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What we suggested to the Town to be negotiated

April 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Following the devastating conclusion of Phase 1 of the OMB process, the community has been asking “What happens next”.   We wanted everyone to know that the GPA has continued to be engaged in the OMB process, which we have formally been advised is heading into Phase 2.   As you know, we vehemently disagreed with the OMB adjudicator’s ruling at the end of Phase 1.   To us, the decision was a reaffirmation of our belief that the planning process has been broken for some time.   From the start, we held fast to our belief that any Town should be able to control details on growth and intensification if it is meeting its objectives passed down by Regional and Provincial government.   The fact that a third party such as the OMB can rule against a municipality’s Official Plan, and the interests of the community that makes up that municipality, suggests the need for a major policy change in this province.

We believe that the current Planning Act, Growth Plan and intensification requirements put all municipalities in a position whereby compliance with current policy requirements is a moving and unlikely target to meet.   In the case of Newmarket, and our situation specifically, we believe the best result for the Town, Region and the Province would more appropriately have been achieved through an Official Plan review process scheduled for 2015.  As the golf course lands were sold in 2010, such an approach would make much more sense. It would have provided all parties an opportunity to look at planning for this property as well as the effects on adjacent lands, Regional roads, provincial schooling, and the Town’s overall needs going forward.  Our Town has, and will continue to have, many needs that are not simply related to residential housing (for example, we’ve heard suggestions for a Center for Arts, Conference Centre, seniors’ friendly village) all that can leverage open space for public use.  Glenway provided precious space that, in the absence of continuing to be a golf course, could have been used to address some of those needs.

We have been realistic throughout this entire process on development.  We are seeking what is best for the health of our Town and the Glenway community.  We fully understand what it means to live in a healthy, vibrant neighbourhood that has been a safe place to raise our families.  We fervently hope this can will continue to be the case despite the now approved plans put forward by Marianneville.

To that end, and given that we were provided with little advance notice to provide input to the Town going into Phase 2 of the process, the GPA has offered some suggestions on how we might mitigate the impact of Marianneville’s development on our community.  Knowing that decreasing the number of housing units is not an option, we offered the following :

  1. We asked that Marianneville put green space back on the negotiating table (ie. the west lands) AND that a ‘green corridor’ be added on the east lands to link up with an evolving pathway system that Town staff have been developing in the draft Secondary Plan and “Active Transportation Network’. 
  2. We asked the Town to figure out how to purchase this green space to satisfy the Town’s future needs. 
  3. We asked that the gas station be removed from the commercial space allocation. 
  4. We asked for more details (and less building) in the hydro side of the course (ie. holes 10-12). 
  5. We had a number of technical concerns (‘like to like’, roads, fencing and buffers, tree replacement and location, etc.) that we also asked to have addressed.

Ideally, we would have been given the time and opportunity to formally solicit input from the community through a proper consultation process, but the schedule for the next phase of the hearing has not permitted this.  However, the suggestions and issues noted above, are based on comments and ideas that we have received from residents throughout this process.

In conclusion, you should know that the GPA has exhausted our funding, and have therefore ceased our engagement with our lawyer and planner.  We do feel it is important to remain a ‘Party’ to Phase 2 although we will have to represent ourselves in the process.

Apart from knowing the date that Phase 2 will start, the GPA remains in the dark as to the context and parameters of what is to be discussed during this next stage in the process.  We continue to commit to keeping our community informed regardless of the outcome.

OMB supports development to move ahead – Phase 2 to determine to what this means

March 30, 2014 at 8:50 pm

To our fellow residents of Glenway:

As you are all now doubtless aware, this week ended on a very bad note for all of us when the adjudicator of the OMB Phase 1 Hearing ruled outright that development could take place in our neighbourhood, and, to add insult to injury, remarked that there should never have been any doubt about that.  To paraphrase her words, she stated that the Planning Act and the Growth Act already contemplated single developer applications which might alter a municipality’s Official Plan and allow them to add to intensification and alter any growth plan already underway.  She essentially chose to put this premise above the other text found in the various legislations which speak to the control of the growth plan falling to the municipality, and the decision of a municipality to locate growth where it chooses, and to equally choose where NOT to grow.

The adjudicator essentially blamed the Town for not acting on these lands much earlier  She specifically targeted Staff for not pro-actively assessing some key elements of the growth plan and refusal to determine the potential for these lands in the context of the Growth Plan.  In the adjudicator’s mind, the fact that Newmarket has been working towards its intensification plan (proposed, not actual development applications that easily exceed targeted growth) she took the approach that they were ‘out of compliance’ and as such, required to entertain these development applications.  So in essence, we are all being bulldozed by a process that clearly favours development and intensification over all.

So now that we are left with the cold reality that our Open Space will now be developed, where does that leave us as we move towards Phase 2?  At this point, we are not certain, but we plan on attending the Committee of the Whole meeting on this coming Monday to engage the Town Council in what next steps could be involved.  Throughout this process we appreciate the Town standing with us on this issue, and we look forward to the same collaboration moving into Phase 2.

The GPA executive will also be reconvening to further discuss what our options might be.  As we formulate our next steps we are open to your suggestions and ideas, as we are working for you.

Phase 2 will begin either the week of April 15 or the week of April 21 (after Easter Monday).  This will be confirmed soon.

Some initial actions we have already taken include the following:

  1. We have ceased our engagement with our lawyer and planner (for obvious reasons).  This means that we need to sort out with the Town how we remain a ‘Party’ to Phase 2, without having a lawyer speaking for us during the proceedings.
  2. We need to ensure that any ideas or wishes we might have with respect to mitigating some of the current development proposal, are championed by the Town on our behalf.  At this point, we are not certain how that will work.

Suggested actions to residents:

  1. We encourage people to get involved with the secondary growth plan process now underway, and the public meeting coming up.  We have learned that we can’t sit back and expect our Town planning staff and elected officials to protect our interests—we need to have a voice and influence at the early stages.
  2. Please continue to let the elected officials know that we expect the Town to be assertive on Phase 2 (not just throw in the towel).  Send them emails, letters and phone calls detailing your specific issues.

While we reflect on our next steps, we would also like to share in the deep disappointment we all feel for being swept aside to the curb as we were last week.  The look of our neighbourhood will never be the same. 

We only hope that what made this community so strong in the first place, you our neighbours – will remain to keep it so!

Reminder to any resident wishing to attend OMB Hearing that begins March 17th

March 13, 2014 at 10:35 am

The OMB Hearing is now upon us.  Starting on Monday (March 17) we will be engaged beginning with our Principle of Development argument against Marianneville Developments to protect our community from unnecessary development.

We are ready and our arguments are strong

If you wish to attend any part of the Hearing, you are welcome to.  As the Town’s solicitor noted, this is the equivalent of a court case with full legal decorum required in the room, so please note that we’ll all have to be on our best behaviour.

 Visit our Events for details:  http://preserveglenway.ca/?ai1ec_event=omb-hearing-on-glenway-starts&instance_id=

We will update you as soon as any key events occur.

To have success at the OMB hearing we need your financial support!

March 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm

GPA Mar 4th Meeting

Thanks to everyone inside Glenway and the rest of Newmarket that have given their support to preserve Glenway’s community value and protect our Town’s limited precious green space.

 

Resident efforts help defend Newmarket’s Official Plan to better control development decisions in our communities.

 
 The opening video from our March 7th meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VueLGkRG-O4 
   

How your donations have already helped:

  • Provided the Town with a strong planning argument – resulting in a 9-0 vote against the development applications
  • Helped structure the OMB Hearing into 2 phases where the principle of development will be front and center as Phase 1
  • Created a plan of action for the OMB Hearing process that begins March 17th
  • Helped the Town secure their planner who will support and expand our argument during the Hearing process

 

What you heard from our latest community update meeting:

  • We have a great chance to win on the Principle of Development argument (do we need to build or not?)
  • This returns control of development back to the Town for decision making based on Newmarket’s Official Plan and review process
  • If the OMB wants to proceed directly to Phase 2 before a decision can be reached we can still apply the argument of the principle of development to each technical issue raised

 

How do we see this playing out and the investment required:

  • Witness statement and hearing preparation:  12 hours planning/10 hours legal
  • Phase 1 will be up to 2 weeks, or approximately $ 20,000 per full week
  • Phase 2 is scheduled a further 4 weeks however we will limit or eliminate our paid representation for that part of the hearing
  • To satisfy our needs as a community at the OMB we need another $26,000 (now less than $20,000 based on the last few days)

 

What we need from you as soon as possible:

1.    Buy an hour of Planner’s time with a donation of $200
                                              OR
2.    Buy a ½ hour of Lawyer’s time with a donation of $150
                                              OR
3.    Buy a 1/2 hour or 1/4 hour Planner’s time with a donation of $100 or $50 respectively

 

Email us at contact@preserveglenway.ca and we will come by to pick up your cheque
or  donate on-line at DONATE NOW

 

We have a track record for success now.      We are so close!  

Let’s make this happen together!

Council wants to control intensification – is this an election issue?

February 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

 In the February 5th edition of “novae res urbis” Regional Councillor John Taylor and Mayor Tony Van Bynen discuss the desire for intensification and the realities of buildings as high as 30 stories in Newmarket. 

Newmarket staff is recommending heights of  20 storeys right away along Yonge-Davis while Councillor Taylor and Mayor Van Bynen don’t believe Newmarket is ready for this density and even if there is a market for higher density buildings of this magnitude.

One of the goals of the Secondary Growth Plan the Town is pursuing for approval in May is how much and where intensification is desired to accommodate the 50% growth projected for Newmarket by 2051 and the mass transit plans of the Ontario government is extending throughout the GTA.

Intensification is a very important aspect that requires following by residents if we want to achieve the potential for Newmarket given the constraints of available land and future mass transit plans.  This speaks directly to how the Town needs to work with Developers versus being told by Developers how things will be!

 An election issue???

Read the full article by clicking – “NRU Feb 5 2014

Please mark your calendars to attend this important March 4th Community Meeting

February 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm

GPA Mar 4th Meeting

 We expect everyone to come on out for the March 4th Community Meeting (CLICK HERE). 

We want you to know what is happening, 

 We want to hear from you any thoughts as we enter the OMB Hearing. 

 Read what Chris Emanuel has to say:  http://chrisemanuel.com/blog/2014/2/20/glenway-update.html

OMB will listen to debate on whether there needs to be any development!

December 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

We met our objective for the OMB Hearing now pushed back to March 17, 2014.   OMB adjudicator, Mr. Chee-Hing ruled that the he will break the overall hearing into two distinct parts. 

The first part being the ”the principle of development” arguement brought forth by the Glenway Preservation Association that was confirmed by a 9-0 vote by local Town Council on October 25th.

The second part is the technical issues around the development proposal which was rejected as well by the Town of Newmarket following the Town’s planning report sighting an abundance of technical issues with both the original proposal and settlement offers.

We will be spending the next several months preparing our case against this non-conforming and unnecessaryinconsistent development application proposal.  Development for the sake of development is a poor reason for unplanned housing.  There is still no answer from the developer to the very simple queston of WHY?

DONATIONS TO SUPPORT OUR LEGAL DEFENCE FUND ARE WELCOME! 

 

For more on the happenings at the pre-hearing please read:

Gordon Prentice’s eloquant writings – http://shrinkslessorsquare.ca/blog/130-glenway-and-the-omb

Chris Emaunel’s blog – http://chrisemanuel.com/blog/2013/12/11/december-10th-omb-hearing-update.html

Town Council votes a unanimous NO to Glenway development

November 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

It was a nervous evening for us all and vindication of our consistent challenge to the Town of “WHY is this development necessary?”   It was an evening where we hoped to see a turning point for how the Municipality would defend our Official Plan and their vision for healthy and appropriate growth and development in this community.  At the end of the evening I am proud to say Town Council voted 9 – 0 to oppose Marianneville’s submissions for development of the Glenway lands.

It was a satisfying win for residents of Glenway and Newmarket residents as a whole.  While the Planner hired by the Town focussed on technical requirements of the Developer’s application proposal and Settlement offers, she downplayed the foundational concept of the ‘principle of development’.  This is the WHY, the rationale that needed to be answered before drilling into the technical details of any development proposal.  The principle of development speaks directly to our vision of Newmarket and the extensive planning efforts that are the Official Plan and the Secondary Growth Plan.  It is clear that the development proposal offered by Marianneville doesn’t fit the Town’s planning vision and objectives.  It serves no purpose that is positive for the Town, its residents and the health of the Glenway community.

Following an excellent deputation from Dave Sovran of the GPA there were more than a dozen residents from inside Glenway and several from outside of Glenway who passionately supported both the protection of the character and nature of our existing neighbourhood from unnecessary development as well as the value of the principle of development in how the Town supports a vision for Newmarket.  Residents of Newmarket should be proud of the growing unity they continue to demonstrate in supporting all neighbourhood communities throughout Newmarket.

Prior to the Town Council vote there was a strong opening motion made by our Ward Councillor, Chris Emanuel asking Council to oppose development followed by Regional Councillor John Taylor who showed leadership in his words to the rest of Council.   It was clear that residents of Newmarket feel as we do in Glenway and this was demonstrated by the “hundreds of emails from residents” received by Ward 3 Councillor, Jane Twinney.

Today begins our continuing work with the Town of Newmarket to fight and win at the OMB Hearing scheduled for next March.  More than ever we will be relying on legal and planning expertise that has proved invaluable in creation and support of “the Principle of Development”.

We encourage all of you to please speak to your neighbours, friends and residents throughout Newmarket to support us with your emails, your presence at upcoming meetings and your financial donations.  This will help to ensure we can move together strongly at the OMB.

There are some good reviews of the evening below and I encourage you to read them. 

Read more from Chris Emanuel including his speech from last night:
http://chrisemanuel.com/blog/2013/11/25/newmarket-council-votes-unanimously-to-oppose-glenway-develo.html

Read more from Julia Li at yorkregion.com:
http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/4236100-newmarket-will-fight-glenway-development-at-omb/

Read more from an eloquent Newmarket resident, Gordon Prentice who lives outside of our ward:
http://shrinkslessorsquare.ca/blog/122-councillors-back-glenway-residents

The Whole 9 Yards Congratulations Newmarket! Congratulations Town Council!

November 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

9 of 9 Voted at last nights council meeting to take the fight to the OMB. They unanimously passed Councillor Chris Emanuel’s motion to contest the application on the principal that it does not fit in with the official plan and in fact strongly disrupts it.

Thank you to all the Councillors who spoke out for Newmarket including regional councillor Jonathan Taylor, Jane Twinney, a long time supporter, Dave Kerwin, Mayor Tony Van Bynen and all the council.

Thank you to the 600 or so residents who attended and to all those who spoke, emailed, etc….

Congratulations NEWMARKET

 

The most important meeting you will ever attend – Monday 7pm Newmarket Theatre

November 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Reminder:  Town Council Vote – Glenway Application

This is the time to voice your concerns to the Town’s Planning department and support our opposition to the application to re-develop Glenway!

We have seen many well written passionate letters (even subsequent follow-ups based on changing information which is excellent).  You have made a difference!  Continue to be that difference!

  • Bring yourself and your neighbours!  We had over 600 strong last time.
  • Bring your signed letter of concerns!  - or email it to clerks@newmarket.ca

Remember you can have up to 5 minutes to read/present your specific concerns.  Read your letter!

Date:       MONDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2013

Location:  Newmarket Theatre (505 Pickering Cres) adjacent to Newmarket High School

Time:       7:00PM

Your attendance is a strong message.      Bring your neighbours!