Letter to the Editor: “Proposed Amendment No. 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017”
I am deeply concerned by the staff report DEV-2019-006 titled: “Proposed Amendment No. 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017” found in today’s council meeting Agenda.
Of notable concern is an appeal to exercise the option of expanding boundary expansions by up to 40 hectares of Greenbelt lands outside of a municipal comprehensive review.
The report states in section 2.2.3 that “the Township has identified situations where minor expansions to the Port Perry settlement area are appropriate outside of a municipal comprehensive review,” yet provides no specifics. Where are these “situations” located?
The other area of concern is the province’s striking of language aimed at protecting prime employment lands and facilitating the conversion of these lands for housing following certain criteria, as described in section 2.1. The report affirms that “it is not expected that any conversions within the Township’s employment areas will be contemplated,” yet 91% of the Port Perry employment area is either vacant or underutilized. What assurances does the public have that employment lands will not be re-purposed for new housing development?
Finally, it is worth pointing out that urban sprawl is 'not the way forward for Scugog' which already suffers from a massive infrastructure deficit. The Council for Canadian Urbanism finds in its paper “Still Suburban? Growth in Canadian Suburbs, 2006-2016” that:
“There are substantial economic costs involved with suburban sprawl, which are borne by the local and provincial governments and, ultimately, the taxpayer. Greenfield development on a city’s periphery requires significant new infrastructure investments, which are difficult to accurately forecast and recover through development charges, because of the physical degradation of the infrastructure over many decades (CSCE 2016). The municipality is then burdened with the maintenance and capital repairs for the infrastructure providing service to the low-density development for its lifetime (Kiel 2018, ch. 7; Thompson 2013; Blais 2010).”
(http://www.canadiansuburbs.ca/files/Still_Suburban_Monograph_2016.pdf page 6)
Given the current provincial regime's coziness with the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the developer industry, it is imperative that this Council defend the Greenbelt and farmland against sprawl development. Residents are not interested in the Brooklinization of our fair town.
We reserve the right to remove any and all comments for any reason. Comments with swearing will be deleted without exception.