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Reason to rescind OMB decision

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The Ontario Municipal Board recently ruled against the Region of Waterloo for measures the Region took to curb urban sprawl. Here are the reasons why I believe they should rescind their decision.

The Ontario Municipal Board recently ruled against the Region of Waterloo for measures the Region took to curb urban sprawl. Here are the reasons why I believe they should rescind their decision.


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  • 1. Reasons to Rescind the OMB Decision By Louisette Lanteigne butterflybluelu@rogers.com
  • 2. Land-Use Planning• Traditionally, the underlying belief of planning is that collective rationality can be brought into the way our cities are built rather than leaving it up to individuals in the marketplace where inefficiencies may prevail especially with respect to long-term thinking (Makuch, 2004).
  • 3. Land Use Planning and Private Development Bias• Planning is a highly charged financial process - development or redevelopment can mean big bucks for private individuals.• Private interests may have deleterious implications despite the benefits they may bring about and thus must be reconciled with the interests that the public has for appropriate development that takes into consideration other values such as environmental protection and not overburdening municipal services (Swaigen, 1993).
  • 4. Planning Act• The Act contains myriad policies in support of strict prohibition of proposed development• Section1.1 outlines the purpose:(a) to promote sustainable economic development in a healthy natural environment within the policy and by the means provided under this Act.
  • 5. Supporting PPS Provisions• 2.1.1 Natural features and areas shall be protected for the long term.• 2.1.2 The diversity and connectivity of natural features in an area, and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems, should be maintained, restored or, where possible, improved, recognizing linkages between and among natural heritage features and areas, surface water features and ground water features.
  • 6. Planning Act cont’d…• Section 2 stipulates the Provincial Interest in broad terms:(a) the protection of ecological systems, including natural areas, features and functions(c) the conservation and management of natural resources and the mineral resource base
  • 7. Planning Act cont’d…Provincial Interest cont’d(d) the conservation of features of significant architectural, cultural, historical, archaeological or scientific interest;(e) the supply, efficient use and conservation of energy and water;
  • 8. Planning Act cont’d…Provincial Interest cont’d(h) the orderly development of safe and healthy communities;(l) the protection of the financial and economic well-being of the Province and its municipalities;
  • 9. Planning Act cont’d…Provincial Interest cont’d(n) the resolution of planning conflicts involving public and private interests;(o) the protection of public health and safety;(p) the appropriate location of growth and development.
  • 10. ‘Consistency’ with Provincial Policy Statement (PPS)• Pursuant to Section 3 subsection 5 of the Planning Act, all land-use decisions must be consistent with the PPS – a more stringent standard• The proposed site must comply to sections 2.1 Natural Heritage and 2.2 Water from section 2.0 Wise Use and Management of Resources, which the proposal violates.
  • 11. Supporting PPS Provisions cont’d…• 2.1.6 Development and site alteration shall not be permitted on adjacent lands to the natural heritage features and areas identified in policies 2.1.3, 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 unless the ecological function of the adjacent lands has been evaluated and it has been demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or on their ecological functions.
  • 12. Supporting PPS Provisions cont’d…• 2.2.1 Planning authorities shall protect, improve or restore the quality and quantity of water by:a) using the watershed as the ecologically meaningful scale for planning;b) minimizing potential negative impacts, including cross-jurisdictional and cross-watershed impacts;c) identifying surface water features, ground water features, hydrologic functions and natural heritage features and areas which are necessary for the ecological and hydrological integrity of the watershed;d) implementing necessary restrictions on development and site alteration to: 1. protect all municipal drinking water supplies and designated vulnerable areas; and 2. protect, improve or restore vulnerable surface and ground water, sensitive surface water features and sensitive ground water features, and their hydrologic functions;
  • 13. Supporting PPS Provisions cont’d…e) maintaining linkages and related functions among surface water features, ground water features, hydrologic functions and natural heritage features and areas;f) promoting efficient and sustainable use of water resources, including practices for water conservation and sustaining water quality; andg) ensuring stormwater management practices minimize stormwater volumes and contaminant loads, and maintain or increase the extent of vegetative and pervious surfaces.2.2.2 Development and site alteration shall be restricted in or near sensitive surface water features and sensitive ground water features such that these features and their related hydrologic functions will be protected, improved or restored.
  • 14. Planning criteria not met by OMB decision makersPursuant to Section 51 subsection 24 of the Planning Act, decision makers must have regard to the following:(a) the effect of development on matters of provincial interest as referred to in section 2;(b) whether the development beyond the country side line is premature or in the public interest;(c) whether the plan conforms to the official plan;(d) the suitability of the land for the purposes for which it is to be used;(h) conservation of natural resources and flood control;(l) the physical layout of the plan having regard to energy conservation.
  • 15. Summary of Issues and Concerns: Leads to Environmental Degradation of the Community• Water quantity and quality issues• Incomplete environmental assessments Does not conform to all necessary Provincial policy and legislation• Non-conforming to Planning Act and March 2005 Provincial Policy Statement Therefore, the OMB decision appears to represent bad planning!
  • 16. Ontario Farmlands
  • 17. Where do Farmlands Come from? That answer is as easy as dirt!Aggregate distribution governs all aspects of the surface andsubsurface geological characteristics of an area. Aggregatesshape topography, mineral contents and ph levelsinfluencing the plants that grow and the species that thrive.Aggregate distribution impacts water quality, water volumes,water flow and flow rates heading to wells and tributaries. Itsrole in retaining water, either above or below the ground,impacts atmospheric temperatures. It supports a web ofbiodiversity both above and below and in soil layers. It helpsto controls floods, prevents drought and provides water foragriculture, tributaries, lakes and rivers which supportscommunities and industries. Aggregates are the keystone for all of this!
  • 18. A View of Ontarios Farmlands 2011 Census of AgricultureOntario has the biggest agricultural output asmeasured by farm cash receipts, with 12.6million acres in agricultural production, just 5.6%of Ontario’s land base.Though Ontario has less than a quarter of thefarmland of either Saskatchewan or Alberta, thecombination of soil and climate mean yields onOntario farmland are often double or more thanthat of the Prairies.
  • 19. Farming in Ontario = $50 billion/year Direct employment in the automotive sector in 2010 was 31,500, while food processing hit 127,000. The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors also reported the farming created an additional 90,000 jobs. In 2010, the auto sector had $43.6 billion in revenue in Ontario, while food processing, agriculture products and farming grossed nearly $50 billion.http://ca.news.yahoo.com/food-processing-beats-auto-industry-ontario-report-says-110736478.html
  • 20. Farmlands in Ontario at riskNumber of farms in Ontario dropped 9.2%from 2006 to 2011The area farmed in the province fell 4.8%from 2006 to 2011.
  • 21. The reason for decline of Ontario farms: “It’s subdivisions, it’s shopping malls, it’s roads,” said Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “We’re developing good farmland that in the long run will not be available to grow food, fibre and fuel for the world.”
  • 22. Mark Wales, President of Ontario Federation of Agriculture states: “Canada is expected to be one of only six countries in the world to be a net exporter of food.”http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/06/04/19836431.html
  • 23. Global water & food crisis due to declining aquifersWorlds largest aquifer going Chinas north that produces food fordry 400 million people is running out ofThe Ogallala aquifer is the worlds water because they are depleting thelargest underground water system, underground aquifers.irrigating one-third of the US corn Thomas Fingar, chairman and deputy directorcrops and providing drinking water to US National IntelligenceCouncil andColorado, Kansas, Nebraska, NewMexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota,Texas and Wyoming. It’s one of thefastest-disappearing aquifers in theworld and the water is not comingback. ( Associated Press) The failure of governments to limit pumping to the sustainable yield of aquifers means that water tables are now falling in countries that contain more than half the worlds people, including the big three grain producers--China, India, and the United States. Lester R. Brown,Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C.
  • 24. According to the Word Bank:Drought-affected areas would increase from 15.4% ofglobal cropland today, to around 44% by 2100.The most severely affected regions in the next 30 to90 years will likely be in southern Africa, the UnitedStates, southern Europe and Southeast Asia. http://climatechange.worldbank.org/content/climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-century
  • 25. Agricultural lands WITH WATER are in high demand.• Countries such as China, Korea and the United Arab Emirates are buying or leasing agricultural land to help meet their own food needs. The International Food Policy Research Institute• The World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 percent by 2030. The National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2025• Global Economist project that agricultural lands will surpass the value of development lands in the near future due to rising oil production costs, population increases, higher standard of living, water shortages climate change and drought.First photo: China, Second Photo: The US Third: Waterloo Ontario
  • 26. 2012 view of US Drought
  • 27. US drought resulted in toxic feed Cattle are being poisoned by cyanide-laced weeds in Arkansas. Across the Midwest water-soluble fertilizers are concentrating in soils and plants, making them harmful rather than productive. And in Missouri, samples suggest that more than half the corn crop isnt fit for human consumption, thanks to unusually high levels of nitrogen. There was not enough water for photosynthesis and high nitrate build up made the corn toxic. http://current.com/10b70kc
  • 28. Atrazine contaminated US water supplies.Drought and depleted aquifers reduced groundwater to dilute.
  • 29. This is Africa
  • 30. This is Americas Midwest in 2012
  • 31. Think Globally
  • 32. Act Locally!Protect our A1 farmlands and primary recharge areas from quarries and development.Expand the Greenbelt Save Dont Pave Primary Recharge Areas
  • 33. Save food and water resources for generations to come!