Your QUESTIONS Answered!

In the Official Plan for the Town of Newmarket, this land is designated “OPEN SPACE and PARKS”.  Can’t it just stay that way?

 

This property was purchased from the YRPA (York Region Police Association), by Marianneville  Stonehaven Ltd. (owned by Marianneville Development Ltd.) in March 2019. 

 

This new property owner has submitted an application to the Town of Newmarket to develop the land for residential.

 

The Town is legally obliged to consider their request to change the Official Plan, to change the Zoning designation, to sub-divide it and to build 202 housing units.

The Town must provide a formal response.

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Can’t the Town just vote to turn it down?

 

The Town has to reasonably consider the request in light of a whole lot of Municipal and Provincial policies as well as local issues and concerns.

Under the Planning Act, they are obliged to consult with various organizations and government bodies. This includes, but is not limited to, Region of York, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Canada Post, Newmarket Tay Power Distribution (Newmarket Hydro), Southlake Regional Health Care, Bell, Rogers, and Central York Fire Services, the Boards of Education and others.

The Town also has its own professional staff such as engineers and planners who will analyze it and incorporate the opinions and expertise it receives.

The Town is also obliged to consult with the community.  Not only are they “obliged” to consult with the community, they WANT to consult with the community.  

The Town Council can vote to approve the Application, to turn it down, or they can negotiate with the developer to change the application to something that is more suitable and acceptable to the Town of Newmarket and its residents.

What makes you think that the Town of Newmarket WANTS to do any more than the obligatory consulting with the community?

 

In an email from Mayor John Taylor, received by the Residents’ Committee on September 17, 2020, he said “This current Council has placed a renewed emphasis on public input and comment.”

You heard him—Mayor Taylor WANTS to hear from you!

If the Town, after considering everything, turns the developer down, that’s it.  The developer can’t build.  Right?

 

No.  A developer can appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), an organization of the Ontario Government formally known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).   They hear submissions from all sides (Town, developer, residents and other interested parties) and will vote to Uphold the Town’s decision, or to Overturn it and let the development go ahead.  Alternatively LPAT may decide to return it back to the Town and developer for modifications.

 

Given that the Town's decision can be overruled, it is therefore important to try to work with the developer to create a plan that not only conforms to all Municipal and Provincial laws and policies, but meets the needs of both the community and the developer. 

Is there any alternative to having Town Council just voting Yes or No to this development?

 

Yes, often in situations like this, there are some back and forth discussions between the developer and the Town staff.  The Town staff can tell the developer how to make their Proposal better to increase the chance that it will be voted on favourably at Council. 

 

But, to do that, the Town needs to know what is important to the community.  The Town needs ideas on how the developer’s proposal could be enhanced to better meet the wishes of the community.

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Where can I get more detailed information about this development proposal for 600 Stonehaven Avenue?

The Town, as obliged, has posted the complete Application for 600 Stonehaven with all the supporting documents on the Town of Newmarket's website here.

Good grief!  There are 27 documents on there and some of them are dozens of pages long!  I can’t read all that!

 

We hear you.  There is a lot of detail there and some of it is very technical. 

 

Other than one Public Information Meeting held on March 4, 2020, there has been no other way for the public to get information besides these long, complicated, technical reports.

 

This website was designed by the Residents’ Committee to help our neighbours understand what’s happening and to encourage them to respond. 

 

Keep reading!  You will find it informative, we hope!

 

And, here’s a suggestion: If you are to read any of those formal documents, start with the “Planning Justification” document.  That explains why the developer thinks this proposal is a good idea.  It is still tough slogging, though!

 

The Stonehaven Residents’ Committee has attempted to read and analyze the application and its supporting documents.  Though there are various areas of expertise on the Committee, Committee members don’t have all the time and expertise necessary to analyze every detail. 

 

If you have specific expertise, on any of the areas covered in those multitude of reports, please do provide the Committee with your comments.  We could use the help in analyzing them.

But I am not a town planner, or an engineer, or an environmental scientist.  Am I really qualified to express an opinion to the Town?

 

Yes, you are.  You live here.  You know what you love about this community.  You care about its future.  You can imagine what it would be like to have 202 houses built on that property.  You have an opinion.  You have a right to express your opinion.

 

Just make sure you are expressing it to the right ears.  Your dog may enjoy listening to your rant, but he doesn’t have a vote on Town Council.

Will the politicians really listen to me?  Who’s voting on this anyway?

 

Mayor John Taylor, Ward 1 Councillor Grace Simon, and the other Councillors were elected to serve the people of this Ward and this Town.  They are good people and we believe that they are sincere when they say they want more input from the community.

 

If YOU don’t tell the Mayor, Council and Town staff what your opinions and ideas are, then they may only listen to the people who ARE talking to them---the developer.

 

Incidentally, Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh, whose property backs onto the property in question, cannot vote on the matter because it would be considered a conflict of interest.  But, you should still tell him what you think as he is able to participate in the discussions.  He just can’t vote on the matter.

 

All other Councillors will be voting on what happens here in Ward 1.

Is it true that the developer is proposing a wall of townhouses, from the last house on Stonehaven all the way to Bayview?  So, as you drive/ride/cycle/walk along Stonehaven Avenue, that beautiful view of the pond and green space will be gone?

 

Yes.   

The townhouses are designed in clusters of 4 or 5, with the clusters so close together, that it effectively creates a wall between the street and the parkland and open space.

Anyone travelling along Stonehaven Avenue will have no visual access to the parkland beyond.

 

They are building “The Stonehaven Wall”.

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Did the developer take into consideration the views of the pond and parkland from Stonehaven Avenue when they drew up their plan of where to put the townhouses?

 

No.  The developer was asked this question in a meeting with the Stonehaven Residents’ Committee.  And the answer was simply “no”.  It just never occurred to them. 

 

They did not think about how much the view of this parkland means to the 5000+ people who drive/walk/ride/cycle by this property every day.  They saw nothing wrong with building a solid wall of townhouses between us and our green space.

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This Stonehaven Residents’ Committee—weren’t they formed to represent the views of the residents?

 

Yes, there is a small committee that has been meeting by Zoom since March 2020.  The Committee has discussed the matter among themselves and has walked the property in the company of Town Planning staff and informally discussed the matter with them.  

 

The Committee had a Zoom meeting with the developer in August 2020.  And, a PowerPoint presentation was presented to the developer by the Committee Chair in a meeting that included Ward 1 Councillor Grace Simon and Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh in early September 2020.

 

The conversation in that September meeting was reported to be very pleasant.  The developer said they would “take a look” at the report and “give it some consideration”.  However, given that the application had already been submitted to the Town some 8 months earlier, there is no motivation for the developer to do anything until they get the initial comments back from the Town.

The Powerpoint presented to the developer, and later given to the Town, can be seen here:

A Town Council meeting that included a Public Meeting about 600 Stonehaven was held Oct. 13, 2020.  What happened there?

 

It was a Zoom meeting.  A planning department representative spoke.  The Residents' Committee Chair did a powerpoint.  About 7 other community members spoke for about five minutes each.  About two dozen emails and letters from community members were "received", but not read.  There was a little bit of discussion among Councillors.  For some it was their first time hearing about this issue so they were not really up to speed on the issues.  Everyone was thanked for their contributions.

So, what happens from there?

 

It is now up to the planning department to go over the presentations from the community, and also continue their own analysis, and work on coming up with recommendations for Council.  However, the Mayor has said that he still wants to receive more input and feedback from the community.  So, if you haven't written to planning@newmarket.ca you can still do so!

Through October and November 2020 the Residents' Committee has had further meetings, and has also reached out to various other interested parties in the community.  They have focussed in on what they consider to be the major issues and have submitted a further report to Council and the developer.  You can read it here:

 

That report included several sub-reports by Committee members:

It is the Committee's understanding while the Planning department is working on their recommendations,  there are also discussions going on between Council, the Planning Department and the developer to get some modifications made, though details are not available to the public at this time.  In the meantime, the Planner responsible for Ward 1 left for a new job and a new Planner has taken over.

 

Doesn’t Newmarket have an obligation to take on a certain amount of the Region’s growth and new housing? 

 

Newmarket is already well on its way to taking on an exceptionally large portion of the Region's growth through extensive new home development recently completed, underway, or planned.  Consider the vast number of new homes going in at Glenway, Copper Hills, along St. John's Sideroad, near Upper Canada Mall, in Stonehaven and in many other places in our Town.

There is not such an urgent need for additional housing in Newmarket, that it is necessary to build more homes in unsuitable locations, to the detriment of other aspects that make our community livable.

However, NEED is not taken into consideration in the Town's planning process.  If a developer wants to build, and gets permission from the Town, then they get to build.

A large portion of the land is flood plain.  They can’t build on that, can they?

A Flood Plain is where water can be expected to flow at least once during a 100 year period.  However, we know that now, with Climate Change, many places that have never flooded before, are being flooded on a frequent basis.  Policies against building on a flood plain have been in place for a long time.

The Flood Plain on this property is controlled by the Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority (LSRCA) who have indicated that not enough evaluation has been done for them to support this application.

The developer has proposed building on part of the flood plain, but setting aside other area as flood plain.  They would also make other drainage enhancements, they claim.  The ongoing maintenance cost of this enlarged underground storm tankage/piping system would likely become the responsibility of the Town.

More information and a map of the Watershed is available here:

Watershed Map and Information

Is there any wildlife on that land?

 

There is a large amount of wildlife on that property including deer, squirrels, hawks, blue heron, coyotes, fox, rabbits, numerous birds, snakes, turtles, mink, opossum, and many, many more.

It is also a breeding ground for the Snapping Turtle and Redside Dace (a minnow species), both identified as Ontario Species at Risk but not mentioned in the developer's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The outdated, incomplete EIS presented by the developer is woefully inadequate.  You can read more about the long list of environmental issues that have been identified by the Residents' Committee.

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What will happen to the portion of the flood plain that the developer can’t or doesn’t build on?

 

At this point the developer has made no commitment as to what they will do with that 21 acres.

 

The possibilities are:

1. Nothing.  Once the developer and related companies have sold off their homes and condo corporations, they want to leave town.  They would have no interest in the Conservation Area as it has no potential for further income to them, but they would still have the financial obligations of taxes and maintenance.  They could just let it sit.  However it is unlikely they would want this ongoing responsibility and so would want to get rid of this "white elephant".

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2. Transfer ownership/responsibility to one of the condo corporations in the new development.  It would likely then be for the private use of the condo residents.  (This is the situation in the On Bogart Pond development.)  However, the cost of maintaining the land would be a large burden for the condo corporation and would be a negative feature for anyone considering buying one of the condos.  This is a highly unlikely solution to the developer's problem.

 

3. Transfer ownership/responsibility to the Town.  However, in compensation for the Town taking over the ongoing financial responsibility of the 21 acres, the developer should either develop the trails and amenities on the site (in consultation with the community and Town) prior to turning it over, or pay the Town a sum of money to take this "white elephant" off their hands.

4.  Transfer the flood plain to LSRCA or a conservation trust who would hopefully permit and encourage public access.   Again, it would be appropriate for the "gift" to come with a sum of money to facilitate the construction and maintenance of trails and amenities, in compensation for taking this "white elephant" off the developer's hands.

Regrdless of what option occurs with the conservation land, the subdivision should be designed such that there are adequate access points and parking, so that the park can be enjoyed by all.

Wouldn’t it be great if the 21 acres of Flood Plain becomes parkland available to the public?

 

Yes, it would be.  Parkland would be a benefit to the people and the environment. 

 

A large portion of that 21 acres consists of pond and marsh.  If a deal was made with the developer, the remaining area could potentially be opened to the public. 

 

However, do remember, the way the development is planned, it would be a “land-locked” park.  The only way to access the park would be by footpaths.  There will be no parking nearby. 

 

Anyone with mobility issues will not be able to access the park.  All parking in the new development would be for residents and guests only.  There is no parking on Stonehaven or Bayview. 

 

Driving/walking along Stonehaven Ave, you would not even be aware that a land-locked park exists on the other side of the wall of townhouses.

Changes need to be made to the proposed site plan to provide visual and physical access to the land if it is to be enjoyed by the community.

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So, it is not just the loss of green space, but the loss of a view, that is of concern?

 

Stonehaven Avenue is a busy street.  Over 5000 vehicles, in addition to cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, dog-walkers, school kids and even electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters pass by every day. 

 

They all cherish the open green space and vistas they see from the road or sidewalk. 

All those who pass by in the future would look into the front windows of an insensitive development, instead of at the lush rolling parklands, the open space and the pond, as they do now. 

Recent world events have made us all so much more aware of how important nature is to our well-being.  Even just seeing it, from a car window or a mobility scooter, has a restorative and calming benefit to our mental health. 

Newmarket overall is fairly flat and doesn’t have a lot of significant views.  But, this is one we do have.  It is a jewel.  Do we want to lose it?

This is just one of the many reasons why the wall of townhouses on the “hook” part of the proposal should not be permitted.

Is it true that they plan to remove all the large trees on the property?!  Isn’t this bad for climate change?  Doesn’t the Town have a policy about climate change?

According to the Arborist report submitted by the developer, they plan to remove 291 of the 308 trees on the property.

 

Although the developer has offered to plant a number of small caliper trees with 6cm (2.5") trunks, and/or pay a $310,000 fee to the Town, that does not replace the beautiful vistas nor the environmental benefits provided by the current trees.

On January 14, 2020 the Town Council declared there to be a Climate Emergency.  It is hard to see how allowing the developer to take down 291 trees for convenience sake, fits in with the Town's strategy to combat the "Climate Emergency" they declared?

Some of these 291 large trees they want to remove are on land that is to remain open space.  Why, oh why, are they removing those?!?

 

We don’t know.  

On the conservation map provided by the developer, the treed area doesn’t look that big.

Yes, it is understated.  There is actually a much larger treed area on the property than what is shown on the developer’s map, consisting of medium and smaller trees.

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Isn’t there a graveyard on that property?

 

There is a small graveyard on public property adjacent to the Marianneville property.  It appears that only about one foot of the graveyard is on the Marianneville property, although it is somewhat uncertain from the various maps.

 

The graveyard has a fence around it.  It can be seen from Bayview.  The graves are from the original landowner, the family of Loyalist Shadrick Stephens, when it was part of a 200 acre farm.

 

The small part of the graveyard on the Marianneville property, is not on the land that the developer is planning to build on.  However, there are apparently 37 unmarked graves elsewhere on the property, outside of the fence. 

The developer is currently doing an archeological study, phase 2 and 3.  It is not known what will happen if and when unmarked graves are located.

Incidentally, the developer's plans show that the crabapple tree within the graveyard fence is to be removed.  It is not known why.

There is also the possibility of Indigeneous remains and artifacts on the site.  The need for further archeological study has been acknowledged by the developer.  To our knowledge there has not yet been any contact with the Indigenous groups in the area.

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What would happen to that beautiful Police Club building that was built just 20 years ago?

 

It would be demolished.  Apparently it would be inconvenient for them to work around it or to re-purpose it.  The developer feels it is more profitable for them to tear it down and build a few more houses than to retain it.

The profitability argument is hard to understand.  If the building, and some parking, was sold it would generate anywhere from $6-10 million in instant profit.  How many homes on 36' lots would they have to built and sold to make $6-10 million in profit (after their expense of building the homes)?  Probably more than the approximate 10 homes that could be built by tearing down the police building.

The rubble from this 15,000 sq. ft. building would be put in a landfill site.  The demolition of a 20-year-old building is an incredible waste of our earth's resources, and an environmentally unsound decision.  If Council is truly a leader in Enviromental Stewardship, as it claims on its website, then it will find a way to help the developer re-purpose this building rather than destroy it.

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Does anyone have any ideas of how the Police Club building could be saved?  It is a well-kept, solid building and there are so many uses it could be put to.

 

Yes, it could be used as a community centre, a private school, a daycare, an events facility, or a seniors’ centre.  Or, it could be used for office space, or this new trend of communal workspace for remote digital workers. 

 

It could be used for a combination of uses: dance or martial arts studio in the ballroom, professional services such as doctors or accountants offices in the various offices, food service in the lounge, etc. 

 

Or it could be re-purposed for residential.  Warehouses, schools and heritage buildings are often re-done as lofts, so that the building can be re-used rather than demolished, and that could be done here too.

Even allowing space for parking, the amount of new homes that could be built in this building's place, does not create additional built space or profit for the developer.

Retaining the building would also provide the parking so that the remaining flood plain area could be accessible to all, including those with mobility issues.  And then, even the baseball diamonds, soccer fields, volleyball court and running track could be moved onto the flat grassy flood plain, so the community wouldn’t lose those.

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Who uses the Police Club property now?

Technically it is private property, so the public does not have ready access to it.  The building and playing fields have been used by the YRPA (York Regional Police Association) as a social and recreational club for their members, as well as offices for their Union.

 

However, community leagues and groups such as soccer, baseball and volleyball rent the playing fields.  Stonehaven Elementary uses the track.  The ballroom is rented out for weddings or to community groups for year-end banquets and such.  Stonehaven Elementary has their graduation Prom there, etc.

 

As well, many community members walk on the trails.  There are “No trespassing signs”, but there are also “Please keep your dog on a leash” signs.  The trails are well-worn from continual use by community members.

Although the property has been sold, the building has been leased back by the Police Assn. until their new building in Aurora is completed.   Community groups continue to use the playing fields (subject to covid limitations), and local residents continue to use the trails.

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Doesn’t the Town need the increase to its tax base by building all of these 202 homes?

 

Define “need”.  There are many, many new houses being built in Newmarket right now such as Glenway Estates, along St. Johns, behind Stonehaven School, and Copper Hills.  And there are many more planned for various other locations around town, including 5000 units near Upper Canada Mall and thousands will go on the Magna industrial lands, right across the street from this property.   

 

These other locations are very suitable for residential development.  Is it really necessary to build on this environmentally sensitive parkland, and to cause such a degradation to the environment and community aesthetics and livability, for the sake of a small increase in the tax base?

Mayor Taylor said in the Council Meeting of Oct. 13, 2020 that they never look at the tax base created by new houses because new houses just cause the Town's expenses for services to go up proportionately.

Wait.  What’s happening on the Magna industrial lands on the other side of the fence along Stonehaven?

 

Most of the land has been assembled and bought by two numbered companies in 2017.  Nobody knows anything about the purchaser.  But, it was marketed as having development potential so that’s probably what it is destined for. 

 

They are likely in no hurry to build as the land is generating revenue from the lease of those industrial buildings.  But, the Mayor, and others, feel that in about 10-15 years, the market will be such that it will be more profitable to build houses on it than to lease out industrial space. 

 

The density could be quite significant.  But, that land IS suited for residential development—it’s flat, no flood plain, no significant trees, closer to the proposed GO station, etc. 

That development will need a park.  They will have to put a park on land that otherwise could be used for housing.

You can see a copy of the sales brochure for the Magna property in this PDF.  It has some great aerial photographs in it.

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It would be a perfect solution if the Magna lands could be residential and 600 Stonehaven (the Police Club lands) could be park.  Why can’t that happen?   

 

That is not the decision before Council right now. 

 

Council has to vote on the specific proposal that has been submitted, or they have to find ways to work with the developer to get them to make their plan better for the community. 

 

The Town needs and wants opinions and ideas for the Police Club lands.

If not 100% park, there are so many other things that would be a better use of the Police Club lands besides a cookie-cutter housing subdivision.  Couldn’t something else be built there instead?

 

We agree there are better alternatives that could be built, something the Town really needs, like a low-density seniors’ village, with various levels of care, that would share the Police Club building with the community as a recreational facility.   

But Marianneville tells us they don’t build seniors housing.  This is what they want to build, so this is what they have applied for.

How does Marianneville justify doing this development?

 

In Marianneville's application to the Town, in their "Planning Justification Report" they use many reasons to justify why they should be allowed to build on this parkland. 

 

One of the main reasons is that it is an "efficient use of existing resources".  By that, they mean that rather than build on, say, a farmer's field, where all new servicing would have to be put in, it is better to build in an existing neighbourhood because they would just have to hook up to existing services, like sewer, water, electricity.

 

However, it is hard to understand how demolishing a 20-year-old, 15,000 sq. ft. building is an "efficient use of existing resources."  It is simply not.  It is a complete waste, enviromentally irresponsible, and a disservice to the community.

In the Planning Act it also says that when planning new developments, "the use of existing...Public Service Facilities should be optimized".  This is a "Public Service Facility".  Tearing it down is not optimizing it.

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If they have to add earth to that steep bank along Stonehaven Aveue to be able to build on it, don’t they have to pack the earth down with large vibrating equipment?  Won’t that shake all the nearby houses?

 

Yes.  The developer has stated that the ground vibrations will affect a minimal number of houses in the surrounding area.  However, some residents who have experienced being in the vicinity of this type of equipment before, say that the affected area is much larger than what the developer is claiming. 

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Are the townhouses on "the hook" going to face onto Stonehaven Avenue?

 

On "the hook" part of the proposed development, the three storey townhouses will have two stories facing out onto Stonehaven Avenue with an entranceway and a window at ground level.  The third story, with the garage, will be on the lower level and entered through the subdivision.

So, won’t people just park along Stonehaven Avenue and enter through their front door?

 

They, and their guests, are not supposed to park along Stonehaven Avenue, and they are not supposed to park in the plaza…

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How close to Stonehaven Avenue and Bayview Avenue will the townhomes be?

 

The developer is applying for a new zoning category that will enable the townhouses to have frontages that are as small as 4 metres.  Given that these are "dual frontage" homes, and the other side of the house has only a driveway, the yardspace facing the street will be the townhouses' only yardspace.  It is hard to imagine sending your kids out to play in a yard that has only 4 metres between your front door and busy Bayview Avenue.

There is currently a row of 12 mature Norway Maples that are 20m (65ft) tall along Stonehaven Avenue.  What will happen to them?

 

They will be removed to make way for the townhouses.  The developer has proposed planting trees along the wall of townhouses that are 6cm (2.5") in diameter.

If the townhouses planned for the steep section, “the hook”, require lots of earth fill, and special vibrating equipment to pack it down, and many units require several flights of stairs, doesn’t that make those units rather expensive to build?

 

Yes.  It is ironic that the style of townhouse that is the least desirable, is also the one that costs the most to build AND destroys the best part of the community’s visual access from Stonehaven Avenue.

Doesn’t the developer have to build all 202 units on that property to make it worth doing?  

 

The calculations we have done show that the developer, and the house building companies that own Marianneville, can still make a very reasonable profit with a smaller and more environmentally considerate project.

Who is Marianneville Stonehaven Ltd.?

 

Marianneville Stonehaven Ltd. is a company formed specifically to do this development.  They are owned by Marianneville Developments Ltd.  

 

Marianneville Developments Ltd. is a collaboration between four home building firms in the Greater Toronto Area.  They are: Kerbel Group, Andrin Homes, Lakeview Homes and The Brown Group of Companies (according to documentation they submitted for the Glenway Estates project.)

 

Marianneville is located at 26 Lesmill Road, Unit #3, Toronto, ON M3B 2T5. 

Marianneville Stonehaven Ltd. is the entity that currently owns the land and has submitted the Application to the Town of Newmarket.  It is likely that their role is to get the planning permissions, put in the roads, servicing, etc. and subdivide the land into building lots.  They would then sell blocks of building lots to some or all of their four owners, who will do the actual building of the houses.

 

This is the way it has worked at Glenway Estates and their numerous other developments in the Region.

Is Marianneville a socially and environmentally responsible developer?

We have not been able to find a website for Marianneville so we don't know their stance on environmental or social responsibility.  We are hoping, however, that like most businesses, Marianneville wants to be seen as an environmentally and socially responsible company. 

 

Sometimes, though, businesses just need help knowing what is important to a community, and they need help to understand how their decisions affect the environment.  And, they need encouragement to work with the community to get ideas of how to make the development more socially and environmentally responsible. 

 

By giving your input and ideas to the Town of Newmarket, the Town will be better able to work with Marianneville to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned.

What are some ways that this development COULD be made more palatable to the community, and still be a great development for Marianneville?

 

1.  Greatly reduce the density on the site.

 

2. Eliminate the wall of townhouses planned for the steep slope, or the “hook” part of the plan to retain the community's visual access to the green space and conservation area.

 

3.  Concentrate the residential units on the Bayview side of the property.

 

4.  Work with the town arborist to retain as many large trees as possible.

5.  Do a complete and up-to-date Environmental Impact Study.

6.  Redesign the townhouses so that they are more than just rows of townhouses with nothing but garage doors and people doors on the front of the townhouses.  Only 26 homes out of the planned 202 have windows on the side of the house that people actually use.  More neighbourhood friendly streetscapes need to be designed.

7. Do not permit the new proposed extra small lot sizes, with increased lot coverage.  Ensure that there is enough grass and ground available to absorb water run-off on this watershed property.

8.  Include a playground or parkette in the subdivision, as required by Section 51 of the Planning Act.

8. Retain the Police Club building by giving it to the Town.  The developer is obliged to give the Town about 1.5-1.8 acres of land within the subdivision for park/recreation.  We recommend that the Town choses the 1.5-1.8 acres that includes the Police Club building so it wouldn't need to be torn down.

 

9. Turn the eastern portion of the property, including the flood plain and steep slope, into a public park.  This park would be physically accessible to all, because there would be parking on the east side of the Police Club building.  It would also be visually accessible by the 5000+ people who pass by every day.

 

What are YOUR ideas of how to make this development proposal better for the community and the environment?

Will Marianneville make changes based on community input?

The Planning Act requires Marianneville to ensure that "the public and other stakeholders are meaningfully engaged thoughout the review process" of the proposed Official Plan, Zoning changes and the Subdivision application.

AND, in their application to the Town of Newmarket, Marianneville states:

 

• Following the Public Meeting, Marianneville and the consultant team will participate in informal and formal meeting(s) and/or correspondence with individual stakeholders or groups as determined necessary;

 

• Marianneville and the consultant team will review all comments received by the public and stakeholders; and

 

• Reviewing all comments received during the circulation period, Marianneville and the consultant team may modify the proposed applications, and may further engage stakeholders, as determined appropriate.

What are the chances of Marianneville coming up with an improved plan that will be better for the community and better for the environment?

The current plan is not their best work. 

 

It is just an ordinary subdivision that was done with the intention to put as many houses on the property as possible, with little regard for the environment or the community.  It was a quick plan put on the table to start discussion.

 

We know they can do better.  We know they have the capability.  We are confident that they want to be socially and environmentally responsible.  And, we are confident that they will find a way to be innovative and creative, and WILL come up with a plan of which both they, and the community, can be proud.

Everybody who knows about this proposal, is quite upset.  Why aren’t more people speaking up about this?

 

The Residents’ Committee has asked this question to some of our neighbours, and on social media.  The response we get is:

1. They didn’t know anything was happening.

 

2. They think it is already a done deal. 

 

3. They don’t know that they have the opportunity to say something.

 

4. They don’t know that the Town wants their opinion.

 

5. They don’t know how to submit their opinion.

 

6. They are cynical and think that politicians only listen to big business.

 

7. They don’t know where to get more information.

 

8. It is too hard to understand the technical documents on the Town’s website, if they can even find them.

 

9. They can’t read the map or detailed information on the property signs because it is so pixelated.

 

10. They think they need to be an “expert” and feel they are not qualified to speak up.

 

11. Some feel their English skills are not good enough to express their opinion.

 

12.  They think nothing will change anyway.

But almost everybody that the Residents’ Committee has spoken to, is very concerned and upset about what is proposed, once they learn about it. 

 

We need to get the word out!  Please help with that.  And, please write to planning@newmarket.ca to give your opinion.  As of January 2021, input is still being accepted!

What can I do, beside submit my opinion to the Town?

 

1. Talk to your neighbours.  Ask if they know what’s happening.  Fill them in.  Encourage them to submit their opinion and ideas.

 

2. Post on your social media and let others know.

 

3. Also send a copy of your email to the Town to Ward 1 Councillor, Grace Simon.  

 

4. Also send a copy of your email to the Residents' Committee.

 

5. Sign up for our email list so that you can be kept informed.

6.  Continue to stay abreast of what is happening.  There will likely be further opportunities to give input as the proposal evolves.

I have some other questions...

 

Fire away!  We will see if we can answer them.

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