PW developer wants 1,125 lakeshore lots


Brad Zantingh wants to be able to turn hundreds of acres of land near Lake Huron into hundreds of homes in the future.
His company, JN Ventures, is asking the Town of Plympton-Wyoming to zone three different parcels of land along the lakeshore as “lakeshore residential” after Lambton County changed designation of the land in the area under the new Official Plan to restricted agriculture.
It’s a battle Zantingh has fought before at the Ontario Municipal Board. Over the last few years, the same company has won five different appeals to allow smaller residential developments in the same area after being turned down by council.
Council said at the time there was no demand for the development since there were already over 1,000 available lots in the community. It also favoured housing development in the hamlets such as Camlachie and Wyoming.
After losing the appeals at the OMB, Plympton-Wyoming decided to declare all the land north of lakeshore open for residential development.
But that idea was panned at Lambton County Council. Other municipalities argued Plympton-Wyoming would have enough land for development for over 80 years when the province suggested only 20 was needed. Instead, county council agreed to some areas being deemed available for development and the rest would be restricted agriculture which doesn’t allow livestock operations.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs has yet to approve the changes, but Zantingh’s land, which the OMB ruled was okay for housing, was left in the restricted agriculture zone.
So Monday, council held a hearing to have three parcels of land with up to 1,125 housing lots, designated as lakeshore residental to allow homes in the future.
Zantingh’s lawyer, Scott Snider says the change is simply “not fair” since the lands were considered for urban settlement for 20 years. “It’s about fairness. The fundamental argument has been litigated five times and the (Ontario Municipal) board has ruled this is not agricultural land.”
The town’s planner and members of the audience disagreed.
Homeowner Richard Giroux pointed out this land is Class One Agricultural land – the best and the rarest kind in Canada. “Development is consuming it and destroying it…it is the job of planners to protect valuable farmland in Ontario,” he says
“It’s a classic example of unplanned urban sprawl being developed by an individual with a lot of money.”
Other residents were concerned one of the plots for development had a significant woodlot with a protected wetland. They worried it would be destroyed if large amounts of homes were built.
And members of the Hillsboro Beach Association told council the lands near their historic private beach area couldn’t be considered ‘lakeshore’ since the residents would not have access to the lake.
Councillors listened to the concerns for over two hours Monday and decided to discuss the Official Plan Amendment applications at a planning meeting at the end of October.
It isn’t clear if the county’s plan changing the zoning of the land to restricted agriculture will be approved by the province by then.
If it is, Snider told council it was likely his client would appeal the Official Plan adding Zantingh is “not a speculator, he bought lands that were designated urban settlement.”