On Monday 27 February Councillors will consider yet another departure from the Town’s Official Plan.
This time, the focus of attention is 55 Eagle Street.
Millford Development Ltd want an Official Plan and a Zoning By Law amendment to expand the boundaries of the Provincial Urban Centre allowing them to build a 12 storey apartment building and 38 town homes and to permit increased height and density.
It all sounds very familiar.
A series of ad hoc decisions on individual applications – each decided, no doubt, on its own merits - makes a mockery of the Town’s Official Plan which is supposed to provide consistency of approach.
Each approval colours in another bit of the map of Newmarket.
And, crucially, they establish precedents.
The policies set out in the Plan count for nothing if they can be set aside at the drop of a hat.
The councillors end up taking decisions on a case by case basis.
And with every Plan busting application that is voted through, it becomes ever more difficult to hold the line at 8 storeys – the Official Plan’s notional maximum height for buildings in Newmarket.
The developers are also asking the Council to remove a Natural Heritage Designation on part of the site to allow the development to proceed as envisaged.
The developers also seem to have neglected to address the issue of affordable housing. A point noted by planning staff.
The details of the Eagle Street application are set out in the agenda of the Committee of the Whole (Council) on 27 February.