Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Should Pelham Look Like in the Future?

As you may know, Pelham still has a few tracts of land set aside and available for new growth.

The largest is in the “East Fonthill” area – between Rice Road and Station Street / Steve Bauer Trail and from Regional Road 20 to the Town’s southern boundary (south of Merritt Street).

While much of these nearly 500 acres of lands are currently farmed, the entire area was added to the Urban Boundary by an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in 2000. It is estimated that at least 5,000 people could be living in this area within 20 years; that is why the Region installed water and sewer trunk lines in 2007/08.

The OMB decision required the Town to undertake a “Secondary Plan” before allowing development to proceed.

All Towns and Cities must have “Official Plans” (OPs). Essentially, an Official Plan contains policies and guidelines and outlines where commercial, agricultural, industrial, and residential developments can occur. It uses a series of maps to demonstrate those areas.

Pelham adopted our current Official Plan in 1987. We started renewing and modernizing the OP in the late 1990s; but, since the Province began changing their governing policies in the mid-2000s– Greenbelt Plan, “Places to Grow”, Provincial Policy Statement – the Town must adapt our own policies and guidelines. Staff anticipates that the Town’s new Official Plan will be available for public input and feedback this Fall.

Like an Official Plan covering the entire Town, a Secondary Plan contains detailed policies and guidelines for growth and development for a specific area – in this case, this East Fonthill area.

Some of the goals of the East Fonthill Secondary Plan include ensuring a well-designed, attractive, pedestrian-friendly community with a mixture of housing types; encouraging significant retail / commercial development while at the same time protecting the existing Fonthill Downtown; providing a “Greenlands System” that protects existing environmental features and integrates with the Steve Bauer Trail system; and developing a pedestrian / cyclist-friendly and transit-ready road network.

Council and I are really interested in your feedback and suggestions on the East Fonthill Secondary Plan. You can find a draft Plan on the Town’s website at and at Town Hall and the Libraries. Please send us an email or letter or attend the Open House on Tuesday, June 21 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Pelham Fire Station #1.

Don’t miss your chance on being involved in a plan that will dramatically shape the future of Pelham.