New criteria to rethink NIMBYism
Alan Shefman Thornhill Ward 5 Councillor
NIMBYs (“not in my back yard” proponents) are rampant wherever you go. No matter what type of development is being proposed, there will always be people who will raise every objection possible against it. In Vaughan today, one of the most common arguments against development is that traffic will increase. That’s true. Without a doubt, when there isn’t an easily accessible, comprehensive network of rapid transit, adding more people to the neighbour means adding more cars on the road.
Other reasons I have heard raised to object to a development proposal include it is too dense, too high, too ugly; it will shadow my home; and it does not fit in to the neighbourhood.
I would like to approach this issue from a different perspective, by suggesting criteria that anyone can use to assess a development proposal.
By far the most important criteria is how the new development will benefit the neighbourhood.
Does the proposal provide needed housing? Does it replace a property that is in disrepair? Is the scale of the building proposal harmonious with surrounding properties? Does the plan respect the city’s official plan?
Vaughan is a rapidly growing municipality in the most populous urban area in Canada. The pressure to grow — primarily up! –– is sure to continue.
Intelligent, civil dialogue in the community is key in the decisionmaking process.
The challenge is to ensure that this growth will contribute positively to our future.