I’ve heard Regional Councillor John Taylor talk about the Secondary Plan on so many occasions, I think I could probably write the script. With my eyes closed.
He tells councillors on Monday (23 June) that the Plan “protects and preserves existing residential neighbourhoods” (unlike Glenway). He says it is a “very solid blueprint for the future” and that it takes a “balanced approach”.
There is a “design review process” ensuring we get the right kind of built form. And building heights have been reduced, spreading development along the corridors.
There has been a legal review to make the Plan OMB proof. And there is a “binding implementation strategy” that ties development with population and infrastructure. (see the amendment below)
He admits it has been a “difficult and emotional process”.
Joe Sponga tells us it has been a long haul. But we are moving forward on what he considers to be “a cautious plan”.
Now it is the turn of the reinvented small town girl, Maddie Di Muccio. She chose to come to Newmarket to live because it is a close-knit community. We are told people came here to escape from Markham and places like that. Now we are being raked with more population statistics. We are going to see more cars on the roads; more social problems. Saying No to the Plan is the responsible thing to do.
“I see the future and I don’t like the problems that will come with this level of growth.”
The Taylor Amendments
Taylor now moves amendments to the draft Secondary Plan making explicit what is usually taken as implicit. He believes his last minute amendments address head-on the concerns of those who think Newmarket is growing unsustainably in a helter skelter fashion. He wants another report on “sequencing of development” brought back to councillors before the Region approves the Plan (in early 2015).
(a) It is the policy of this plan that phasing of development shall be coordinated with the provision of human services, transit, roads, parks and recreation facilities, schools and infrastructure (for example water and wastewater). As such, development in the Town of Newmarket shall proceed in a coordinated and phased approach in conjunction with the necessary infrastructure to support it.
(b) In order to further define and address the appropriate sequencing of development,staff be directed to report back prior to Regional approval of the Plan with a binding implementation strategy addressing population thresholds and the infrastructure necessary to support the identified population targets. Infrastructure considerations might include but not be limited to the following: roads, parks, recreation facilities, schools and water and wastewater conveyance.
If nothing else, this will keep the planners busy.