News from the Greenbelt
The province has announced its proposed changes to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans as part of the Coordinated Review. There is a lot to share, and below you can find out how to take action and stay informed. Here are the key points from the government's changes:
A bigger, stronger Greenbelt.
A commitment to curb urban sprawl and grow our communities smartly.
Greater support for agriculture and local food.
We are encouraged by the proposal to grow the Greenbelt to include 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands, bringing the Greenbelt into cities and towns with over 6 million residents.
The province also added four parcels of protected countryside in the City of Hamilton and Niagara Region. But we were disappointed that the widely supported initiative to expand the Greenbelt and protect a ‘Bluebelt’ of vulnerable water resources was left out of the amendments. We hear that the province plans to start a process to identify such areas in the coming months, and will be working hard with our partners and supporters like you to hold them to their word.
Join us during the open houses to call on the province to move quickly and decisively to grow the Greenbelt further and protect these vital water resources.
Big changes to the Growth Plan should help curb urban sprawl and encourage the development of compact, livable communities, by directing 50% more growth to existing urban areas, and increasing density targets for projects on undeveloped green space from 50 to 80 people and jobs per hectare. Not only will this help us accommodate almost 3 million more people by 2031, it will make better use of the $31 billion in provincial transit spending over the coming decade, and help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.
The 5,500 Greenbelt farms will also benefit from the proposed changes, which enable farmers to be entrepreneurial by placing fewer restrictions on what they can do or build on their farms. A viable farming sector requires more than just a land base to thrive - the Plans will also identify and protect an agricultural system for the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe, that builds on the Greenbelt to ensure that the $11 billion industry continues to grow and provide us with healthy, fresh local food.
Take Action. Stay Informed.
How will the proposed changes affect my community?
Download the Province's Discussion Document to find out.
The government wants your input. Want to get involved?
a) Attend a public open house in May and June 2016
b) Submit a comment online or through the Environmental Registry before Sept. 30, 2016
Want to stay up to date with the Review?
Visit the Greenbelt website for news and updates.