The City’s current goal is for 25% of our future growth to be in mature neighbourhoods. This means we fully intend for 75% of our new growth to be in suburban sprawl. There is a price to be paid for this. These tracts of houses are inexpensive for developers to build but cost much more to service than the city will receive in property tax revenue.
“In Edmonton, the city picks up all the capital costs of fire and police stations and portions of the cost of some roads and recreation facilities. It covers all the costs of maintenance, repair and renewal of the infrastructure, including pipes and roads. However, what this means is that across just 17 of more than 40 planned new developments, costs to the city are expected to exceed revenues by nearly $4-billion over the next 60 years. Taxpayers will pick up the tab” (Diamond and Thompson, The True Costs of Suburban Sprawl, Globe and Mail November 4th 2013)
The City can scarcely maintain its existing roads, drains and transit. Far flung developments cannot be economically serviced by the city and the costs of this lack of planning will be carried by us all. This is aside from the traffic congestion, pollution and wasted prime farm land that these developments cause. Before we grow outward any further we need to focus on our mature neighbourhoods, and filling the gaps in our existing city. I will vote against the annexation of anymore land beyond the boundaries of the existing city of Edmonton until we begin to charge far flung developments the true cost of their upkeep.