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Updated Growth Plan keeps population allocations unchanged in Simcoe County

Posted May 18, 2017

The provincial government released an update this morning to The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017, which includes Simcoe County and the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia, which takes effect on July 1, 2017. It's one of four plan updates including Niagara Escarpment, Greenbelt, and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation.

In the case of the Simcoe-Sub Area, the population allocations remain unchanged with New Tecumseth approved to grow to 56,000 by 2031.  The 2016 Census put New Tecumseth's population at 34,242. The update also reaffirmed that development is to be directed to the identified settlement areas, which in New Tecumseth is the Alliston area.

However, in a nod that might frustrate developer interests seeking to increase the settlement areas in New Tecumseth, the number of approved development applications for residential already meets the projected population allocation. And, expanding the settlement areas can only be done through a comprehensive municipal review. New Tecumseth recently awarded the consultant contract for its Official Plan update, whose final policies must confirm to the provincial and County OP.

Simcoe County was provided an additional 20,000 population allocation through to 2041, which is in control of the upper tier. To date, the County has awarded 6,560, including 1,952 (approximately 690 new homes) in Everett to the Barzo proposal, and 405 or 158 new homes in Cookstown. There are 13,440 population, or approximately 5,800 housing units remaining.

Among the broader changes, as of 2031, the intensification target will be increased to 60 per cent of residential development annually directed to delineated built-up areas. And, designated Greenfield Area density target of 80 residents and jobs combined per hectare will apply to new lands designated in the future.

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by Tony Veltri
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