Mono property owners withdrew an offer to buy a piece of unopened road that abuts their property.
Town council held a special meeting July 12 when it accepted the Big Hat Farm proprietors’ decision to rescind an offer to buy some of the road at 5th Line and 15th Sideroad and their request that council deem it to be surplus land.
The unopened road allowance in question is about 1.1 km long.
The cancelled proposal brought an end to a matter that had been before Mono council for about a year. And it drew attention to a need to update the town’s Disposition of Town Lands Policy which hadn’t been revisited since 1995.
“We look forward to continuing to enjoy this recreational amenity with our neighbours and other members of the Mono community in a safe and respectful manner,” the farm owners wrote in their letter to council.
Mayor John Creelman said the portion of unopened road will continue to be town property. And that “will go a long way to address the concerns of many residents in the wake of our last meeting,” he said.
Council last discussed the purchase request and the need to update the municipal policy during its June 28 meeting.
“We have other surplus lands,” said Councillor Melinda Davie.
The offer to purchase the piece of unopened road at 5th Line and 15th Sideroad wasn’t without opposition.
In a June 26 letter to council, Mono resident Katherine Lindsay said such unopened road allowances are valuable public resources and should remain so for recreational pursuits.
“I have enjoyed walking and travelling the unopened parts of the 5th Line and 15th Sideroads on cross-country skis, snowshoes and horseback for more than 60 years,” she wrote. “Many of the residents of our neighbourhood also use the unopened parts of the 5th Line and 15th Sideroad regularly for recreational exercise.”
She urged council to keep all unopened property in the public domain in perpetuity.
Mayor Creelman said the Disposition of Town Lands Policy needs to be reworked to permit consultation with the community in the future.
“Council can’t consider any such future requests without canvassing the public first,” he said. “The whole issue of what we do with unopened road allowances is subject to future debate.”
James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen