They hijack debate about how Simcoe might grow
Since the large-scale developments were first proposed, the attention of public officials, planners, and citizens has been focused on responding to the details of the development applications rather than on the big picture -- how the county and the Toronto region can or should grow. The sense of inevitability surrounding these proposals centres the discussion on particular features of the proposals instead of debating alternative urban forms for the region as a whole.
Large-scale nodal development is only one option for the growth of the Toronto-related region. Other options include a Barrie-centred model for Simcoe County, building at significantly higher densities or accommodating growth south of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Another alternative is simply to follow existing plans. Innisfil, New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury have all designated sufficient land to accommodate projected growth.
Decisions about such crucial growth-related issues should not be made in response to one or two development proposals that would radically alter the character of Simcoe County. They should be matters of public debate, and public bodies should be charged with their implementation.