The proposed Growth Plan opens up sensitive farmland, forests, and watersheds to sprawl development by changing the Growth Plan in areas not covered by laws like the Greenbelt Act.
The changes under these proposals will allow factories and sprawling subdivisions to be built on farmland and sensitive natural areas. This will not reduce the price of housing or give us the new housing types we need. Instead, sprawl will threaten our local food supply, create gridlock, and increase our property taxes.
We can have affordable housing and transportation choices that won’t cost us the loss of farmland, contaminate our drinking water, and require us to lose access to nature.
According to a research survey by Pembina and RBC most people prefer a smaller home with a shorter commute over a larger home and a longer commute. Provincial data shows there is enough land designated inside existing town and city boundaries to meet housing and employment needs to at least 2031 within the boundaries of our towns and cities to meet our growth needs for the next decade and beyond if we grow smarter.
Sprawling low-density housing on greenfields adds to traffic congestion by requiring us to drive farther to find affordable housing and costs us more in taxes to pay for the infrastructure that goes with these communities.
Rather than continue this costly growth model we need to embark on building gentle density which focusses on affordable housing within our communities. A more effective growth model would situate housing around transit stations and upgrade existing infrastructure to service these units, while at the same time continuing to protect farms so necessary for our food source and survival, as well as natural areas which house our water sources.
Both younger millennials and aging baby boomers want apartments and townhomes that are accessible and close to services like transit, health care, restaurants, and shops. Building up instead of sprawling out makes sense for all.
This proposed Growth Plan as it stands does not meet these goals and needs to be altered to reflect these goals.
Submitted February 18, 2019 6:41 PM