Ontario's Greenbelt Protection Act gives time out on Golden Horseshoe development
TORONTO, ONT-The passage of the Greenbelt Protection Act, 2004 on June 24 marks a new era in urban planning for Ontario's Golden Horseshoe, said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen and Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. The act establishes the area for greenbelt study as Toronto, Hamilton, Durham, York, Peel, Halton, the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan area, the Niagara tender fruit and grape lands, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan area. It also places a temporary moratorium on new urban development on lands within the Golden Horseshoe designated as rural and agricultural unless the land has already been approved for development. All land previously designated for urban development will remain available for that purpose, subject to regular municipal planning processes. The moratorium is retroactive to December 16, 2003, when Bill 27 was first introduced, with the exception of the Niagara Escarpment Plan area. The Greenbelt Task Force will provide recommendations to the government later this summer on the scope, content and implementation of the proposed greenbelt. The act also strengthens protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine by clarifying provisions of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 and extending the authority of the government to stay Ontario Municipal Board appeals on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Information on the proposed greenbelt and updates on its progress may be requested by calling 1-866-751-8082 or viewed on a dedicated Web site, www.greenbelt.ontario.ca.