Corp Comm Connects

Newmarket providing key approvals for 189 homes at Glenway

Long-standing proposal gets zoning, subdivision acceptance from council
May 3, 2022
Joseph Quigley

The proposal for a 189-unit development on the former Glenway golf course lands in Newmarket is moving ahead.

Newmarket council's committee of the whole today approved rezoning, official plan amendments and subdivision plan approvals for the project, with more discussions to come on the site plan. If backed by council and the regional municipality after that, it would be a significant planning hurdle cleared for the long-standing proposal.

But ward Councillor Christina Bisanz raised remaining concerns of residents in the area, such as parking and traffic. She said there are still issues that need to be addressed.

“It’s a report we have been waiting for for some time,” she said. “A lot of input and public comment has been received over a number of years. The report does address, sort of, at a very high level, some of the input ... But doesn’t get into some of the specifics.”

The project has been in the works for years, with the town initially opposing it but losing in an Ontario Municipal Board ruling in 2014. Since then, Marianneville Developments has worked to advance it, finally leading to a land donation arrangement confirmed last year.

Bisanz said there are still traffic concerns, given each home would likely have at least one car. Issues with sidewalks, parking and entranceways have also been raised, she added.

Town of Newmarket's director of planning and building services, Jason Unger, said some issues could be addressed in the site plan application. As far as parking, he said the project exceeds the standards. The staff report said there are enough spaces in laybys or common areas to make up for some homes having only one driveway parking space and garage.

“There’s been a lot of consultation on this,” he said. “There were even some changes made to the plan before we got to the public meeting as a result of the developer meeting some of the residents.”

He said the town would post the site plan application on its website, and residents would be able to provide more comments and feedback.

Bisanz also raised traffic control on Alex Doner Drive as an issue and whether the town could be proactive to address it.

“It's going to add to volume on the existing streets. There’s already a considerable concern around the speed and volume of cars on Alex Doner,” she said.

Director of engineering Rachel Prudhomme said the town would be putting a new cutout of a child discouraging speeding on the road as a pilot project. She said more solar speed boards are also available.

Bisanz said some residents also advocated for moving away from three-story townhouses and looking at other kinds of built-form. She said that remains an issue worth looking at with the development community in the future, especially as the community ages.

“I appreciate that that’s not something right now that we can mandate,” she said, but added the town should “look how we can become leaders in encouraging and working with the development community to start building built-forms that really do support and enable people to age in place."

The approvals will still need a final vote from council later this month, as well as official Regional Municipality of York backing, before being finalized.