A Dec. 23, 2016 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Hazel McCallion tells province to slow down plans to curb sprawl: But not everyone agrees with the former mayor of Mississauga and ‘Queen of Sprawl’.”
A May 10, 2016 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Ontario proposes greenbelt expansion as urban growth intensifies.”
The article notes that planners are said to view the proposals as “bold and necessary,” whereas builders are said to assert that “the restrictions will further drive up house prices and limit choice”
A May 10, 2016 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Ontario setting new rules to end era of suburban sprawl across GTA: The province is promising bold new moves to foster denser, more walkable communities with transit, while preserving green space.”
A May 11, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Ontario’s Greenbelt lands could grow by 9,000 hectares: New plan also proposes to increase communities’ density targets.”
The photos at this post are from a news conference in Port Credit on May 10, 2016, announcing the proposed changes to provincial land use plans.
Ontario Municipal Board
During the Q & A at the conclusion of the news conference, a Toronto Star reporter asked about plans regarding the OMB. The response from the Minister of Community Affairs and Housing was that changes are in the works, in that area. In particular, the legislation that is coming down the road, as I understand from the Q & A, will ensure that once a municipality sets out parameters for urban planning, developers will no longer have the option of immediately proceeding to the OMB seeking to overturn that wishes of the municipality.
Milton and Vaughn
Other questions that were asked concerned housing affordability as well as transit-cost challenges in new communities. Speakers from the audience noted that Milton and Vaughn have particular growth challenges. The point was highlighted in a question to Finance Minister Charles Sousa from a Toronto Star reporter.
Public input until Sept. 30, 2016
Members of public will have until Sept. 30, 2016 to offer input regarding the proposed changes to provincial land use plans.
The news conference referred to a proposal to ensure that future Official Plans will take climate change into account and noted that feedback from public will be important in further development of the proposals.
It was also noted that natural heritage features, watersheds, and agricultural lands will be protected under the proposed legislation. That includes protection of the Credit River watershed.
David Crombie headed the panel proposing changes to Provincial Land Use Plans. Over 19,000 submissions were made; 3000 people attended meetings at 17 town halls. There was a reference to “historic investments in transit superstructure.” A new set of town halls will follow. Heritage issues are among the topics to be addressed.