I'm concerned that the proposed changes to the Growth Plan will lead to more urban sprawl and a disorganized approach to planning. By weakening the ‘standardized’ land needs assessment methodology just put in place by the province in early 2018, municipalities could have an easier time of expanding urban boundaries into farmland (which we need for food production). This land should be protected and even added to the Greenbelt. The lower density minimum in greenfields is also concerning because I think this will lead to less taxes received and more money spent by municipalities on servicing these areas in the long run. Absent from the proposed changes to the Growth Plan are tools to create more new affordable housing – the proposed changes do not speak to affordability but simply imply that ‘increasing supply’ will address housing issues. This doesn't go far enough in addressing the kinds of housing needed in Ontario. Also, I am concerned about the shift in language around climate change and solely expecting the municipality to address the climate crisis. The goal of the growth plan should be to inspire municipalities to build compact and complete communities – communities that are resilient, inclusive and sustainable, and provide the tools to help the municipalities achieve this goal. The idea of Provincially Significant Employment Zones confers stronger protections on these lands, which is good but I'm concerned that any employment lands without the PSEZ designation can be more readily converted to mixed uses or residential development (whether or not that would be appropriate for the undesignated lands). So again, this seems to be a disorganized approach to planning.
Submitted February 24, 2019 9:23 AM