GPA asks WHY! – The Town hasn’t applied the “Principles of Development”

October 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Deputation – October 15, 2013 Glenway Preservation Association to Town of Newmarket Council

October 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

First, I would like to thank Crossland Church for making this venue available tonight to serve the needs of Council and the Glenway Community.  And to Council, thank-you for this opportunity and allowing us to present an important perspective through our expert planner, Nick McDonald.

We have been pleased to be an on-going part of this discussion with Council. 

Residents of the Glenway community have invested significantly in time, after-tax dollars and personal sacrifice, to have a voice in this matter.

We have not opposed development in our general community where proper planning has occurred (ie. McGregor Farm) and despite the increased densities associated with the proposed Secondary plan for the Yonge/Davis corridors, and the inevitable impacts which will affect our community, we continue to constructively participate in that planning process.

However, as stated by our expert planner, we have strong concerns with the absence of a Town-led, community involved planning process on this file.

We expected to hear confirmation of the many technical deficiencies in the application and without prejudice offer and were pleased to see the first two recommendations recommending that they be rejected.

However, we are extremely disappointed with the lack of any cohesive planning discussion on WHY THESE LANDS NEED TO BE DEVELOPED, AND/OR TO WHAT EXTENT.

READ Christina Bisanz’s entire deputation:  Bisanz GPA deputation Oct 15 13


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IMPORTANT UPDATE – Town Report Rejects Development of Glenway

October 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm

PLAN TO ATTEND A TOWN MEETING ABOUT GLENWAY,  OCT. 15 AT 7pm at Crossland Church, 47 Millard Avenue West

Late last week, the Town of Newmarket planning staff released a report that recommends to Council that they reject both the original Glenway application for development and the Settlement Offer made by Marianneville Development due to a series of unresolved technical issues

This is significant and positive first step for all Glenway residents as the Town staff acknowledged the obvious shortcomings of the development proposal and settlement offer. 

GPA view:

Despite the clear recommendations in the report that Council reject both the original Glenway application as well as the settlement offer, based on serious technical issues, it leaves the door open by  recommending that Staff continue to negotiate with the proponent to resolve these issues prior to the OMB hearing.   In other words, it invites them to re-design our neighbourhood with us having NO say in this and by disregarding our current Official Plan and Secondary Growth Plan. 

This report does not at all adequately consider the ‘principle of development’ argument and the option Council has to oppose this particular application because they have already conformed to the planning requirements of the Region and the Province.  Failing to take this approach will block the community out of the planning process and eliminate the opportunity we have to enter the Glenway property into a proper Town planning process. 


 Knowing how high profile this file is, Council has added an extra meeting of Newmarket Council in order to allow residents to engage our elected officials in a Question and Answer session with respect to the implications of this report. It is important to note that NO decisions will be made at this session; it will however allow us to better understand where we stand and to further emphasize issues critical to our community.

 The Council decision on next steps (ie. to vote to fight the application at the OMB) is still scheduled for November 25 at Newmarket Theatre.

 To read more please go to Ward 7 Councillor Chris Emanuel’s blog:

 Also the Era Banner has picked up the story at:


Press Release – Annual General Meeting

February 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm


Glenway Logo V1R



 Glenway Preservation Association Marks 1st Anniversary with

Renewed Direction and Mandate


For Immediate Release

February 19, 2013

 The Glenway Preservation Association (GPA), held its first Annual General Meeting on February 12, 2013 to set its future direction and reconfirm its mandate on behalf of its members. 

 Ron Kassies, outgoing president of the GPA, provided an overview of the group’s accomplishments since its inception last April, 2012. The GPA is the sole incorporated and official association registered with the Town of Newmarket to represent the residents of Glenway against the development of the golf course and preserve the integrity of the “open green space” zoning of the property in the Town’s Official Plan.

 ‘It has been a real pleasure to lead the GPA the past year and a half and I want to thank the executive team, all of the volunteers, and especially the community for standing behind this important fight that we know will be won’ said Mr. Kassies.

 Committee chairs followed Mr. Kassies, with reports on activities relating to Town planning, legal and technical issues, communications and finance. The newly-established Fundraising Committee outlined plans for a series of events designed to raise funds to support the GPA’s plans to defend preservation of the Glenway lands at the Ontario Municipal Board, where the matter is undoubtedly headed.

 Following the announcement of Mr. Kassies’ resignation due to a family career move, the membership elected a new Executive Committee. Christina Bisanz becomes the incoming president, David Sovran the new vice-president. Lois MacDonnell was re-elected Treasurer, and Wendy Van Straten will continue as Secretary.

 Ms. Bisanz concluded the meeting by thanking Ron Kassies for his leadership of the organization, and commitment to preserving the Glenway lands. As the founding president of GPA, she noted that “Ron kept us focused strategically, ensuring that we established and maintained credibility and kept our approach fact-based”.

 For the future, Ms. Bisanz advised that in addition to continuing to address technical issues related to its opposition of the development, key priorities will be to raise funds, and recruit volunteers to assist with events, communication and fundraising. Bisanz also noted that the GPA will be challenged to continue to engage the community in a positive way. “We cannot allow apathy and disbelief to stand in the way of our fight,” she said. “The community needs to stand together to win, or face seeing this precious green space paved over.”

 For more information contact:

 Brian Gard

Chair, Communications Committee



Christina Bisanz



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Regional Councillor, John Taylor says NO to Glenway development!

January 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Glenway Proposal and the Statutory Public Meeting on Jan 7th
by John Taylor published in current newsletter on

The Kerbel Group has had a Glenway Development Proposal in the public realm for over a year now. Earlier this year they submitted a complete application to the Town of Newmarket which triggered a required statutory public meeting at which any member of the public can express concerns or opinions on the proposal.

It is well know that there is strong public opposition to the proposal. The Glenway Preservation Association has outlined their specific concerns and a strong general opposition to the proposal. At a meeting over a year ago I stated clearly that I do not support the Glenway Development Proposal. I think that the hundreds of homes that back on to the Glenway Golf Course had no reason to believe their beautiful back yards and views would end up looking straight into someone else’s back yard. If this development was proposed for my back yard I can assure you that I would be extremely unhappy. Furthermore, the proposal is contrary to our Official Plan which designates the affected area as parks and open space and Newmarket does not need this development to meet its required growth targets

Read more

Quick Fact Summary From Public Meeting – Nov 8th

November 17, 2012 at 10:58 am

Speaking with a few developers this is how they view development projects:

  • Developers purchase property based on risk = reward; nevertheless, most developers didn’t want to bid on this project due to the obvious disruption of a long-time, stable community and the inherent risk of push-back from the neighbourhood.
  • They know it can take years before they get their investment back.
  • In the Glenway example the rumoured $9.9MM acquisition price, if true, was a very good deal and allows Kerbel (ie. Marianneville Developments) to be patient.
  • Glenway has a lot of infrastructure issues that complicate a development project: not in accordance to the Town’s Official Plan, sewage allocation and mid-term availability, traffic concerns, neighbourhood resistance ETC. In the words of one developer, “Glenway is messy”.
  • Even a much smaller development project could bring a profit.
  • They recommended that we, as a community group, need to have official, legal representation in order to ‘play in the same game’ as the developer when this inevitably goes to the OMB – regardless of whether the Town also will have legal representation.


Biggest planning issues for re-development:

  • Sewage allocation (new capacity comes on-line in 2018/2020). Town controls this allocation regardless of OMB decision, and they would prioritize allocation to projects approved within the approved Official Plan.
  • Traffic. Major congestion at all entrance/exit points. Alex Doner and Crossland Gate become what Millard is today. Millard becomes busy bypass alternative to Yonge or Davis. Davis Drive between Bathurst and Eagle should be avoided altogether. Development at the corner of Bathurst and Yonge will further congest and complicate traffic volume and neighbourhood access issues.
  • York Regional District School Board has put a requirement for a new elementary school as part of re-development plan. Marianneville Developments has challenged the Board already as it is a major disruption to the proposal already submitted.


Town’s Perspective of Development

  • The Mayor, the Regional Councillor and the Ward Councillor all reiterated their opposition to this proposal. It is a) Contrary to the Official Plan’s (OP) designation of these lands as open green space; b) Not required to meet provincial growth targets set for Newmarket; c) NOT NECESSARY AND NOT APPROVED.
  • Town does not make any financial gain from development dollars versus cost of infrastructure; ie. development charges do not pay adequately for growth, therefore the burden inevitably falls on the local taxpayer.
  • Town does not make any financial gain from new home tax revenue versus services provided.
  • OP was created using our tax dollars and considerable input from Newmarket residents It conforms to the York Region Plan and Provincial Legislation and has been approved by all 3 levels of government.
  • Town has committed to defend its OP all the way to the OMB. Newmarket residents, not developers, should decide our community’s future through our Official Plan.
  • The Councillors in attendance (John Taylor, Chris Emanuel) have committed to helping us raise funds.


The Glenway Preservation Association is on track

  • Our objective is to win at the OMB. Re-development of Glenway is NOT a done deal!
  • We have researched the issues and understand how they impact our neighbourhood, quality of lifestyle and planning principles.
  • We have verbal commitments from Town Council to defend its OP and oppose development of Glenway.
  • Formal commitments from each member of the Town Council will be part of public interviews we are conducting before the end of the year.
  • We require legal and planning expertise to most effectively present our case at the OMB. We have met with several experts and will short list before January.
  • We stated our need for financial support of no less than $150,000 to fund our fight at the OMB. The vast majority of the 300 residents made a show of hands to provide an initial pledge of $250. 50 people pledged more than $15,000 that night with over 100 more taking pledge forms home. The Town is looking at contributing and Regional Councillor Taylor is looking to personally contribute. We have had a continuous stream of email support since adding to this support. We will put together a secure process whereby you can contribute either in lump-sum or on a ‘pay monthly’ approach depending upon your preference.
  • THE STATUTORY PUBLIC MEETING WITH THE DEVELOPER IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 7th. We are looking for your presence at that meeting to help the community voice its disagreement over this proposal!
  • We have a strategic plan and have many tasks to complete before this January 7th public Town meeting. We will be following up with residents on these many items and how they can help.

FAQ’s Glenway Preservation Association Nov. 2012

November 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

1. What is the Glenway Preservation Association?

The Glenway Preservation Association (GPA) was formed in 2011 by a group of concerned Glenway residents to give us a means to voice our concerns as a unified group and allow us to work with the Town to fight against any development of the Glenway Golf Course lands. It arose almost immediately after seeing not only the initial Marianneville Development proposal, but also how the developers presented it and interacted with the community.

2. Why would Marrianeville Development purchase Glenway for $9.9M if they didn’t have a secret deal ahead of time with the Town for development?

Every developer takes risks when purchasing land – sometimes bigger than others on some transactions. This is how developers can sometimes make even huger profits from some of their development projects. The Glenway purchase is one of the riskier ones where, if they can succeed in overturning the Town’s Official Plan, then they will reap a huge reward. Marrianeville Development has every intention to go to the OMB in order to win approval to develop Glenway. Whether it is the proposal they are offering currently or a lesser development they don’t really care about the Town of Newmarket’s Official Plan or what local residents want and have proved this in their actions.

The Mayor, Regional Councillor, our Ward 7 Councillor and the majority of the remaining Ward Councillors have provided verbal (if not written) objection to Glenway’s development. The GPA will continue to work to receive 100% support of no Glenway’s development.

The question really is what Marrianeville’s contingency plan is when they can’t develop Glenway! Do they sell it and move on? Do they try to work with the Town to come up with a WIN/WIN proposition?

3. How can they demolish the clubhouse if development isn’t starting soon?

Marrianeville Development owns the Glenway property and therefore has the same rights we all do as property owners. They can remove buildings from their land but that does not mean they can build a housing development without the change of Town zoning and bylaws.

4. I don’t live adjacent to the golf course so the development doesn’t affect me!

Development of Glenway affects all Glenway residents directly and all residents of the Town of Newmarket indirectly.

Directly, Glenway residents will see quality of life diminish based on removal of homeowner sightlines, introduction of transient forms of higher density housing, increased noise, even more traffic congestion and general construction disruption/pollution over many years.
Indirectly, all Town of Newmarket residents will lose open green space for community use, increased pressure on taxes for infrastructure, and diminished services. More importantly, the precedent will be set for developers to run our Town and its future development and not our elected representatives.

The chances that there will be a future 9 hole golf course are by no means guaranteed. In fact, the chances are much higher this will be Phase 2 of development if the current development proposal is approved. Another reminder that development affects all of us! At this point, they have only submitted plans that concern half of the golf course and so there is no reassurance at all that any substantial green space will be retained.

Many studies have proved that residents living in or near open green space have a stronger social connection, proven to be safer places to live and attract residents to live there – Environmental News Network, The Bodine Street Community Garden.

5. Doesn’t developing Glenway support the Province’s Places to Grow Act and York Region’s high density plans along the Yonge/Davis corridor?

No, Glenway is outside the density corridor that York Region and the Town of Newmarket Secondary Plan has identified. York Region is well on its way to achieving and exceeding its growth targets and so is the Town of Newmarket without developing Glenway.

6. Won’t my house be more in demand and the value increased with the development moving ahead?

Scarcity and not volume increases value of your home. We have seen this over the past 6 months with bidding wars for some properties. If anything the changes proposed for Glenway will make our neighbourhood less attractive versus other similar neighbourhoods. This quality of life factor could make your home less desirable to buyers.

It is proven that neighbourhoods inside urban cities that offer open green space carry more value than those that do not! –

7. More development, like Glenway, will bring in more local tax revenue and lower my property taxes!

It is proven that no development actually pays for itself. This is due to the funding formula and how the Region is paid for land. Infrastructure must be developed well in advance and currently York Region is $1,840 in debt per person and plans on collecting no more than 71% of that debt back through development dollars. [ed. please read this related article from Toronto Star ––york-region-putting-development-money-ahead-of-good-planning-critics-say]

What is true is there are lots of unknown costs to developing Glenway. There is also going to be increasing pressure on delivering the same quality of life residents enjoy today. The list includes:

· Who will pay the drainage costs of updating groundwater runoff? Existing neighbourhood relies on the golf course lands, trees and ponds. Some homes don’t even have sump pumps!
· Who pays for updating water and sewage of existing neighbourhood as more usage will increase obsolescence?
· Who pays for underground electrical infrastructure Ontario Hydro must install?
· Road widening, new intersections, traffic lights and traffic guards will be required.
· The developer wants the Town to assume maintenance responsibilities for private roads as well as the unique water system the golf course used for years within Glenway.
· School building expansion, staff and teachers for 730 new households (50% increases) enrolment. UPDATE: YRSB now demands a new elementary school to be included in the proposed Glenway development project. Definitely not a welcome change for Marrianneville!

At this point, the Town Council is working at keeping our 2013 tax increases at 2% (which might be 2% higher than some of us think it should be). This is without any unplanned development or infrastructure-related surprises. It is clear from the Marianneville proposal, that they have included many infrastructure changes which the Town will be responsible for as a result of their Phase I development plans alone.

8. Only developers win at the OMB!

Not true. The OMB is in place as a planning board and respects the Official Plans of the Towns and Regions in Ontario where they conform to the Province’s legislation and the Planning Act. Since 2006 there are Official Plans specifically created in unison with these guidelines. Town’s Planning departments play the key role as their approval/rejection holds the most weight in OMB hearings.

A decision to reject developers proposals by local government with support of the Planners and engaged community groups win in the majority of cases at the OMB.

9. If the land is not developed what will happen to Glenway?

The lands will still be the property of Marianneville Development. Any proposal or counterproposal that seeks to preserve as much open green space as possible will meet much less resistance and we feel will serve the Town of Newmarket as an important key to attract both business and residents over time.

Executive Team Voting

November 15, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Executive Team voting will take place on Monday, December 5th , 2011, Ray Twinney Complex (Lounge 1) from 7pm to 7:45pm.


GPA Meeting – October 24th

October 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm

The Glenway Preservation Association is holding their first official information and membership recruitment meeting.

Date:      Monday, October 24th, 2011
Where:  Newmarket Theatre
Time:    7:00 pm to 7:30 pm – Registration & Sign-in
                   7:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Information Meeting



The Glenway Preservation Association (GPA) was formed recently in response to the proposed development of the Glenway Golf Course. The GPA would like to expand its membership to include all residents within Glenway and the broader community of Newmarket. This meeting will include:

  • A brief discussion on who the GPA is
  • Key issues with development from a community perspective
  • What the GPA needs to do to be successful in its mission
  • Registration of new members and volunteer recruitment


We will be selling membership registration cards for $5 each / person. These funds will help support any initiation start-up costs (i.e. printing, etc) as well as provide members with voting rights under the constitution of the GPA, including election of Executive Members, etc.

We look forward to meeting all of our neighbours!!