Due to the constraints of TV news, CTV couldn’t put all my comments in their report. Still a good piece this Sunday on the Region’s appeal of the OMB ruling on the Regional Official Plan and a new citizen website, Smartgrowthwaterlooregion.
Basically I was quoted as saying that we must preserve our farmland and that we want a range of housing choices, not everyone wants a house with a white picket fence. Which is true.
But people should also know that there is plenty of available land or greenfields for subdivisions in our Region right now. Our cities are not built out and won’t be for a long time. The 89 hectares are the additional land put aside for subdivision development, not the total amount of land available now. If you go to Huron Road or cross the new Fairway bridge, you will see housing springing up like crocuses. By the way, a hectare is about twice as big as an old-fashioned acre. There is also a lot of space in the Region for urban infill. The soon to close Schneider’s plant is 42 acres. Kitchener and Cambridge have a lot of infill opportunities. The infamous Westside lands in Waterloo are not yet built on.
Regional council worked on the Official Plan for 4 years with much citizen input.
As Ken Seiling said, the Ontario Municipal Board wants the equivalent of about 200 farms eaten up with subdivisions.
Here is a link to the Regional Official Plan http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/regionalofficialplan.asp
and the OMB ruling
Click to access PL110080.Decision.pdf
P.S. Just because I say not everyone wants one,doesn’t mean I’m against houses with picket fences. Not everyone wants a dog either, but I love mine!
Actually, the person who was concerned doesn’t want houses with white picket fences to be considered urban sprawl. Point taken!
Thanks for your comments today, Jane, and for your work fighting this ruling. I’m glad we have you and others at Regional Council who are prepared to protect our community.
Thanks for the citizens working to make the government see the problem with this ruling that goes against their own Places to Grow legislation.