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!

How does the leaked memo affect Glenway Residents?

October 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Some of you may have received a copy of a confidential Memo from the Town of Newmarket at your home related to the west Glenway lands, or read about this in the Thursday edition of The Era.  The memo in question was delivered by John Blommesteyn, one of the Ward 7 candidates for the upcoming municipal election and the husband of Ward 6 Councilor Maddie DiMuccio.

Understandably the Glenway community is wondering what the memo means, and why it was leaked three days before Council had agreed to make it public.

The memo indicates that the Town of Newmarket had approached Marianneville (the developer) to inquire whether any of the Glenway West lands would potentially be for sale in advance of Marianneville submitting its next application for development of these lands.  This is something that we have been anticipating would happen given the OMB ruling against the GPA and Town’s argument that the development as a whole did not meet the principle of development.

It is our understanding that the memo was provided to Council in response to its direction to Town staff, to consider all the options potentially available in order to determine whether any of the remaining golf course lands could be spared from development. The memo addresses one component that was under consideration – whether Marianneville would be prepared to sell a portion of the lands to the Town of Newmarket. The memo also indicates, as we expected, that the developer would likely file an application to develop the west Glenway lands within the year.

Here is our take on the situation.

The premature release of this confidential document is not only inappropriate but it potentially harms the ability for the Town to negotiate with the developer for fair market purchase of the land in the future. While the public is now aware of that, there may now be other parties come forward with an interest in purchasing these lands that could ‘up the ante’ and even include land which was previously assumed to be ‘undevelopable‘, such as those situated on the edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

As a community, we need to be aware that the premature leakage of this document was a political stunt by a would-be Ward Councilor and abetted by a Council insider (3 guesses) who again has demonstrated her lack of respect for the rules of confidentiality.   Members of the Glenway Preservation Association have put hundreds of volunteer hours and our own dollars into fighting for Glenway—because we live here.  We must continue to stand together to ensure our community is represented for the right reasons and in the right way, and not play games with our future as the approved development moves forward, and a new application eventually gets submitted.

Mr. Blommesteyn does not live in Glenway or in Ward 7, and was never involved in or supportive of our fight until it became politically expedient for him to do.  He was quoted in the Era Banner as stating that this development found its way to the OMB because the Town missed a deadline and therefore missed an opportunity to find a better solution for the community.  The fact of the matter is that no Town with an application of this scale would have been able to meet the timeline imposed by the Planning Act.  In fact, even as the process moved to the OMB pre-hearing many months later, the developer had still not yet responded to the Town’s demands for modifications to their application.  The planning process as it exists now clearly tips the table in favour of the developer, who can simply include an OMB appeal into their standard approach.  If Mr. Blommesteyn wishes to represent the community effectively, he must make himself aware of the facts of what we’ve gone through, the planning process and the very limited options available when dealing with, and attempting to negotiate with a developer.

Let’s not allow someone to play political games with our homes and our future.  This affects both our Ward and our Town as we continue local intensification initiatives.  As a community, we are still owed an important ‘Lessons Learned’ meeting from this Council as we ourselves look to better understand how Council and Staff can better serve the needs of our community.

We are coming to your door with a Lawn Sign! – August 7th OMB hearing at town offices and What Losing Lifestyle Value Really Means

July 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

We are coming to your door with a Lawn Sign!

lawn sign

Join other Glenway residents in the lawn sign distribution campaign starting in July and extending into August.  Dates and times TBD.

Email Deb Pope at gpafundraising@hotmail.com if you are interested in details and want to participate.
Just let us know with an email to contact@preserveglenway.ca and we will get one to you promptly.      Everyone who wants to show their support will receive a lawn sign.  There is no cost, but we are asking for a donation to support our legal defence fund.

What losing lifestyle value really means – a new Glenway Resident’s experience!

We just moved in to this beautiful neighbourhood and still unpacking.  We came from Tehran, once a stunning green and garden-full city laying in the down skirts of towering Alborz Mountains.  Eventually, the gardens vanished and were replaced by steels and bricks.  Lovely large houses with gorgeous gardens with old plane trees and fruit trees were demolished and destructed and instead, 4-5 story apartment buildings were constructed to settle new residents, more cars, less blue sky.  Now Tehran is well known for its pollution, a city that my family were banned to live in due to serious health issues.

What happened there was simple to identify: mismanagement by officials and abuse by constructors.  I would never want to believe what happened in the past 70 years in a developing country (yet to be developed) would ever happen now, here in Canada.

Please send us a lawn sign to show our sympathy with the rest of our neighbours.

F.Vaziri

Fairway Gardens.
ed. note:   All around town I see signs that say Newmarket was voted into the top 10 Canadian places to live.  Newmarket has always prided itself on its greenspace (a key factor in determining livability of a city) and has always counted Glenway Golf Course as part of that green space and recreational land.    This developer is taking away beauty, charm, livability and recreation from all Newmarket residents.

 

DSCF4721

 

Reminder:  OMB pre hearing at town offices on August 7th!   set that aside and plan to attend

also:  fundraiser and golf day: August 17th, all proceeds going towards keeping Glenway green!