County seeks to expand Port Dover’s urban area

By David Judd

COUNTY council is seeking to expand Port Dover’s urban boundary to allow growth at the north end of town.
The move involves 16 acres of farmland owned by Robert and Susie Lawrence, immediately east of Tisdale Road.
Councillors last Tuesday voted to redesignate the land as urban residential, helping set the stage to build an east-west road between Tisdale and Cockshutt roads.
The decision came as council put finishing touches on proposed updates to Norfolk’s official plan, a key document that sets out the county’s vision for land use.
The proposals approved by councillors at the end of four hours of discussion last Tuesday are not a done deal.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will have final say on whether the revised official plan goes into effect.
The ministry, during a six-month review, has the power to demand Norfolk make changes in keeping with provincial planning policies.
Realtor Ron Vandenbussche urged council to extend Port Dover’s urban boundary north on Tisdale Road.
That would allow the county to build — at developers’ expense — a road between Tisdale and Cockshutt roads, that would ease traffic flow as the area develops for housing.
In particular, a new east-west road would ease concerns about traffic to and from the North Dover Mills subdivision being planned north of Dover Mills Road.
Eggink Homes plans to build 119 single-family homes, 44 semi-detached units and 23 townhouses on 38 acres immediately east of the farmland owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence.
Mayor Charlie Luke told council he liked the idea of expanding the urban area onto the Lawrences’ property.
And Port Dover Coun. John Wells agreed in an interview.
Coun. Wells said he favours anything that would eliminate potential traffic problems at North Dover Mills.
Elsewhere in Norfolk, county councillors approved shifting the urban boundary of Courtland to accommodate major employer Titan Trailers.
Council added about 37 acres to Courtland’s urban area.
The land on Highway 3 gives Titan room to grow.
“It takes BIG buildings and LOTS of land to build and store trailers,” company owner Mike Kloepfer wrote in a memo to planner Mary Elder.
At the request of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, council approved converting to farmland 25 acres of industrial land currently vacant at Courtland.
The move was made with owners’ consent.
Which left Waterford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg shaking his head at the ministry’s concern about maintaining agricultural land.
Agricultural production increases every year, Coun. Sonnenberg said.
“Let’s not worry about starving to death,” he said.
Council didn’t act on the ministry’s request to convert to farmland 10 acres of industrial land in Delhi to offset an expansion of Scotts Canada’s operation on Highway 59.
Council approved Scotts Canada’s expansion onto agricultural land in December.
The deadline for the ministry to object has passed, Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus said.
Council also approved revisions to Norfolk’s official plan expanding the boundaries of several hamlets.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs rejected the same proposals in 2017.
Norfolk’s current official plan has been in effect since 2008.
Although Ontario requires updates every five years, Norfolk’s review was delayed while a Lakeshore Special Policy Area plan was completed in 2010 and the county’s zoning bylaw was consolidated in 2014.

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