Better jobs. Less commuting.
Better jobs. Less commuting. It’s what we all want. But how can we make it happen?
Milton has an excellent business development team that has attracted hundreds of jobs to town. Unfortunately, most of those jobs have not been a good match for our highly educated, professional workforce.
The result? Over half of our town’s workforce has to leave town every morning to go to work. Our commuter rate is as high or higher than any other municipality in the GTA. It means more gridlock, less time at home with our families, more stress, pollution, and expense.
There are a lot of things we can do to help reduce our commuter crisis, but one that hasn’t been talked about much is finding ways to encourage more office development.
Currently, only 10% of Milton’s businesses are located in office buildings. By comparison, in Oakville and Burlington that figure is nearly 20%. And when you look at office buildings over 2 storys tall, they house a mere 2% of Milton’s businesses, compared to over 12% in south Halton.
More offices mean more office jobs.
One way to change this is to make it more cost effective for companies to build office buildings than sprawling warehouses. Currently, the town’s non-residential development charges are calculated by floor area, which means it costs the same to build a one story, 500,000 square foot warehouse as it does to build ten storys of offices on 50,000 square feet of land.
In Markham, Mississauga, and other municipalities in the GTA, they calculate a portion of their development charges by net hectare – the building’s footprint – instead of floor area. I propose that we do the same thing here. It will not only encourage more efficient commercial office development, but will also more accurately reflect the real costs for the Town to service these sites with things like water, sewage, storm drainage, snow removal, transit, and many other so-called ‘linear’ services. Which means it will also save the Town – and the taxpayer – money.
Watch this video to learn more about this one simple change that will help bring better jobs to Milton.