York Region Urban Boundary Expansion Public Hearing

As some of you are already aware, York Region is pushing ahead with approving the urban boundary expansion onto white belt lands this summer. The region had targeted an urban boundary expansion for Vaughan, East Gwilliambury and Markham as far back as 2008,

http://www.york.ca/NR/rdonlyres/zqtfe3bylgm3r2rqwrvpskyobo4vffquu56wecfo3t2jcq7vczps52oabtil3jqnd3nkhsvhmxx45tghyko2xqjfef/2031LandBudgetstaffrpt.pdf

Why Markham has been having a debate regarding a foodbelt seems strange considering this information.

York Region will be having a public hearing on the urban boundary expansion June 16th at 1:30pm. We feel this time of day is completely undemocratic as most of us cannot afford the time off work to express our views regarding this proposal.

We request all our members and supporters email York Region to request this time be changed from 1:30 pm to 7:00pm to ensure citizens are able to attend and voice their opinion regarding this issue. Below is an example email which can be used to contact the region.

1. Cut and paste the example email below and send it to;

john.waller@york.ca
barbara.jeffrey@york.ca
jjones@markham.ca
glandon@markham.ca
jvirgilio@markham.ca
joyce.frustaglio@vaughan.ca
mario.ferri@vaughan.ca
gino.rosati@vaughan.ca

I, being a resident of York Region, request through this e-mail, that the Council revise the time for the Public Hearing on June 16th regarding the urban boundary expansion onto white belt lands. I request the time be moved from 1:30 pm to 7:00 pm so that I may attend. A public hearing of this importance must be made available for as many York Region citizens and voters as possible.

This issue is very important and it would be seen as being undemocratic to deny people the opportunity to have their say because the Hearing is held in the middle of the day. I would not want to accuse the council of seeming to avoid the public process that is necessary to make fair decisions on this issue.

This is a very significant issue for the financial and environmental health and future sustainability of the region, I urge you to bring forward this request to Council.

Thank you,

Your Name and address

Sustainable Vaughan will be meeting with Environmental Defence and The David Suzuki Foundation this week to propose the idea that a five year moratorium on expanding the urban boundary must happen across all of York Region. We’re hoping to get Markham councilors on board as well. We also have support from two Toronto councillors on our proposal. Markham councillors cannot continue to make proposals regarding the white belt without considering what’s at stake across the entire York Region white belt. There is not much to gain if Markham’s white belt is converted to a foodbelt while Vaughan’s white belt gets developed with low density housing. The entire white belt must be considered as one entity, as the Greenbelt currently is.

Sustainable Vaughan is proposing that York Region implement a five year moratorium on development on white belt lands. The population numbers the province has given York Region to meet in twenty years may end up being far higher than expected. When we consider the types of high rise proposals that have been made in Vaughan since 2006, this is not hard to imagine. Keeping white belt lands out of development for five years will allow higher density development to take root throughout the region. The cost of home ownership, retiring seniors and the stimulation of public transit infrastructure in York Region will all help to increase the demand for condos, mid-rise housing and town homes

Thanks again for your continued support,

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