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!

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! – activelivingresearch.org

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 – http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1222953–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.