePaul University, Chicago IL.

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