• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

How province allowed municipalities to intensify rural sprawl, undermining its vaunted Growth Plan

In Adjala-Tosorontio
Mar 25th, 2017

Should rural settlements in the Greater Golden Horseshoe be a focus for growth?

from the Neptis Foundation March 9 2017

Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe states that “population and employment growth will be accommodated by… directing major growth to settlement areas that offer municipal water and wastewater systems and limiting growth in settlement areas that are serviced by other forms of water and wastewater services.”

This brief shows that a contradiction in wording between the 2006 Growth Plan and a 2008 supplementary provincial document has created a policy gap and decisions made during Growth Plan implementation allowed municipalities to direct growth to rural settlement areas that do not have full municipal services and further, that municipalities are allowed to count this growth as “intensification.” The settlements across the Greater Golden Horseshoe potentially affected by this policy gap contain a total of more than 31,000 hectares of unbuilt land.

This brief describes how the contradiction came about, discusses the effects on infrastructure and costs, provides examples of new subdivisions in rural settlements that are being counted as intensification, and notes that the proposed 2016 revision to the Growth Plan may entrench this contradiction.

The analysis raises the question: do we direct growth to settlements in which it contributes to cost-effective infrastructure investments or do we continue to allow growth in rural settlements in ways that increase infrastructure demands and costs?

Link to download PDF: Should rural settlements in the Greater Golden Horseshoe be a focus for growth?

Link to download PDF: Undelineated Built-Up Areas: A gap that could undermine the Growth Plan

Link to download PDF: An update on the total land supply: Even more land available for homes and jobs in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

‘One stray sentence:’ Media reacts to Neptis report


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