Ontario Moves To Increase Restrictions On Lake Simcoe Development

In A Move That Will Necessarily Impact Upon Future Development Of Lands And Communities Surrounding Lake Simcoe, Ontario In Dec. /08 Passed The Lake Simcoe Protection Act. The Stated Purposes Of The Act Is To Establish A Framework For Protecting Lake Simcoe. The Act Requires The Province To Create A Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, And On Jan. 13/09 Ontario Published A Draft Plan, And Has Requested Comments From Interested Parties. One Of The Province’s Long-Term Goals As Set Out In The Draft Plan Is To Reduce, To 44 Tonnes A Year, The Amount Of Phosphorus Entering Into The Lake From Key Sources Such As Sewage Treatment Plants And Storm Water Runoff. In This Regard, The Draft Plan Provides That:

In Addition, No New Septic Systems Will Be Permitted Within 100 Meters Of The Lake Simcoe Shoreline Unless It Serves An Agricultural Use, Replaces An Existing Septic System, Or Serves A Development That Consists Of Three Dwellings Or Less. The Draft Plan Also Takes Steps To Ensure Enough Of The Available Water Supply Is Reserved For The Ecosystem By Requiring In-Stream Flow Targets That Will Be Used In Future Strategies For Water-Takings, As Well As Water Budgets For Stressed Watersheds.

All Applications For Major Development Must Be Accompanied By A Plan Showing Development Is Consistent With The Master Plan.

Within Five Years Of The Plan Coming Into Effect, The Municipalities Of Barrie, Orillia, New Tecumseth, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Innisfil, Oro Medonte And Ramara Will Be Required To Prepare A Water Conservation And Efficiency Plan. This Plan Will Need To Identify And Evaluate Water Conservation Measures, Incentives, Analyze Costs And Benefits, Contain An Implementation Plan, Monitor The Effectiveness, And Consider The Potential Impacts Of Climate Change.