Development and Growth in our Community
At the outset, let me first be clear.
I am not against any-and-all development within the ward and across the City. What I do firmly believe is that we should collaboratively develop the big picture of how Alta Vista grows through thoughtful and collaborative planning.
How can we achieve collaborative planning - to ensure community voices are heard?
I have said countless times that we create better development - when we create more time before proposals get to the City Council table. When there is more time, there is more opportunity for ALL to participate and determine how our community will grow.
In short, more time = more opportunity.
I have used this approach within Alta Vista on development files. This approach works.
I Ied negotiations on the $300M Elmvale Mall Secondary Plan in our ward of Alta Vista from 2015-2017. As a community association president in the ward:
I created more time – for residents to be heard.
I liaised with community associations, small businesses, and key stakeholders.
I forged effective working relationships with city planners and the developer – to ensure community concerns were being heard.
Almost two years later our community achieved significant reductions in building height and density and greatly enhanced traffic calming measures, parking and greenspace.
Over this last term of council, there have been countless examples of residents and key stakeholders becoming increasingly frustrated with how development proposals are handled across the City. Much of this frustration stems from residents feeling that there is a “rush” to get development proposals to the City Council table. I firmly believe we need to change this culture at City Hall.
As your City Councillor, I will commit to:
Be the Ward’s Champion. I will be your advocate, your voice and a thoughtful and independent community representative at City Hall.
No conflict of interest. I have no real or perceived conflicts of interest at the City Council table, nor will I have to recuse myself from any votes. I have not, nor will I ever accept donations of any kind from developers, lobbyists, or any other body or representative affiliated with development.
Community town halls. Ensuring all people who live and work in Alta Vista – have ample opportunity to participate and engage on development and planning files in the ward – by hosting town halls twice per year so that residents can ask questions and receive updates on all development applications/proposals across the ward.
Bringing community consultations to your doorstep. I will launch a podcast on my website that provides residents with the opportunity to listen to files related to development applications within the ward – to provide residents greater accessibility/awareness on local development. No more surprises!
Respecting Planning Agreements. I will fight very hard to ensure that we enforce community design and planning agreements. Residents have told me that they want some level of certainty in how we develop our City and our ward of Alta Vista. I will be the City Councillor that champions this cause around the Council table.
Advocating that City’s Official Plan incorporate environmental initiatives. Municipal governments should be at the forefront of addressing and managing climate change. Climate Change is a multi-faceted problem that touches on storm-water management, urban design form and energy conservation – to name a few. Therefore, I believe that a City’s Official Plan should reflect these realities and I will push to ensure the City’s new Official Plan incorporates these principles.