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Midland’s Official Plan Attacks Private Property Owners

Midland’s Official Plan Attacks Private Property Owners

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If your property has been proposed for Natural Heritage designation, you may want to start paying attention now.

The Town of Midland is attempting to freeze private property by Heritage Designation without any notification to owners. 4, 000 acres in the Town of Midland are subject to arbitrary designation without any merit whatsoever including lands award to war veterans.

The Official Plan, including the new Natural Heritage System, will be presented May 31, 2017 6:00 PM at an open, yet unpublicized, meeting at the Midland Council Chambers. Properties are in danger of being prohibited from any development, alteration, or change of use. Citizens must attend this meeting to register objection and demonstrate that the NHS is just plain wrong.

We trust our elected representatives will openly address the following issues:

The proposed Midland Natural Heritage System (NHS) designation launches a shocking and unjustifiable attack on the property rights of Midland landowners.

  • Official Plans have become notoriously complex and are being used by Governments to take control of the 13% of Ontario not already owned by the Province.
  • The Natural Heritage System (NHS) applies to woodlands, wetlands, waterfront, valley lands, wildlife and fish habitat, natural and scientific interest.
  • The NHS also impacts properties adjacent to an NHS property with a buffer strip up to 120 metres (about 400 feet) in depth.
  • NHS prohibits (1) development (i.e. lot creation, building, change of land use,) and (2) site alteration (i.e. grading, excavating, filling).
  • NHS designation exposes landowners to interference by overzealous bureaucrats. i.e. the Conservation Authority.
  • An Appeal Process is not available to NHS designated property owners.
  • Property owners are charged with removing an NHS designation by way of application, consultants, and studies where costs are estimated in thousands of dollars.
  • Midland has not adequately educated and informed citizens about the Natural Heritage System.
  • The 800 property owners affected by the NHS have not been notified.
  • Midland’s Official Plan website is not current. No OPR meeting minutes have been posted since June 16, 2016. Revisions to maps have not been publicized.
  • Midland has been unresponsive to property owners that have already voiced objections and concerns.
  • The Official Plan Review Committee (OPR) will present the NHS and the Official Plan to Council at an open meeting May 31,2017 at 6:00 PM in the Council chambers.
  • Midland, as of today, has not publicized this Official Plan presentation.
  • NHS is a component of The Provincial Policy Statement which applies to matters of Provincial interests.
  • Provincial interests do not involve the private right, title or interest in private property.
  • Designations / Zoning private property without the permission of the titleholder contravenes private property rights established in the British North American Act, The Magna Carter, and Crown Land Patents.
  • Midland’s NHS attempts to address a problem that does not exist.
  • The Province owns 87% of Ontario. Private property owners and municipalities have the remaining 13%.
  • Midland’s NHS impacts over 4,000 acres and 800 properties.
  • Simcoe County already has the largest and most productive municipal forests in Ontario.
  • Midland’s NHS designations do not comply with The Ministry of Natural Resources “Natural Heritage Reference Manual” which defines the criteria for an NHS designation.
  • The NHS “robust scientific approach” has already been eroded by the OPR Committee considering reducing the buffer strip from the required 120 metres.
  • The NHS illustrates another loss of Council’s local control due to provincial heavy- handedness, threats, and bullying.
  • Midland’s Official Plan without an NHS may not be approved by Simcoe County or the Province.
  • Municipalities are not required to have an Official Plan approved as a condition to receiving gas tax transfers .
  • Midland has not calculated the potential loss of assessment due to the decreased market values of NHS properties. The resulting tax shortfall will be shifted to the remaining Midland landowners.
  • Midland citizens must attend May 31, 6:00 PM at the Council chambers to demonstrate
    that Council does not have the democratic mandate to proceed with NHS.

Are you affected by this?  Share your stories below.

 

Midland’s Official Plan Review: Read The Full Agenda and Attachments

More details about the NHS: https://www.ontario.ca/data/natural-heritage-system-areas-nhsarea

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Comment(3)

  1. I commented on this facebook story but thought I would share my thoughts on the website for those who don’t use facebook.

    I have family that could be affected by this issue if it is passed (as do many in Midland and Penetang). Perhaps we need to have a chainsaw party and clear the tree lots in question (while we still can) and sell some firewood. After all, in my case, the land owners planted the pines by hand on what was barren land – and now are faced with losing their equity / nest egg to misguided, mis-applied but well-meaning environmental controls.

  2. I agree fully with you Bill, but the chainsaw idea doesn’t stop the designation. My father in law, and my father, and my uncle and three of my friends will all be in the zone in question. They, as well as others are pissed. The town is not obligated to push this through, but they likely will. Go to the meeting tonight and show presence. They need to know that people are against this crap.

    1. I spoke to Jonathan Main tonight briefly as we both were leaving at the same time. He was quite concerned that I actually meant we would log the pines… I spoke to the frustration and sense of helplessness that property owners are feeling with this surprise OP change that could have devastating effect on their property values. I was told two years ago during the Edgehill park struggle that Midland has a surplus of parkland and that was, in part, justification for rezoning the park. Now we are to accept that private property with trees and natural features is to be added to Midland’s green space without compensation, and leaving owners with expensive legal battles to challenge those designations. I can only hope that our council will thoughtfully consider the recommendations and their impacts to property owners, some of whom trace their roots back to the founding of the municipality.

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Midland’s Official Plan Attacks Private Property Owners

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