Shall We Enable Sprawl?

The Province’s decision to eliminate Schedule 10 from Bill 66 was very welcomed as it seriously threatened security of our water, our farmland and our green spaces.  But, there are still threats as the Province is proposing amendments to the Growth Plan  for the Greater Golden Horsehoe which directs how we grow and where we grow. The current Growth Plan approved in 2017 emphasizes building compact communities with boundaries that not can not be expanded without substantial review. Its goal is to accommodate more people and jobs without sprawl by increasing density within communities.  Higher density is achieved with  smaller lots and taller multi-level residential structures than built traditionally.  Proposed amendments to the Growth Plan include lower demands for density and easier ability to expand the urban boundaries. We are all negatively affected by less dense communities:  public transit costs more and for many public transit will continue to be inadequate; maintenance of public services (water and sewage) increases as there are more pipes.  We start growing houses and not food!

Understanding the proposed amendments is difficult for me and others who are not planning professionals.  To help others who are trying to understand this here is a link to a blog posted in Environmental Defence (ED).  And on Tuesday, February 5 Concerned Citizens of King Township are hosting a talk by Tim Gray of ED in Nobleton.  Here are the details.

This is a critical issue when you see how much growth is forecasted to happen in York Region.  York Region will grow to accommodate 1.8 million people by 2041 and 300,000 more jobs.   (In 2017 population was 1.2 million and there were 621,000 jobs.)  As I have already acknowledged I am not a planner and for me its tough to really understand the details.  But I do know that building the sprawl of detached homes dependent on 2 and 3 cars per family is not healthy.  The Province is seeking feedback prior to February 28th.  King Township Staff will be reporting to Council on the subject at the 2/25 Council meeting

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