Michelle Sparrow

Election 2014: Michelle Sparrow answers questions

Township of Langley: Sparrow, Michelle- council candidate: She answers The Times' questions.

  • Nov. 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

1- What is the most important issue facing the Township, and how would you propose to deal with it?

I believe one of the most important issues facing the Township is how we plan for and manage our urban growth. I believe that building complete sustainable communities will be achieved, if we ensure the growth occurs in an orderly fashion, honours the existing urban fabric, and is in keeping with regional infrastructure plans and constraints. I believe an important tool which will help us achieve those goals is the creation of a Development Phasing Strategy. Other regional municipalities are looking to phasing as a means to curb urban sprawl, ensure cost effective and orderly development and to enhance the co-ordination between the province, region and local municipalities. This type of planning tool is a critical part of the planning process, phasing is something we currently don’t plan for, but this type of phasing strategy could change the way we develop the community as a whole. This coming term I will work to see this type of tool implemented here in the Township as a way to manage our urban growth.

2 – Should there be restrictions on development in Willoughby until the situation regarding funding for new schools has been resolved?

I believe this coming term council will need to step back and address the situation in Willoughby. As a council, we need look to what other communities are doing to deal with their growth and infrastructure needs and learn what tools they have used and where they have found success. As I said previously, I believe one of the tools we could use to address our growth is the creation of a Development Phasing Strategy. This has been done in other regions and is a model which we could follow. The Niagara region has a Development Phasing Strategy; they described the strategy as the following:

“The phasing strategy is an implementation tool, the objective of which is to assist in the management of growth in urban areas, including designated greenfield areas and built‐up areas, to appropriately plan for orderly and logical urban development in a manner which:

a) recognizes differing development opportunities across the region;

b) supports policy goals for sustainable and complete communities; and,

c) maximizes regional and local servicing and infrastructure capacity and  investment.”

I believe this type of phasing strategy will be critical as we move forward in the Willoughby area and as we co-ordinate with the school district for new school funding.

3 – Do you support a pool and recreation centre complex in Aldergrove, and if so, when should construction begin? If not, why not?

This is a key objective for me; I will work to see shovels in the ground this coming term and to see built a project that will benefit Aldergrove and the community as a whole. Community centers are the heart of any community; I look forward to working to see this project come to fruition. I believe this will help to revitalize the downtown Aldergrove core and will be just the start to the exciting new opportunities coming to the Aldergrove community.

4 – What type of development, if any, should be encouraged in a new community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge?

It will have to be the right type of development for Brookswood and Fernridge, we are a community of communities and we must preserve what makes each community unique, there is no one solution that fits all, this must be a plan which is right for the area. The new OCP process must be collaborative and my hope is the community will come out and help shape the future of the Brookswood area. We also need to evaluate the timing of when and how this development moves forward. For that, a Development Phasing Strategy will be key. This strategy would be used as a way to manage the anticipated growth and to appropriately plan for orderly and logical urban development. This will be crucial for the Brookswood and Fernridge areas as we move forward.


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