Using growth to focus on smarter development, liveability and green communities could possibly bring great benefits. Poorly implemented growth is likely to achieve what it seeks to avoid by transforming vast areas of Burlington into depressed, grey, congestion choked, and sprawling the population out further from the the Toronto core.
Congestion is a symptom of poor planning. Halton's currently favoured “Transit Demand Management” approach which assumes people learn that their current transit habits are “unsustainable” and no longer travel, is completely unacceptable. We need tougher rules to protect communities from over development.
I see little support for additional taxes no matter what amenities they might bring. Halton region will be required to live within the current tax rates for the conceivable future.
I'd like to see lower development fees for commercial and office space balanced out by larger development fees for residential development.
We need minimum percentages set Halton wide, rules to protect large trees from development, and green walking paths that connect neighbourhoods to commercial centres.
This is more then an environmental issue. We are in a world wide competition to attract employers and talent into the area. Skilled workers of all types are going to start demanding high levels of amenities from local cities or they are going to take their jobs and money elsewhere.
On-road bike “lanes” should be removed. Investment should be made in short sections of dedicated path, then expanded. On-road biking places the biker just feet from serious injury or death. Though some are so passionate about biking that they are willing to risk it, the general population will not place their lives in jeopardy. I do not think the benefits of cycling outweigh the loss of life associated with this “on-road” setup.
Read More: Favored Lane Format
The zoning system is in major need of a change. Cities spend countless hours developing zoning regulations to protect communities. Then developers submit plans in violation of the clear rules and then strategize to get enormous exceptions from the OMB. This allows developers to increase profits at the cost of communities.
The Greenbelt is a great example of vision and forward thinking. Its greatest protection comes not from pledges or rules, but from building highly desirable city communities. If we create convenient green cities, then the green belt remains mostly forest and farms. If we fail it will come under intense development pressure or convert into a vast area of estate homes.
I can not see any argument that would allow the city or region to deflect any responsibility for flooding or waste water backup. The city controls the number of people that can connect and inspects every aspect of the storm water and waste water system. We can not leave thousands of residents in fear that a repeat will disrupt their lives again. Older areas need brought up to modern plumbing standards.
“Backflow preventers” are not a solution. Though they can possibly save your property, they can also easily jam on the normal material found in sewage. Even if they do engage normal use of your home will flood your basement anyway.
Read More: Flooding and "Backflow Preventers"