OFA submitted comments on the proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan (ERO 019-6216), Greenbelt Area boundary regulation (ERO 019-6217), and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ERO 019-6218).
OFA is opposed to the proposals to remove lands from the Greenbelt’s Protected Countryside for development and urges the provincial government to withdraw these proposals altogether. OFA maintains its current stance and recommends the province should take a holistic, systematic, province-wide approach that prioritizes protecting agricultural lands and identifies the most appropriate areas for growth with justifiable criteria and comprehensive analysis. OFA encourages the provincial government to listen to their experts and explore other avenues to address housing supply which do not sacrifice farmland or the Agricultural System.
OFA does not support this proposal to grow the Greenbelt by incrementally adding the proposed areas of Urban River Valleys (URVs). The proposal to ‘Greenbelt’ URVs should not be considered an acceptable means of maintaining the Greenbelt’s total land area to balance the loss of protected agricultural lands to development. OFA believes that the Ontario government should designate all farmlands in Ontario that are outside of current settlement area boundaries as ‘Greenbelt’ and afford them permanent protections from the threat of urban development.
OFA urges the provincial government to implement changes to build more homes faster that reflect that growth management to meet housing demand and farmland protection are two sides of the same coin. More robust protection against development on agricultural land combined with fixed, permanent urban boundaries and mandatory compliance with urban density and intensification requirements will achieve community development and farmland protection objectives.