The Midhurst Secondary Plan proposes to turn a small, rural community of 3,500 people into a small city of almost 30,000! At stake are the local farms on prime agricultural land that will be sacrificed for development land (up to almost 1,900 acres). Moreover, the health of a small local creek and the nearby, internationally significant Minesing Wetlands are threatened by 10.6 million litres of effluent that will be pumped in daily from the proposed sewage treatment facility. These wetlands contain fragile ecosystems and in some parts, rare or sensitive species of flora and fauna. Based on what we stand to lose or destroy, failure to stop this massive over-development is NOT an option. In addition, the people of Midhurst have overwhelmingly shown their disapproval of such a massive development through several actions including a petition and high attendance during a recent township meeting. Still, this rural community, its farms and water are under threat. Also, the municipality has provided little factual evidence that this development will bring any benefit to the citizens (e.g. local jobs, lower taxes). This fight is about ensuring that people of a community have a right to be heard by their government, that they have a right to choose to preserve their natural resources and farms and that even when faced against formidable opposition, small voices can be turned into thunderous roars.
RE: STOP THE MIDHURST SECONDARY PLAN
I have recently signed a petition to put a stop to the Midhurst Secondary Plan (MSP). Let me explain my reasons for opposing this development.
In 2012, the Midhurst residents presented a petition against this plan with 1,456 signatures. This petition seemed to have little impact on Springwater Council. At a recent council meeting, it was clear that the local residents are still fully opposed to this plan as outlined in the Barrie Examiner http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2013/05/15/residents-take-their-concerns-over-massive-development-to-council. I hope that this new petition provides further evidence to Council that this issue is growing in concern.
There are several reasons why I am requesting that you repeal the MSP:
• The MSP will cause a loss of 1,880 acres of prime farmland – enough to feed almost 2,000 people! This loss will happen at a time when we are losing farmland at an atrocious rate. With projects such as this, local food will soon no longer be an option.
• At full build-out the MSP will dump 10.6 million litres of sewage effluent into the tiny Willow Creek and this could have a major detrimental environmental impact on the internationally recognized Minesing Wetlands. These ecosystems are fragile – the impact may be irreversible!
• The Township has not done a comprehensive evaluation of the financial impacts of the MSP. Is this plan what is best for taxpayers? Will this plan leave the community financially stable or potentially bankrupt it? In such hard economic times, prudence is key.
• There is little support that this plan will benefit the community. The Township has claimed that the MSP will bring jobs and stimulate the local economy but doesn’t have the facts to support this claim. It seems like these benefits are based on speculation and wishful thinking.
• The MSP will eradicate an easy-living rural community and change it to a fast-paced, high density city. The citizens of this community are rural by choice, not urban by force.
I recognize that intelligent growth which preserves the character of Midhurst is necessary. Consequently, Midhurst village has long planned to add up to 6,500 residents by 2031; however, to quadruple the population increase for no apparent reason to potentially 30,000 people at the expense of so much does not indicate to me responsible growth planning.
I urge you to put a stop to the Midhurst Secondary Plan and find a better way to grow Springwater communities that doesn’t threaten the landscape of a small, rural community, the farms that feed us all and the fresh water that deserves our protection. I’m calling on you to do the right thing- listen to the people and represent the wishes of those who elected you. Stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan.