The Era Banner tells me that Slessor Square is to be brought within the Secondary Plan process.
This is hugely significant as the Plan will look at densities (and much else besides) for future development along the Yonge Davis corridors.
Up until now, there was a general assumption that Slessor fell outside the Secondary Plan process because the planning application had been lodged with the Town and was already in the pipeline.
Era Banner reporter, Teresa Latchford, says Newmarket’s senior planner, Marion Plaunt, told the Community Engagement meeting (see below) on Monday evening that, other than phase 1,
the density of the rest of the development will be determined by the urban centres secondary plan the town is creating with input from residents
I was at the meeting and, indeed, blogged about it but I didn’t pick up that golden nugget of information. (You, Prentice, at the back of the class. Pay more attention boy!)
Yesterday, I email Marion and Teresa for clarification.
I am waiting to hear from them.
And all this is happening as the Secondary Plan process moves up a gear with focus groups, organised by the Town, meeting next week (2 May) and again in the following week.
I read Regional Councillor John Taylor’s excellent blog about the Community Engagement meeting.
Taylor stakes out a position and argues for it.
We know where he stands on this crucially important issue.
I hope other councillors will follow his example and let us into their thinking.
Consulting "the community" on Slessor Square
At the Community Engagement meeting on 23 April, Marion Plaunt, the Town’s planner responsible for the Slessor file, announces a follow-up meeting with the developers on Wednesday 2 May at the Ray Twinney complex.
I find myself asking:
What is the point of this meeting so soon after the last one?
And who is going to turn up?
There is little point in rushing things if the developers are still unable or unwilling to put all their cards on the table. To be useful, the developers should be in a position to address traffic and the other outstanding issues – including density.
Seems to me it would be better to wait for the loaf to be fully baked than go ahead with something that is still so obviously half baked.
Slessor Square is a huge development in a very prominent position.
It is an issue for everyone – not just those living in its shadow.
So how do we bring in other groups – within Ward 4 and beyond - who may have an interest?
Seems to me the Town should get the ball rolling by advertising these “Community Engagement” meetings on its website and posting agendas so people know what to expect when they turn up.
This is not spoon feeding community groups. It's giving them a helping hand to get the message across.
And, at some stage, I hope the Town will reconsider its decision to ban YouTube or live streaming of these events, for privacy reasons.
There is no need for conversations about the future of Newmarket to be the best kept secret in town.