The goals expressed by the Central Pickering Development Plan describe the ideal or end to which a planned course of action is directed. They are values to be sought, rather than a set of attainable conditions.
This Plan establishes a comprehensive new vision for Central Pickering: that of a sustainable urban community in Seaton integrated with a thriving agricultural community in the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve and an extensive Natural Heritage System. The structural elements of the Plan are shown in four of the Schedules included in Part 6: land-use (Schedule 2), the Natural Heritage System (Schedule 3), the transportation network (Schedule 4), and the servicing system (Schedule 5).
The Plan creates 15 compact urban neighbourhoods that provide a range of residential, mixed-use and employment uses for eventual residents and that open on to forests, fields and streams. Each neighbourhood combines the tight, flexible grid pattern of the nineteenth century, with the strong relationship to nature that has been the aspiration of the best planning traditions of the twentieth century. The pattern of settlement allows for urbanity in a natural setting.
A central component of this Plan is a commitment to permanently protecting prime agricultural land and promoting agricultural land-uses and viable settlement communities in the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve. This Plan positions the agricultural community to take advantage of the expanding market represented by the new urban community and a growing demand for specialty farm products, and promotes environmental stewardship.
The urban and agricultural communities are integrated into a system of protected valley, farm and table lands. This system of protected areas includes significant natural features, such as wetlands, woodlands, and the Iroquois Shoreline, and conserves local wildlife habitat while preserving a regional ecological landscape. The preservation of the heavily forested West Duffins Creek valley will retain an important linkage between the Oak Ridges Moraine and Lake Ontario. Conservation of an extensive Natural Heritage System is the foundation for building a sustainable community in Central Pickering.
The notion of sustainability is integral to every dimension of the Plan, which in turn places an increased emphasis on environmental stewardship during implementation. The Plan anticipates that this emphasis will lead to the greater involvement of local residents, agencies and interest groups in the operation and management of the resulting urban and agricultural communities, as well as the Natural Heritage System. Such involvement may take many forms, including the creation of environmental monitoring programs, harnessing of alternative energy sources, disconnection of rooftop downspouts, naturalization of parks and yards, and creation of composting and recycling programs.
The Plan is a complementary element of the Province’s Greenbelt Plan (Order-In-Council 208/2005) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 (Order-In-Council 1221/2006).
The Plan has 8 goals:
- Natural heritage
The protection, maintenance and enhancement of natural features, functions and systems intended to sustain a viable and permanent natural eco-system. The Natural Heritage System is a key element to be functionally integrated into the community and to provide opportunities for certain recreational and educational activities, while remaining cognizant of the proposed urban setting.
- Cultural heritage
The integration of cultural heritage into the new community fabric by drawing on the physical legacies of original aboriginal and European occupations.
Ensuring that the Pickering portion of the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve is permanently protected for agricultural and conservation uses by fostering a healthy near-urban agricultural community that integrates appropriately with the surrounding rural and urban areas.
- Social, institutional, open space and recreational facilities
The provision of an appropriate distribution of facilities to serve residents, workers and visitors, linked by a network of parks and open spaces that complement the Natural Heritage System. This network of facilities is to be connected by trails, walkways and roads, and integrated with individual residential neighbourhoods, mixed-use corridors and employment areas.
- Transportation and transit
The provision of a transportation system that provides for choices in transportation mode, including ensuring that the community is designed in a manner that supports public transit.
Ensuring that the network of utilities required to serve the new urban community minimizes impacts on the environment, maximizes efficiency and use of existing infrastructure, and minimizes lifecycle costs.
The provision of high-quality employment opportunities that reflect the needs of the community, with the identification of sufficient employment lands to generate approximately one job for every two residents with 30,500 jobs by 2031 and up to 35,000 jobs through long term intensification.
- Housing and mixed-use
The provision of a range of housing types and densities that meets the needs of a diverse population, complements surrounding communities, and accommodates a population of 61,000 residents by 2031 and up to 70,000 residents through long term intensification at a density that is transit supportive.