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King Twp. planning boss part of review panel on key provincial environmental plans
March 10, 2015
By Tim Kelly

King Township Planning Director Stephen Kitchen is facing a mountain of work over the next few months.

The township's senior management team member is tasked with handling King’s response to Ontario’s mandatory 10-year review of three massive plans: the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Places to Grow.

All three, as well as the Niagara Escarpment Plan, which doesn’t include King Township, are under mandatory review this year. Former Toronto mayor and federal cabinet minister David Crombie is leading the panel that also includes Vaughan commissioner of planning John Mackenzie. That group will report to the province early next year on revisions to all four plans.

The Ontario government has said it expects the Greenbelt and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan areas not to change radically. In fact, the Liberals hoped to grow the Greenbelt, said Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin, when he announced the review last month at Queen’s Park.

There won’t be room to grow the Greenbelt in King Township, which is already 99 per cent Greenbelt. And 65 per cent of the township is located on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Mayor Steve Pellegrini asked Kitchen about the timelines involved in preparing for the plan reviews at Monday night’s King Township council meeting.

“The timelines are very tight,” said Kitchen.

“The province has released a discussion paper dealing with agriculture, water, healthy communities, jobs, climate change and other matters. There will be 12 town hall meetings across the Greater Toronto Area from March 25 to April 22, including March 31 in Vaughan.”

Kitchen told council the first phase of discussions ends May 28 and that there is no set timeline for phase 2.

He said township staff will post as much information as possible on the township's website and that a report back to council from staff will be coming in early May.

It’s expected whatever changes the province makes to the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Places to Grow legislation will dovetail with alterations being made to the township’s Official Plan and a new Nobleton zoning bylaw, said Kitchen.