Proposed Growth Plan Changes
As reported by Environmental Defence Canada (EDC), the government has been meeting with municipalities and development industry members who have identified five challenges: Intensification and Density Targets, Major Transit Station Areas, Settlement and Boundary Expansions, Planning for Employment and Agricultural and Natural Heritage Systems.
The EDC is concerned that if the density targets are loosened in the Growth Plan, or if settlement boundary expansions are permitted (without the math to determine the land need –LNA), we can expect more sprawl and more low density growth putting increasing pressure on the Greenbelt.
EDC is also concerned that there is interest in proceeding with land swaps- trading Greenbelt land for other farmland or natural heritage land beyond the Greenbelt so lands in the Greenbelt can be developed. Even if there is no net loss of Greenbelt lands, the Plan will be eroded. The Greenbelt Plan as a provincial policy that permanently protects land will basically be kaput, signalling open season to the development industry. EDC will be developing a media strategy but needs your local voices to challenge these changes.
EDC understands that the proposed Growth Plan changes will be coming forward in January. Those of you who live in a riding where you have a conservative MPP, especially a Cabinet Minister, are in the best position to push back. Local voices in the ear of a MPP and/or a Mayor is the best way to challenge the need to change the Growth Plan and the Greenbelt Plan. Please set up local meetings with your MPP as soon as possible.
The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario supports the Growth Plan Submission of the EDC to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the FUN website and urges neighbourhood associations in Ontario to contact the MPPs and members of their municipal council to express their concern.