Hamilton Saves its Farmland: Will Meet Housing Demand through Zoning Reform, Not Sprawl

“Hamilton’s decision will have positive ripple effects across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and should embolden citizens who also are fighting to save their natural heritage from the big sprawl.”

A News Release from Environmental Defence, Environment Hamilton, Stop Sprawl Hamont

Posted December 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If we don’t say NO to more sprawl, everything we have left in the way of farmland and green space for woodlands, wetlands and other wildlife will be lost under pavement for every. Sure that is not what we want.

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Let’s urge our municipal leaders in Niagara to take note of what City of Hamilton concillors (as outlined in the news release immediately below) were brave enough to do – even in the face of intense lobby pressure from the plunderers of green space still driving this province’s development industry.

This coming December 1st, our Niagara Regional Councillors are scheduled to hold a special meeting to decide whether or not to support something called Option 3C, which is code for a higher level of protection we need to save what is left of our region’s natural heritage, including its woodlands and wetlands.

Please contact the Mayor in your municipality and your directly elected Regional Councillors and urge them to vote YES to Option 3C. More on this in the days ahead.

Now here is the News Release on the very positive step a majority of Hamilton city councillors took recently to save what is left of the natural heritage in their jurisdiction –

Hamilton, Ontario – Taking its cue from tens of thousands of residents, Hamilton’s City Council has committed to accommodate the next 30 years of urban growth through greyfield redevelopment, intensification along proposed mass transit lines, and zoning reform designed to add many thousands of new homes to existing low-rise residential neighbourhoods – and not through boundary expansion.

Hamilton’s city council recently made a brave decision on where to draw a firm line between what you see at the bottom of this image and what we need to protect, at the top, for future generations.

Hamilton will preserve all of its contested countryside including the 3,300 acres of prime farmland targeted by developers this year.

“Hamilton City Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. The 13 – 3 council vote for ‘No Boundary Expansion’ demonstrates a solid commitment to taking serious action to build a Hamilton that is truly climate resilient and inclusive,” said Lynda Lukasik of Environment Hamilton. “There is plenty of work still to be done, but we know Hamiltonians are ready to make it happen!

Hamilton’s decision will be a valuable template for other Greater Golden Horseshoe regions struggling to reconcile social equity and environmental protection with the province’s radical “market-based” planning policy changes.

That is because, rather than defying provincial rules, or disregarding market demand projections, Council has directed staff to reform existing residential zoning to generate the same numbers and types of homes that would otherwise be produced through settlement area boundary expansion.

It will be very difficult for the province to justify rejecting Hamilton’s decision, because it signalled approval for this housing mix in a letter earlier this year.

“Hamilton’s decision has demolished the wall of developer-spawned misinformation that has already duped at least one Region into acquiescing to 30 more years of accelerated, car-dependent, farmland-chewing “greenfield” sprawl development,” said Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence

 “Despite the Ontario government’s attempts to railroad municipalities into sprawl, Hamilton has shown all of the GTHA’s regional councils how they can legally transform their existing car-dependent neighborhoods into complete walkable communities, rather than sacrificing more farmland and natural heritage. Every other regional government should slam on the brakes and apply the precedent Hamilton has set.”

“We are a grassroots group of concerned citizens that grew from two people eleven months ago to tens of thousands of engaged Hamiltonians. The City of Hamilton has now committed to building more vibrant neighbourhoods with efficient transit, safe active transportation, and a mix of housing types that are suitable for all stages of life and all income levels while saving 3,300 acres of prime Hamilton farmland,” said Nancy Hurst, Co-Founder of Stop Sprawl HamOnt.

“Hamilton’s decision will have positive ripple effects across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and should embolden citizens who also are fighting to save their natural heritage from the big sprawl.”

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

Niagara At Large will have more to say about this in the days ahead. Stay Tuned! Image courtesy of the Niagara citizens coalition, Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


2 responses to “Hamilton Saves its Farmland: Will Meet Housing Demand through Zoning Reform, Not Sprawl

  1. Robert Milenkoff

    Hats off to Hamilton city council ……………. too bad the fearless leader of Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and his minions wouldn’t follow in their footsteps.


  2. Should carefully read final versions of Provincial and Regional Planning Acts because the draft versions state that NO chapters nor other legislations nor committees nor organizations etc will be allowed to stop any “developments”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.