A Richmond Hill resident sent the email below to CAG with their thoughts about the letter that local Councillor Tom Muench sent to developers and industry leaders to create a coalition action group to take on the province regarding land use planning.
This makes me angry.
1. Of the nine groups he listed for his coalition group, he forgot one -- RESIDENTS. Do we not matter? We are the ones who live here. We are the ones who are having our communities demolished by small developers who build much larger homes that are not compatible with the neighbourhood. We are the ones who are having our established, more affordable communities ruined. These communities already provide a more affordable option for home buyers, yet this council, the Committee of Adjustment and planning department do not follow the Official Plan, do not enforce the zoning by-laws so that infill development is appropriate. Who is looking after our neighbourhoods? Councillors repeatedly say, "we want to protect our neighbourhoods", but they are not.
2. Why is he going on his own to form a coalition? If it is important to Richmond Hill, it needs to go through council, discussed as a motion so that there can be input from residents and other stakeholders, passed, then go out through staff or the Mayor. This is totally inappropriate for a SINGLE COUNCILLOR, A WARD COUNCILLOR AT THAT, to do this on his own. 3. Councillors have said that they want to discuss Yonge and 16th plans AS A WHOLE, not piecemeal, so that we get a cohesive, properly planned MTSA. I agree with that. We have had workshops related to MTSAs and what we, the RESIDENTS want to see there, and these opinions are viewed and taken into account in the formation of our Official Plan 2041. That is a much more constructive way to get development than a ONE PERSON INITIATED coalition. Who does Muench really represent here?
Yes, we need more rental housing; yes, we need more options for affordable homes; yes, we probably need approvals to be expedited. BUT DO NOT IN THE PROCESS FORGET ABOUT THOSE NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT EXIST AND DO PROVIDE AN AFFORDABLE OPTION. STOP DEMOLISHING existing neighbourhoods that have perfectly good housing options. And DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE RESIDENTS YOU SERVE.
Needless to say, I am angry. And I think I have a right to be. Around me, I see what is happening to MY neighbourhood, and I know I am not alone. RESIDENTS NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN ALL ASPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT IN OUR COMMUNITIES SO THAT WE CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT WE WANT TO LIVE IN.