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Kawartha Lakes council hears “exciting and ambitious” development plans for East Lindsay

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Plans for a large development near, I.E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay appears to have excited some members of Kawartha Lakes council.

At a Kawartha Lakes Committee of the Whole meeting, on Tuesday, September 7th, members of Flato Developments presented their proposed plans for an area in East Lindsay.

“The proposed development would provide the addition of approximately 150 seniors-oriented residential units and 100 rental apartment units. The development will also include approximately 1,200 new homes and a mix of housing types, such as single and semi-detached housing and various forms of townhouses. The proposed development will provide an appropriate range and mix of uses, which will result in the creation of a complete neighbourhood,” Katarzyna Sliwa told councillors.

Ms. Sliwa added, “there will also be two new parks, to accommodate the recreational needs of the residents.”

The Flato website adds other amenities the company plans to include in this development.

“We are planning a community hub [which] will offer increased access to services the area needs, like grocery and live-work spaces. We would like to build new parks and are proposing a new community centre, with input from the community.”

Matthew Cory stated, Flato is committed to making this development a “walkable community” and a complete neighbourhood, while focusing on low-impact developments. The company wants to protect and integrate the natural environmental features of the area into the development.

Flato president Shakir Rehmatullah said the company is committed to working with the community and the municipality on this development.

“Building communities, to us, is not just buying a piece of land and putting in a lot of homes. For us, community building is way more than building homes. Community building is working with the community, with the municipality, working with all the stakeholders, such as the conservation authority and other agencies, to make sure we respond to the needs of the community,” he explained.

Flato has so far held two public information sessions on their vision and plans.

The company is seeking a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO), to proceed with development on a portion of the lands. An MZO is a tool developers can apply for, from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to fast-track development approvals.

“Having the MZO will help us to move faster and in parallel with the other requirements and studies the city will be doing,” Mr. Rehmatullah explained.

Ward 7 Councillor Pat O’Reilly called the development plans “exciting and ambitious.”

Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore questioned if the development will include commercial uses like malls or restaurants.

“The east side of Lindsay has always really lacked that type of commercial development,” Councillor Ashmore said.

Mr. Rehmatullah said the company has heard “loud and clear” from residents the needs for different types of restaurants, a coffee shop, and a grocery store in the area.

Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn stated, this development should help with the “housing crisis” in Lindsay.

Councillors later approved a motion to request city staff to bring back a report to the October Committee of the Whole meeting, “with recommendations, options and conditions for council to consider, should [they] wish to support the request for an MZO.”

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