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Public meeting is being held on June 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Oxford Centre Hall on Old Stage Road in Norwich Township

Growth fuels boundary expansion proposal

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

The City of Woodstock and Township of Norwich could be on the verge of making a boundary adjustment that would increase the Friendly City’s jurisdiction by about 1,400 acres.

If the proposal is approved, Woodstock will annex two parcels of mostly farmland "for additional employment land purposes” effective January 1, 2018.

Woodstock Mayor Trevor Birch said the city is experiencing continued economic growth, adding that there have been “many discussions” with interested businesses about plans for the new acreage.

Birtch said the inventory of vacant land has continued to decline as the sales boom continues.

However, Birtch said he could not comment on who or what the new business opportunities might be.

“It’s a very exciting time for the city, for our neighbours and the region,” Birtch said.

He said the city believes that additional employment lands are needed to continue to offer a wide range of parcel sizes and shapes and locations for prospective businesses.

“Woodstock continues to experience strong growth in terms of new housing and new business and industry,” Birtch said. “Everyone benefits from a stronger Oxford County, particularly from the development of employment lands for new industrial and commercial businesses.

The lands are to the east and south of the city, along the highways 401 and 403 corridor.

The boundary expansion would encompass lands in all or part of Lots 7 through 12, Concession 1 East Oxford, Lots 10 through 14 Concession 2 East Oxford and part of Lots 20 and 21 Concession 3 East Oxford.

Norwich Township Mayor Larry Martin told Postmedia he has been part of the boundary adjustment committee, which has convened about five times.

While Martin said both Woodstock and Norwich Township councils are in favour of the deal, they still need to fine-tune the details.

“I’m not in favour of losing farmland but we need to realize the City of Woodstock needs to grow,” he said. “There is no better place to be as far as industrial growth.”

Martin said the boundary restructuring still needs to go through a public consultation process with a public meeting taking place on Thursday, June 29 from 6 to 8 p.m., with a formal presentation at 6 p.m.

The venue is the Oxford Centre Hall, 505386 Old Stage Road in the Township of Norwich.

Any person wishing more information can contact Norwich Township clerk Kyle Kruger at kkruger@norwich.ca or 519-468-2410 ext 227, Woodstock city clerk Amy Humphries at ahumphries@cityofwoodstock.ca or director of community planning Gord Hough at ghough@oxfordcounty.ca or 519-539-0015 ext 3207.

Any one wishing to provide written comment can also provide their views to one of people listed above before Friday, July 21.

HRivers@postmedia.com