Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden will be asking Peterborough County council on Wednesday to support a "mutually beneficial agreement" between his township, the county and the city that would see 110 hectares of employment land in Cavan Monaghan annexed to the City of Peterborough to relieve the city’s problem of an inadequate supply of those types of lands.
"They’re short 110 hectares of employment land, " said McFadden in an Examiner interview. "Stepping in at this point will assist them with this problem that has been identified. What this is offering is to sit down and have a conversation with the three parties ... and talk about specific lands that could swapped into their official plan to address that need."
A notice of motion, which McFadden plans to propose at county council’s Wednesday regular meeting, states the need for viable regionally focused serviced employment lands is of "critical importance" to the future of the entire region and necessary to bring jobs to the area.
The city has allocated in its official plan, which is set to be approved Nov. 29, the same figure of 110 hectares as employment land for the next 30 years, designating where jobs are going to go, he said. But 80 of those hectares - in the city’s Coldsprings neighbourhood - are owned by a private company which has publicly stated it wishes to maintain that land for residential use. The other 30 hectares designated as employment land in the north end of the city have transportation and servicing issues, McFadden said.
"People don’t realize it yet. We’re in an emergency here. We’re making a 30-year document of where jobs are going to go and yet the owner of the land is saying we can’t go there and the other one has transportation and servicing issues, so we’ve got to hit the pause button and all, collectively as leaders, take a step back and say we need to figure this out."
For several years, the City of Peterborough and Cavan Monaghan Township have been discussing annexation plans focused on the need to obtain employment land for the city, southwest of the current city limits, that would be capable of being serviced for water and sewage and benefit the entire region.
Under a 2017 potential agreement, the city was being asked to pay the township and the county $74.4 over 25 years for over 4,000 acres of Cavan Monaghan land, giving the city 242 hectares of industrial land, and land for 4,400 homes.
Also, the Peterborough airport would be within the city boundaries.
No agreement, however, was reached.
This proposal - which does not include the airport or residential lands - is a totally new deal and only one tenth the size in acreage of the previous one which had nothing to do with the problem at hand now, said McFadden.
If the county approves McFadden’s proposal it will then be forwarded to the city and Cavan Monahan Township requesting their involvement.
If approved by both, McFadden will ask that Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark be requested to assign a provincial land and development facilitator to the negotiations "for seamless and expeditious dialogue" and that the county, city, and township would each appoint members to a negotiating team comprised of a council representative, municipal staff and appropriate authorized agents for the sole purpose of negotiating a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between each of the parties.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, covering Peterborough County. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at email@example.com.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner