Background Studies

  

Vince's PicCommercial Retail Needs Study

Robin Dee & Associates
Sorensen Gravely Lowes Planning Associates

The consulting firms of Robin Dee & Associates and Sorensen Gravely Lowes Planning Associates Inc. were retained in the fall of 2009 to undertake an analysis of the Town's commercial/retail needs to 2031.

The Commercial/Retail Needs Study was presented to Council on June 6, 2011 and is now available for review and comment. The Commercial/Retail Needs Study has been prepared in conjunction with the Town's new Consolidated Official Plan (OP) and is intended to encourage delivery of mixed use and commercial activity in a series of centres and corridors to serve residential growth in the Town.


Natural Heritage System UpdateNatural Heritage Picture

Beacon Environmental Consultants 

Phase 1 – Natural Heritage System Update

The Town’s current Natural Heritage System (NHS) is based on work completed in 1996 as part of Official Plan Amendment No. 95 and needs to be updated to reflect more recent work associated with the various community plans and the 1995 Provincial Policy Statement.

In March 2007, Beacon Environmental was retained to provide a comprehensive update to the Town’s NHS in terms of both mapping and a policy approach.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) retained Beacon Environment to undertake the development of a comprehensive NHS for the entire Lake Simcoe Watershed. The works involve both the identification and mapping of all natural heritage features together with a policy framework to deal with the protection and enhancement of the Natural Environment. Both Town and Regional staff have been engaged in the development of the NHS. Beacon’s NHS work for the Lake Simcoe Watershed was presented and adopted by the LSRCA in July 2007. The draft 3-level NHS system for the Town is based initially on the work completed for the entire watershed for the LSRCA and was presented at the OP Review Public Open Houses held in June and January.

Phase 2 – Restoration, Enhancement and Securement Strategy

While phase 1 of the Town’s NHS work focuses on identifying and mapping existing significant environmental features for protection, the phase 2 work will help identify, either through mapping or a set of criteria, areas that would be appropriate for restoration, enhancement and securement. Such areas could include features and functions that are fragmented from a linkage perspective or under stress from development. These areas could benefit substantially from strategies and programs intended to improve the quality and quantity, and therefore the function of the system.

Some of the key objectives of the RES Strategy include:

  • Establish recommendations to help identify priority areas for restoration, enhancement and securement;
  • Ensure consistency with provincial legislation (ie. Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Greenbelt Plan, Provincial Policy Statement);
  • Establish policies that will help restore and enhance the NHS, its features and functions
  • Restoration and Securement Strategy for Enhancing the Natural Heritage System (April 2009)

Countryside StrategyAg Pic

The Town’s Countryside Strategy will be aimed at maintaining and promoting the agricultural land base for financial sustainability for future generations. This strategy will also explore ecotourism in the Oak Ridges Moraine, promote agribusinesses and economic development programs for agriculture and the countryside, and foster cooperation between the agricultural sector, the government and the public to support the agricultural industry through policies and programs.

This strategy will also bring the Town’s Official Plan into conformity with the Greenbelt Plan and help to protect the Town’s countryside areas and natural heritage features and to support, promote and sustain the farm community.

A Countryside Strategy Workshop was held in the end of November, and was well attended by representatives from various sectors in the countryside.


Urban Design GuidelinesUrban Design Pic

Joseph Bogdan Associates Inc.
Office for Urbanism

Joseph Bogdan Associates Inc. and Office for Urbanism have been retained to help develop urban design policies and guidelines. A key focus of policy work will be sustainable building practices and community design.

Urban Design Guidelines will take into account recent regional and provincial initiatives, as well as existing urban design guidelines in select community plans. Guidelines will be established based on the cultural aspects of rural and urban life present in the Town.

This work will provide Town Council with an understanding of built form, streetscape, and architectural massing for the Town’s approved growth areas and future urban expansion areas.


Sustainable Development

Sustainability Circles

Dillon Consulting

Dillon Consulting has been retained by the Town through partnership funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help the Town develop sustainable development policies for the Town’s consolidated OP. The overall objective of Dillon’s work is to reduce the environmental footprint of new development by implementing consistent development standards Town-wide.

A major focus of the Dillon project and its primary deliverable will be a set of sustainable development policies and ultimately a rating system or checklist for evaluating and measuring the sustainability of all forms of development within the Town. The rating system/checklist will attempt to quantify the impact of development on the basis of the triple bottom line of sustainability (social, economic and environmental).


Transportation Master Plan

MMM Group 

The Town has retained MMM Group to prepare a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to address the Town's future transportation and transit needs.

Prepared in conjunction with the Region of York Transportation Master Plan, this document will examine existing and proposed transportation needs within the municipality and will recommend a series of transportation policies designed to meet the needs of a growing community.

MMM Group will finalize their Draft Transportation Master Plan upon completion of the Region’s modelling of the Town’s population projections. The Draft Transportation Master Plan will provide recommendations around transit, cycling and pedestrian, and Transit Demand Management (TDM) initiatives.

In the fall of 2007, the work plan for the Town’s Official Plan (OP) Review and associated TMP was revised to incorporate the integrated Environmental Assessment (EA) approach. The Environmental Assessment Act and the Municipal Class EA Document (2000) allow for an Official Plan process under the Planning Act to identify infrastructure requirements through Master Plans. Fulfilling some of the justification and public consultation requirements through the OP Review process provides an opportunity for the Town to satisfy some of the initial phases in the EA process, thereby minimizing costs and avoiding duplication in process.

The 2nd Public Open House for the OP Review process held in January 2008 was expanded to include the first Public Information Centre (PIC) consultation required under the Class EA.

The TMP will aim to satisfy Phase 1 and 2 of the Class EA Process. Phase 1 consists of identifying and understanding existing problems and issues, while Phase 2 will address alternative options to help solve those issues. The TMP will give direction to future projects, and will place emphasis on sustainability through improvements to transit, cycling and pedestrian movement.

 


 

Water and Sanitary Servicing Master Plan

Genivar Ontario Inc.

This plan will examine existing and proposed infrastructure (water and sanitary pipes) within the Municipality and will recommend a series of policies designed to meet the future infrastructure needs.

The primary purpose of Genivar’s report is to identify the location, size, cost and timing of a full range of water and wastewater infrastructure needed to address the Town’s requirements for growth. This work is critical to the servicing policies of the new Official Plan and the formulation of the Town’s new Development Charges By-law.


Growth Management

Malone Given Parsons Ltd.

As the Town is poised for significant growth, the Growth Management work being undertaken by MGP will help guide the Town's overall approach to growth and assess the Town's existing and potential capacity to accommodate growth. 2031 and 2051 growth forecasts are being used in order to plan for a long-term urban structure and develop EG into a complete and sustainable community.


Economic Corridor Land Use Options Study

Malone Given Parsons Ltd.

This study will provide land use options for the Urban Buffer area in the Green Lane/Yonge Street corridor and the Highway 404 corridor.

Malone Given Parsons (MGP) is further refining the Town’s Employment Corridor Land Use Study based on future population and employment projections. Town staff continue to work with MGP in terms of developing a strategy and policy approach to deal with the matters of necessary urban expansions to facilitate appropriate development and employment growth.


Future Employment Lands Economic Review

Watson & Associates Economists Ltd.

 

In the Spring of 2006, the Town retained Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. to undertake a comprehensive review of the future employment lands in the municipality in partnership with the Region of York.

The study provides direction on the supply and demand of all forms of employment, institutional, and commercial lands within the Town relative to planned residential growth over the long-term. The study is primarily economic in nature, focusing on the municipal fiscal health indicators, economic impacts, employment rate benchmarks, as well as land supply/demand analysis.  The study focuses on several key strategic economic corridors and areas of opportunity identified by the Town.


Community Parks, Recreation and Culture Strategic MasterArenaskate Plan 

Monteith Brown Planning Consultants

Parks, recreation and culture services contribute immeasurable benefits to the quality of life in the Town and there is a need to contribute to enhance these leisure opportunities for current and future residents.

The Community Parks, Recreation and Culture Strategic Master Plan will provide a comprehensive framework of the planning and developmental needs and priorities for recreation programs, facilities, culture, parks, trails and open space. The Strategic Master Plan will help to understand present needs and future pressures, and will help establish an action plan for improving facilities and services, while setting appropriate standards in order to maintain and enhance the quality of life for the residents of East Gwillimbury.

The Master Plan will provide policy direction and actions to guide the Town’s service delivery and investment in culture in the future. The cultural aspect of the plan will look at how our cultural components are managed and developed, through the consideration of heritage, arts, community character, diversity, leisure, and tourism. The process of nurturing arts and cultural services will help the Town establish itself as a preferred place to live, work, play and visit.


Town-Wide Community Facilities Master Plan

Totten Sims Hubicki Associates Ltd.

This plan provides an analysis of all existing municipal facilities within the community and ties growth and land use planning directly to the development of new facilities throughout East Gwillimbury, such as libraries, arenas, recreational complexes.


Green Energy PicCommunity Energy Plan

Garforth International llc

The Community Energy Plan (CEP) is an opportunity to bring energy into the growth management process as a consideration of development planning. Energy production and transmission has been at the forefront of Council’s consideration of growth planning since the introduction of the draft Provincial Growth Plan in 2004 and has been demonstrated with Council’s leading edge policy work in green building standards.

The proposed Ontario Green Energy Act, released in February 2009, is calling for significant improvements in conservation, renewable and clean energy projects, community energy services structures and more green employment for the Province of Ontario. These goals within the proposed legislation will be clearly supported by the Town’s CEP.

In December 2009, Council adopted the Town's Community Energy Plan that will guide the municipality’s energy future for years to come.