Yesterday, the Ontario Municipal Board gave its seal of approval to the settlement on Glenway negotiated by Marianneville’s Ira Kagan and Mary Bull for the Town of Newmarket. It gives the developer everything they asked for.
Curiously, the number of residential units increased from 730 to 742. We learn from the Town’s outside consultant, Ruth Victor, that an easement affecting water mains “constrained development” so the “pattern of easements was rationalised”. Magic!
The transformation of Glenway will, of course, not happen overnight. The Town has put “Holds” on various aspects ensuring the development cannot proceed until the Town is satisfied that Marianneville is carrying out their side of the bargain.
This approach was used with Slessor Square and now seems to be a standard in the planners’ toolkit. If it can’t be sorted out now, kick the can down the road and sort it out later.
The adjudicator’s written decision on the Hearing’s two phases will emerge at some indeterminate point in the future.
In the meantime, there are calls for a public meeting on lessons to be learned. The GPA’s Dave Sovran wants one. So too does Ward 7’s councillor, Chris Emanuel. Others such as Maddie Di Muccio have publicly called for such a meeting if only to say "I told you so".
I suspect the chances of this happening are close to zero. We would be asking the powers-that-be to lift a big, heavy moss-covered stone, allowing the rest of us to peer underneath.
There would have to be a succinct and to-the-point background report in plain English setting out the key decisions on Glenway taken by councillors, staff and others together with reasons and justifications. What alternatives were explored? How was the process managed and overseen? How would things be done differently in future?
Such a meeting could easily be organised within, say, two months but I simply can’t see it happening. It would be too destabilising.
After June, anything remotely controversial will be shunted into the marshalling yard and parked there until after the Municipal Election on 27 October.
But if, to my astonishment, we do get a public meeting I shall donate $100 to a local charity of the Mayor’s choice.
You can’t say fairer than that.