With little debate, Cobourg council at this week's committee of the whole declined to put a motion of support on the floor for Northumberland County's proposal to establish four Provincially Significant Employment Zones.
This puts Cobourg in company with Hamilton Township, which also declined to do so, Councillor Nicole Beatty reported. Municipal Clerk Brent Larmer added that Port Hope had supported the PSEZs.
Beatty listened to the presentation at an earlier September council meeting by Jennifer Jackman, did further research on her own, and made the motion simply to accept the county's report for information purposes.
The four PSEZs suggested in the report were:
Cobourg-Hamilton Employment Lands (bounded by County Road 2 to the north, Lake Ontario to the south and Normar Road to the west)
Alternative Cobourg-Hamilton Major Employment Area (bound by Burnham Street to the east, Highway 401 to the south, Birch Road to the west and Telephone Road to the north)
Wesleyville (bound by Highway 401 to the north, Wesleyville Road to the east, Lake Ontario to the south and the Port Hope 401 OnRoute to the west)
Future Major Employment Area (bound by Highway 401 to the south, County Road 28 to the west, Dale Road to the north and Hamilton Road to the east)
The PSEZ initiative comes at the request of the province to consider areas that might have the potential to be significant employment zones.
Jackman responded to the report Sept. 9 by addressing council on behalf of a group of concerned citizens, Some of these lands that stand to be rezoned for development are currently significant wetlands or designated cultural heritage sites, she pointed out.
In an era of climate change and ongoing biodiversity loss, she urged council to remember that these lands are a great asset to the county in their current natural state.
From the geographic descriptions of the PSEZs, Councillor Brian Darling figured there would be no direct impact on the Town of Cobourg. Except for possible indirect impacts on things like servicing, employment and infrastructure, director of planning and development Glenn McGlashon agreed.