Develop Concerns at Dumfries Conservation Area

By  | October 18, 2011 | 10 Comments | Filed under: Local News

The Cambridge Official plan has some residents excited and concerned.

            A developing plan was reviewed by the planning services department during a council meeting yesterday.

            Director of policy planning Elaine Brunn Shaw presented the review and how it will affect the city. She talked about creating complete communities while using properties efficiently and protecting agricultural land. She mentioned some key areas for developing such as Greenfield and Blair Road.

            The plan also included building on the Dumfries Conservation area which is located beside the YMCA on Hespeler Road. Eleanor Hueton asked for the land to be removed from the plan; her father purchased the land in 1916 and she wishes to keep it unscathed after he donated the land to Ontario in the late 1960’s.

            Downtown Preston and the Galt core are also included in the plan.

The deadline for comments about the official developing plan is Oct. 21, 2011


10 Responses to Develop Concerns at Dumfries Conservation Area

  1. Robert Ross October 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Sorry jimm , looks like Hespeler got left out again….

  2. Sandra Hill October 19, 2011 at 5:33 am

    There is enough land and empty lots and buildings on Hespeler Road – Why would the City envision on building on a Conservation area – Hespeler Road is a mess –appears dirty – signage is over rated – pot holes everywhere – truck traffic moving through core areas – Where is the City vision to keep Green!
    The gateway to Cambridge that definitely needs cleaned up
    City states that Townline/Pinebush is prestige land off 401 – they need to rethink there ideas

    Who is looking after Hespeler’s vision?

  3. Allan Dettweiler October 19, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Sandra, when you say that the gateway to Cambridge needs to be cleaned up, you are 100% correct. It is sickening to see all the coffee cups and cigarette butts strewn all around at the 401 interchanges.
    As far as the Conservation lands, it is time to remove the GRCA as caretaker of those lands. Give them to the City of Cambridge with the provision they cannot be developed – ever.
    The GRCA has stuck a barrier across the entrance so vehicles cannot access the picnic area easily. The GRCA has very little – perhaps no accountabilty to the public. It does whatever the hell it pleases.
    Remember the springs on Hwy 24 just outside of Cambridge? The GRCA had those springs destroyed because someone might pee nearby. What a bunch of morons!
    I could piss right on top of the water pipe, and the fast-flowing water would remove all traces almost immediately.
    Those at the GRCA should give their heads a great big shake!

  4. malcolm October 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Problem is in this city no one gives a damn, otherwise there would be an “occupy the city hall” as big as the St. James Park protest in Toronto, until the conservation area was left alone. Writing letters to each other in this paper doesn’t do anything. Start a campaign, text, tweet use all social media to pack the hearings.

  5. Scot Ferguson-Barber October 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Jake is working on getting more information.

  6. les kadar October 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Allan half your comments have merit but the rest are out to lunch.
    The GRCA is the only authority who can and must maintain conservation lands.
    No municipality has either the expertise nor the desire nor the funds to do so.
    Our planning staff need to recognize that a city without green space is called a parking lot.
    To encroach on such is unacceptable and simply caters to development interests.
    This official plan therefore shows the cities desperate need for more income as spends like drunken sailors on projects that draw none.
    While the GRCA has clearly done things that are objectionable to some of the public, they play a key role in the watershed function of the Grand River.
    I suggest you look into what they actually do before you blast away at their credibility.
    The condition of Hespeler Road, IE the gateway of Cambridge, is documented in the planning industry as what ” not ” to do.

  7. Allan Dettweiler October 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Les, you haven’t come up with a solution of what to do with an organization (GRCA) which doesn’t have to answer to the public.
    The Dumfries Conservation Area is next thing to useless for many users. I would have no quarrel with the GRCA looking after those lands IF they were actually useful to more than walkers and those taking their dogs for a run.
    By the way Les, I NEVER said the GRCA should be shut down. I agree they do have a proper function.
    The GRCA has not done a good job in managing the Dumfries Conservation area lands for maximum use by the public.
    Closing down the springs outside of Cambridge is not within their mandate of managing conservation lands. It was just plain stupidity.
    Les, I eagerly await your reply.

  8. les October 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Allan, I can’t find where I stated you wanted the GRCA shut down. I disagreed with your position on the handling of the conservation area going to the city. If you that city lands are not properly cut/mowed/weed free etc. now wait till you see what would happen there.
    I agree they could be doing much better with the Dumfries Conservation Area as I know the history. The point I was making that got lost is that when the official plan is written to remove green spaces, our community begins to lose what little is left. I think the influence developers put on elected officials at election time is beginning to show when staff recommendations such as this begin to surface.
    The trouble GRCA has is they are underfunded by the municipalities and other sources that do not provide sufficient monies with which to carry on the many duties they have.
    The GRCA is open to the public and you can attend their board meetings anytime, just ask.
    The board is made up of politicians from up and down the watershed and do entertain delegations of which you should be one if you have a beef.

  9. Sandra Hill October 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I agree with both of you – If I had a crystal ball the City would use this property for development – How about a huge Condo – close to all the amenities
    Allan a park would be great – image on a nice day after swimming at the YMCA you could go for a walk at the park or after taking in a bit of shopping at the mall you could cross the street and have a picnic with family and friends – Image viewing an earth green atmosphere along the Gateway to Cambridge

  10. Jimm Hillis October 20, 2011 at 8:41 am

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