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New 3,000 home Flato development in Stouffville set to get started in next year
June 27, 2022

For decades, development in Stouffville ended at Hwy. 48. But that’s about to change in a big way.

Several Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) over the last two years were issued for the area between McCowan Road and Hwy. 48 and Stouffville Road and 19th Avenue ushering upwards of 4,500 homes. That building is about to get started. Flato Developments hosted a public information centre earlier this month to get feedback from the community about what they would like to see in the community.

“Phase 1 is starting in the next six to 12 months. It’s dependent on getting all the approvals in place,” said Flato president Shakir Rehmatullah. He hopes people can start moving into homes in two to three years.

The Flato plan involves more than 3,000 units on the Markham Stouffville border, just north of 19th Avenue. The first MZO issued in 2020 was for 507 units of adult lifestyle apartments. Rehmatullah said those buildings will be designed for people 55-plus and part of the reason for the public consultations was to get ideas from community stakeholders about what they would like to see.

There are also plans for 100 affordable housing units which will be located in Markham, close to the McCowan and 19th Avenue intersection.

“So far I think the plans are exactly what we need. It's a mix of housing,” said Ward 3 Coun. Hugo Kroon. “There will be some purpose-built rental, some housing directed toward seniors.”

Flato isn’t the only developer coming to the area. The ORCA group received an MZO for 1,550 home subdivision in the same black that will incorporate an agrihood.

Kroon says both area will be beneficial to the community. “It will be a very desirable area for folks to live in,” he said. “I think this is a great deal for Stouffville.”

The land that received MZOs in Stouffville was part of its whitebelt meaning it could be developed in the future. Neither the Flato or ORCA development include the large farm on the southwest corner of Hwy. 48 and Stouffville Road which is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Earlier this month York Region council agreed to move ahead with a plan for growth that many fear will expand urban sprawl. A majority of council members voted Thursday in favour of the Regional Official Plan to guide development over the next 30 years.

The plan calls for 50 per cent of growth to be confined to existing settlement areas until 2041. Over the following 10 years, 55 per cent of growth would take place in those areas. The remaining growth would come from opening up land in undeveloped farmland and countryside areas like the new Flato subdivision.

'This is not a plan for York Region,” but rather “a gift to the developer.," said Irene Ford, of Vaughan.

Ford was joined by activists from several local organizations including Stop Sprawl York Region, Stop the 413, and Forbid Roads Over Greenspaces in a peaceful demonstration.

The resident said it was an incredibly irresponsible decision to open up more lands for development and eat into the Greenbelt while failing to address key issues the community is facing, such as climate change and the housing affordability crisis.

York Region is expected to manage an unprecedented amount of growth, having been assigned the highest share of growth of any region by the province, said Paul Freeman, York Region's chief planner.

Debbie Gordon, an activist speaking on behalf of Save the Maskinonge, told councillors “stop sprawl” groups are popping up across Ontario as the pandemic gave people time to appreciate nature and understand the value of food security.

“There are people outside your building right now, protesting, many who fought long and hard for the Oak Ridges Moraine conservation plan and then the Greenbelt plan, and they never thought the push for development would come so soon and so hard.”