Lesson’s Learned Report is Out – Now What?

August 1, 2015 at 10:13 am

We learned through several sources that the Glenway Lessons Learned Facilitator’s Report <Click to download> was released July 24th.  The report does not draw any conclusions but does represent the concerns, comments and suggestions from all that participated.  It was noted several times that OMB reform is overdue and was used as leverage by the Developer.  All represented groups (Town Council, Town Staff, Marianneville, GPA, Residents) have opportunities to improve the process/outcome around future development.

By reading the report you will note that the Town (partial comment list):

  • struggles to process significant development applications in a timely fashion
  • either doesn’t have a sufficient Official Plan/Secondary Growth Plan to meet the needs of future development or cannot defend itself and its planning at the OMB
  • needs to better direct Town staff/resources and manage requirements/outcomes including frequency of reporting
  • needs to better communicate/collaborate with the public and the development community
  • needs a better plan/strategy for mass transit/local transit tied to growth/intensification
  • needs to review “land use” of public/private open space to determine potential for future development opportunities.  We have a number of unfullfilled needs as a municipality.

 

Suggested next steps from facilitor are:

  • Town officials need to review and identify key ideas/straegies/initiatives regading what can be done better/differently regrading future development on Newmarket.
  • All parties to consider “lessons learned” session outcomes and determine implications for future action/practices.

 

Ward 7 Councillor, Christina Bisanz has requested the Town Clerk to include this report on the agenda of the August 31 Committee of the Whole meeting (1:30 – 4:30 p.m.) to unable a fulsome discussion of the outcome and implications,  by Council.

Let’s see what actions, responsibility and timing does move forward through the results of our Town Council.  Stay tuned!

Residents questions answered by Town Staff

February 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Resudents had a good opportunity of asking any question on their minds regarding the OMB decision that was pro-development and what can be expected as the development project moves forward.

Residents received a good presentation from CAO, Bob Sheltonthat took them through details of what to expect since the OMB decision last April.  Details also came out regarding discussions on the west lands of Glenway.  We can expect a formal application for development of holes 13,17 and 18 in the next few months.

A panel made up of Mayor Tony Van Bynen, Regional Councillor John Taylor, Town CAO Bob Shelton, Commissioner for Development and Infrastructure Development Peter Noehammer and Ward 7 Concillor Christina Bisanz answered all questions posed from residents during the evening.  In addition, the Town pre-prepared answers to over 20 questions (attached – Glenway Preservation Association Questions and Answers)

If you have further questions please direct them through Ward 7 Concillor, Christina Bisanz at cbisanz@newmarket.ca

Upcoming Public Information Centers (PIC) and Public Information Opportunities

February 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

PIC and PIS

 

Residents will have the opportunity to have detailed information and input into Community Site Plan’s and Plans of Subdivision that will take place throughout 2015.

For residents concerned about Phase 1 development issues of compatibility, drainage or the number of issues during construction (traffic, parking, dust, debris, noise, hours of construction, etc…) there is a PIC on the former lands of the Glenway clubhouse

February 24th from 6-8pm – Cane Rms A&B at Town of Newmarket offices at 395 Mulock Drive

Full list of information opportunities is attached (PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRES AND PUBLIC INPUT OPPORTUNITIES)

Background information on Site Plan for Block 159 (area of former clubhouse)

February 2, 2015 at 9:46 am

To help residents who want more information on the happenings on January 19th in Council regarding Glenway we have navigated through the Town of Newmarket website and if you click on the link – http://newmarket.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=326&doctype=AGENDA

Listen to Marianneville’s review of site plan along with Council’s comments and motions.

I think it is important to notes several comments that as a resident you may wish to review including:

  • Comments made by Marianneville about Block 159 (74 Townhouses) and the lands directly west of Eagle (40 homes) being part of the initial phase of housing:  fast forward to 24:00
  • Regional Councillor Taylor’s remarks on clarifying phasing to the overall context – more transpiracy to the remainder of development: fast forward to 40:08
  • Councillor Kerwin’s remarks on “the sooner we move forward…” “…we had the opportunity to purchase the land and didn’t…” and “the Town has spent over $1M to date:  fast forward to 54:47.
  • Councillor Bisanz’s remarks to share with residents a Public Information Centre:  fast forward to 59:54
  • Councillor Kerwin’s remarks “this has been very costly to this municipality – almost $1M…”: fast forward to 1:06:41

In the end the motion to proceed to a Public Information centre (PIC) by Councillor Bisanz was approved which will be February 24th in Council Chambers.

It should be very informative session and we hope you bring your questions.  The GPA may be posing questions as well as it relates to the community interface as previously discussed with the Town.

Notes from January 19th Site Plan Meeting in Town Council Chambers

January 20, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Even though Glenway has been approved for housing development a site plan is required for any parcels within development applications that are multi-family semi-detached or higher density housing (basically anything that is not a single family detached house).

On Monday afternoon Marianneville presented a site plan to build 74 Townhouses where the Clubhouse once resided.  These will be a combination of 2 and 3 storey condo units beautifully arranged  to maximize just how many people can you shoehorn into a complex.  In addition, 40 single family detached houses are slated for what was the 4th hole on the east side of Eagle St.

It was clear at this meeting that a lot of discussions had taken place between Town staff and Marianneville to get to this point.  According to Town staff they expect several further iterations before any final decisions are made.  We expect the Town to provide a more detailed accounting of activities as a timeline to keep residents informed.

Marianneville’s planner, Richard Zelinka, told everyone that the site development will not impact the rest of Glenway.  Then he proceeded to tell everyone that throughout Glenway mature trees will be dug up and transplanted into the new development.  From our experience with McGregor Farm issues with tree removal and replacement this is exactly the kind of information that our community wants input into.

Ensuing discussions saw Councillor Dave Kerwin say that no further public input was necessary.  He added casually, “We had the opportunity to purchase the land and we didn’t”.   The GPA looks forward to hearing more details about this and we equally expect the opportunity (as promised) to have further input into how the next phase moves forward.

Thankfully our newly elected Ward 7 Councillor, Christina Bisanz effectively countered that for site plan meetings like this the public should have more notice than the 4 days we had received.   Councillor Kerwin’s motion to “just get it over and done with” was soundly defeated.

Regional Councillor Taylor also asked about the phasing of the development and timelines.   Neither Town Staff nor Marianneville seems prepared or willing to share details at this time.  We should expect a timeline and we should expect more information on the overall plan.

The meeting ended as Councillor Bisanz motioned for a Public Information Center (PIC) prior to any decision regarding this site plan.  The vote was easily approved.

For another point of view please view Gordon Prentice post – Read More.

Ensure you attend the Feb 12th Community Meeting to hear the what is happening in Glenway! – Read More

Chair of GPA takes leave of absence to run for Ward 7 Councillor

October 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Christina Bisanz, Chair of the GPA advised the Executive that she would be stepping down from the chair position during the municipal election campaign. If you wish to contact her she can be reached at Christina@Bisanz4ward7.com or through her website at  www.bisanz4ward7.com.

The GPA Executive has held preliminary discussions about its future role. While we still await the written order of the OMB adjudicator in order to advocate that the Town fulfill its commitment to hold a “lessons learned” meeting along with an information session for the Glenway community to advise residents of the specific details of the Marianneville development, we recognize that there are a number of issues still be to dealt with. This includes the future of the west Glenway lands.

The members of the GPA Executive have allocated hundreds of volunteers hours to this issue, with commitment and passion. As we move into the next phase of managing this issue, there is a need for additional perspectives and expertise. We therefore invite new people from the community. More on this in the months to come.

Call for Town led community meeting – we all want to know!

June 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

We have been hearing from an increasing number of residents (both inside and outside of Glenway) on the lack of follow-up proceeding the OMB decision to allow for the development application to proceed on April 23rd.

For some time now we have been patiently asking and waiting for debrief on the detail on behalf of the community and remain concerned that important decisions that affect this future development are still being made behind closed doors.

The truth is, we find it inappropriate that up to this point, the Town is leaving the GPA to answer questions that rightly Staff and Council should be responding to.

Write a quick note reminding our Ward Councillor, Mayor and Regional Councillor you want this meeting in June!

Chris Emanuel – cemanuel@newmarket.ca
Tony Van Bynen – mayor@newmarket.ca
John Taylor – jtaylor@newmarket.ca

Recently email trail:

DSovran reminder request

DRuggle response

Response to DRuggle

Letter to Newmarket Council

April 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

Glenway Logo V1R

 

April 19, 2013

To:  Newmarket Council

Re:  Support for Councillor Twinneyʼs Resolution supporting the intent behind
Bill 41

On behalf of the Glenway community, we would like to express our appreciation for
your support of MPP Frank  Kleesʼ Bill 41 which passed second reading yesterday
and will go on to committee for further discussion and refinement.

We felt the discussion at Council accurately summarised our view of this bill in that it
represents an opportunity to raise the level of discussion and engagement around
the very important topic about flaws in land use planning that negatively affect
municipal councils and their constituents.

At the same time, while we do not find the Bill without flaws, we, as you after your
action,  support the intent behind what is trying to be achieved with it.  There are
possibly other approaches to take to achieve some positive change regarding the
role of the OMB and the wording of the Places to Grow Act, but we have already
heard years of back and forth around these very issues without seeing any concrete
action until this Bill came forward.  Given the urgency of the situation in Newmarket
and similar growing concern in other growth targeted communities, we feel the need
to show leadership and throw our support behind such an initiative without having all
the fine details sorted out, and at this point without detailed input from the Townʼs
Planning group.

As you are aware, the Glenway Preservation Association has written to the mayors
in Ontario (specifically targeted in the Places to Grow as intensification centres), the
Premier, and the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Housing,  Infrastructure and
Finance, to further enlist their openness to the intent behind this Bill and secure their
support to find an all party solution which will meet the needs of so many residents
of this province who are being challenged by the way that some growth and
development is unfolding.

We believe that while property owners have the right to develop their property within
sound planning principles, we do not believe that property owners should be able to
exploit the Places to Grow Act objectives by creating intensification projects
inconsistent with community interests, needs and vision.

As we all now must prepare for the significant OMB challenge that lies ahead on this
Glenway file, we thank you again for your on-going support and look forward to
working collaboratively together to achieve a successful outcome which will involve
    sparing community from unnecessary development and maintaining the open green
space which the Town will so desperately need and value as Newmarket continues
its dramatic growth in the coming years.

Sincerely,

christina's signature

 

Christina Bisanz
Chairperson, GPA

CONCERNS ABOUT MANAGING OUR COMMUNITIES’ GROWTH PLANS

April 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

logo glenway

 

 

 To:  All Mayors in Ontario                                                                                                        April 5, 2013

cc:  Ontario MPP’s

 Re:  CONCERNS ABOUT MANAGING OUR COMMUNITIES’ GROWTH PLANS  

Dear Mayor,

You may not know of the Glenway Preservation Association (GPA), a community-based organization representing thousands of residents in Newmarket, Ontario.  You will, however, be aware of the plight of many communities throughout Ontario with local municipalities whose ability to control their destiny is being severely undermined by unnecessary and unwanted development pressures.  We are writing to enlist your support in changing the course of growth  for its own sake, in favour of sound, community- and environmentally-friendly planning decisions.

 

The Town of Newmarket is one of 25 municipalities identified in the province’s Places to Grow strategy as an intensification corridor to accommodate increased residential and industrial growth by 2031.  While the Places to Grow strategy was designed to eliminate urban sprawl through planned development strategies, an unintended consequence is in fact causing significant distress within communities.  This is the situation that is occurring when municipalities, who have sound plans to meet their growth targets in ways that also address community needs, are being challenged by developers who are able to override municipal Official Plans by leveraging the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to counter the municipal council decisions, often using the growth targets to validate their claims.  This has a significant consequence for municipalities who are being robbed of their ability to manage their own growth plans without having to spend significant tax dollars to defend their community’s interests at the OMB.

 

The Town of Newmarket faces just such a situation.  Recently, the Glenway golf course, one of the Town’s last remaining open green spaces, as it is designated in our approved Official Plan, was purchased by Marianneville Developments.  Marianneville has submitted an application to amend the Official Plan, and turn this precious resource into a development of over 700 housing units.  The developer is justifying the development on the grounds that it will support the growth targets set for the Town of Newmarket. In actual fact, other planned development—supported by the Official Plan— will already more than accommodate our growth requirements.

 

Anticipating that a negative response from the Town will undoubtedly lead to a costly challenge at the OMB, our municipality is gearing up to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to defend its own Official Plan.  In addition, the GPA has been building its own legal defense fund, in order to ensure that the community has a voice in the OMB decision-making process.

 

We believe that this dynamic is playing itself out across the province in similar growth targeted communities.  While property owners have the right to develop their property within sound planning principles, we do not believe that property owners should be able to exploit the Places to Grow Act objectives by creating intensification projects inconsistent with community interests and needs.

 

There is a growing body of evidence to support the position that municipalities and communities are no longer willing to allow their interests to be overridden by developers who use their “deep pockets” and resources to appeal to an OMB that applies insufficient weight to community interests in its decision-making.

 

Recently, Frank Klees, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, introduced The Preserving Existing Communities Act (Bill 41), which would amend the Places to Grow Act  ( Places to grow Act: https://www.placestogrow.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=9),       to address this inequity.  The GPA supports the principle of Bill 41, and its objective to empower municipal councils to make the final decision about what their communities grow like, while also ensuring appropriate accountability of municipal Councils to their electorate for the decisions they make.  Further information on Bill 41 along with a petition of support is attached here.    http://www.frank-klees.on.ca/CurrentIssues/PMB_PreservingExistingCommunitiesAct.htm   

Glenway Greenspace

Exisitng greenspace for wildlife and healthy local ecosystems, for our community and our children

 

If you support your municipality’s right to maintain and uphold the integrity of your Official  Plan and your community’s interest against unwanted and unnecessary development, we encourage you to support The Preserving Existing Communities Act within your own municipal council, and with your provincial elected officials.  Feel free to invite your residents to submit their signed petition directly to the office of their MPP.  We welcome your response. Together we can make a difference in reclaiming control over the process of how we grow and evolve our own communities.

Sincerely,

 Christina Bisanz Chairperson, GPA