Town Requests Province Designate Lands

TOWN WANTS PROVINCE TO DESIGNATE HIGHWAY 400-SERIES LANDS “SIGNIFICANT EMPLOYMENT AREAS”

Request would foster commercial and industrial development in Gormley

WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE – The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville is requesting the Province of Ontario to consider designating lands close to 400-series highways in the GTHA as “Provincially Significant Employment Areas.” The request, if granted, would encourage commercial and industrial development along the Highway 404 corridor in western Whitchurch-Stouffville.

“The Town has a significant amount of land along Highway 404 in Gormley, and that land is highly attractive for employment growth,” said Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Iain Lovatt. “It is vital that we attract more commercial and industrial development to help augment our tax base, and the development of these lands would be of great benefit to our municipality.”

The request, approved by Council on Tuesday, asks the Province to designate lands close to 400-series highways in the GTHA as “Provincially Significant Employment Areas” and for the Province to “permit and encourage clean industrial development on the lands designated ‘countryside area’ or ‘protected countryside’ in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017) and the Greenbelt Plan (2017)” within these lands.

“Whitchurch-Stouffville vigorously supports the intent and application of both the Greenbelt Act and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act,” said Ward 3 councillor Hugo Kroon, who tabled the motion. “However not all industrial developments pose a threat to the environment.”

According to the motion passed by Council, lands along 400-series highways are very attractive to industrial development because of their ease of access to the highway network.

“Permitting clean industrial development will not only help create jobs, but also recoup the cost of the investment and recapture the value of the 400-series highways” Kroon said. “Whitchurch-Stouffville is in desperate need for employment growth.”

The request further asks the Province to direct all affected municipalities in the GTHA to give high priority to servicing highway 400-series lands.

Town staff will report back to Council later with a detailed proposal for the Gormley lands and for Provincial approval.

-30-

Media Contact:

Glenn Jackson | Corporate Communications – Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Telephone: (905) 640-1910 ext. 2451

Email: glenn.jackson@townofws.ca