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Reconsider the Development of the Sandwich South Lands

This petition had 436 supporters

In 2002 when the City of Windsor acquired the Sandwich South Lands, it was determined that once the city reached a population that justified expansion that a secondary plan would be prepared and our community would grow outward. 15 years later and Windsor has not grown substantially, there remain a number of underdeveloped areas within the city’s established land area, and over 500 acres of brownfield properties, all ready for re-development. 

The tendency for cities to grow outward in the low density fashion we know as the suburban development pattern has been increasingly challenged. We are now realizing that low density growth is not environmentally, fiscally or socially sustainable, nor does it build the type of neighbourhoods, main-streets and public places we have grown to cherish as a society. Architects and planners will argue that such development patterns build places of poor quality; simply compare our old “main-street” commercial corridors found in Old Walkerville, Via Italia or the Ottawa Street Neighbourhood with any new big box and strip mall development and you will understand what they are talking about. Speak to healthcare professionals and your children’s teachers to hear about how low density automobile dependent communities create unhealthy sedentary lifestyles because kids can no longer walk to their schools, nor do we have the ability to walk to our workplaces. Study the financial situation in Windsor and many other cities and municipal officials and accountants will demonstrate that low density development is driving many communities into massive debt. Finally, speak to environmental experts to hear how low density sprawl is perhaps the largest threat to our environment today.

Perhaps in 2002 when the development of suburbia was at its peak in North America, Windsor’s expansion onto the Sandwich South Lands sounded like a good idea, however 15 years has passed and the whole idea has far less luster. Windsor has more than enough room to grow within its established footprint. Our population density is below provincial targets and our core neighbourhoods desperately need re-investment. The idea of developing outward simply does not make sense anymore. Focusing Windsor's growth in the Sandwich South Lands instead of the our existing and established footprint takes future tax dollars from our existing schools, libraries, community centres and infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and sewers and lands that revenue in a bean field. If we want to live in a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable city, we must scrap the plan to develop the Sandwich South Lands and plan our new growth within our established communities.

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