KAWARTHA LAKES: In conjunction with granting a developer support for a Minister's Zoning Order (MZO), the City of Kawartha Lakes is going to require Flato Developments to sign a development agreement.
The decision was made at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, October 5th. An MZO is a tool developers can apply for from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to fast-track development approvals. Flato Developments is seeking the MZO for 115 hectares of land in East Lindsay. The planned development is near I.E. Weldon Secondary School. The development is expected to include seniors and rental apartment units, affordable housing units, townhouses, and commercial property.
Flato president Shakir Rehmatullah explained the purpose of the zoning order request.
"The MZO does not mean we are getting a building permit issued. The MZO will basically lay the framework for us to start and allow us to work with the municipality, to work on the studies and the reports, and all the required work. We are happy to work with the City on their official plan. We are happy to work on the master servicing plan, master transportation plan [and] any other studies the City has," he said.
Mr. Rehmatullah later added this order would give Flato "assurance we have the zoning in place to proceed with the studies we need to do."
However, CAO Ron Taylor told councillors they should have some documentation in place to ensure the City is protected.
"If you're going to endorse this kind of development, you need to understand the scope and scale of it number one, and number two, you want to ensure, I think, that we're protected financially as a municipality. That we're protecting those public processes [which] would be put in place and that you are protecting your other policies like your official plan, so we have good growth built-in," he explained.
Mr. Taylor added the best way to do that would be granting support with conditions built-in through a development agreement.
Mr. Rehmatullah stressed the importance of the affordable housing component of the development.
"We heard from the public that affordable housing is needed. Different forms of housing are needed. We are providing affordable housing units. We are going to provide different forms of housing."
He added the company will have "no issues in signing a development agreement."
Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn moved a motion to have Flato and city staff work on a development agreement. He also praised Mr. Rehmatullah.
"He has a good reputation. He's not only agreeing to bring in affordable housing, he agrees to bring in a mixture of other housing," Councillor Dunn said.
Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper