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What's Going Up: 72-unit townhome proposal making progress

Application complete for development at Gorham and Muriel, public meeting expected in 2023
20220923-Gorham Muriel development-JQ
A rendering for a proposed townhouse development at Gorham Street and Muriel Street.

What's Going Up is a regular NewmarketToday series highlighting growth and development that is proposed and ongoing in town.

The proposal for 72 new townhomes on Gorham Street and Murial Street is making progress and has completed an application, but some residents have misgivings.

The notice went out into the neighbourhood this month from the town announcing that Muriel Developments Inc. had completed the application to develop at the location that includes seven lots. With that comes more details and a publicly available posting of the application, which feature 26 traditional townhouses and 42 back-to-back townhomes.

The application still has to be reviewed by the town before a public consultation portion will begin.

But as the application progresses, some residents are unhappy with the concept. Ruth Wozniak said it is a large number of homes that could stand to impact traffic significantly.

“Overkill, overload, overwhelming,” she said, adding that from what she has heard within the neighbourhood, “Nobody wants it.”

The vision of the property first emerged in June, when developers put up a sign for the future development to be known as the Elia Collection. The development from Stateview Homes advertised prices starting at approximately $1 million, describing contemporary homes with modern finishes.

The application shows entrances on both Gorham and Muriel, with a new road proposed to go in through the property. Five existing dwellings will also be removed as part of the development.

“The development of the lands as proposed is appropriate and reflects good planning principles,” a justification report from Evans Planning said. “The proposal will aid in diversifying housing options and affordability at a desirable location within the community while remaining compatible with the existing neighbourhood fabric and vision for the larger community context."

NewmarketToday did not receive a reply to a request for comment from Stateview Homes before publication time.

A traffic operations study from WSP included in the application estimates generating 32 to 40 two-way auto trips during the a.m. and p.m. peak hours.

“The site-generated traffic from the proposed townhouse development can be readily accommodated by the existing road network and the proposed access arrangement,” Evans Planning said.

The proposal also includes 144 parking spaces, two per unit, and 18 dedicated visitor spaces.

Town of Newmarket director of planning and building services Jason Unger said the application is complete, but the town has made no decisions on it yet. No public meeting date has been determined but the municipality expects it will be held in 2023.

Wozniak questioned whether it could fit in the neighbourhood. She said she understands there is a housing crisis, but she does not think this development will help given the likely prices. 

“These are all going to be going for very high prices, and nobody in a crisis right now is going to be able to afford it,” she said, adding that any rentals on the property will also likely be quite expensive. 

Although she said those outside the neighbourhood may not feel the impact, she said it would mean a significant change for those living in the area. She said she hopes people raise concerns to address the project.

“I have lived here for 20 years, and I realize things change. A lot of homes around here have changed, but the neighbourhood is still the neighbourhood. It doesn’t have to go from a quiet, residential neighbourhood to a huge, intensified development right next door.” 

The documents for the application are available on the municipal planning website