Shrink Slessor Square!

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The Clock Tower: here we go again

Bob Forrest's monstrous application for a condo in the heart of Newmarket's historic downtown could be on its way back.

Forrest put the Clock Tower up for sale in June last year but the last time I checked the Land Registry (in February 2015) his outfit, Main Street Clock Inc, was still the registered owner.

A report on the Town's servicing allocations (the policy that prioritizes new developments for hooking up to water and sewage) is coming up to Monday's Committee of the Whole.

We learn that a revised application on the Clock Tower "is anticipated". It is given priority 2 - the same as Glenway (minus the club house town houses which are recommended for immediate allocation from the Town's current strategic reserve) and higher than Slessor (3) where the planners are "awaiting a development application".

The anticipated development application for the Clock Tower is now down to 140 units. But why should this speculative development even feature in the queue when Forrest's last application was roundly condemned as a gross overdevelopment in the middle of a sensitive conservation area?

And here it is, back again. In February 2014 Chris Bobyk told us it was impossible to make the development work with fewer than 150 units.

Clearly, that was total cobblers.

But why have the planners recommended making a provisional allocation for 140 units? Given the history of this application with all its twists and turns, we need their detailed reasons.

By allocating the Clock Tower "Priority 2" the Town's senior planning staff - whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers not the developers - are telling us they believe the Clock Tower "could receive Council approval in 2015".

This is utterly preposterous.

A giant condo on Main Street South is not a priority for water and sewage allocation - nor for anything else.

Update on 15 April 2015. John Taylor successfully moves motion at the Committee of the Whole on 13 April 2015 removing from the servicing allocation report the priority categories 2 and 3 for sewage and water hook-ups for new developments pending a review later in the year. He specifically mentions the Clock Tower where a revised application has yet to be submitted.

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