Here’s What’s Happening With Burlington’s Greenbelt Right Now
The City of Burlington has been quite vocal about its Greenbelt recently.
This first started back in December of 2018 when Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. 2018 was first tabled by the provincial government.
Critics believe that this bill could open up development on Greenbelt areas.
In a previous press release, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward commented on how the city would address this bill if passed.
“We stand firm in our commitment to protecting our greenbelt from development and protecting our farm families and rural agricultural economy,” Mayor Meed Ward said in the release.
“We will also ensure our residents benefit from the protections in all the other pieces of legislation referred to in Bill 66. We will not be comprising their safety or quality of life for speed. I do not see Burlington using this legislation, if it is passed. At the same time, we’ll do everything we can to ensure Burlington is open for business.”
Now, in a recent blog post on the Mayor’s website, it was announced that Burlington council voted unanimously to approve a resolution in order to protect the city’s Greenbelt and clean water supply in response to Bill 66.
According to the blog post, “If Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. 2018 - specifically Schedule 10 - passes, this legislation would allow local municipalities to — with the Minister’s consent — pass “Open for Business” zoning bylaws, which would not be bound by existing legislation (such as the Clean Water Act, 2006 or the Greenbelt Act, 2005).”
The blog post notes that although the province has backed down on Schedule 10, this is the second time there has been talk surrounding opening the Greenbelt and the second time the province backed off.
So, the city is not quite in the clear yet.
“We don’t need to build into our Greenbelt to be ‘open for business’,” notes the blog post.
“We have more than 500 acres of open land, we don’t need to sacrifice our agricultural economy.”
The carried motion notes that the province’s decision to no longer move forward with Schedule 10 of Bill 66 will effectively remove the override that would allow municipalities to set aside a whole series of legislation including the Greenbelt Act and Clean Water Act.
However, the carried motion also notes that Burlington’s Greenbelt will be protected from development. Meaning that land which makes up the city’s Greenbelt will not be available for developers to build on.
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