My name is Erin Kurtz and I live in the Town of Newmarket, in the subdivision Glenway. Our golf course, that majority of us in this subdivision back on to, was bought by developers a few years ago. Of course, they have proposed the development of part of our wonderful green space. This is devastating to the residents of Glenway, some of us who have lived here for many years and love our green space and not having houses in our backyard. This is one of the things that makes our subdivision unique and beautiful.
We stand united – we do not want houses built on our golf course. This also goes against the Town of Newmarket’s plan – this space was never meant to be houses. Newmarket has grown so rapidly over the past few years – fields everywhere are turning into houses. I hardly think that building these houses on our green space are essential to the Town’s growth. And they agree. The Town has stood by us and is also against the development of our golf course. However, the Town was easily overruled in Phase 1 by the OMB. This obviously comes as a huge disappointment to us all. We are appalled that the OMB can so easily overrule our town. This has a big impact on our community, and for someone who is so detached from this area to be able to make a decision on whether or not houses are built literally in OUR backyards is hardly right. This has the biggest impact on the residents of our neighbourhood and our town and we get the least say.
Now, as I understand, there has been a bill proposed – Bill 141 – that would prevent the development of Glenway. It’s purpose is to require more principled, evidence-based and strategic long-term planning of infrastructure. It also supports protection of the environment. I hear that it has passed second reading.
I am asking you for the sake of our neighbourhood to seriously consider passing this bill. Put yourself in our shoes and I’m sure you would feel the same way. It is not fair for our community and others like ours to fall at the mercy of the OMB for something as important to us as this. It would greatly restore our faith in the Ontario government that they DO care about our individual communities and have the capability to look deeper than Ontario as a whole.
I am 15 years old – I have a lot of voting years ahead of me. I would like to think that I can count on the provincial government for something as important as this. I believe that this bill would greatly impact each individual community for the better and would help to make Ontario as a whole a better place. So, once again, I am asking you to seriously consider this bill. It would mean the world to us and for other communities who have also faced developers. Please don’t let them ruin our neighbourhood – my home.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
<Editors note – Erin is referencing Bill 41, Preserving Existing Communities Act, 2013>