MacIsaac reins in growth fears
Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac still confident in the plan.
Says province told him map had wrong data on farmland development
October 6, 2004 -John Burman - The Hamilton Spectator
Mapping errors may be at the root of fears the provincial growth management
plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area threatens to open most of
Halton's rural land below the escarpment to urban development.
Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac said city staff has been told by the
Ministry of Public Infrastructure that maps in the growth plan discussion
paper had errors and the plan is not an affront to the city's strategic
plan or Halton's official plan.
Councillor John Taylor's Burlington Ward 3 includes a lot of rural
land that could be affected.
One map in particular shows growth being allowed on those lands.
Taylor, who urged Halton region council two weeks ago to fight the
growth plan because it "says everything below the escarpment is open
to urban development," told city council Monday he is concerned because
the document proposes "paving agricultural land over."
MacIsaac suggested the city wait and see what the final document looks
like before rushing to the barricades to fight it.
The discussion paper is intended to be the basis of a blueprint to
manage growth between Peterborough and Fort Erie for over the next 30
"(Minister David Caplan) has confirmed there were some mapping errors,"
MacIsaac told city council Monday.
"And (Burlington) staff has received confirmation."
MacIsaac said there has been no indication that the growth plan is
intended to overrule the city's plans for its urban boundaries.
"I am confident it can preserve and strengthen Burlington's official
plan," he said.
Nevertheless, Taylor pointed out the staffs of Halton region and its
member municipalities expressed the "gravest concern" about the impact
on lands below the escarpment.
"It contradicts what we have worked hard on for eight or nine years,"
"It is a dramatic change."
Council agreed to note and file a planning department update on the
growth discussion paper.