On February 16th, Halton Regional Council will vote on Halton staff’s Preferred Growth Plan for the next 30 years. This project aims to convince at least 13 of the 24 regional councillors to vote against the staff recommendation and choose no urban boundary expansion to protect 5,000 acres of prime agricultural land from development.
Halton Region approved nearly 8,000 acres of farmland for urban development at its last comprehensive Official Plan Review 10 years ago. Although there has been no development on those 8,000 acres, the Region is now contemplating another 5,000 acres to accommodate growth. There is already plenty of land to accommodate growth projected to 2051. But it will require building more sustainable compact communities within our urban boundaries to create vibrant, walkable communities with residential, employment, and recreation spaces. We don’t need another land grab for the benefit of developers.
Suburban sprawl costs us all. New developments require plenty of expensive infrastructure, including miles of roads, sewers and hydro. When it comes time to maintain and replace that infrastructure, the local taxpayer must pick up the tab. Intensification within current boundaries brings in a larger tax base using existing infrastructure, increases ridership for transit systems, reduces car dependency and carbon emissions, and offers residents safer, healthier lives. “Gentle density” makes housing more affordable and lowers taxes.
Please donate today! Your gift will help us fight sprawl and protect precious farmland.