Special Planning Committee Greenbelt Meeting
Special Planning Committee Greenbelt Meeting
There was an overwhelming response to the Greenbelt public information meeting held last week at the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre which resulted in many people being denied entry due to lack of capacity. Thank you to everyone who came to have your voice heard with a special thank you to those who were unable to gain entry! As a result of overwhelming interest, City Staff have been at work finding a new venue to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend the upcoming meeting on Thursday, September 14th.
What: Special Planning Committee Meeting - Greenbelt
Where: New location: Ancaster Fairgrounds at 630 Trinity Road South. Location is accessible and there is plenty of free parking
When: Thursday, September 14 at 6:30
The venue can be reached via HSR bus by taking route 44 Rymal/Garner to the Ancaster Business Park and hopping on a free shuttle to the Fairgrounds from there.
Everyone can take part!
If you would like to delegate in person please send an email to [email protected] and ask to be registered to speak at the Planning Committee meeting on Sept 14. Deadline to register is Wednesday Sept 13.
Want to send an email or video recording with your thoughts to be added to the agenda? Send it to [email protected]
THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP FOR THE GREENBELT!
$$$ The Cost of Greenbelt Sprawl $$$
Sprawl is a perpetual drain on municipal cash flows
You may already know that Hamilton has pledged to hit the government's latest (and unofficial) growth target of 4,700 units per year. As of September 5, we have surpassed that number of approvals for 2023 (4,730 units approved) and have approved 133% of the Province’s annualized official growth plan of 3,560 housing units. All of this was achieved within our existing built-up areas. And, these are just housing units that needed zoning changes and came to the Planning Committee. There are many approvals that don’t need zoning approvals and bypass Planning Committee. We have enough land within our urban areas to build the housing we need while simultaneously creating, vibrant walkable communities AND lessening the property tax burden on residents.
For many reasons, Hamiltonians have been very clear that we don’t want urban sprawl, but the one reason that everyone should reject sprawl is that it bankrupts cities. It is a financial failure and it will significantly increase your property taxes in perpetuity.
Don’t be fooled by the Province’s promise and the ad from the Book Rd landowners in the September 12 Hamilton Spectator that more sprawl will be provided at ‘no cost to the taxpayer’. They won’t be paying to maintain these communities in perpetuity. This excellent video from the YouTube Channel Not Just Bikes explains why suburban sprawl - which is what Greenbelt development would be - is a financial disaster for cities. North America has pursued a suburban sprawl model of development since the 1950s and it doesn’t work, so we need to stop doing it. Pay close attention to the graphical examples at the 4:17 mark as they explain why your property taxes would continue to rise unnecessarily. Note that Rob Ford makes an appearance in this video.
In this second video, Not Just Bikes explains further why low-density development (i.e. the type of single-family housing that developers tend to build in greenfield suburbs) is very expensive and financially disastrous for a City (i.e. it drives residents’ property taxes unnecessarily upward). We need to change how we accommodate population growth and we’ve already made great progress with infill development: we don’t need more land. Note the example of Guelph, ON (at the 8:33 mark) and how mixed-use (commercial and residential together) infill development vastly improves city finances. Dense developments like these have been approved by Council in 2023 and are a very important part of a viable financial future for the City of Hamilton. The forced urban boundary expansion AND the Greenbelt Grab are completely contrary to a responsible financial plan and will require subsidies by existing taxpayers. That means - for generations to come - we will all experience property taxes rising much faster than they should, along with lower service levels (e.g. unmaintained roads, parks, recreation centres, etc)
Thanks to everyone and I look forward to seeing you at the Fairgrounds on Thursday September 14.