By Miriam King

The province’s proposed Lake Simcoe Act could have an impact on future development in the town of Innisfil.
The interim regulations, announced on March 31, cut the permitted output of phosphorus at Innisfil’s lakeshore wastewater treatment plant to 351 kg. per year, or about 0.96 kg. per day.
Innisfil council heard at its Wednesday night meeting that is just about the current output, with some allowance for growth. What that means, notes a report by the town’s engineering technologist Grant Shellswell, is that “most of the future growth relying on this plant may be at risk if the regulation remains beyond one year.”
The result would be a halt to the issuing of building permits, unless the sewage treatment plant is expanded, using new — and expensive — technologies to reduce phosphorus.
The interim regulation is intended to expire March 31, 2009, at which time a new Lake Simcoe Act is expected to be in place.
Shellswell and town staff calculate that the town can grant sewer allocations to another 850 connections before exceeding the phosphorus cap.
There are a total of 11,097 units of existing and future developments that are approved, but not yet connected, listed in the 2007 sanitary service capacity ledger for the Lakeshore plant, including development in Alcona, Lefroy, Gilford, and the Big Bay Point Resort.
If the cap is lifted next March, the limits “may be workable” Shellswell notes, but if they are extended beyond the year, the town will reach its capacity limit in 2009.
“So, if the developers are coming to town, they’d better bring their pocketbooks,” Coun. Lynn Dollin said in committee of the whole on Wednesday night.