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Glenway: Dave Kerwin says it is pointless to involve the public any more

To Mulock Drive for the site plan meeting on Glenway.

The developer, Marianneville, is unveiling plans to build 74 townhouse units on the site of the former golf club house. This is a taster of what is to come.

The new councillor for Ward 7, Christina Bisanz, complains that details were only made available last week and she wants the public to have a look at what is being put forward. She also wants details of the number of development blocks that will come up for site plan review.

This block and another east of Eagle Street are coming forward first because, says the woman from Marianneville, they are the easiest blocks to service and will cause the least amount of disruption. Another six blocks or so will follow.

Regional Councillor John Taylor asks about the phasing of the development. He wants the global picture and a sense of the timelines. We hear that the phasing is dependent on servicing allocations – hooking up to water and sewage.

Richard Zelinka, Marianneville’s planner, stresses that the townhouse development will not impact on the rest of Glenway - before telling us mature trees will be dug up from elsewhere in the old golf course and transplanted into the new development.

It is all very civilised and measured with everyone on their best behaviour.

But now a curmudgeonly Dave Kerwin dismisses Christina Bisanz’s call for public involvement before any decision is made. “The sooner we move forward the better” he says. “I’d hate to see this project delayed.”

He repeats himself a few times, saying we should move on.

And then he says casually: “We had the opportunity of purchasing the land and we didn’t.” 

Hmmmm.

I’d like to know when the former golf course lands were offered to the Town to buy. And for how much? Did the Town’s planners flag this up in a report to councillors? Did they recommend purchase? If not, why not? If the councillors decided not to buy, what were the reasons? Were all the councillors involved in the decision?

This information is likely to be in the public domain in some form, somewhere, but, in the way of these things, it is probably beautifully camouflaged.  In any event, I don’t recall seeing it. But that’s not to say it is not there. It’s likely I’ve just forgotten.

Anyway… these questions will probably surface at the “Glenway: Lessons Learned” meeting that has been promised by the Town.

All this is still, of course, highly relevant. By the Town’s own figures, the north west quadrant of Newmarket (which, of course, includes Glenway) will be short of 17.6 hectares of neighbourhood parkland at build-out – a shortfall far greater than any other part of town.

In the vote, Kerwin is supported by Jane Twinney, who is at his elbow and is easily influenced, but he has little support elsewhere.

John Taylor, Tom Hempen, Kelly Brome-Plumley and the Mayor all speak in support of Christina Bisanz’s position. Joe Sponga is absent.

Kerwin presses it to a vote knowing he will lose and then, eccentrically, seconds the successful motion to defer a decision pending a PIC (public information centre).

Strange behaviour. But these days, for Dave, it's par for the course.


 

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