Press Release – Response to tabling of “Preserving Existing Communities” Act

March 22, 2013 at 9:57 am

Glenway Logo V1R




The Glenway Preservation Association’s Response to the Proposed

“Preserving Existing Communities” Act

March 21, 2013

The Private Member’s Bill “Preserving Existing Communities Act” introduced by Mr. Klees, MPP today, highlights the difficult situation that identified Urban Growth Centres face as intensification projects start to take root, especially if municipalities find themselves trying to defend their Official Plans against unwanted and unnecessary development. “Having to fight against powerful developers whose finances and clout far exceed the limited resources of municipal budgets demonstrates the real risk that municipal planning is simply a worthless taxpayer-funded exercise with no leverage to protect existing communities and their residents’ vision for the future of their community and neighbourhoods,” says Christina Bisanz, Chairperson of the Glenway Preservation Association (GPA). Homeowners are also denied the opportunity to experience appreciation in the value of their homes.

The GPA, a not-for-profit organization formed to serve as the voice of residents in the Glenway community is well aware of the context in which the province’s “Places to Grow” legislation came into being (in 2005), and of its intent to control growth and eliminate the so-called “urban sprawl” that was quickly eating up lands in the GTA without sound planning principles. Dave Sovran, vice-chair of the group notes that “as an organization, we support planned growth in Newmarket as being part of a healthy and responsible approach to managing the evolution of our Town. In fact, planned, strategic growth led to the original creation of the wonderful neighbourhood we live in today!”

The GPA believes that the Town of Newmarket’s Council and planners have worked carefully to embrace and conform to provincially legislated growth plans. The Town invested significant time, resources and public consultation to create its own Official Plan in 2006, which subsequently underwent review and approval by the Region in May 2010.

“We also believe that Newmarket, after careful study and projections, is readily on track to meet its planned intensification targets that were established for each urban growth centre identified in the Places to Grow strategy,” says Ms. Bisanz. “In fact, at this point we are already on a pace to easily achieve and exceed our 2031 intensification growth targets many years ahead of schedule despite the fact that our Town has clear land supply constraints”, she added.

Intensification Corridor

 “It is a fact, then that not only is any proposed development of the Glenway neighbourhood unnecessary to meet our targets, it is also completely contrary to the Town’s Official Plan and its citizens’ vision for the future of this Town”, said Mr. Sovran. The Glenway Estates development proposal put forward by Marianneville Homes is therefore unnecessary for growth targets and is a set-back to the long-term vision and future potential of the quality of our Town by removing precious green space and disturbing a long-established neighbourhood.

“Residents in Newmarket rightfully expect that Newmarket’s planning efforts, which meet all levels of Regional and Provincial standards, be respected. Specifically, we expect that the Glenway neighbourhood will not be subject to unnecessary, unplanned infill development. We have the right to ensure that the values that brought us to become homeowners in Glenway and residents of Newmarket, be protected and that our community open green space be preserved,” said Ms. Bisanz.

The GPA appreciates the intent of this Private Member’s Bill to raise critical awareness to the situation which we and many other Ontario neighbourhoods are facing, regardless of whether they are included in the provincial growth target plans. This is a time for elected officials at all levels of government to fine-tune the approach to municipal development in this province in a way which still maintains the positive intent behind the Places to Grow Act, and related legislation.

In conclusion, the GPA calls for an all-party solution to be developed to protect communities across this province that is being threatened by rapid, unplanned and unjustifiable development. We further call for amendments to an OMB process which can simply overrule municipal planning decisions and silence community groups which have meaningful concerns about growth plans being presented and carried out.

To see more information relevant to our situation in Newmarket, please go to:

Private Members Bill to empower Municipal councils on local development proposals

March 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

We are not the only ones fighting this fight!   The article below is being published in the Auroran and ERA banner this week.  Our MPP presented a Private Members Bill at Queen’s Park regarding an issue facing municipalities throughout Ontario including Newmarket.  That is:  strengthening the voice of  residents through their elected municipal officials and local Official Plan’s to control planned development.   

A press conference was held Thursday at 7pm at the Newmarket Town Hall where MPP Frank Klees made a statement regarding the intent of the Bill and would be seeking support from all parties before a debate on the bill as early as mid-April.  

In Mr. Klees message he stated that he believes even the introduction of this Bill will send a message to Developers that they need to work more closely with Municiplaties to satisfy their needs and not just rely on the OMB.  At the same time, local elected officials (and their Planning departments)  need to be held more accountable for planned development.  He stated that Councils that vote NO against proposed development knowing the OMB has a history of supporting a Developer is also a practice the Bill will stop.

This is a positive for our fight over the development of Glenway and it demoinstrates again that our voice is being heard. 

 For more information go to:

 Bill 35, Preserving Existing Communities Act, 2013 – Revised and reintroduced as Bill 41

 Frankly Speaking, March 19, 2013