Michael Speaks out No.1

I am excited about releasing my first ever “blog” ! As I sit here writing this, I am looking out my office window which overlooks historic Downtown Brampton, my mind drifts back in time.

In 1998, I made the decision to relocate the offices of Gagnon & Law Urban Planners Ltd. from Mississauga to Downtown Brampton. At the time, I firmly believed that Brampton would be the place to be over the next several decades. I was right. I have never regretted the decision to relocate the office.

While the redevelopment of Downtown Brampton has been slow by City of Toronto standards, as of late, the pace is picking up. Brampton City Council’s historic decision to relocate City Hall Downtown was monumental. The decision to build the Rose Theatre was inspired and has created much needed after hours vitality. There are hundreds of new condominium apartment units where people now call Downtown Brampton home.

Historic Downtown Brampton is full of promise. My hope over the next several decades is that City Council will continue to invest in Downtown renewal. Equally and perhaps more importantly, the City will need to institute a series of incentives which will give Brampton’s Downtown and the associated Queen Street Corridor a competitive edge in attracting more private sector investment. These incentives should at a minimum include:

– The elimination of Development Charges for both residential and commercial developments

– The elimination of cash-in-lieu of parkland requirements

– Parking requirements should be significantly reduced

– The timeline associated with granting approvals should be dramatically reduced

In regards to approvals, I do not believe that application fees should be eliminated because these fees are needed to pay for Planning Staff who are responsible for processing applications.

That’s it for now and remember…the only way you may succeed is if you try.

I will be speaking out in the future on Transportation Issues.



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