8/27/13

‘Smart Growth’ makes consumers housing aspirations irrelevant | Financial Post

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‘Smart Growth’ makes consumers housing aspirations irrelevant
PETER SHAWN T AYLOR, SPECIAL
TO

FINANCIAL POST | 13/04/10 9:29 AM ET

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Peter Shaw n Taylor: High-density living has become the officially preferred form of abode.

Tim Fraser f or National Post

Where city planners once actively discouraged downtown development and sought to push all growth to city outskirts, today the exact opposite policy is in place Perhaps aspiring homeowners should blame Plato. Ever since the ancient Greek philosopher’s republic presented his vision of a perfect city run by an elite intelligentsia who alone can appreciate true beauty, eager bureaucrats and politicians have schemed of ways to ignore the desires of untutored common folk in their own pursuit of so-called perfection. These days, of course, the philosopher-kings go by a different name. Urban planners. The most recent iteration of Plato’s struggle against democracy, markets and other avenues of popular input can be found in efforts to curb urban sprawl and thus frustrate the wishes of hopeful young home buyers. Where city planners once actively discouraged downtown development and sought to push all growth to city outskirts, today the exact opposite policy is in place. Now the popular and traditional suburb full of single family homes is to be turned into an exception rather than the rule. Density requirements limiting access to new “green field” suburban developments are meant to artificially push up the price of existing single family homes under a planning doctrine known as Smart Growth. High-density living has become the officially preferred form of abode.

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POST POINTS opinion. Achieving the current planning goal will require over half of all new residents arriving in Waterloo region to move into apartments. consumer choice has always been irrelevant to the planner-tariat. The municipality has asked the courts to reverse the ruling.8/27/13 ‘Smart Growth’ makes consumers housing aspirations irrelevant | Financial Post Sprawl pits Smart Growth planners and politicians against developers who simply want to build what people want to buy While this scenario may suit anyone already eager for condo life.000 hectares is more realistic. But a controversial recent ruling from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). We can National only hope. Since 2006 the cost of land underneath a new single family home has more than doubled. It’s a substantial gap. threatens to derail Waterloo region’s Platonic urge to eradicate housing choice. By 2015. The developers mustered a panoply of data. Kitchener and Cambridge plus surrounding rural townships an hour’s drive west of Toronto. including rigorous density and intensification targets. In Calgary. a municipality comprising the cities of Waterloo. A look at how the two sides arrived at their figures is instructive. Rack ‘em. Hamilton and their broad environs.financialpost. 40% of all new development must occur within existing urban boundaries. stack ‘emand pack ‘em. To municipal planners. rather than the other way around. Likely Stalin would be too. it sets its land budget by deciding how much farmlandit’s prepared to plow under and only then does it figure out how to squeeze people into that space. The current battle over sprawl pits Smart Growth planners and politicians against developers who simply want to build what people want to buy. The people serve the city. encompassing Toronto. supporters claim. These bottom-up calculations were deemed “thorough and persuasive. the OMB sided with the demand-side approach of the developers and ruled against Waterloo region’s cavalier attitude towards the housing needs of future residents. Ontario does the same thing on a much larger scale with its sweeping Places to Grow legislation. regardless of personal wishes. The province has set strict requirements for how and where urban areas can grow.Post Reader Sign In Learn More Join Earnhangs rewards for being a loyal At issue in Waterloo region is the amount of land set aside for new single family homes into the next several decades. The region’s head of community living explained his government’s force-feed approach to planning at the OMB by noting that choice and affordability – two rather significant aspects of the housing market from a consumers’ point of view – are “moving to the back of the bus” under the region’s new planning objectives. for example. real world evidence and established living patterns to forecast the various types of housing new Waterloo region residents will demand from now until 2031. Regional planners have budgeted for no more than 85 hectares of additional land.” by the OMB. in the balance. shortening time frames and wrapping their region in a unique ‘hard countryside line’ that puts housing development off-limits into perpetuity on any land outside the urban fringes. it’s a far cry from the expressed dreams of the vast majority of Canadians. For young families in particular it’s a nightmare. consumer demand is entirely irrelevant.com/2013/04/10/smart-growth-makes-consumers-housing-aspirations-irrelevant/ 2/5 . Such a common sense approach to land use left Smart Growth supporters outraged. This past January. Rather. Plato would be proud. for example. Such an approach to planning entails a stunning lack of interest in how people actually want to live their lives. however. density and intensification are now the only things that matter. Waterloo region is the only large urban municipality in the province that does not produce forecasts by housing type. Nowhere have these new rules been adopted with as much gusto as in Waterloo region. The future of Smart Growth. Already these restrictions on growth have been wildly successful in pushing up the price of new housing in Waterloo region. which adjudicates disputes between municipal governments and developers. Local politicians have gone out of their way to exceed the specifications of Places to Grow: hiking density targets. The developers figure 1. Subsequent goals require a standard of 50 people or jobs per hectare. Whether they’re pushing sprawl or attempting to limit it. the mayor recently feuded with local home builders over the city’s plan to severely curtail suburban single family home development in order to funnel the vast majority of new arrivals into the downtown core.

Both generations reported backyards and garages to be the two most popular amenities in new housing decisions The Royal LePage poll. Whether we call that smart or not doesn’t really matter. Despite the best efforts of Smart Growth-obsessed planners and politicians.com/2013/04/10/smart-growth-makes-consumers-housing-aspirations-irrelevant/ . most Canadians still dream of a house with a backyard where the kids can play More evidence on the enduring popularity of sprawl: A poll released this past February by realtor royal LePage asked Canadians planning a near-future move about their housing aspirations. Peter Shawn Taylor is editor-at-large of Maclean’s. Over half explicitly said they were interested in a two-story house – the sort of thing most easily found in the suburbs. The younger Generation Y (born 1980 to 1994) told pollsters they were even less interested in high density living.S. prove beyond doubt that planning efforts to shove everyone into high density living by making single family homes artificially expensive is an affront to personal choice and a complete misapplication of government’s coercive powers. FP Opinion.financialpost. Among baby boomers (born 1947 to 1966). Washington Post poised to become.8/27/13 ‘Smart Growth’ makes consumers housing aspirations irrelevant | Financial Post Despite the best efforts of Smart Growth-obsessed planners and politicians. While Smart Growth advocates claim a exodus of seniors from the suburbs into downtown high-rises will open up existing single family homes for younger generations without the need for building on new green field sites. Peter Shaw n Taylor Comments for this thread are now closed. This holds as well for young families seeking suburban homes in Calgary and elsewhere across the country. More likely than not. anyone moving to outskirt locales such as Waterloo region is making a rather obvious statement that they would prefer to eschew life in a bustling downtown. Only 16% said they wanted an apartment or condo. Find Financial Post on Facebook Most Popular Under Jeff Bezos. Condo booms in Canada’s biggest cities notwithstanding. most Canadians still dream of a house with a backyard where the kids can play. × ALSO ON FINANCIAL POST What's this? AROUND THE WEB Heart Attack: How Your Body Warns You Days Before Newsmax Health CRTC rejects Quebecor bid for mandatory carriage … 1164 comments Pastor Reveals 7 Shocking Biblical Truths on Investing Moneynews Why the latest anti-Keystone pipeline ad is a low blow to … 1106 comments Tesla’s Model S electric sedan scores best U. Peter Foster: Fracking misinformation on tap FP at the Movies: Great Gatsby strains the rich-poor gap Lawrence Solomon: Model mockery Topics: FP Com m ent. Ontario Municipal Board. The rest were willing to settle for a bungalow or townhouse. they’re looking for a bit more room and privacy. a garage to park the car and a chance to look up and see the sky. It’s a fact.. less than a quarter said they were looking for an apartment. and countless others like it. it seems the vast majority of older Canadians plan to stay in houses as long as possible.. crash … 224 comments BlackBerry Ltd headed for breakup as smartphone assets … 272 comments 3/5 4 Newfound Reasons Why You Should Have Sex More Often Daily Health Post Don't Waste Time in the Gym Stack opinion.

Share › • Jes s ic a 5 months ago Land use planning has become overrun with social engineers (believe you me. Wake up folks. and knowing the difference between spit from shinola.financialpost.the dehumanizing environment of chicken-coup warehousing for the masses. hot-house plants that hold a deep antipathy towards rural values. If I'm paying a million dollars for a breadbox on the fifteenth floor. restricted mobility and groupthink. And we should not be surprised that skilled trades are not highly regarded by these let's-pretend "leaders". waste services. I pity the next generation. I urge people to go to YouTube and search Agenda 21. Seniors will move only as a last resort when they need long-term care. 10 △ 1▽ Share › r C o m m e n t fe e d ✉ Su b s cri b e vi a e m a i l opinion. tarted-up concrete favellas called condos. yet they assure us that this time will be different. and when they do move it will be into an old-age home most likely in the 'burbs. the values of self reliance. water. numbed into submission by sensless distractions. They are completely drenched in Malthusian claptrap in University and do not see the harm that they are causing.) versus their original mandate. and secondly downtown is scary.. their long term goal is to wipe out the middle class. 5 △ ▽ Share › • B ruc e W alk er 5 months ago "Smart Growth advocates claim a exodus of seniors from the suburbs into downtown high-rises" Totally dreaming in Technicolor. 7 △ 1▽ Share › • wallhous ewart 5 months ago I also admire the nazi like plans of people like Vaughn who want to secretly allocate so much social housing into the new condos. which was to PROVIDE infrastructure necessary to accommodate current and future residents. I fear this will not end well.8/27/13 ‘Smart Growth’ makes consumers housing aspirations irrelevant | Financial Post assets … 272 comments 4 comments Newest Community Chris W arner 4 months ago Share ⤤ ★ 0 ⚙ • △ ▽ Regrettably we are being governed by self-styled urban elites that can't differentiate between a screw-driver and a butterknife. cocooned in their 200 sq ft cells. Sustainable Development is implemented incrementally in the hopes that we don't realize that our common law rights are being destroyed although it appears they are currently speeding up their program. energy. with thugs lurking around every corner. Their plans for us is an Orwellian nightmare. row upon row of barracks. Social engineering through land use planning has always FAILED. the values of accountability. transportation.. I certainly don't want to share the building with social housing.. Urban planners need to spend more time in the real world. Firstly seniors want the security. Nothing will achieve this better than forced urbanization . Their agenda-driven creation of a broad dependancy class requires the de-skilling of the general public. comfort and familiarity of their homes. It is being implemented right now in Ontario and as far as I can tell is supported by all 3 political parties. And so far they are succeeding. Rural folks are being specifically targeted by the ENGOs and gov't in their efforts to clear the countryside of humans and give the land back to nature.. I am a land use planner) who are completely dedicated to rationing the basic necessities of life (land. etc.com/2013/04/10/smart-growth-makes-consumers-housing-aspirations-irrelevant/ 4/5 .

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