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LETTER: Planners ignore concerns of residents who employ them

'I love it when the experts are all supporters of development,' writes reader

PelhamToday received the following letter about town planning in Wainfleet.

Tackling housing crisis with single-family homes a tall task, experts warn.

When Wainfleet updated its Official Plan in 2016, under Section 2, Purpose of the Plan, Page 2, para 2 stated, ‘...This Plan will serve as a guide to individuals and developers who will be cognizant of the township’s development policies and who will thereby be enabled to plan their action with reference to these overall policies.

Both the township planner and the consultant planner recommended that ‘and developers’ should be removed in the new Official Plan. I wonder why?

In spite of many objections from residents who attended the many public meetings, not to make this change, the planners did it anyway, and although ‘individuals’ still include developers, who remain responsible for presenting planning applications that conform with all existing planning policies, Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws, its an indication of just how long our planners have become such an integral part of the development lobby and, more and more, inclined to ignore any and all concerns of the residents who employ them and pay their salaries.    

I love it when the ‘experts’ are all supporters of development, the ‘president of the West End Home Builders Association’, another ‘an urban planner specializing in developing multiplexes’ with yet a third, ‘founding director of the PLACE Centre who went on to state, ‘...You can do it without touching the Greenbelt, but not without encroaching onto farm and industrial land...’’

Do these ‘experts’ really agree that our dwindling agricultural lands are worth sacrificing for condos and multiplexes...? I guess us taxpayers and peasants are not allowed to have any opinion?

And it was so nice being told by ‘experts’ that all homeowners are now moving away from the idea of detached single-family residences and embracing the idea of duplexes, quadplexes and even more multiplexes in their back yards and that urban living is now their preferred lifestyle?

Apparently, there is no longer any rural area that can’t be paved over to build all these new homes for many thousands of, so far, unidentified Canadians, who will each have the individual wealth to pay for all these new homes, the vast majority of which will certainly not be ‘affordable housing’.

Great on more and more development, regardless of any single factual argument to show who will be paying for them, whilst, at the same time, admitting that the present development industry can’t even come close to meeting those targets?

It appears that our politicians and our planners are content to chase development dreams that they agree are unrealistic, and are happy to promote the worst types of development, more and more of which will be subsidized by increasing our taxes?

As for those who have done no more that work for many years in order to seek a home in an area and a neighbourhood they like, generational families, some whose family homes have been in the same communities for decades and most of whom are responsible, self-reliant and pay their taxes and not necessarily believing that our governments and politicians have the competence or right to tell us where or how we should live?

I guess we are just the suckers who pay for all their failed policies, only here to be categorized as NIMBY’s, their simple and mindless attempt to promote bad planning by looking anywhere but in their own mirrors.

It’s difficult to believe anything that Ford says, particularly with regard to his housing policies, but as long as all these ‘experts’ continue to ignore the appalling planning policies that have been promoted by all planners, for too many years now, and only focus on Ford, then they are ignoring the biggest, ongoing problem of all.

Andrew Watts