Meaford council and residents can breathe easier after hearing about a decision by the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
Commission members voted unanimously November 17 against a proposal they made to the province earlier this year.
That proposal called for expanding the NEC’s planning area in Grey County from 195,000 hectares to 240,600 hectares.
Most of that land increase would have taken place in Grey County and resulted in a $700,000 loss of taxable property for Grey’s member municipalities.
Instead, the Commission recommended that they would not endorse the land additions they had proposed earlier.
NEC Chair Don Scott said that any future land additions will come only after the Commission has carried out more extensive consultation with the municipalities and property owners affected.
This decision came as welcome news to all Grey municipalities, especially The Municipality of Meaford.
Had the province endorsed the NEC proposal, Meaford would have lost control of almost 67% of its property to the NEC and a sizable proportion of its assessment.
Meaford Mayor Barbara Clumpus said she and the rest of council “are very pleased, and relieved with this news from the NEC, and I would like to thank all those residents who made the effort to contact the NEC and voice their concern.”
NEC commissioners decided to reverse their decision after hearing a staff report at their meeting.
In the report, the staff member said the NEC office received more than 500 letters from landowners expressing their opposition to the land acquisition proposal.