Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Public Meeting about the Future of Pelham

Next Monday, the Town will host an official public meeting about the Town’s new Official Plan and the East Fonthill Secondary Plan. These plans will help solidify the future direction of growth and development across all of Pelham!

The province dictates that all Towns and Cities must have an “Official Plan” (OP). Essentially, an Official Plan contains policies and guidelines that outline 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. Then, in the early-2000s, the Province began changing their governing policies – Greenbelt Plan, “Places to Grow”, Provincial Policy Statement. This forced the Town to adapt our proposed policies and guidelines.

After much work, the Town will host an official public meeting to listen to public comment regarding the Official Plan.

The public meeting will also focus on the East Fonthill Secondary Plan.

The “East Fonthill” area lies between Rice Road and Station Street / Steve Bauer Trail and from Regional Road 20 to the Town’s southern boundary (half-way between Merritt and Quaker Roads).

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” – more detailed policies and guidelines – before allowing development to proceed.

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.

The official public meeting on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 PM at Old Pelham Town Hall (491 Canboro Road at Centre) will allow you to provide comment, suggestions, and improvements to these two plans.

You can find the final draft plans on the Town’s website at www.pelham.ca and at Town Hall and the Libraries.

I look forward to receiving feedback on these plans because they will shape the future of our Town.