Committee of the Whole referred the submissions from Mayor Scarpitti, Mayor Lovatt, and Regional Councillor Hamilton containing additional proposed comments on the Growth Plan, Provincially Significant Employment Lands, and density targets to the March 21, 2019 Regional Council meeting.
A motion to reconsider the February 28, 2019 Regional Council decision regarding this matter would need to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote to enable consideration of the three submissions outlined below:
Submission from Mayor Scarpitti
- “Be it resolved that the Regional Municipality of York request that the provincial government not include provincially significant employment zones in the Growth Plan, the current level of protections in the 2017 Growth Plan with respect to upper-tier official plans should be maintained, including the prohibition of institutional and sensitive land uses in employment areas that would have qualified as ‘prime employment areas’.
- That in the event provincially significant employment zones remain in the Growth Plan it is requested that, prior to providing recommendations on mapping changes, Regional staff be provided the opportunity for further discussion with Provincial staff regarding the criteria for selection of the mapped employment areas, the intent and use of the PSEZ, and refinement to the mapping to reflect local planning considerations.
- And further, that if provincially significant employment zones are included in the Growth Plan, staff support the inclusion of provincially significant employment zones in MTSAs in principle; however, provincially significant employment zones are not supported within MTSAs east of Warden Avenue in the Markham Centre Urban Growth Centre.
- And further, that the Regional Municipality of York advise the provincial government that we have removed our request to designate the Future Employment Area in the City of Markham’s 2014 Official Plan as a provincially significant employment area.”
Submission from Mayor Lovatt
“Whereas Highway 404 is one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure for people and major goods movement in York Region;
Whereas the lands along the Highway 404 corridor are highly valued for employment growth;
Whereas the majority of the undeveloped lands along Highway 404 are considered a buffer between key natural heritage features and settlement areas by the provincial plans;
Whereas freezing miles of land as a buffer to protect the natural heritage features in this area is not only unnecessary, but also a huge waste of municipal and provincial investment and economic development opportunities;
Whereas not all industrial developments are a threat to the environment;
Whereas the Town has a shortage of Industrial and Commercial assessment;
Whereas York Region has a very well-established and effective land use planning system that requires proposed industrial developments to undertake rigorous studies and thorough assessments to ensure there is no adverse environmental impact; and
Whereas the provincial review of the Growth Plan is a superb opportunity for York Region to identify new and attractive employments lands for growth and convert existing less desirable employment lands to other uses.
Therefore be it resolved
That Regional Council request the province to designate the lands on the east side of Highway 404 in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, as identified in the attached map, Provincially Significant Employment Zone through Amendment #1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017).”
Submission from Regional Councillor Hamilton
“Whereas, Regional Council adopted comments to forward to the Province regarding ‘Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan’ at its Regional Council meeting on February 28, 2019, and
Whereas, Regional Council directed staff to bring forward any additional comments for consideration at its Committee of the Whole meeting on March 7th, 2019:
Therefore be it resolved that:
- The Regional Municipality of York make additional comment to the Government of Ontario to amend the proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as follows:
- Amend proposed policy 188.8.131.52 to set the minimum density target for York Region’s designated greenfield area to 50 residents and jobs per hectare.”