Shrink Slessor Square!

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Slessor is the antithesis of good planning

217 Harrison Drive
Newmarket
L3Y 6B8

The Mayor and Councillors
Town of Newmarket
395 Mulock Drive
Newmarket L3Y 4X7

7 February 2012

Dear Mr Mayor and Councillors

Slessor Square

I want to thank you again for giving members of the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed zoning by law amendment which would pave the way for the Slessor Square development.

At the meeting last night I made a number of points relating to the proposed development and here I recap.

The developers say Slessor is an example of good planning in a high visibility site.  On the contrary, it is the antithesis of good planning. It is a massive over-development of a tight site of under 2 hectares.  It is too big.  Too bulky.  Too high.  And too dense.

Slessor wants a density of 832 persons and jobs per hectare.  The Town has a current
maximum for this area of 200 - 250.

The developers want 29 storeys.  The Town has a current maximum of 8 – although
departures from this maximum are frequent.

The developers want a colossal underground car park for over 1200 vehicles.  The
Town says it wants to see fewer parking spaces in this corridor.

Slessor Square will be visible for miles yet no viewshed analysis has been carried out.
This is a serious omission and the application should not progress until one has been
submitted.

The development goes way beyond all the standards and guidelines set out in the
relevant plans. Town, Regional and Provincial.  I am not aware of any planning policy
or planning statement that mentions densities even close to what is being proposed for
Slessor Square.

If the Council allows this, it will set a precedent and the skyline will be utterly
transformed within the space of a few years. And decisions still to be taken on the
Town’s forthcoming Secondary Plan for Yonge/Davis will be pre-empted.

The impact of the proposed development on the surrounding residential
neighbourhood will be profound. The developers are asking the Town to set aside
safeguards in the Official Plan specifically designed to protect neighbourhoods from
inappropriate and over bearing development.

The Town should advise the developers to withdraw their application and bring
forward proposals that conform to the existing Official Plan.

There should be no departures from the Plan through zoning by law amendments.
Any proposed development of this site which involve significant departures from the
existing Official Plan should await the publication and adoption of the Town’s
Secondary Plan which is currently in preparation.

One final point that did not arise last night.

The applicant, Dwight Slessor Holdings Limited, has contributed to the election
campaign funds of candidates running for office.

Provincial law does not require councillors to make a declaration of interest in respect
of these donations.

However, if councillors who received a financial benefit from the applicant consider
that a conflict of interest has arisen, then they should of course declare it.

I am attaching a further note (The Slessor Square development should be rejected)
which elaborates on some of the points made above

Yours sincerely

 

Gordon Prentice

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