Shrink Slessor Square!

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Council to decide on Slessor on 19 November

Key decisions on the Town’s approach to the proposed monster development at Slessor Square will be taken on Monday 19 November 2012 at the Committee of the Whole (Council).

You can read the staff report here. Go to the CotW agenda for 19 November and scroll to agenda item 13.

The Slessors are appealing to the OMB on the grounds that the Town failed to amend its zoning by law, as requested by the developer, within 120 days of the application being filed and, moreover, the Town failed to make a decision within 180 days.

Personally, I think that’s rather impertinent.

The Slessor development has taken many forms over the months and, even now, there is a further proposal shown in the Committee Agenda which tries to address some of the many criticisms of the original scheme.

However, it is the original and very imperfect development proposal of June 2011, subsequently amended in September 2011, that will go before the OMB at the pre-hearing on Friday 30 November 2012. This meeting will be held at 10.30am in the Cane Room A & B at 395 Mulock Drive. It is open to the public.

To be clear, the original proposal and the latest incarnation are both unacceptable. They represent a gross over development of a very tight site of 4.6 acres. The developers are simply trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.

The original proposal contained an hotel – abandoned by the developers many months ago – but, in a weird kind of time warp, it is now back in the frame as a result of Slessor’s decison to appeal to the OMB.

We are told the Town’s planners are still in discussions with the developers but it is clear much remains unresolved.

Attachment 6 on page 13.22 of the Committee of the Whole agenda summarises the issues and the progress made in resolving differences between developer and Town.

Traffic impacts and parking are still subject to review. Ditto height and density.

The shadow studies and the viewshed analysis are, we are told, to go to residents for comment.

It seems to me there is a huge and unbridgeable gulf between what the Town wants and what the developer is insisting upon.  Let’s remind ourselves; the developers’ original proposal envisaged 832 people and jobs per hectare. The official plan stipulates a minimum of 200 by 2031 or earlier.

At the OMB on 30 November, the Town must face down the Slessors and support the people of Newmarket who do not want to see the centre of their town ruined forever by rapacious and intransigent developers determined to force their eyesore on the rest of us.

The Committee of the Whole meets at 1.30pm on 19 November 2012 in the Council Chamber at the Municipal Offices at 395 Mulock Drive. The meeting is open to the public.

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