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'Shaping the community': Newmarket starting official plan review

Public will have opportunities to weight in on the plan revamp guiding everything from housing development and land use to transportation
Newmarket Mayor John Taylor at the Jan. 23 council meeting.

Newmarket is setting the course for its future by launching a new official plan review process.

It will see the town’s guiding land-use planning and policy document get a comprehensive update to meet the needs of the day. Consultant WSP Canada presented to town council Jan. 23 about the multi-year effort to come.

Mayor John Taylor said the review stands to have a positive impact but will have challenges.

“This is an incredibly important process,” he said. “This is really shaping the community, and we have some exciting opportunities here.”

The new plan will encompass everything within the town, from housing development and land use to transportation. The new plan will ensure conformity with other plans and provincial legislation. New elements will include a climate change lens throughout the document and the incorporation of the impacts of GO Transit improvements and additions.

The much anticipated all-day, two-way GO train service stands to impact Newmarket greatly, Taylor said.

“That’s potentially transformational transportation,” he said. 

There will also be a study of the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods, encompassing south of Davis Drive along Main Street and the surrounding areas. The study will look into opportunities for that downtown core.

“We’ll be looking to recommend policies to guide redevelopment, to be mindful of what’s there and what could be there in the future,” WSP Canada director Gregory Bender said. “To ensure all the potential impacts are mitigated appropriately.”

WSP Canada projects the process to take until 2025 before a new plan is adopted, with public engagement throughout, including a community working group. The formal launch of the review will take place at a future special council meeting. 

There will be plenty of chances for the community to weigh in, Taylor said.

“We know it’s a long process, but a very important process,” he said. “I look forward to the many, many, many touch points we will have.” 

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Joseph Quigley

About the Author: Joseph Quigley

Joseph is the municipal reporter for NewmarketToday.
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