Halton Regional Council this week unanimously adopted Regional Official Plan Amendment Forty-Eight (ROPA 48), the first step toward completion of it’s new Official Plan.
The Amendment has long-term implications for the City of Burlington and for Aldershot. The approval, which was expected, follows a series of public meetings about where to direct future growth in the Region. The Amendment now goes on to the Province for approval, laying the foundation for the complete and final official plan next year.
The Region’s population is expected to grow by hundreds of thousands by 2051. ROPA 48 identifies the areas that are expected to accommodate that growth.
One of those areas is the new neighbourhood being developed around the Aldershot GO Station, technically known as a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA). It will be expected to accommodate a significant increase in population.
Halton approved the City’s MTSA boundary recommendation. It generally includes areas up to 800 metres from the GO Station or about a ten-minute walk to the trains. The northern boundary is the GO Station itself. The western boundary is roughly Daryl Drive. The southern boundary is just south of Plains Road and the eastern boundary is roughly Grove Park Drive. It does not include the nearby streets of Queen Mary, St. Matthews and Clearview.
Now approved MTSA boundary in Aldershot
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward boasted about the fact that the three streets were not included despite being immediately adjacent to the MTSA.
“We want to protect our established neighbourhoods from overdevelopment especially if they are in close proximity to our Major Transit Station areas…… so the removal of the Clearview, St. Mary’s neighbourhood in Aldershot is a key component…. adjusting that boundary which is a really key consideration, fully aligns with what we have done to the other two GO Stations in Burlington where established neighbourhoods have been carved out”.
Meed Ward had promised during the last election to keep the three streets out of the MTSA. Developers and some local land owners are lining up to object.
ROPA 48 also approved the conversion of several Aldershot properties from industrial designations to mixed-use designations. These are mainly within the MTSA. The changes will create more flexibility in the final design of the new neighbourhood. The goal is to make the area a “complete community” with a variety of services.
One conversion that is not in the MTSA is at 238 Sumach Drive. That change will be welcomed by the neighbours who want to see the former scrap yard site cleaned up. But, a developer has purchased the property and is proposing a 180-unit mid-rise building. No formal application has been filed yet but neighbours are already concerned.
While confirming that growth will happen at the Aldershot GO Station MTSA, ROPA 48 also rules out any growth in North Aldershot, except what is already approved in the Central Sector, on the west side of Waterdown Road. Several developers and land owners in North Aldershot however still have aspirations to develop some of the small nodes. The Bridgeview area is one of them.
By Rick Craven