This is an update on the proposed Glenway Development file. In my last update where I informed the community that the owners had referred this file to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) I indicated I would provide a bit more information. I had hoped to provide it sooner, but, wanted to ensure I had the relevant and most helpful information.
There are a few items that I wish to update the community on with this newsletter, so I apologize in advance for the length. First, I would like to provide an update on the legislation that our MPP Frank Klees introduced at Queens Park, second I will provide info with respect to the OMB referral, and finally I will share some important dates from the Glenway Preservation Association (GPA) for some of their activities.
Bill 41 - Preserving Existing Communities
On Thursday April 18 I attended Queen's park for a press conference and second reading of the legislation introduced by Frank Klees, MPP that would limit developer's abilities to appeal or refer matters to the OMB in certain circumstances. I was joined by my colleague Councillor Jane Twinney, GPA representative Lois MacDonnell, and Mississauga Councillors Jim Tovey and Pat Mullin. You can view the press conference by clicking on this link: Bill 41 Press Conference
Later that day we then attended the second reading and debate of the legislation at Queens Park. After debate of another motion I was pleased to see that MPP's voted to send the legislation to the next step which is to committee for further discussion and debate. It was apparent that it may need some changes to win over the necessary votes to eventually become law. I will work with our MPP Frank Klees on possible changes to win over other MPP's so that there can be an all-party solution to this issue. I look forward to speaking to the Committee and MPP's in an effort to usher the Bill through the legislative process. I want to personally express my appreciation to Frank Klees for his efforts and to my colleagues on Newmarket Council that have supported this initiative.
It is important to recognize that Private Members Bills often have difficulty working their way through the legislative process to become law, so I want to temper the community's hopes that this will be a panacea to the issue we face. However, it is another avenue in which we are drawing broader attention to the concerns so many of us have.
I have received many questions with respect to why the application has been referred to the OMB. Let me first clarify that Council has not voted on the application to date. Rather, I would anticipate that vote to take place in the coming weeks. You will absolutely be notified. I will also ask that the meeting take place in the Newmarket Theatre as we will have the formal planning report in front of Council. It is important that residents see the discussion/debate that takes place.
The matter was referred to the OMB because the Planning Act allows them to do so after 180 days from when the application was deemed complete. I was always very upfront that an application of this magnitude could not be dealt with in that time frame. However, what appears to have triggered the applicants appeal was the provincial legislation that was introduced (see Newmarket ERA article here: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/2538986-glenway-developer-files-omb-appeal/). Nonetheless, I think many were anticipating that this matter would inevitably be dealt with at the OMB. A preliminary report on next steps will be brought to Newmarket Council on May 21st where Council will also receive legal advice on the best way forward. I will share the report with you once it becomes available. I do want to make sure that all are aware that Council will vote on the matter at a date in the near future.
Glenway Preservation Association:
I have continued my ongoing meetings with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Glenway Preservation Association (http://preserveglenway.ca/). They met last week with our Municipal Solicitor and our Commissioner of Development and Infrastructure Services and will be arranging a meeting with our external planning staff shortly too. I've been very impressed with their efforts to magnify the voice of the community. I have always said from day one how important it is to have an active and effective community group and they are very impressive.
One area they are active in currently is fundraising to ensure they receive effective counsel so that they may also seek party status at the OMB. As a courtesy to the group I am providing links to upcoming events that I would encourage you to support if you would like your community association to help achieve their goals:
On June 15th at the Ray Twinney Complex parking lot they will be having a neighbourhood trunk sale with a BBQ and other entertainment. Event runs from 9am-2pm.
On June 21st the GPA is hosting a pub night at Orleans Restaurant and Lounge with the Good Brothers performing. Event runs from 6:30-11:30.
And finally, on August 17th they are planning a Golf Tournament fundraiser at Carrying Place Golf Club.
For details/prices to attend the above events please visit their events page: http://preserveglenway.ca/?page_id=38
This is a brief update on the Glenway file. Marianneville Developments Ltd has formally filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board this afternoon.
I wanted you to hear this information from me first. I will be preparing a more detailed statement indicating next steps, approximate timelines, and outlining the process in a subsequent email likely tomorrow afternoon.
I would ask that if you have any specific questions related to this information that you wait until my next correspondence is sent out as I hope to address anticipated questions/concerns. I will also post the update to my website www.chrisemanuel.com
Is Glenway needed to help Newmarket achieve its mandated growth targets? Simply – No
There has been much discussion lately in the media and social media about whether the proposed Glenway development is needed to hit our provincially mandated growth targets imposed by the Places to Grow legislation. In fact, it’s the argument made by the proponent of the development and by many who support unrestrained growth in our community.
I believe this notion is flawed and oversimplified. I felt the need to address this argument with some simple facts and basic arithmetic. Apologies in advance if this exercise in math is a bit of a snooze…
Newmarket currently has a population of 85,000 people (probably a bit more). Our target mandated by the Places to Grow legislation is 98,000 by the year 2026. So, by 2026 we need to accomodate approximately 13,000 new people.
Our Town approved Official Plan spells out exactly how we will do that.
The lands that we have designated for housing in the North West, South East and other pockets in town will conservatively yield 6,000-8,000 based on historic growth projections. So we’ll say 7,000 and split the number in the middle. We know there is a market for such housing and it does not appear to be slowing down.
So that now leaves us with a need to accommodate 6,000 people elsewhere to meet our target by 2026.
The balance of that growth is to take place for the most part along the Yonge/Davis corridor. The Province of Ontario is spending a lot of your money to build a rapid transit system that will frankly be a failure unless there is population directly along the corridor to support it.
I’ll give you a snapshot of just THREE parcels of land along that corridor and what is proposed and or approved. And while you consider these numbers, please put it in the context that I am only citing three parcels of land along the corridor… There are dozens and dozens of parcels.
At the much discussed Slessor Square site they are proposing a development that will yield approximately 1,300 people (This is currently being dealt with at the OMB).
At the North East corner of Yonge and Davis two buildings are approved that would yield approximately 1,150 people.
Just South at Yonge and Millard we have a proposal for buildings that would yield approximately 700 people.
So, for just THREE parcels of land along the WHOLE Yonge Street and Davis Drive corridor there are proposals or approvals for developments with a population of 3,150.
So, we need 6,000 people along the Yonge/Davis Corridor to meet our targets and just THREE parcels gets us halfway there and we’re being told we need help to hit our target and that we NEED more development to hit our target.
I’m sorry, but the numbers just tell a different story.
I will be candid in saying that I hope some of the proposed density comes down on some of those proposed projects along the corridor, but I also hope some other exciting projects spring up along that whole corridor. I support the intensification of the Yonge Street and Davis Drive so that the transit system will thrive. But that growth must be distributed along the whole corridor.
We need responsible growth. Not growth for growths sake.
Whenever we turn the calendar to a new year it gives us all an opportunity to re-set our priorities personally and professionally. The new year allows us to reflect on all that was good and the things that were not in the past year. I’ll be the first to admit that I have grown a great deal in all aspects of my life in 2012 and I needed that growth. On the personal front I have a better indication of who I am, what I want, and where I want to be. I am truly fortunate to have been surrounded by such incredible family and friends. Sometimes we lose sight of what is important. The friends and family around us are often the best ones to help us reassess our personal direction and help recalibrate our personal goals. I am richer for having the love and support of so many in the past year. There were moments when I felt I obviously let people down. I could easily (in fact I have) beat myself up about it. But, my energy and efforts are much better focused on improving myself and in turn helping to positively impact the lives of the people around me.
There will always be ups and downs in life. That fact is one of lifes constants. What is not a constant however, is how we handle those ups and downs. We must grow from them.
So while many are announcing their New Years resolutions today I want to share mine. It may seem simple but I would suggest it is the single most important thing I could do - Each day I want to grow. I want to become a better person. I want to have a positive impact on all the people that surround me both personally and professionally. I won’t be perfect at it, but I will work at it. I will see every challenge that faces me as an opportunity to become better.
So as we embark on 2013 I will focus on improving myself. And in doing so I am committed to improving the relationships I have with my family, my friends, the community, and my faith. Because in order to better myself I first need to acknowledge I cannot do it alone.
On Monday January 7th2013 we will be having the statutory public planning meeting for the application to develop the Glenway lands. I cannot stress how important it is that you attend the meeting. Since I organized the first neighbourhood meeting in March of 2008 when we found out the golf course was for sale we have had many meetings – but this is the most important meeting you could attend.
The statutory public meeting is your chance to formally have your views presented and shared on the record. That night residents will have the chance to speak, or submit comments in writing about what they feel about the proposal.
Not a day goes by that I don't speak to residents about this issue. Many of you passionately share your position on this proposal. I urge you to attend the meeting, even if you don’t want to speak or submit comments, but just to show support for your neighbours.
Your voice must be heard. There is nothing more effective than a community that is unified and vocal in its position. Your Council and town planners need to hear from you.
Please attend the meeting on January 7that 7pm. It is at the Newmarket Theatre (505 Pickering Cres) adjacent to Newmarket High School. Should the theatre reach capacity there will be an overflow room. Please bring a neighbour.