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Opposition building against proposed 22-unit Gorham housing development

The Town of Newmarket has moved the public hearing to the end of August

A public hearing on a proposed 22-unit housing project on Gorham Street that appeared to catch some residents off guard has been pushed back to the end of August to allow more time for review.

The developer, Gorham Developments 849 Inc., proposes to build three blocks of three-storey townhouses totalling 20 units and two semi-detached homes at 849 Gorham St., between Alexander Road and Carlson Drive/Doak Lane.

The application would require an amendment to the town’s official plan, which is now zoned as stable residential, as well as a zoning bylaw amendment from the current residential detached dwelling status to allow both townhouse and semi-detached dwellings.

Currently, there is a single house on a one-acre landscaped lot that has been operating as a commercial business.

But during the public meeting originally scheduled for July 27, area councillor Victor Woodhouse brought forward a motion to put off the public hearing on the proposal to Aug. 31 to give residents a chance to submit their feedback.

“There’s a fair amount of information in the development application and (residents) would like more time,” Woodhouse said, adding the housing proposal appeared to come up suddenly.

“To my understanding, there’s a petition that has been circulated and signed and that’s coming forward to add to the record,” he added. “For some, myself included, the application seems to be fairly dense and intense for that size of property.”

Councillor Bob Kwapis seconded the motion, saying Woodhouse’s reasons for deferring the public meeting are strong, particularly when you consider the development’s potential impact to the surrounding community. 

Mayor John Taylor also supported the motion, and noted that public hearings are typically not held during the summer months.  

At least eight residents who live nearby the proposed development have already submitted written deputations against the project. 

Their concerns include that the development is not compatible with the existing neighborhood, the high-density nature of the project doesn’t allow for emergency vehicles on a portion of the property, loss of mature trees, and privacy.

The public planning meeting on the proposed development at 849 Gorham St., has been rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m.

Council will consider the developer’s request and residents’ feedback at that time, but will not make a final decision regarding this application at the meeting. Rather, all written and verbal comments will be referred to planning staff to consider and return with a report at a future meeting.

For more information on the proposed development, visit here.

Email clerks@newmarket.ca to learn more about how to share your feedback on the application.

Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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