Archive for April, 2013
Being a farm girl and a city girl engaged in urban&rural design and sustainable design there is no way the VELD architect could not show their support for the Region of Waterloo’s decision to appeal the OMB ruling to increase the develop-able land in the Region.
Sustainable Waterloo has displayed the facts very well on their blog so I won’t go into them again. but here is a little summary. The Region of Waterloo has always been a strong advocate for a hard and fast countryside line that reduces urban sprawl and saves their prime farmland in the Region. In the most recent Official plan the Region is promoting deification on the existing urban structure, and downtown and limiting new development land.There are a multitude of benefits to this plan;
- saving prime farmland
- reducing infrastructure costs for roads, sewers, public transit, etc. (which also keeps taxes down)
- more density to neighborhoods for better communities
- more walkable cities
- renews downtowns and every neighborhood in the city or town.
- more sustainable growth and sustainable urban planning for generations to come.
The developers opposed this plan and took the Region to the Ontario Municipal Board, who overruled the Region and will force them to open significantly more land than they intended. The Region has recently decided to not be push-overs to developers and stand up to them and appeal the decision. This decision will affect not only this Region, but every other Municipality that chooses to hold a hard city limit in their planning policies. Waterloo Councillors are making a huge step to more sustainable growth.
I hope this issue can be a uniting factor for urban and rural dwellers and we can band together to support not only Waterloo Region (because this issue will emerge in your community eventually), but also every community in Southwestern Ontario.
To find out what you can do to help see Smart Growth Waterloo.
Regards and Good luck,