Re: Builders seek urban expansion

Re: Builders seek urban expansion
Page A16 - September 28, 2004 edition
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Attention: The Editor

It is ironic that on page one of today's edition there is an article on
shorter life spans and the poor health effects caused by urban sprawl and
on page 16 of the same edition the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders
Association (HHHBA) argues that more land is needed to accommodate
population growth (translation: urban sprawl) in the Hamilton area. The
article also describes the HHHBA's call for the quick completion of the
Mid Peninsula Highway and their concern about the limitations imposed by
the proposed greenbelt. They contend that the "creation of the greenbelt
will be disastrous to both urban and rural areas."

The current state of the city's infrastructure and degraded environmental
integrity would indicate that to allow the unfettered growth purported by
developers can no longer go unchecked and is the true threat to both urban
and rural areas. The HHHBA's call for building of the Mid Peninsula
Highway, a poorly though-out and unnecessary highway, is another obvious
ploy to further their own agenda regardless of the impact on society as a
whole.

To allow for a greenbelt doesn't mean population growth won't be
accommodated. It does mean we'll have to revitalize the decaying areas
that already exist in the City of Hamilton. It means developers will have
to be creative, work within the boundaries and cease the free-for-all
levelling of virgin land. It means we must stop pretending that we can
carry on with "development as usual" and recognize that to continue to
forge ahead and destroy our remaining green space for the profit of the
few is an act of greed with a huge impact on the many.

The proposed greenbelt and provincial growth plan are not perfect. But
they are certainly more progressive than the disjointed approach taken up
to now. Also, gridlock in the Toronto area is proof that another highway
is NOT the answer.

The article on the affects of urban sprawl stated that those living in
that environment cut their life short by four years. When actually faced
with that reality, I wonder how much value we'll place on those lost years
and will the reality hit in time to alter our approach to development?

Sincerely,

Susan McMaster
Co-Chair
Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment

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