On Friday, January 18th, there was an emergency Council meeting regarding the Unimin waterfront property.
At issue was an offer Unimin has received for the lands next to the Midland Marina from another aggregate company.
There was a motion put forward to put an “Interim Control By-Law” in place that would prevent the property from being sold until the Town could complete the Unimin Master Plan Study that was commissioned when the land was put up for sale.
This study is already underway and is scheduled to receive public input. The $70,000 cost of the study is non-recoverable.
The “Interim Control By-Law” was considered good planning practice according to our planner Wes Crown, and could have been reversed by Council at a later date.
One Councilor was on vacation and unable to vote on Friday, leaving eight to vote in total, including the Mayor. The result was a split/indecisive vote of 4-4. Unfortunately, the split vote prevented the motion to create the by-law from being approved.
This result clearly lacks majority direction on such an important matter, and given the stakes of the decision, is simply unacceptable.
This approximately 40 acre site with 3,300 feet of prime Georgian Bay shoreline has been occupied by Unimin for ~40 years, and many believe the unsightly nature of the aggregate pile has hampered development of the area.
This opportunity to make better use of the property may not arrive for another 20 years according to Mayor Gord McKay, and due to the strategic location of the Unimin lands, has the potential to impact the future prosperity of the Town on an unprecedented scale.
If we get this development right, it could usher in a new Golden Era for Midland.
I/we the undersigned, insist that Midland Council call another emergency council meeting to hold another vote to implement the Interim Control By-Law as per the Planning Act of Ontario, giving the community an opportunity to make a smart, long-term decision about the use of the Unimin property to maximize its potential for the benefit of everyone in the Town of Midland.