An offer by Cavan Monaghan Township Mayor Scott McFadden to discuss the annexation of 110 hectares of land from the township to the city for use as employment and industrial land is now “irrelevant.”
McFadden had made the offer in a notice of motion at the Nov. 15 county council meeting and county council supported it. It was then sent to the city, but it is now “null and void because it was asking the (city) official plan to be deferred which it was not,” he said.
The city adopted its official plan last week, but included in it a clause for a negotiating team made of staff and a council member to be formed to try to arrive at an agreement with the township and the county for the specified lands by May.
McFadden said the original reason for his notice of motion was because the city did not seem to have enough industrial land.
“To me, personally, it felt like the city was about to make a 30-year decision (through its official plan) on employment lands that quite frankly they were never going to be able to use,” he said.
The city’s new official plan proposes using land set aside for the new Coldsprings residential subdivision south of Highway 7/115 for employment and industrial land, even though the owner only wants to use the land for new housing.
“I thought it would be prudent to take a step forward and bring forward an offer for discussion of 110 hectares that could be swapped in for the lands that clearly had been publicly discussed as not appropriate (for industrial use) and that’s where my notice of motion came from,” McFadden told township council.
“It was literally looking at our neighbour in a moment of need to try and address their problem. And in the end the official plan went before city council and the majority of their council believe that the lands they have designated will meet their needs for employment for the next 30 years.
“At this point, what I deemed to be a need for the city has now turned into a want from the city because they’ve already said to their citizens and sent direction to the province that they have everything they need for the next 30 years.”
In an interview with The Examiner, McFadden said, “Therein lies a fundamental discrepancy — to tell your province you’ve met your needs for another 30 years and then have another motion that says we’d like to talk about getting more land. They conflict.”
At Monday’s council meeting, a motion was passed unanimously to send a letter to each city councillor congratulating them on the adoption of their official plan and that the township is supportive of meeting to have regional economic plan discussions to further the interests of the entire region.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner