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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brant/Brantford "Greenbelt": Development Pressures

The Brant/Brantford Greenbelt

“If people indentify with their local greenbelt, they will protect it. “  (Key message from the Global Greenbelt Conference, March, 2011)

In 1980, the Ontario government created the first “greenbelt” in Ontario – a swath of land in Brant County, surrounding Brantford. Under provincial Bill 120, the province set aside an area for “permanent agricultural and rural related uses”. See the attached map. Brant/Brantford “Greenbelt”

This “greenbelt”, created after negotiation between the City, the County and the Province, was intended to set an example for other communities with development squabbles on farmland on the edge of cities.

The Brant/Brantford “greenbelt” lies only a few miles away from the western edge of the Ontario Greenbelt. At its northeastern edge, the Brant/Brantford greenbelt is only one mile from the provincial greenbelt!

Developers argue that the Brant/Brantford greenbelt has expired, and they have been busy buying up farmland and presenting development plans and maps to Brant County council. One developer’s map would pave over all of the farmland between Brantford and the western edge of the Ontario Greenbelt. Map

Many wonder why the Province excluded its very first “greenbelt” from the Ontario Greenbelt? Below is one proposed expansion of the Ontario Greenbelt, but it does not go far enough.  There is tremendous development pressure just south of Branford, to the west of the proposed expansion of the Greenbelt. Map

Over 2,500 people have signed a petition to expand the Ontario Greenbelt in Brant County. Link. Please sign our petition and help us to protect Ontario’s first greenbelt.