Skip to main content

Oro-Medonte staff 'do not support' Barrie boundary change proposal, but negotiations forging ahead


Councillors in Oro-Medonte could vote to approve a report this week to formalize ongoing discussions with the City of Barrie surrounding potential boundary changes.

On Wednesday Oro-Medonte council will consider a staff report outlining the current status of negotiations with Barrie over the larger municipality's quest for more industrial lands. Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall has said that the City can only lure new major employers or provide existing ones with an opportunity to grow by unlocking more employment lands.

According to the report prepared by Oro-Medonte staff, the town remains against the plans presented by Nuttall. The proposal includes approximately 772 hectares of land east of Penetanguishene Road, south of Gore Road, west of Line 1 South and north of the Shanty Bay rural settlement area.

"Township staff do not support the proposed municipal boundary expansion requested by the City of Barrie," the staff report says in its conclusion.

Negotiations over Nuttall's proposal have been ongoing publicly and privately for months, with the mayor formally presenting to the Oro-Medonte council in early November. However, while the township remains against the current plans, the report will formalize the ongoing discussions, saying that the township is "prepared to work with the City of Barrie to find an amicable solution."

According to the staff report, the lands in question are largely considered prime agricultural areas according to the township's official plan. It also claims that the lands include several watercourses and some of the lands are under the regulations of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority.

The town's official plan calls for the protection of prime agricultural lands, something this current proposal by Barrie would be in violation of.

The report says that the Township of Oro-Medonte currently has 567.70 hectares of designated employment lands and another 292.25 hectares of employment lands awaiting mapping changes by the county. Staff suggest that some of these lands be included in the negotiation for more employment lands for Barrie.

"The Township has…Employment Lands designated in its official plan along the Highway 11 corridor, minutes away from the City of Barrie boundary that culd accommodate the City's requested land needs and be developed by any interested party seeking employment lands," the report says.

The staff report suggests that specific steps outlined in the Planning Act still need to be completed as part of the proposal, saying that must be done for negotiations to continue in good faith.

In recent months, both municipalities have presented to the province's standing committee on heritage, cultural policy, and infrastructure. According to the report and Mayor Nuttall, all parties have been told to work cooperatively to find a solution. Top Stories

Stay Connected