A recent story in the local Cambridge Times newspaper had residents upset by all the traffic on Blackbridge Road and Townline Road caused by the Mattamy Homes subdivision.
Roads need to be widened and new bridges are needed to handle the volume of traffic from the subdivision. . Who is going to pay for it? We the taxpayers. But it never should have been this way.
Rewind back to 2004, Tom Land, then President of the Grand River Foundation, (GRF) sells his land that includes 350 hectares/ 276 species of plants/177 species of wildlifein a provincially significant wetland. He sold it to notorious builder of quickie drywall homes, Mattamy Homes for $14million.
The rules around who pays for what in a development are clear. The developer pays for the cost of the infrastructure directly related to the development. Well Mattamy Homes hires two mathematically challenged transportation consultants that to no ones surprise deliver the same pro Mattamy opinion. Get ready for it…… That the existing roads can handle the traffic volumes generated by the new subdivision.
It gets better……the consultants stated the westbound Hwy #401 cars would not exit at Townline Road but would stay on the Hwy #401 longer and get off at Guelph Avenue!!!! Therefore the traffic would not increase significantly on Townline Rd.
Residents were livid at the time and I myself made several presentations saying Mattamy Homes should be paying for the road improvements that are needed to handle the traffic on Townline Road and Blackbridge Road.
Well that would be a howler if it wasn’t for our active-listening impaired City of Cambridge Council who actually believed the fairy tale spun by the transportation consultants that the existing roads/bridge could handle the traffic.
Enter around this time the City of Cambridge new Planning Commissioner Janet ”Metrus” Babcock whose previous employment activity suggested Janet était trop proche to developers. So with city councillors asleep, and Janet supportive of the subdivision it was bye-bye provincial wetland and hello sterile beige 1000 home Mattamy subdivision.
Fast forward to 2012 and we the taxpayers are stuck paying for the road improvements. This is long after Mattamy Homes has left town leaving us with a legacy of drywall and taxpayer debt. Of course the consultants have no price tag of how much taxpayers are on the hook for the Blackbridge and Townline Road improvements.
But the story gets worse. How can it be you say? Well take the $6.7 million Hespeler Sewage Treatment Plant upgrade.
We all read those newspaper stories about partially treated human sewage being shipped from Hespeler to Kitchener for processing and how the Hespeler treatment plant was at capacity.
So you would think if Mattamy Homes was building a new subdivision that required upgrades to the treatment plant that that Mattamy Homes through their development charges would pay for these upgrades.
Not a chance of that happening. Especially when Prime Minister Harper made sure of that when he announced that our tax dollars, through his Infrastructure Stimulus Fund hand outs would pay for the plant upgrades. Once again Mattamy Homes was of the hook and we are stuck paying the bill.
So residents of Townline Road and other disgusted residents you have every right to be pissed off by what’s happening on Blackbridge Road. The pro-development ,anti-environment City of Cambridge Council past decisions has come back to haunt us. The tragic legacy of the Mattamy Homes approved subdivision in Hespeler was short sighted and will be a financial course on the taxpayers of Cambridge for decades to come.