The Town of Newmarket has announced a draft agreement with Shining Hill Estates to give the residential development proposal the rezoning it needs in exchange for conveying 80 acres to municipal ownership.
The town posted the agreement Jan. 24 after weeks of negotiations and council discussions with the developer. The town said it would require the developer to build a community with green housing options, affordable housing, low-impact development, new trails, dog park(s), 5,000 new trees and more.
In exchange, the developer stands to get the rezoning needed to build on the environmentally protected lands at 16250, 16356 and 16450 Yonge St., on the border of Aurora at St. John's Sideroad.
“If approved, I believe this agreement will represent a new standard in sustainable community building and environmental stewardship,” Mayor John Taylor said in a news release.
The move comes after council opted against rezoning approval in November to work out new concessions from the developer. Environmental advocacy group Drawdown Newmarket-Aurora had urged council to ensure the development could be environmentally friendly before approval.
The town said the agreement also includes a $1-million contribution to establish a fund for greenhouse gas reduction initiatives. Another $12,500 per residential unit will go toward the town’s green environmental fund, Mulock house heritage fund, public art fund, and active transportation.
The developer will also convey an extra 2.5 acres for affordable housing development, one acre to build an off-leash dog park and a new clubhouse with 12 courts.
Town staff has said although the municipality designated the lands as environmentally protected in 2003, the situation has changed, and they are considered settlement areas in regional and provincial plans.
Details plans for the proposal are not yet publicly available and also relate to a similar application in Aurora. Although this is a significant step, developer representative Don Given of Malone Given Parsons told council in November that it could take six to 10 years to develop the site after the rezoning approval.
Council will discuss the agreement at its committee of the whole meeting Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. The town will stream the meeting at newmarket.ca/meetings, and you can arrange a deputation by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.