Milton's Expected Growth Raising Some Concerns

Change can be good.

But it can also be daunting.

For those who are unaware, the Places to Grow Act is an act that is used as a tool to achieve growth policy and implementation. In layman’s terms, it helps a town or city prepare for intensification and increased density (more people and more amenities, typically).

And it looks like some people in the town believe that Milton's Places to Grow Act may need to change, as the town might not be able to offer enough gainful employment to residents as the town’s population grows.

According to a document from the Town of Milton, a recent update of the Places to Grow Act requires the Halton Region and its local municipalities to accommodate for growth up to the year 2041.

According to the document, the Halton Region recently started its next Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR) process which is aimed to examine and establish a suitable urban expansion plan among the four municipalities - Halton, Burlington, Oakville, and Milton - to the year 2041 and beyond.

The recently approved Town of Milton Report PD-040-16, Employment Lands Needs Study, outlined the need for employment lands within the Town of Milton leading up to the year 2031.

Milton's Employment Lands Needs Study outlined the necessary range and level of employment land use needed for the anticipated residential growth within the Milton.

Through Sustainable Halton, the minimum target population to the year 2031 is 235,000 people, with a minimum 114,000 jobs.

Currently, Milton is at risk for the first time of not meeting the target of one job for every two residents.

To combat this, the minimum population target identified for the year 2031 could be increased, subject to the proposed alternative high-density, mixed-use development, meant for both the Milton Education Village and Agerton (Derry/Trafalgar) Secondary Plan Areas.

The three Preferred Growth Options recommended are:

Option A-1 (Appendix A) accommodate all further growth past 2031 within current SHP boundaries and strategic employment lands south and east of the Trafalgar Road Corridor bound by the Town of Oakville and the City of Mississauga.

Option A-2 (Appendix A) include lands previously highlighted in ES-010-17, based on an agreement in principle whereby a redesigned Rattlesnake Point Golf Club will become the permanent home for the Canadian Open within the next five years.

Option B - (Appendix B) accommodate all further growth as identified in Option A-1/A- 2 and include strategic employment lands south to Lower Base Line.

The Places to Grow Act calls for a targeted population of an additional 235,000 and 88,000 employees to Halton Region between the years 2031 and 2041, at a minimum.

Although it is hard to determine the degree of the intended growth that will be distributed to the town past 2031, it has always been planned that Milton will grow to a population of about 350,000 to 400,000 with an employment range of 175,000 to 200,000 employees in order to meet the preferred ratio of one job for every two residents, including a full range of employment opportunities.

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