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Proposal for Bayview apartment building garners traffic worries
June 28, 2022

Newmarket residents and councillors weighed in with traffic concerns at a public hearing regarding a 71-unit apartment proposed near the Bayview Avenue and Mulock Drive intersection.

Developers are proposing the six-storey residential buildings at 16756 & 16764 Bayview Ave, with plans to demolish existing single-detached dwellings on the properties and are seeking rezoning to allow the apartment to happen. Council discussed the proposal at its June 27 meeting, though it made no decisions to approve the project.

Area resident Marie Demkiw said she is concerned about the amount of added traffic impacting emergency services, as well as the possibility of shadows blocking sunlight over her home.

“Is that building a safe, good idea for our neighbourhood? I do not think so,” she said. “You have to rethink this … I don’t want to be deprived of my sunshine. I need it for my physical and psychological well-being, so please take that into account.”

The proposal includes 50 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom units, as well as 89 parking spaces: 17 visitor spaces on the surface and 72 underground spaces for residents. The project has cited a potential new GO station on Mulock as a reason for the intensification.

Developers included a traffic study from Candevcon Limited in its application. The study estimated 26 additional auto trips during the morning peak hour and 32 trips during the evening peak hour. It recommended increasing the length of the eastbound turn lanes at the Bayview and Mulock intersection by 2024. It recommended further expansion of those lanes by 2029.

But Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh expressed some concern with access and traffic, given the narrow road. He said he looked forward to more staff review and comment on that.

“Bayview is very narrow in that area,” he said. “Bayview being designed 100 years ago, there is very poor urban design. It is very difficult to improve that.”

He said he is unsure of the parking as well, with one spot per residents. He said that could create spillover to side streets, though was glad there are some two-bedroom units for families.

“That’s something we need more of,” she said.

Resident Gail Birkett said traffic was also a point of concern for her, and she is familiar with plenty of collisions on Bondi Avenue and Bayview Avenue. But she complimented some other development in the area and said she trusts council to guide it well.

“I really believe you guys are going to make good decisions,” she said. “I know there’s a lot happening. There’s a lot of young families and people. I’d like it to be walkable, liveable and safe.”

Councillor Victor Woodhouse said if there could be a consideration for changing the zoning all the way north toward Penrose Avenue to help address access.

“To bring this all together so that there might be a common driveway, common entrance and exit,” he said.

That could be considered in an official plan review, director of planning Jason Unger said.

Mayor John Taylor said it is challenging planning for the area given the uncertainty of the GO Station the province proposed but put on hold.

“We’re in a tough position,” Taylor said. “It’s really hard to find a balance in that scenario.”

Council made no decisions on the matter. Unger said the proposal would come back to council as a report in the future, though there is no timeline for that. He said they would work with the developer on adding a shadow study to examine the impact of the building height.