Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ajax sites put up for sale by owners to be returned to Greenbelt, Ford govt. says

The Doug Ford government released a statement today saying that it has begun the process of returning 765 and 775 Kingston Road East in Ajax to the Greenbelt, following the property owner’s decision to list these lands for sale in recent weeks, including listing some of the lands to be used for a business park rather than homes.

“At no time was the intention to sell or change the ownership structure disclosed to the government’s Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator despite active and ongoing discussions,” a statement from the Premier’s Office read. “This lack of transparency raises serious concerns about the owner’s ability to meet the government’s expectation that homes be built in a timely manner, including the need to show meaningful progress before the end of year.”

Premier Ford announced yesterday that his government was considering putting portions of land in Ajax back into the Greenbelt after learning that they were put up for sale by the owners.

“The government’s intention in amending the Greenbelt boundaries has always been to increase the supply and affordability of homes by building at least 50,000 homes quickly, while also expanding the overall size of the Greenbelt,” the PMO statement continued. “Any attempt to sell these lands or otherwise profit from this decision without building the homes Ontario residents rightly expect runs contrary to the government’s intentions and will not be tolerated.”

To ensure that construction on the remaining lands proceeds without unnecessary delays, the government will inform the remaining proponents that they are required to notify the Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator of any potential transactions or actions regarding these lands.

Ford’s announcement came a day ahead of the Integrity Commissioner’s report which stated Housing Minister Steve Clark had violated ethics rule in regards to Greenbelt land swap selection and should be reprimanded.

Earlier Ford said his government would follow all of recommendations in the Auditor General’s report which found the selection process was influenced by developers except return the lands to the Greenbelt.

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