Grassroots campaign to stop sprawl in Hamilton gets city councillors’ attention

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A grassroots campaign to freeze Hamilton’s urban boundary as the city considers its growth options has kicked into high gear.

You might have noticed the lawn signs — roughly 1,300 so far — Stop Sprawl HamOnt has deployed to sway opinion amid a public consultation on the question.

The campaign urges residents to select the “no urban boundary expansion” box rather than the “ambitious density” option in a city survey mailed to homes late last month.

Concerned some households didn’t receive the surveys or tossed them out, Stop Sprawl’s website includes a portal to send responses via email to the city and council members.

“Every day, it gains momentum,” organizer Nancy Hurst said. “However many people we’re able to reach, they tell a bunch of friends.”

With the surveys due July 23, Stop Sprawl took out a full-page advertisement in The Spectator over the weekend after holding an online “pep rally” with supporters, advocates and politicians.

“In Ontario, land use is our oilsands. Land use is the largest driver of our climate pollution. It’s the largest driver of our climate destruction,” Dianne Saxe, Ontario’s former environmental commissioner, told the group.

Hurst noted the rally generated about $30,000 in pledges toward the cause, which is tied to the city’s growth-planning studies that focus on land needs.