This month, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing released the proposals for the co-ordinated land use planning review for Ontario, which is one of the most important document that will serve to guide the planning policy of the region.
A co-ordinated review of the four provincial plans that are used to plan the growth of the Greater Golden Horseshoe has been taking place since last year. These four major plans being reviewed include:
An advisory committee chaired by David Crombie was set up to review the four plans and they provided their recommendations to the public last week.
The need for this review occurred because the Greater Golden Horseshoe is going to be adding 4 million new residents by the year 2041 and the land use of the region has to accommodate and adjust for this growth.
Features of the proposal
The recommendations are directing the region further towards smart urban growth, where intensification, densities and development around transit-oriented areas is strongly encouraged. The proposal also seeks to put greater emphasis on protecting the natural environment. It is an effort to bid farewell to sub-urban sprawl that was being encouraged in the 1970’s.
There are 87 recommendations in the proposal but some of the main features of the proposal are:
Many in the planning community of the region are highly supportive of the plan, however, the developers and builders have shared some concerns over the plan.
Development industry group have stated that these plans limit the diversity and types of dwellings available for residents. They believe that the new proposal will limit choice for residents, and translate into more condos and less single dwelling family homes.
Some critics have also stated that the recommendations are leading to an increase in the price of housing, especially single-dwelling family homes.
Advocates are thrilled with the proposal. They believe that embracing densities and transit oriented development will help reduce the urban footprint and reduce the reliance on cars which in turn would also help to address issues with climate change.
Proponents suggest that the expansion of the greenbelt won’t increase prices of housing as most of the demand for housing that has increased is along transit corridors and not on the fringes.
Mayors of several cities have embraced the proposals including Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
The Governments is in the process of conducting public consultations and wants to get feedback about from the citizens about these proposals.
Open public open houses have been scheduled for May and June 2016. The list of public open houses is in the link below http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14854.aspx
You can also provide your feedback online by September 30th, 2016. In your feedback you may include attachments to demonstrate your stance. To provide feedback online please click here http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14851.aspx
Other methods to participate are in this link http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page10882.aspx#HowParticipate
Seemal Saif is a city builder. She loves making maps and conducting data driver analysis to guide policy on cities. She has worked in cities in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. She has an undergraduate from McGill University in Finance/Economics and completed her Master's(M.D.P) from University of Waterloo focusing on Urban Planning. Her day job at the Planning and Economic Development Branch at the Region of York allows her to combine her interest in planning and economics.
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