The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes


Growth Management Strategy Task Force Meeting

Electronic Participation Meeting
  • Councillor Tracy Richardson
  • Chris Appleton
  • Gene Balfour
  • Paul Heeney
  • Anna Johnston
  • David Webb
Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. The City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact [email protected] if you have an accessible accommodation request.

In attendance:  Councillor Tracy Richardson, Chris Appleton, Gene Balfour, Paul Heeney, Anna Johnston.

Absent:  David Webb

Staff in Attendance:  Leah Barrie, Director of Development Services, Mark Jull, Policy Supervisor, Max Faulhammer, Planner II, Nancy Ord, Administrative Assistant.

Consultants in Attendance:  Jamie Cook, Watson & Associates, Shaila Taku, Watson & Associates, Kelly Martel, Dillon Consulting

Observers:  Jim Armstrong, Mike Barkwell, Allister Andrews of Digreen Homes


The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m. by L. Barrie with welcome, introduction of new Planning Staff Mark Jull, Policy Supervisor and Max Faulhammer, Planner II and a brief overview of the GMS project since the last Task Force meeting.       


L. Barrie called for nominations for Chair of the GMS Task Force after providing an overview of the details and responsibilities of the position.

Councillor Richardson nominated Chris Appleton and Gene Balfour seconded the nomination.

A call for second or third nominations heard none and saw none.

Chris Appleton accepted the nomination.

  • GMS2024.001
    Moved ByCouncillor Richardson
    Seconded ByG. Balfour

    That Chris Appleton be appointed as Chair of the GMS Task Force.


The meeting was turned over to Chair Appleton who extended congratulations to Leah Barrie on her new position as Director of Development Services and added positive comments on the contributions of retired Director Richard Holy.


Chair Appleton called for nominations for Vice Chair of the GMS Task Force.

G. Balfour nominated Councillor Richardson as Vice Chair and P. Heeney seconded the nomination.

A second and third call for nominations heard none and saw none.

Councillor Richardson accepted the nomination.

  • GMS2024.002
    Moved ByG. Balfour
    Seconded ByP. Heeney

    That Councillor Richardson be appointed as Vice Chair of the GMS Task Force.

  • GMS2024.003
    Moved ByCouncillor Richardson
    Seconded ByP. Heeney

    That the agenda for the January 29, 2024 GMS Task Force meeting be adopted.


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest disclosed.

  • GMS2024.004
    Moved ByCouncillor Richardson
    Seconded ByC. Appleton

    That the minutes of the March 24, 2023 meeting of the GMS Task Force be adopted.


There were no deputations.

There was no correspondence presented.

The Task Force viewed the attached slide presentation as J. Cook and S. Taku of Watson & Associated highlighted the following:

  • Project Update and Work Plan

The timeline summarized activities from January 2023 to April 2023 when the GMS study was paused due to Provincial Bill 97 and the 2023 Draft Provincial Planning Statement.  A revised and expanded GMS recommenced in September 2023 to address a land needs phasing plan for Lindsay, urban expansion for Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon and expansion options for the urban Employment area.

  • City of Kawartha Lakes Growth Scenarios.

A series of graphs and tables showed plausible low, medium and high growth scenarios for both population and employment to 2051 with the City’s 1.6% population growth rate scenario higher than the Provincial wide forecast.  Population from 2021 to “buildout” in about 2063 for Lindsay is estimated at 74,100 persons and 38,800 jobs with a balanced 52% employment activity rate. 

  • Draft Designated Greenfield Area (DGA) and Employment Area land needs.

A series of graphs concluded:

    • The Settlement area of Lindsay has a surplus of DGA Community Area lands (including Minister’s Zoning Orders lands (MZOs) to 2051.
    • Approximate 38 ha and 23 ha areas are required for future urban expansion in Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon.
    • A small deficit of Employment lands to 2051 and which could increase if existing vacant Employment Areas (EAs) sites are converted to residential or other non-employment uses.
  • Phasing criteria and preliminary observations.

Provincial and Regional direction in developing the City’s draft phasing plan required consideration that the development area:

    • Is a logical extension to the current built-up area?
    • Provides for the completion of an existing urban area of the City?
    • Makes the most efficient use of existing and planned water and wastewater infrastructure?
    • Makes the most efficient use of existing and planned provincial/local transportation networks?
    • Minimize impacts on active agriculture?

A series of colour coded aerial photos showed:

    • the DGA Supply Inventory (including Provincially approved MZOs)
    • Lindsay’s DGA by Land Use
    • The draft phasing criteria for Short term (Phase 1 2023 – 2031), Medium term (2031 – 2041) and Long term (2041 – Buildout estimated in 2063)
  • Next steps.

Next steps were listed and concluded with the preparation of a GMS Study report by June 2024.


Questions raised by GMS Task Force members included:

  • On the requirement to change Urban Boundaries to meet future land needs in Fenelon Falls, J. Cook indicated there was not enough land to accommodate growth and the boundary would need to expand by 34 ha. Key functions are properly managing and phasing development and, while Lindsay is the focus of varying options for growth, smaller centres will need to expand.
  • Energy security and increased demand for energy to accommodate residential and commercial growth is an essential piece in land need expansion analysis and why was this not part of the planning project. Staff indicated the GMS and the objectives for the Task Force are required to look at very specific land growth topics and that additional topics such as energy will affect the next implementation stages.
  • Preparation of the phasing plan is a positive exercise but how will aggressive “me first” developers be dealt with? In response J. Cook and L. Barrie referred to:
    • the GMS analysis, its defensible scenarios and logical phasing of servicing and infrastructure to areas further from the built up area. 
    • Coordination with infrastructure and transportation Master Plans which involve public consultation and vetting the desires of the development community through internal feedback loops.
    • The critical role of monitoring over time to judge the pace of growth and the City’s Housing Pledge.
    • The GMS as an important and powerful study forming the foundations for decision making.
    • The GMS is still the most defensible way to respond to challenges and provides a strong technical basis despite Provincial changes that may occur.

J. Cook outlined next steps leading to the final GMS Study report by June 2024 and after ongoing work to review:

  • land needs location options,
  • employment conversion analyses,
  • strategic recommendations, and
  • holding additional Task Force meetings to present GMS study findings.

Questions of the Task Force included:

  • The critical importance of phasing to ensure growth areas have proper infrastructure and amenities, the challenges to intensification and how other municipalities such as North Durham, have dealt with such pressures.
  • Request to circulate the Slide Presentation to enable more detailed review and additional discussion at the next Task Force meeting.
  • Clarification on what happens after the GMS study is approved by Council and how close will its recommendations guide future activities in light of MZOs which were thrust upon the city and appeared to have “jumped the gun”.

L. Barrie referred to Council as the approval authority through Official Plan, Amendment and draft plan of subdivision approval procedures and that the GMS and Engineering Master Plans will form the cornerstones for Council decision-making. An Official Plan review and update to implement these studies will be a multi-year comprehensive project involving significant public consultation and engagement.

  • Task Force members may benefit from media reports on GMS studies by other municipalities such as Peterborough and Hamilton.
  • It was clarified the initiative for the City to undertake a GMS responds to the requirements of the Province and satisfies “best management practices” for land needs assessment as required in the Growth Plan and the Schedule 3 forecast.
  • Is our planning process more complicated than 20 years ago? J. Cook referred to experience over the past twenty-five years, changes over time that reflect different government priorities either in adding prescriptive procedures or in reducing complexity, and the need for a strategic and comprehensive approach to address housing needs to 2051.
  • The future potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in addressing complexity was suggested.
  • While the Province has created an urgency for municipalities to get the “job done” in addressing the need for housing, the Province needs to address the limitations to builders in constructing new housing due to staffing and construction materials scarcities.
  • Staff emphasized the important role the Task Force has in endorsing the GMS final project for Council’s consideration.
  • The Task Force unanimously recommended additional public input through an Open House “Q & A” format to further educate residents and to add credibility to the process beyond the current opportunity to view deliverables on line or to attend public Council meetings.

L. Barrie indicated response and recommendations will be provided to the Task Force on this request after considering the very specific methodology required for the GMS, its technical nature, potential benefits to and results of additional public input. The importance of the Task Force in providing this feedback was emphasized and recent challenges by the pandemic and the GMS study pause had limited opportunities for open forum public input.


Councillor Richardson left the meeting a 4:36 p.m.

No other business was presented.

Options for the next meeting would be provided based on staff and consultant availability and after canvassing Task Force members.

  • GMS2024.005
    Moved ByP. Heeney
    Seconded ByA. Johnston

    That the Growth Management Strategy Task Force meting be adjourned at 5:05 p.m.