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Monday, September 29, 2008

Brantford: Considering development
Questions and challenges will help the city and developers make better decisions.
Considering development

Time has overtaken a proposal to build homes north and south of Hardy Road in the city's northwest. Ten years ago, plans to build houses on 200 acres would have had clear sailing at city hall. Not so now, as was shown at a public meeting Wednesday night.

About 200 people turned out to hear details of proposals for three developments that could provide homes for up to 2,000 residents.

Many in the audience were clearly critical. They included Six Nations members who pointed out that the area is subject to a land claim and concerns about archeology.

Other issues were raised by environmentalists, who wish to protect natural features of the area, and activists who seek a masterplan for the Grand River's waterfront.

The issue of transit in the Hardy Road area also was raised.

Not so long ago, housing development had the green light from city hall. The 200 acres formerly known as Hampton Estates were cleared for takeoff.

Things have changed. Only about half of the area has been set aside from development because of environmental concerns.

This has caused the land's three new owners -- Sifton Properties Ltd., Grandview Ravines and Sam Rizzo Estate -- to make new plans which require official plan and zoning changes.

Welcome to the complicated world of development in Brantford in 2008. What once was a fairly simple and largely unopposed process to develop greenfields into housing has become a dialogue with the community in general and specific stakeholders in particular.

That's good. Questions and challenges will help the city and developers make better decisions.

Greenfields and waterfront land are in limited supply. The environment cannot be taken for grant. If the Hardy Road developments proceed, the public must be satisfied that the projects are the way to go.

The process for approval is trickier and more expensive than the old ways of doing things. But the results will be thought through more completely.

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My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Two Row Wampum Treaty

Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.