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City making changes to accommodate new growth and development

By 2041, Kawartha Lakes is targeting a population of 107,000, an increase of over 30,000 new residents. The City has been preparing for this forecasted growth through various infrastructure projects such as the completion of the Northwest Trunk Sewer Line. Necessary planning documents such as Secondary Plans for Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Omemee and Woodville have also been completed.

After the completion of these multi-year projects that have paved the way for growth, Council established a Planning Approvals Task Force to set to work on accommodating the demand for development. New commercial and residential interest in Kawartha Lakes is being expressed, and a number of new developments are underway across the City.

In early 2016, the City hired a new Director of Development Services, Chris Marshall. Marshall has been working alongside the Planning Approvals Task Force which was established to provide advice and recommendations to inform the City’s Core Service Review of planning and building approvals. All meetings of the Task Force are open to the public.

Over the summer months, extensive research and public outreach has taken place. “Members of the Task Force have been working diligently with staff and volunteers representing various interests in the development industry and listening to concerns expressed throughout the City,” explained John Pollard, Chair of the Planning Approvals Task Force.

In the fall, Council approved a new Development Charges Deferral Policy which allows applicants to apply to defer Development Charges to a later stage in the development process to help with financing. The policy is one of the most comprehensive and competitive available in Ontario and speaks to the City’s commitment to growth.

The Task Force is in the process of finalizing a report that will go to Council in January that will identify the concerns expressed by the public about the Planning and Building application processes and action items to improve the process.

“Through the task force, public consultation and comments at the counter, we have heard the issues and have responded with a number of measures to improve the customer experience for those who are contributing to the growth of our City,” commented Marshall.

Corporate-wide programs and initiatives underway to support development while readying City administration for new growth include:

  • Redevelopment of the City’s website to allow easier access to information and services and outlining the benefits of investing within the City.
  • Development of a Customer Service Standard in 2017 with a commitment to timely customer response.
  • Realigning customer service staff throughout the City to better support departments with high volume inquiries, including development services.

Development Services has implemented the following to address the concerns identified by the Task Force:

  • All fees are under review to ensure they are competitive with other communities.
  • Review of the development application process to make it more efficient.
  • Restructuring and new staff resources for 2017 including an additional planner to assist in overall processing of complex and priority applications. A new building and zoning clerk will assist the public with general building permit and zoning inquiries.


For further information, please contact:

Cheri Davidson
Manager, Communications Advertising and Marketing
705-324-9411 extension 1355

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