Learning that the proposed aerodrome on Old Homestead Road has been determined to meet the requirements of the federal government is not the outcome residents or Council were hoping for.
Council first learned of this proposed general aviation aerodrome as a result of a sign being posted at the site late in 2021. Like many residents, Council had many concerns with the proposal, citing environmental impacts, traffic, excessive noise and land use planning issues.
On Dec. 15, 2021, a Special Council meeting was held to discuss the proposed aerodrome. The proponents were in attendance, and residents and Council expressed their shared concerns. Council endorsed a resolution outlining why the site should not be chosen for an aerodrome, and requested the federal government review and update aerodrome approvals legislation. I am saddened that our collective voices were not heard and at the lack of consultation on such an important issue to our community.
The property where the aerodrome is proposed to be built is located within the protected countryside of the Greenbelt Plan and is situated entirely within the GBP's Natural Heritage System. It is in the heart of Georgina’s Greenlands System, which contains prime agricultural lands, and provincially significant wetlands and woodlands. A watercourse runs northeast and southwest across the southeastern portion of the lands.
With aerodromes being federally regulated and approved, local municipalities have limited jurisdiction with regards to the development process. That jurisdiction essentially relates to the quality of the fill placed at the site and the Town remains committed to enforcing its Site Alteration By-law to the fullest extent possible with respect to the placement of fill. We understand some in our community will be disheartened at the federal government’s position in this matter and we will do what we are able to within our jurisdictional power.
I will be asking staff to provide further updates to Council as this matter moves forward.
Mayor Margaret Quirk
For additional information, visit the aerodrome webpage on the Town website.