New Vaughan-Yonge Working Group: A W5 Update from Alan Shefmam
At yesterday`s Vaughan City Council Meeting, I brought forward a Member`s Resolution for consideration on establishing a Working Group on the Vaughan Yonge Centre, including the parts of the Yonge Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan between Hilda and Steeles to Yonge and Yonge Street from Steeles to the rail bridge.
The purpose of this Working Group is to address one of the overriding concerns raised by the Springfarm Ratepayer Association deputants at Monday's Statutory Public Hearing regarding two applications for development that were heard at that time.
First of all, it is important to understand that no decision was made regarding the applications at Monday's meeting. What took place was the normal process of receiving the applications, hearing from the public and then officially directing them to staff to provide a technical report. The comments by the deputants will be included in the staff analysis. In somewhere between 4 to 6 months, it is expected that a staff report will be prepared with a recommendation for Committee of the Whole to consider. At that time, the public will be invited to present their comments to the Committee of the Whole.
In the meantime, the Working Group will address the need to ensure that whatever is built in the defined area reflects a well-planned, cohesive community that is consistent with the vision of the Secondary Plan and Vaughan's Urban Design Guidelines.
It is my expectation that since both applicants who appeared at Monday's meeting offered to work with the Ratepayers and the City to resolve the issues that were identified, they will be active participants in the Working Group.
Some of the issues that will be explored include how the various developments will interface with each other, the streets they are situated on and surrounding neighbourhoods. As well, important issues of walkability, pedestrian flow and traffic movement may be on the agenda.
The resolution was approved unanimously by Council.
The membership of the Working Group will include the property owners in the area, five residents as nominated by the Springfarm Ratepayers Association, and three members of Council plus the Mayor. Representatives from the City of Toronto, City of Markham and York Region will be asked to sit on the Group in an ex-officio capacity. Staff will provide professional and administrative support.
The Working Group is required to begin deliberations no later than September 15, 2020.
Please see below for the Resolution.
ESTABLISHMENT OF VAUGHAN YONGE CENTRE WORKING GROUP
Whereas, the area of the intersection of Yonge and Steeles, the Vaughan Yonge/Steeles Centre (VYC) within the Yonge Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan is on the cusp of significant high-density development, and
Whereas, the City of Vaughan in the Secondary Plan envisages a well-planned, cohesive approach to the development of the properties in the area, and
Whereas, this area, as the gateway into the City of Vaughan, is a critical component of creating a well-planned urban centre, and
Whereas, the residents of the area have expressed their strong concern on a number of matters pertaining to the development of the area including that the current applications for development do not seem to be working in concert with each other to reflect an overall vision for the area as provided by the Secondary Plan.
Therefore, in light of the success of the VMC Sub-Committee in coordinating the planning of that area,
Be it resolved that a Vaughan Yonge Centre Working Group be established to work with the various parties to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of an integrated, cohesive development approach to the area based upon the Secondary Plan, and
Be it resolved that this Working Group will be responsible for making recommendations to Council, consistent with Vaughan's broader city-building objectives and the Yonge Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan, and
Be it resolved that the current landowners in the immediate area from Hilda and Steeles to Yonge and the RR Bridge be invited to participate as members, and
Be it resolved that other members of the Working Group include 5 members of the community as nominated by the local ratepayer's association (Springfarm) and 3 members of Vaughan City Council (plus the Mayor), and
Be it resolved that City staff will act as a resource to the Working Group to provide support to the Working Group, and
Be it resolved that the City of Markham and Toronto and York Region be invited to each nominate an individual to participate in the Working Group in an ex officio capacity, and
Be it resolved that the Working Group begin its deliberations no later than September 15, 2020, and
Be it resolved that a full report on any further details relating to the establishment and administration of this Working Group be prepared by the Clerk's Department and presented to Council.