New cri­te­ria to re­think NIMBYism

Alan Shef­man Thorn­hill Ward 5 Coun­cil­lor

Richmond Hill Post - - News -

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.

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