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Nith Peninsula Provincial Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Decision:

I understand the lamentations about growth in our community. I have them too. We’re currently at provincial appeal boards with over a dozen developments in the community where we fight for better plans, lower impact and much more.

Please read on below and click the ‘Nith Peninsula’ Residential Development link at the bottom of the page for the most detailed and user-friendly information package the county has ever put together to help folks understand the process more completely. Hopefully we can do more of this to let people in on the development process. There will be more of this as 5400+ homes have already been slated to be built in our town over the next decade or so.

All that said please make comments but please none of this coded language denigrating “strangers” and the “new people” coming to town.  I fully understand the gripes folks have with development and think it is fair to have concerns about the amount, pace, infrastructure issues surrounding it.

But we also need to remember that as a community we thrive when we work together. There is a disturbing amount of comments online and made in person about future members of our community that I can’t abide.  These comments actually hurt the community and hurt the case to be made regarding changing how we do growth in our County in my opinion.

We. Are. In. This. Together.

I don’t care if you’ve lived here for 10 generations or 10 minutes. We are ALL members of the same community. I’ll gladly take comments and answer the questions I am able to but the casual complaints about fellow and future community members tears our town down more than development ever will. It takes more out of the charm of this town than 10,000 houses ever could.

I am NOT saying anyone who complains about development has these concerns. I complain about development and don’t have those concerns. But some folks mix them together. And if anything I think it ends up taking away from the legitimate complaints people have about development issues and it hurts our town and broader community.

I am not lumping in everyone (or even a majority of) folks who complain about development as also being denigrating to new folks moving here but it’s something I am noticing more and more and it is troubling.

Off of my soapbox now. Here is a quick rundown on the complexities of this case which is part of the 5400+ homes in the Paris pipeline before “Tap the Breaks” was initiated:

  • This space has been zoned for residential development for 25 + years,
  • It has been over 10 years since the first application to develop,
  • 3 council terms since initial application,
  • 14 area and environmental studies on the privately owned property have taken place in the meantime,
  • The developer decided to take this to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (provincial level) for a decision,
  • There was a land swap initiated by the previous council and finalized by this council to save 100 acres of the “non cornfield” space retaining Barker’s Bush area and limiting the areas and number of homes that could be developed.  That part of the space is now owned by the County.
  • Negotiations for a new road to ease construction traffic and subsequent traffic have occurred,
  • Successful negotiations for a naturalized storm management pond to lower impact of development were had,
  • Multiple public hearings took place before the LPAT decision where no members of the public showed despite notifications,
  • We also have to look at the larger context of successive provincial governments which push for growth through “Places to Grow” and “More Homes, More Choice,”
  • Still, the process resulted in over 30 concessions from the developer regarding things mentioned above, pacing, size of development etc.

Click the link below and read all the information – a lot there to chew on and for those who wonder how this all happens it’s a good way to get informed, especially as we head forward in creating a new official plan as a community for the future.  Big thank you to our municipal staff and fellow councillors and the Mayor who all worked together to provide a lot of information about this development and the larger process to the public.

A highlight of some of the activities I’ve attended this month beyond regular council meetings:

  • Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant MP/MPP Breakfast
  • Paris Museum and Historical Society AGM
  • County of Brant Recreation Expo
  • Volunteering with Conestoga College’s Public Service Program as a Community Connector for students to connect with local government.
  • Heritage Week Recognition Awards
  • Meeting with an incoming community partner to discuss service opportunities in the County of Brant
  • Master Fire Plan Public Consultation
  • Community led advocacy meeting regarding Planning Advisory Committee zoning decision.
  • Meeting with Six Nations of the Grand River Chief Mark Hill and Brantford Councillor Cheryl Antoski to discuss Federation of Canadian Municipalities, climate and youth work.
  • Kiwanis Paris-Brant Teddy Bear Clinic event at Paris Branch of the County of Brant Library to help young people get accustomed to medical treatment
  • 30 minute interview on Brant.One to discuss results of Grand River St. N Environmental Assessment so far and the process from here.
  • Grand River Street North Environmental Assessment Public Information Centre #3.
  • Special Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting and Minimum Distance Separation Educational Session
  • Meeting with Brant OPP to discuss options of Community Safety and Well-being deliverables.
  • Source Water Protection Public Info Session at Brant Sports Complex.
  • Workshop regarding Official Plan process moving forward.
  • Meeting with Big Brothers Big Sisters Grand Erie
  • Meeting with local business owners regarding expansion of business in Ward 2
  • Meeting with Local Planning Official to discuss Official Plan process