Candidate for Councillor, Ward 6

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Strong Town Responses

Question 1

New Tecumseth is forecasted to grow by 35,000 people over the next 30 years (an almost 80% increase to the current population of 45,000). The maximum amount of land to accommodate this growth is 450 hectares. The next Official Plan will be re-written in 2023 assigning where to put these new residents.  What is your vision for where and what kind of housing should be built to accommodate this growth? Should we consider reducing the amount of land required?

Response from Nicole Cox

Housing built to accommodate growth should reflect our municipalitiy’s specific needs.  We seem to be seeing a lack of housing types in our towns especially when it comes to affordable housing.  More diverse dwellings, such as 1 and 2 bedroom units and garden suits that can be achieved by building upwards and intensifying our current boundaries could alleviate the need for unnecessarily boundary expansion and the risk of urban sprawl. We need to take advantage of our zoning bylaws to add provisions that require new residential developments include affordable housing units.  Reducing the amount of land required for growth outside of our settlement areas can reduce the towns overall servicing and infrastructure costs.

Question 2

What are your thoughts on building ‘complete communities’ where people can have their basic needs met within a 15-minute walk from their house such as access to retail, green space, school, a range of housing choices and safe modes of transportation (biking, walking, public transit)?  How can this be achieved?

Response from Nicole Cox

Complete communities over market based sprawl is what our municipality should be working towards when we look at how we are going to accommodate growth in the long range. In order to achieve this we need to be purposeful with our policies, giving clear direction to the development community.  We need to pre-plan to promote intensification and transit. Making sure any zoning changes reflect the preservation of our green space.

Question 3

How do you suggest that downtown Alliston, Beeton, or Tottenham are revitalised after the pandemic has taken a toll on local businesses?  How can we increase economic activity without adding to the traffic congestion and more sprawling parking lots?

Response from Nicole Cox

The town has a new Economic Development Officer that can help guide new and existing businesses in understanding and utilizing our towns Community Improvement Grant, as well as Nottawasaga Futures which provide assistance to local businesses.

The town is also poised to present the Economic Resilience Strategy conducted by the economic development firm McSweeney and Associates which will be coming forward to Council in early 2023. Council should follow through on recommendations presented from this study.   I believe a focus on attracting cleaner and more technological diverse industries would put less stress on our roads.  

Question 4

The 2019-2022 TNT Strategic Plan has a Pillar of “Environmental Sustainability: Lead in promoting and preserving our unique physical environment.”  Climate change is not mentioned in this plan.  What are the biggest threats to the local environment and what are your proposed solutions?

Response from Nicole Cox

I think one of the biggest threats to the local environment is that climate change is not mentioned in the Strategic plan. Climate change should be considered within all aspects and updates to the Towns Studies, Master Plans and Reports. Recognizing that as a Municipality we are at the forefront of environmental protection and committing to effective management of risks can hopefully alleviate some of the increased strain on our infrastructure, water supply, sewage systems and overall dangers from the negative impacts of Climate Change.

Question 5

The price of home ownership or rent for many in TNT is unaffordable. What can be done municipally to increase housing affordability?

Response from Nicole Cox

This is a crisis in urgent need of being addressed through an action plan as it is only going to get worse in our current economic state. Last term this issue was overlooked when the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw Update came before and was worked on by council. We need to diversify forms of permitted housing, provide incentives, work alongside and partner with organizations and community groups to advocate for initiatives from the Provincial and Federal Government, and work on an Inclusionary Zoning Policy to require affordable housing units within developments.

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