MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — The Dundas Landowners’ Association (DLA) is expressing concern with the City of Mississauga’s decision to approve several Official Plan Amendments (OPA) that “reinforce the status quo and severely limit the creation of new walkable, climate friendly, transit-oriented communities and housing.”
Last month, city council voted to transition nearly all lands on Dundas Street between the borders of Oakville and Toronto to mixed use, but voted to keep the lands on the stretch of Dundas Street between Haines and Blundell Roads, the site of two upcoming Bus Rapid Transit stations, zoned for employment area only.
According to the DLA, the decision comes after a nearby manufacturing facility pressured the city to freeze the ability of their neighbouring land and business owners to redevelop their properties for residential mixed-use purposes, citing land use compatibility concerns.
“It is really disappointing and frankly concerning that a council, which is supposed to represent the interests of all of its constituents, is prioritizing the unfounded concerns of a single business over a large number of long-standing small businesses and landowners that have served the city for decades,” said Stephen Sparling, president of the DLA, in a statement. “Even more disappointing is that the city is taking a position that these OPAs are unappealable.”
When asked for a comment from the Daily Commercial News, the City of Mississauga responded by stating the Dundas Street corridor is home to many aging industrial facilities and businesses and the new plan promotes a vision of predominantly midrise built form and sets out maximum building heights.
“The plan seeks to enable the conversion of underutilized industrial lands to residential in order to meet the new vision,” reads a statement. “However, with any former industrial neighbourhood transition, often many existing businesses choose to remain in place. Consequently, in order to manage the future transition, the new plan identifies one area along the corridor not recommended for conversion until we have a better understanding of the potential impacts. As such, the city will commence a compatibility assessment to determine the appropriate long-term uses for this area.”
In addition to a change in land use designations, DLA members requested the City of Mississauga allow for taller building heights along the corridor for increased density to better leverage the upcoming Dundas BRT. The city ultimately approved OPAs include low and restrictive height limits within the local Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) plans, they state.
The City of Mississauga is the first municipality in the Region of Peel to complete its MTSA OPA and many DLA members have expressed concern city staff have rushed its recommendations to present at council’s last meeting of the year before the municipal elections.
“We know how committed the province and Region of Peel are to addressing the housing crisis and to supporting transit-oriented development,” Sparling said. “We look to Peel again to reaffirm its decision to remove the lands along Dundas between Haines Road and Blundell Road from employment areas and remove the unreasonably restrictive height limits being imposed across Dundas Street. DLA members want to be a part of Mississauga’s progress and contribute to a future where the need for housing is addressed and businesses, homes and recreation spaces can all co-exist.”