Collingwood Council endorses MZO for Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village

November 14, 2022
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The Town of Collingwood Council, during a Special Meeting held Thursday, November 10, passed a resolution related to a Ministerial Zoning Order for the Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village. 

A copy of the resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS on August 18, 2022, Council passed Resolution #RES-327-2022 endorsing in principle a request for a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) to facilitate the development of the Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village;

AND WHEREAS the proponent and Town staff continue to work towards finalizing a development agreement for the Poplar Regional Health & Wellness Village Project;

AND WHEREAS there is now a revised draft Ministerial Zoning Order that meets the requirements of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which is ready to be filed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council endorse the revised draft MZO, and direct a letter be prepared and sent under the Mayor’s signature to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing this evening to confirm Council’s endorsement and the letter be copied to MPP Brian Saunderson;

AND THAT Council reserves the right to request that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing revoke the MZO should the owner fail to develop the Project generally in accordance with the vision endorsed by Council or the draft development agreement does not become final;

AND FURTHER THAT Council approves the draft agreement between the proponents of the Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village and the Town of Collingwood as presented at its in-camera session held November 10, 2022, subject to final negotiations to the satisfaction of the Municipal Solicitor and CAO with respect to but not limited to the areas of concerns as identified in-camera.

AND FURTHER THAT Council directs staff to continue robust stakeholder and indigenous consultation as they go through the development process, including block planning, plan of subdivision and site plan process.
In accordance with Council direction, a letter has been sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing confirming Council’s endorsement and the letter was copied to MPP Brian Saunderson.

On March 7, 2022, Live, Work, Learn, and Play Inc and DiPoce Management Ltd (“the Proponents”) provided a deputation to the Strategic Initiatives Committee outlining the proposed vision for the Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village (“the Village”) to be located at 7120 and 7200 Poplar Side Road in the Town of Collingwood. The Village is described as a 130-acre innovative and fully integrated mixed-use community focused on healthcare, sports medicine, well-being, recreation, and environmental sustainability. The master concept plan would be comprised of seven distinct districts, inclusive of approximately 2,200+ purpose-built workforce and supportive residential housing units, more than two million square feet of non-residential development, including a large-scale health-based institutional anchor, five kilometers of trails, and an estimated 19 acres of environmentally protected green recreation space. The Proponents indicate that the anticipated mix of uses would be a majority of purpose-built and supportive housing and medical health and wellness services, with a smaller subset of office and research facilities, community amenities and services, retail, food and beverage, and educational uses. The Proponent estimates the number of jobs that will be created by this proposal is over 3,500, primarily institutional, office and light industrial in nature, and that a minimum of 10% of housing units would be attainable. 

Staff and the Town's consultants have worked diligently with the Proponent since their initial deputation, on developing appropriate tools and options to deliver the transformative vision. The Proponent, as directed by Council, led intensive public/stakeholder consultation in April and May of 2022 and beyond.

The following staff reports were presented to Council in April and August 2022 respectively detailing stakeholder consultations, proposal analysis and staff recommendations:

•    STAFF REPORT P2022-15 Proposed Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) Poplar Regional Health and Wellness Village

•    STAFF REPORT P2022-31 Proposed Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) - REVISED

A Minister's Zoning Order allows the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to adjust the zoning on lands outside of the traditional land use planning process and is typically used to accelerate development decisions with significant Provincial interests.  The Minister is expected to decide on whether he will approve the proposed zoning order for this site, however the timeline is unknown at this time.