The Innisfil Heights Strategic Settlement Employment Area is being expanded, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark has announced.
Since early 2018, Innisfil has received more than 40 industrial-related inquiries from Toronto-area companies looking to relocate, but the strategic settlement employment area at Innisfil Heights – at Innisfil Beach Road and Highway 400 – has been held back by the high cost of servicing.
Currently, the land is serviced withmunicipal water, but not municipal sewers. The cost of providing sewage collection and treatment has been prohibitive, based on the number of potential industrial lots within the Innisfil Heights boundaries.
Since early 2018, Innisfil has received more than 40 industrial-related inquiries from GTA companies looking to relocate. Original boundaries were confirmed in the 2012 Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Permitted uses were set by the ministry.
Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark announced an expansion of the Innisfil Heights strategic settlement employment area this week by Ministerial Order, extending the area north to the boundary with the City of Barrie, and south to Innisfil’s Line 6.
“Under A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has the authority to establish boundaries and permitted uses of the strategic settlement employment areas,” Clark wrote in a letter to the town and County of Simcoe.
“I am hereby amending the boundary established by letter dated February 4, 2013 . . . including the additional lands to the north and south of Innisfil Heights as requested.”
“I look forward to continuing our work together on the implementation,” Clark wrote.
The new boundaries expand the development land by 200 hectares, reducing the cost per acre for servicing, but the land is still restricted for large-scale manufacturing, industry and warehousing uses. Retail and commercial uses are still not allowed.
The town first requested an expansion in 2008 and in 2016 a staff report identified the cost of servicing and a planned new interchange at Highway 400 and Line 6 as justifications for expansion, according to a report on Barrietoday.ca. Also, a 2017 County of Simcoe report identified a shortfall in the amount of designated industrial land in Innisfil that the ministry agreed to reconsider.
The next step will be to implement the new IHSSEA boundary into the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. Staff will prepare an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and an amendment to the County of Simcoe’s Official Plan will also be required.
Clark’s order allows the town to begin marketing the expansion lands to new businesses.