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   The purpose of this letter is to provide you with Town Planning staff comments relative to the proposed Provincial Agricultural System Implementation Procedures and Natural Heritage System mapping.

 After reviewing the Natural Heritage Mapping, planning staff have the following comments to make: •The mapping does not take into consideration existing draft plans of subdivisions that have been approved within the Town of Fort Erie. Some of these plans were provincially approved draft plans that are almost built out but not yet registered and others have been approved and are close to registration. The Town is willing to supply this information to the Province to ensure mapping is accurate in these areas moving forward.

  •The mapping identifies a Natural Heritage System on lands identified for future employment in the “Economic Development and Tourism Corporation’s Industrial Land Development Strategy” which is currently being considered as part of the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). This strategy was recently approved by Town Council and it was recommended that Site 5 (159 ha.) be added as Industrial land to the urban boundary of Fort Erie through the MCR exercise. Site 5 d, e and f are affected by this new mapping.

  •A number of existing dwellings along the lakeshore or near the lakeshore are within the natural heritage system and some are excluded even though they are developed in a similar manner. Existing dwellings envelopes along the lakeshore including grassed areas should be removed from the Natural Heritage mapping.


  •A number of existing dwellings in the Rosehill Estates and Buffalo Heights are also included in the natural heritage mapping. Existing dwellings envelopes including grassed areas should be removed from the Natural Heritage mapping to minimize unnecessary hardship on individual land owners should they wish to expand into the grassed portions of their lands.

  •A portion of the approved Canadian Motor Speedway lands contain a natural heritage feature This area was extensively studied as part of the approval process and only those areas identified as significant by the environmental consultants should be included.

  •The Niagara Parks Commission Marina Development project contains natural heritage feature which could limit the potential on these lands for future resort development.

  After reviewing the Implementation procedures, planning staff have the following comments to make: •Town staff commends OMAFRA’s approach to wait to finalize the agricultural land base map until municipal refinements are made.

  •In light of these refinements, Town’s planning staff wanted to note that the Region’s special policy areas which permit uses such as Canadian Motor Speedway, Zooz, the Marina appear to be shown as Prime Agricultural Areas. These special policies areas are currently located in Chapter 13 site specific policies of the Region’s Policy Plan and these areas should be flagged as non-agricultural for OMAFRA.

 I hope this information is of assistance and planning staff look forward to continued involvement in this planning initiative.

  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (905) 871-1600 (ext. 2502).

[Original Comment ID: 211034]