If we are to accommodate the expected growth of 200,000 people in Hamilton and provide jobs for them, we will need a mix of strategies.
By Letter to the Editor
Published March 18, 2006
The GRIDS (Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy) proposals are about to be released. Predictably in Hamilton, when the plan is revealed developers will decry the lack of new land to build houses on, and the environmental lobby will cry “urban sprawl”.
When the debate is on, we should remember that Hamilton is now about 80 percent rural. If Council adopts the recommendations of the GRIDS program it will still be 78 1/2 percent rural. All prime agricultural lands will be protected.
Hamilton has done more than any jurisdiction in Ontario, if not Canada, to see that surplus industrial and commercial space is converted to housing. When we hear that no greenfield land should be touched, citizens should understand that the Provincial Government has mandated single family dwellings as part of the mix.
If we are to accommodate the expected growth of 200,000 people in Hamilton and provide jobs for them, we will need a mix of strategies. As I have watched the GRIDS program develop, I was very impressed with Steve Robichaud, the planner who has been responsible for guiding this process over the past two and a half years. He should be commended for his patience and strength of character in bringing this project to fruition.
Our community should also be grateful to former Mayor Bob Wade, Mayor Di Ianni and Council for planning for needed growth rather than responding to the pressures that beset them.
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