UPDATE: Windsor Woodlot Now Open for Possible Development
Image of the South Cameron neighbourhood in Windsor. March 1, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is applauding a decision by the province to remove a wetland designation on nearly 50 acres of the South Cameron woodlot.
In a Facebook post, Dilkens says he met with Premier Doug Ford in early December and one of the issues discussed was the provincially significant wetland designation for more than 150 acres of land bounded by Totten St., Dominion Blvd., Daytona Ave. and Ojibway St., in the area west of Holy Names High School.
Dilkens says the designation, made by a bureaucrat who never visited the city, neutered any future residential development.
The city has received news that nearly 50 acres of land has been removed from the designation, and Dilkens says it paves the way for possible future residential development.
Speaking on AM800's the Lynn Martin Show, Mayor Dilkens says work was already underway on that land when suddenly the designation was put in place,
"It is also an area where a development had started, where a subdivision agreements had been approved, where streets had gone in, where sewers had gone in," he says. "Overnight, it neutered or sterilized any possible development on that land, and you can imagine land with about 200 acres in size that there is fractured ownership and in this case, you had about 200 different owners."
Dilkens says the original wetland designation 3-4 years ago was flawed.
"The original desk review, they actually designated provincially significant wetland over areas where there were already homes developed, and so we had to go back to the ministry at the time and say you have put a PSW designation on an area where there are already homes, you have designated homes PSW on an area where sewers have already gone in."
Dilkens says development is necessary because of the housing market and there is a supply and demand 'mis-match.' He emphasizes any development will take time and will be a challenge.
Dilkens thanks the premier and his ministers involved for what he calls "a reasonable solution that allows development while protecting the environment."
Meanwhile, the local Citizens Environment Alliance isn't happy with the redesignation saying the city should be fighting to protect the wetland, not develop it.