Bob Forrest’s speculative bid to erect a disfiguring out-of-place condo in the heart of Newmarket’s historic downtown can be stopped dead in its tracks if only the Town refuses to sell to the developer the extra land he needs for his project to work.
The underground car park in the original proposal and, we must assume, in the latest 9 storey version, extends beyond the boundary of the land owned by Forrest and under the existing Library parking and under part of Market Square.
In a memorandum dated 22 November 2013, the Town’s Director of Planning, Richard Nethery, told councillors that Forrest needed to buy Town land in order to proceed.
The Town is under no obligation to sell land it owns to a speculative developer.
It may be that Forrest has reworked his plans so that the underground car park does not extend beyond the footprint of the land he owns but, as I tap this out, no new plans have been posted on the Town’s website which indicates such a change.
There is other land too, above ground, that the developer needs from the Town.
There are a million reasons for rejecting Forrest’s Clock Tower development and these will be raised tomorrow at the Statutory Public Meeting.
But it remains a mystery to me that the proposal has gotten this far when the Town could have made it clear earlier on that it would not sell its land to a developer for a project that clashes so spectacularly with the objectives of the Heritage Conservation District.
With his typical bravura, Bob Forrest’s lawyer, Ira Kagan, last November appealed to the OMB to block the Town’s Heritage Conservation District By Law
“if it creates any additional burden (procedural or substantive) to the redevelopment of our clients lands”
Some mistake there surely?
Bob Forrest needs land that is owned by the Town of Newmarket if his project is, literally, to get off the ground.