Rogers Communications Inc. requests City Council support two Ministerial Zoning Orders

Less than a week after Committee of Council voted to refer the City’s use of Ministerial Zoning Orders to staff, Council is being asked to support two more MZOs.

The latest request is from Rogers Communications Inc. which is looking to build a new 200,000 square foot office/retail complex in Brampton’s downtown in the block south of Railroad St., east of Elizabeth St. N. and west of George St. N. The land in question is currently mostly open field and a disused surface parking lot.

8200 Dixie Rd. (Photo Google Maps)

Rogers is also seeking an MZO that would permit the conversion of existing space held at 8200 Dixie Rd. into 1.2M square feet for industrial logistics uses plus up to 25 acres for residential development along Dixie Rd with a range of housing types being proposed.

The Rogers proposal involves much needed investment in both housing and jobs in the downtown core. The Rogers downtown site would support approximately 3,000 employees relocated from the Dixie Rd. location and establish the downtown as a “transit-oriented” complete community. This would likely act as a catalyst for further downtown investments and strengthen support for extending the HuLRT up Main St. to the Brampton GO station.

What isn’t clear is why the need for an MZO that would effectively cut the public out of the planning process and limit the time available for staff to analyze the impact of these major developments on the City’s land use plans, sustainable development goals and environmental protections.

The development proposals may be just the right thing for Brampton at this time. But why the rush? How will the opportunity be affected by taking the necessary time to step through the City’s planning process? On the other hand, what’s the risk to the City of not taking the time to analyze the proposals impact? If these MZO are approved by Council, we may not know, until it is too late. It will be interesting to see if Council votes to support the MZO requests or if it will give staff the time to analyze and develop a process for MZO approvals. More information on the City’s use of MZOs can be found here.

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