Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is speaking out after the Ford government used a controversial zoning tool to add thousands of units to a new development planned for the city’s Lakeview neighbourhood.
On Friday afternoon, the province issued two ministerial zoning orders (MZO’s) impacting developments currently underway in Mississauga.
One of the orders will allow the size of a new mixed-used community planned for Lakeshore and Dixie roads to effectively double, from approximately 8,000 to 16,000 units.
The other order will fast-track development on two parcels of land at 3355 and 5645 Hurontario Street.
The decision to grant the MZO’s came ahead of a Mississauga City Council meeting that was scheduled for tonight to discuss the Lakeview development and the request to significantly expand its scope.
“I would have appreciated a heads up and further consultation with myself and the community. I think we should have allowed the meeting to go forward tonight before any decisions were made,” Crombie told reporters on Monday morning. “We want to build smart communities and we want to put height and density where it is appropriate and where it is reasonable. Our belief is that the community will feel that this is not a reasonable amount of height and density for the area.”
The master plan for the transformation of a 177-acre site on the grounds of the former Lakeview Power Generating Station was first tabled in 2018 and has been revised on several occasions since then to allow for additional units.
The latest council-approved plan called for 8,050 residential units, 180,000 square feet of commercial space and 14 acres of employment lands.
However, the plans for the area are now likely to be significantly overhauled to allow much greater density than originally contemplated.
“What they are now planning to build is Belleville or Woodstock on the land that is available and whereas we have the housing commitments to build those new units what we don’t have is the infrastructure commitments for the new transit and transportation,” Crombie said. “In the southeast end of Mississauga, Lakeshore Road is already very congested and has just two lanes. So we don’t have the road network in that area and we don’t have the commitment for the schools, the paramedic stations, the police stations and the fire stations to build out a complete community.”
In a news release issued late Friday afternoon, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark said that the orders “will facilitate the province’s work to tackle the housing supply crisis and ensure that housing supply growth is aligned with and oriented around Ontario’s billions of dollars of historic investments in transit and transit-related infrastructure.”
The government has also said that it will continue to work with stakeholders to “to facilitate approvals and ensure the realization of tangible community benefits.”
Speaking with reporters, Crombie said that while the decision gives her a “great deal of concern and disappointment” it is “final” and cannot be challenged, due to the use of a MZO..
Crombie said that her attention will now turn to ensuring the necessary infrastructure commitments are made to support the addition of 16,000 units along Mississauga’s southeast lakefront.
“A facilitator will be appointed and we look forward to working with the facilitator to ensure that the schools, the daycares and the transportation network is provided along with the community programs and services and the paramedic, police and fire stations,” she said.