For Immediate Release
RESIDENTS FIGHTING DANGEROUS OMB PRECEDENT LAUNCH WEBSITE
Waterloo Region, Ontario – Local residents fighting the dangerous precedent set by the Ontario Municipal Board in January have launched a website. Hosted at www.smartgrowthwaterloo.ca, the site brings together information on the ruling and the ongoing appeal, and links to the many groups and community members speaking out against the ruling.
The Ontario Municipal Board ruling (PL110080) in favour of developers and against the Region of Waterloo’s Official Plan requires the Region to provide 1035 hectares of greenfield and agricultural land for development by 2031, forcing urban sprawl that the Region has been working for a decade to curtail. This is a 1139% increase of the 85 hectares the Region knows is the right amount to accommodate new residents, allow urban intensification, and protect high-quality farmland.
Even more disturbing is the precedent the OMB has set for the rest of the province, gutting the Province of Ontario’s Places to Grow Growth Plan density targets. The ruling also depends on past growth patterns to decide future growth patterns, preventing democratically elected governments across Ontario from responding to and shaping change in how and where we live.
“This ruling is one of the most significant threats facing the Region of Waterloo and communities across Ontario,” said Kevin Thomason, Vice-President of the Grand River Environmental Network (GREN) and co-founder of the site. “The Province of Ontario and ordinary citizens have to join the Region of Waterloo’s fight to protect our communities from this dangerous decision and the precedents it sets.”
The website will serve as a gathering point for concerned citizens and a source of information on this crucial ruling. “We’re hearing a lot of concern from people in our community and across the province,” said Kate Daley, PhD student in political science and site co-founder. “We want to make sure there’s a voice for citizens in this process, not just for developers. We hope this site will help us to learn, connect, and take action.”
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