Milton planning for next phase of urban development

The Town is laying the groundwork for development in southeast Milton, which could be home to an estimated 80,000 people and 27,000 jobs by the year 2031.

Two studies are currently underway for the predominantly rural and agricultural lands that encompass 4,000 acres located south of Britannia Road and east of James Snow Parkway.

The large parcel has been identified by the Region as Milton’s future urban expansion area and is expected to accommodate population and employment growth between 2021 and 2031, as directed by the Province’s Places to Grow plan.

A land base analysis is being done to “give us an overview of some of the opportunities and constraints to developing the area,” explained Town Policy Planner Kellie McCormack.

The analysis will also be used as a background report for future secondary planning processes, she noted.

Preliminary findings reveal there are 3,060 acres of developable community areas that could house an estimated 80,000 people, in addition to 19,000 potential jobs.

There are also 710 acres of developable employment lands that could accommodate approximately 8,000 jobs across a variety of sectors. The remainder of the lands fall within the provincial greenbelt and regional natural heritage system.

According to the Town’s website, “Comprehensive planning of these lands will enable the Town to achieve the required population target of 238,000 persons and employment target of 114,000 jobs across the town by 2031.”

A sub-watershed study is being done to look at the environmental features and functions in the area and provide recommendations for future protection.

The study boundaries extend beyond the urban expansion area and include sub-catchments of the main, east and west branches of Sixteen Mile Creek, encompassing an area of approximately 13,000 acres.

The process began early last year and is expected to take two years to complete.

Among the study’s early findings are that the area is home to some interesting and even regionally rare species, like the threatened silver shiner fish, snapping turtle, osprey, spotted salamander, red-bellied woodpecker and eastern milk snake.

On the vegetation side, the study has observed regionally rare and uncommon varieties like black willow, Canada garlic, white trout lily and arrow-leaved aster.

The Town held its first public information session on the studies last week that McCormack said was well attended by residents and landowners in the area.

“We’re still in the early stages, so there will be a lot more public consultation over the next couple of years,” she noted.

So what’s next in the planning process?

McCormack said a report regarding the land base analysis would be completed in the coming months, along with further fieldwork for the sub-watershed study. All documents will ultimately be presented to Milton Council, but a date for this has yet to be set.

Future secondary plans for the area will establish detailed land use plans and policies to create complete, sustainable communities.

For more information on the background studies visit www.milton.ca/en/build/SouthEastMilton.asp.

News