Ajax needs feedback on Green Development plan

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Published January 10, 2022 at 2:13 pm

The Town of Ajax is asking residents for feedback on their Green Development and Environmental Design Guidelines (GDEDG) that will shape how the Town is developed and redeveloped while balancing environmental sustainability.

The Town says, “The GDEDG will be vital in addressing the climate change emergency [declared by Town Council in September 2019] and substantially reducing GHG emissions in the Town of Ajax.”

The process of developing the GDEDG began in May 2021, when the Town tasked a production team with developing an extensive report on how Ajax could, design “a tool available to municipal staff to further implement provincial, regional initiatives and the environmental policies of the Town’s Official Plan”

Some cited examples include, mitigating and protecting from climate change, improving air quality and reducing the urban heat island, and preserving a healthy tree canopy.

The move comes amid predictions of rapid population growth in Durham Region which is expected to nearly double in size by 2041. This rapid growth has driven Ajax to intensify urban density since the Town is constrained by set boundaries with Pickering, Lake Ontario and the Green Belt.

“As a result the Town is prioritizing mixed-use zoning that will see people live and work in the same areas,” Mayor Shaun Collier said in his Live with the Mayor event last month, regarding the successes of prioritizing mixed-use zoning to combine residential and commercial properties.

To ensure these and other forms of development balance sustainability, the GDEDG outline three major areas to focus environmental concerns;

  • Prepare, mitigate, and adapt to climate change;
  • Protect and enhance natural heritage features and the natural environment; and
  • Implement higher standards of development practices, urban design, and architecture within the built environment.

Developing the reports and guidebooks, unveiled from July on, constituted the first phase of the program’s rollout. The second phase, public engagement through Ajax’s In My Opinion hub, was opened on January 7.

Ajax residents have until January 31 to review the reports and prospective guidelines and fill out a survey to report their feelings about the ideas presented.

The survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Residents can also submit verbal feedback to the voicemail box at 905-619-2529 ex. 3229 or written submissions to  [email protected].

The Town will use this feedback to refine the guidelines “as appropriate” which will then be presented to council in April.

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