Oakville councillors dig in on fight to stop urban sprawl in Halton Region

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Published January 21, 2022 at 4:55 pm

Oakville councillors are taking a stand against the depletion of agriculture land that will occur if housing development continues to spread.

At a planning and development committee meeting earlier this week, councillors agreed with the arguments of local environmentalists and a report by Town staff that urban sprawl in Halton Region shouldn’t be allowed to continue at the expense of green space.

Instead, Oakville politicians are backing a plan that would see increased intensification in existing urban settings, intensification that has been deemed necessary to meet Halton’s growth.

Specifically, Oakville is pushing back against a Region of Halton plan that would see urban sprawl take over 2,120 hectares of agriculture land in Milton and Halton Hills.

“It’s a good move on the part of Oakville,” said Karen Brock of the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association who spoke at the meeting.

Brock said the next step is to get Region of Halton politicians to consider alternative plans to save agricultural plans which she said is essential for the environment and will help supply food to future generations of Halton residents.

The Region of Halton plan is geared to accommodate growth which is expected to see the population of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills reach one million by 2051.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said the Town is working to plan a sustainable future for Halton.

“Growth is coming and we have to prepare, but not at the cost of sacrificing prime agricultural lands when other options exist,” said Burton. “I call on our colleagues at the Region to respect the need to work on the flaws in the land needs assessment and to save the farmland. The land use decisions we make now are irreversible and will affect our future generations.”

Halton Region will debate the matter at a February 9 meeting.

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