For Immediate Release
June 25, 2001
Commissioner of Planning
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 4349
Region of Peel Pledges Continued Support for Preservation of the Oak Ridges Moraine
(Brampton) - Upholding approximately three decades of support to preserve its portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM), the Region of Peel pledges its commitment to protecting this important environmentally sensitive area. On Thursday, June 21, Regional Council was presented with a staff report on planning applications affected by the Ontario government's six-month development freeze on the ORM.
Recently, the Region commended the province's action to protect the Moraine.
Peel Region, particularly the Town of Caledon, has a longstanding history of championing the preservation of the Moraine. "Regional Council has more than 25 years of environmentally-conscious decision-making that positions us well for protecting the Region's portion of the ORM," says Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "The Region of Peel is dedicated to managing sustainable, environmentally responsible development of this area."
"Peel's Official Plan recognizes the ORM as a Provincially Significant Natural Feature and prohibits development within 30 per cent of the ORM lands in Peel," says Nick Tunnacliffe, Commissioner of Planning for the Region of Peel. "The need to protect this area was evident in Peel long before development pressures made preservation the critical issue it is today."
As early as 1979, the Town of Caledon and the Region of Peel undertook one of the first comprehensive studies - the Palgrave Estates Residential Study - for development on the Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM), which included land use analysis, natural environment assessment and servicing studies. The planning, servicing and environmental design and protection considerations identified through the study were incorporated into the Caledon Official Plan, resulting in a development pattern and policies for Peel's portion of the ORM, which are still being implemented today.
The ORM is an environmentally significant area that spans the Regions of Peel, York, Durham and beyond. It is the source of many headwater tributaries that feed the streams and rivers of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The ORM is important as it recharges groundwater aquifers that supply drinking water to thousands of Caledon and other GTA residents. It is also a significant natural habitat for a diversity of native plant and animal species and a scenic setting for many recreational activities, such as trails and conservation areas.
Durham, Peel and York Regions, in conjunction with nine Conservation Authorities, adjacent counties outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and provincial partners such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, have published a report, The Oak Ridges Moraine - Proposals for the Protection and Management of a Unique Landscape. This report includes proposals on practical action and unified approaches to the Moraine's management. Strategic directions are proposed in four key areas: groundwater management, natural heritage data management, public policy, and securing land.
A copy of the report is available by calling 905-791-7800, Ext. 4348, or by visiting the Region of Peel's Web site at www.region.peel.on.ca
Public input is being sought through a symposium and a series of meetings to be held in Durham, Peel and York throughout the summer. A meeting in the Region of Peel will take place on Tuesday, July 3, 2001, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Caledon Community Complex, 2615 Old Church Rd., in Caledon East.
Final recommendations for Regional Council approval of an implementation plan for the long-term protection of the Moraine are expected in fall 2001.
The Region of Peel has been a leader or active partner in numerous other studies, including:
- Provincial Planning Study for the Oak Ridges Moraine, 1991-1994
- Caledon Community Resources Study (CCRS), 1996-1999
- Water Protection and Communal Sewage Disposal Systems, 1996-1997
- Legacy: A Strategy for a Healthy Humber, 1998
- Oak Ridges Moraine - Towards a Long Term Strategy, 1999
- Three-Region Initiative, 1999-present
- Wellhead Protection Area Program, 1996-present
- Groundwater Quantification Studies, 1995-present
During the intervening six-month freeze period, Regional staff are working with the Town of Caledon, Durham and York Regions, and the Conservation Authorities to refine the Tri-Region ORM strategy.
Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail
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