Wednesday March 7: Greenbelt comment deadline – here’s a how-to
AWARE News Network
The March 7 deadline is fast approaching for you to let the government know what you think about expanding the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.
Here’s a map of the area to be studied (we’re not at the stage of defining an expanded greenbelt yet).
This is a simple explanation of what you’re looking at.
Is the Greenbelt needed? Take three examples.
–Bradford West-Gwillimbury: the hundreds of acres of paved-over prime farmland in this municipality tell all you need to know about existing protection.
–Minesing Wetlands: The impact of surrounding development through runoff and sedimentation has lead to a loss of flood storage capacity and floodplain forest and a steady deterioration in water quality. 2014 NVCA study ‘60 years of forest change in the Minesing Wetlands’
–Simcoe County Forest: Zoning and Official Plan designations have not protected a “Greenland” – the Freele Tract – from being designated by Simcoe County as its preferred location for a composting and waste handling facility that belongs in an area set aside and available for industrial use.
Systemic planning shortfalls have meant the loss of green spaces, wetlands, and farmlands. In the last 40 years, Barrie alone lost 154 km2 of natural space – roughly 26,000 football fields – to urban sprawl. Since 2006 Simcoe County has released more greenfield space for development than any other municipality in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Municipalities need tools when confronted with lawyers representing determined and powerful forces intent on development in locations where it doesn’t belong. The Greenbelt may not be the final word – but it will ease the pressure on your municipal council, and decrease the cost involved in defending Official Plans that have been developed with public input.
So, AWARE Simcoe supports an expansion of the Greenbelt – but we feel there are areas missing from the study area:
-The remainder of the Lake Simcoe basin
-Highly significant recharge areas in Severn Sound and the Carden Alvar
-Highly significant recharge areas in the Waverley Uplands
-Wetlands and recharge areas in Clearview
GET YOUR COMMENT IN
Short and simple
Submit a brief comment. Scroll down for how-to.
Background for more
Or, here are some resources to help you organize your thoughts.
Comment from Dr. William Shotyk urging inclusion of the Waverley Uplands in the Greenbelt study area
Couchiching Conservancy submission, also mentioning the Waverley Uplands as an area to be included
Protecting Water for Future Generations submission from the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Ontario Headwaters Institute
Reports on the effect of the Greenbelt on wetlands and agriculture (one, jointly from Environmental Defence and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture)
How you get your comments to the government
Online: Go to the Environmental Registry and enter the number 013-1661. Halfway down the right side of the page is a ‘submit comment’ button. You are allowed to submit more than one comment.
By mail: Send to Protecting Water Consultations – MMAH, Local Government and Planning Policy Division, Provincial Planning Policy Branch, 777 Bay Street, Floor 13, Toronto ON M5G 2E5
Easy message: The Simcoe County has an email generator that will send emails to the Premier, Minister Mauro and all local Simcoe MPPs.
Remember, the deadline is midnight Wednesday March 7 2018