Opening all of lakeshore in Plympton-Wyoming to housing wrong decision: Wright

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Muriel Wright wants to offer her experience for the position of deputy mayor.
The 69 year-old who has been on council over 20 years, is running against Ben Dekker in the the Oct. 22nd election.
Why did you run for deputy mayor?
“I felt it was an opportunity to give back to my community with my experience and helping the mayor with his duties.”
What will the role of the deputy mayor be?
“That will be up to council, it hasn’t been defined yet.”
What is the most important issue right now in Plympton-Wyoming?
The lakeshore development area is the biggest question from people and their concern.
You were on council when the decision was made to make the land north of Lakeshore Road residential in the future – do think that was a sound decision?
“No; we’ve gone to the OMB, and my suspicion has always been that we have sufficient area designated.”
Wright points out the provincial standard is to have 20 years of development land available however Plympton Wyoming has about 70 years. “We are over designated. I would like to see us do more consolidation,” she says adding council should be encouraging developers to use land already designated for development using existing lots.
Wright points out the muncipality received professional advice from the County of Lambton on planning issues and “their opinion was we should not be opening it up and that we had to be managing it and staging it.”
Wright says they suggested a master plan, which the municipality doesn’t have. “I think it is irresponsible of any council member ignoring that and rejecting that report and putting it on the shelf.”
A lot of the jusification for designating the land for residential housing was the OMB kept ruling against the municipality when it was protecting the land for farming – it is hard to argue with that.
“It is frustrating but the other thing no one seems to recognize is the reason we kept loosing is because of the fact our official plan did not mirror the county’s official plan and it was the interpretation of the wording so the judge went with the county’s wording, because the county’s always trumps the local plan.
“That is where the misinterpretation is at the OMB and because the proponent had used the old…appeal process, that’s why it is still in the process of appeals.
If there are people elected to council who are like minded and having that whole area designated for housing is too aggressive, do you think council would look at that again?
Wright says the issue is still in appeals, and Plympton-Wyoming’s official plan is still “in limbo” because of that.
With the province talking big deficits and the need for infrastructure in the town, will there be a need for tax increases to pay for infrastructure costs?
“That is going to be decided by the new government what our funding will be. But you can’t ever put your head in the sand and say zero increase… nothing ever stays the same price… I don’t think we can ever think taxes are going to go down. I think we try to keep them as low as possible and yes we do try to be very frugal and look at all the alternative ways.”

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