A key report from Planning Staff explaining the process to be followed in setting a height cap for new developments in Newmarket will go to the Committee of the Whole on 11 June and up to the full Council meeting on 18 June where it will be debated and voted on.
Back in February Regional Councillor John Taylor tabled a motion directing staff to report back on the issues involved in setting a height cap for new developments in Newmarket. At the time I asked him what it all meant.
The motion was subsequently amended at the Council on 5 March (see below).
This report could have a huge bearing on the Secondary Plan, setting height parameters that would guide developers.
In the meantime, as part of the Secondary Plan process, the Town has convened Focus Groups who are dreaming what a future Newmarket might look like. They are busily colouring in work books and sticking photos of buildings on giant maps of Newmarket. But the one thing that would give their imaginings context – a height cap – is still missing.
Seems to me that Newmarket Council should grasp this nettle and give its view now on what kind of height restrictions would be appropriate.
This would inform the work of the planners and everyone else involved in drawing up the Secondary Plan.
Taylor’s motion should not sit outside that process, running in parallel.
There is a great danger we shall all be strangled by process and procedure. We need to hold firm to the simple proposition that we don't want Newmarket to end up looking like Richmond Hill with giant towers studding the landscape.
We need a good turn-out at meetings where the height cap is considered.
We shouldn’t just be spectators.
When opportunities present themselves to address the Council directly, either as individuals or as part of a community group, we should take them.
If we don’t, and if we are silent, the developers win.
1. COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MINUTES – FEBRUARY 27, 2012 – ITEM 19
MOTION – MULTI-STOREY HEIGHT RESTRICTION
Regional Councillor Taylor provided a Motion regarding multi-storey height restrictions associated with development.
The motion was amended to include the words “and hard cap” after the word “restriction”.
Moved by Regional Councillor Taylor
Seconded by Councillor Emanuel
THAT Council direct staff to bring a report to Committee of the Whole in 60 days outlining the process(es), including public consultation, for which Council could enact a height restriction and hard cap for multi-storey buildings in the Town of Newmarket. Furthermore that Council direct staff to include in the report an analysis of any issues associated with height restriction policy for consideration by Council.