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 years.

"(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," he said.

"It is a dramatic change."

Council agreed to note and file a planning department update on the growth discussion paper.

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