Town Council Meeting renews commitment to saving Merton Lands

Karen Brock Photographer, People tour woodlands during the fall
Town Council Meeting renews commitment to saving Merton Lands
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Allan Elgar

Allan Elgar

Allan Elgar is the councillor for Ward 4. Previously he was a founding president of Oakvillegreen, and held various management positions at Bell Canada. He was first elected to Oakville Town Council in 2000.

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There are 2 items of news that resulted from last night’s Council meeting: a motion concerning Saw-whet and a resolution concerning the Merton Lands and the Greenbelt.

1. Regarding Saw-whet
Thank you to the hundreds of people who took the time to express their thoughts in writing about the proposed development of Saw-whet Golf Course. It is clear that the public does not want this development. I hope you will continue to be engaged in the process so that we can defeat this development proposal at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Last night, council met to finalize a strategy for our case to fight this development at the OMB hearing. The rules require that council meetings of this nature need to be held “in-camera” (behind closed doors) because it is strategically best to reveal as little as possible to the opponent. So I apologize for not being able to give you specific details but I can share the motion that resulted from our meeting:

“That counsel be instructed to attend the OMB proceedings to oppose the applications as being premature and not in the public interest using an evidentiary based approach.”

So the lawyers are at work to do their part for the hearing. The public has an important role for the hearing as well. The OMB representative (called a “chair” or “member”) needs to get a clear message that the public does not want this development. The process for public participation in the hearing is for individuals to sign up to be “participants”. A participant simply reads a prepared statement to the chair. The chair and/or lawyers present may ask a question or two. If you sign up to be a participant you do not need to attend the entire hearing – just show up on the assigned date for public participation. The more participants the better! More will be said about this at our April 14 public information meeting.

If you can’t attend the April 14 meeting, but are considering being a participant at the hearing please contact me at elgar@sympatico.ca and I will give you more details.

So once again, please plan to attend the Public Information Meeting, April 14, 7 pm, Region of Halton Building, 1151 Bronte Road

(Hosted by Fourteen Mile Creek Residents Assn, Oakvillegreen and Ward 4 Councillors Elgar and Lapworth.)

See you there, and thank you once again for participating in this process.

Together, I believe we will defeat this development plan.

2. Another item of business concerned the publicly owned portions of the Merton Lands and the Greenbelt. Here is the resolution that council approved:

“Council directs Town staff to schedule a public meeting as soon as possible to consider an official plan amendment which would designate the publicly owned lands in the Merton Study area with the appropriate natural heritage designation, thereby ensuring that the Town does not lose the opportunity afforded by the ten year review of the Greenbelt Plan.”

This resolution was approved with unanimous consent of council.

So, your council is working to preserve all the lands in the Merton Study area, but the public needs to play a part as well. Please stay engaged, because the fight to preserve these lands is not over – in fact it is really just beginning.

See you Tuesday evening at 7 at the Halton Region Building 1151 Bronte Rd.


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