No Rural-Ag split on Myers Road in final Official Plan

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – The planning and development blueprint for the United Counties over the next five years was formally adopted Monday by county council.

The Official Plan has also removed one of the more controversial changes – a proposal to split designations of some properties along Myers Road as part rural and part agriculture.

The initial proposal had drawn criticism from residents, namely because an agricultural zoning designation limits development and the ability to sever a piece of their property.

The property boundary lines around Myers Road have with redrawn in the final OP to have landowners either agriculture or rural, but not both.

County Engineer Ben de Haan told Cornwall Newswatch, the rural zoning doesn’t restrict farming and agricultural activities – a common misbelief.

County Coun. Chris McDonell seemed to be baffled the whole Myers Road issue came to a head during public consultations. “Why wouldn’t we listen to them? They know better than the people in Toronto.”

Based on the new zoning, the county estimates that 10-12 lots could be created if every landowner exercised their rights to a severance on their property.

Another change is the strict provincial rule of a 30 meter setback from waterways for development.

Manager of Planning, Alison McDonald, told council she had a “candid conversation” with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and told them “frankly” there was a system that “works very well” locally in consultation with the local conservation authorities.

The OP now says development will “generally” be a 30 meter setback, allowing for some negotiation where warranted.

With the formal adoption, staff will prepare the final Official Plan document to send to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMAH) for its approval.

Following MMAH approval, there will be a 20 day public appeal period.

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