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Newmarket council OKs apartment building at Bayview-Mulock

Tentative approval given to the five-storey, 70-unit development, despite some residents' concern about traffic impact

A new apartment building at the corner of Bayview Avenue and Mulock Drive in Newmarket has received tentative approval.

Council’s committee of the whole provided zoning approval today for the proposed five-storey, 70-unit apartment building at 16756 and 16764 Bayview Ave., across from Mulock Court. The proposal, for property now occupied by two residential houses, would add density at the busy intersection, with 105 resident parking spaces on-site, most underground.

Ward Councillor Victor Woodhouse said there is logic to the development, although he expressed concern for the traffic flow impact.

“It is on a corridor, it’s on Bayview and very close to Mulock, so it makes sense for density to be there,” Woodhouse said. “I don’t know the answer, but I do think it’s going to add to ... the traffic.”

The proposal first emerged in 2022 from 2570245 Ontario Inc., then at six-storeys and 71 units. The plan has been amended since then to reduce by a storey and add more parking spaces to meet bylaw requirements. But it did garner some resident concern when the proposal first came out regarding the traffic and density added to the area.

The application's traffic study projected that the building would have a minor impact, the staff report said, with the access from Bayview. However, the study proposed a northbound left turn lane at Bayview to access the site, something that staff said would be examined at the site plan application state with the developer responsible for the cost.

Newmarket resident Peter Heffernan told council that he supports the development, but questioned traffic conclusions, with potentially 105 vehicles coming onto Bayview.

“It’s already busy,” he said. “The conclusion was minor impact. I don’t know if I agree with that.”

He said a turn lane would be great but added it could back up into the Mulock intersection with how busy it is going north in the afternoon.

Councillor Bob Kwapis said he was pleased by the modifications to the development since it last came before council based on public feedback, including removing balconies along the north elevation and reducing the mechanical penthouse on the roof to reduce visual and shadow impact.

But he expressed concern with access being one-way in, one-way out.

“How do we deal with the residents of the new project turning left into and out of the area?” he said.

Director of planning and building services Jason Unger said work on the traffic flow could be addressed at the site plan stage, handled by staff. Besides the proposed northbound left-turn lane, he also said there is a proposal to change the nearby traffic signalization to improve traffic flow at the Bayview and Mulock intersection.

“We’ll take a look at all of these specifically these types of questions to make sure that the site functions as best as it can,” he said.

Council will still need to confirm the zoning approval at an official meeting. After that, the project will proceed to a site plan process handled at the staff level.