Ontario, Canada Working on Sprawl-Killing Legislation

It's hard to imagine a policy that so comprehensively acts to create disincentives for sprawl gaining political traction anywhere in the United States.
May 22, 2016, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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[Updated 5/23/2016] "With 3.5 million people set to move into the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area over the next 25 years, the province is promising sweeping changes to manage smart growth and curb urban sprawl that’s crippling the region," according to an article by San Grewal.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was joined by three other ministers to announce the "broad new measures the province is taking to properly manage future growth," according to Grewal. Sousa called the growth management strategy historic. The growth strategy is still only a proposal, regardless. "Many of the bold changes which will be reviewed until the end of September, before they can be incorporated into existing legislation," explains Grewal.

Among the proposed changes:

  • Dense "pre-zoning" requirements along transit corridors.
  • Requiring infill to comprise 60 percent of new residential development
  • Increased commercial density to lessen the development of greenfield employment centers.

The article also includes a poll asking for reader's opinions of sprawl. The overwhelming majority of respondents say "it’s about time" the provincial government did something about sprawl.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie produced a press release coinciding with the announcement of the growth strategy. The press release describes in more detail the process that produced the growth plan, as well as unequivocally voicing support for planning as the solution to the growth challenges facing the region.

[The post was updated to give proper credit to the current mayor of Mississauga.]

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Published on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in Toronto Star
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