Initial Recommendations


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395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
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​This page provides the recommended changes to the Town's Official Plan and Zoning By-law from the Established Neighbourhood Compatibility Study, the background information on the study, an summary of the public consultation that took place, and the initial recommendations. These recommendations are available for public review and comment. 

A statutory public meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14th for Council to hear from residents what they think about the recommendations. The public notice is available here.

Following this meeting, the comments received will be considered by staff as the recommendations are further refined. Final recommendations will then be presented to Council for their decision.

These recommendations are not final, and the Town welcomes any feedback on the initial recommendations as we work to create rules that provide the many kinds of housing that our residents need in a manner that fits well into each neighbourhood.

What is the Established Neighbourhoods Compatibility Study?
The Study is an effort to make sure that Newmarket rules about development allow for the kind of housing that residents need, in a size and shape that is compatible with the neighbourhoods where they are built. It is also an effort to make sure that the Town's Official Plan policies are able to guide and shape development when property owners make requests to change how properties are used. More details are available here.
What is an Interim Control By-law?
To prevent the construction of homes that are too large for their surrounding neighbourhood, Council adopted an Interim Control By-law to limit the size of new homes and additions while the study is underway. More details are available here.
What consultation has occurred?

The Study has benefited from a great deal of public input. This has taken a range of formats:

What does this all mean?

The outcome of the study will be changes to the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law.

The Official Plan includes policies that guide development - where it should take place, what it should look like, what things should be considered when development applications are made. These are policies that staff and Council use to review applications when property owners ask to change the rules around how their property can be used. Official Plan policies are important because they are part of what determines when development applications should be approved or rejected.

The zoning by-law is made up of regulations that set out exactly how properties can be used - what kinds of uses can happen, and how large buildings can be. Zoning by-laws are important because they control how people can use their properties, and what kinds of change can occur.

What are the Official Plan amendment recommendations?

The Policy Options Report provides an explanation of the findings of the review of the Town's Official Plan and the types of changes that are recommended. This document provides the specific recommended policy language changes to the Town's Official Plan for public review and comment. In order to review the proposed changes, it will be helpful if you also consult the existing Town of Newmarket Official Plan. This will allow you to compare the existing plan against the proposed changes.

The main concepts of the proposed amendments are to:

  • Continue to direct most development and growth to the Yonge Street and Davis Drive corridors
  • Recognize that change will occur in most neighbourhoods, but that it should be gradual and consider its surroundings
  • Allow the ongoing improvement of houses and increases in size, proportionate to the surrounding buildings
  • Recognize Newmarket's different types of neighbourhoods in policies of the Official Plan, describing their physical characteristics 
  • Seek compatibility of new development with the surrounding area through consideration of the existing physical characteristics of the neighbourhood
  • Identify the characteristics that are important to preserve and acknowledge as neighbourhoods change
  • Recognize that local collector streets like Gorham, Eagle, and Prospect have a range of uses like small offices in older houses, local retail, and small multi-unit buildings like duplexes and triplexes

What are the Zoning By-law amendment recommendations?

The Initial Recommendations document provides an explanation of the study, its process, and the rationale for the recommended changes to the zoning by-law. It also provides, in a table format, each of the recommended changes to the zoning by-law's regulations along with an explanation of the effect of the proposed change. The Initial Recommendations document is paired with maps (available below) that indicate how the proposed changes would affect different areas of Newmarket.

The proposed changes principally relate to the older areas of Newmarket, as the more recently-built residential areas were each built to a specific set of building sizes that were approved by Newmarket Council through zoning by-law amendments. For example, houses in Copper Hills or in the northwest quadrant of Newmarket are quite similar to their neighbours in their size and shape, and the existing rules have very little room for additional size for these buildings.

The main proposed amendments are to:
  • Change how the zoning by-law regulates the height of residential buildings to:
    • Lower the maximum permitted height of houses to a height that is closer to what exists in many neighbourhoods, as the current maximum height is significantly taller than most houses
    • Remove restrictions on storeys within a home to focus controls on external appearance, and to allow residents to arrange the interior space as they see fit
    • Change how height and grade are measured to focus controls on the appearance from the street
  • Change the rules about how far away from the street a house should be to try to ensure a consistent street appearance
  • Change the maximum permitted lot coverage (the percentage of the lot that can be covered with buildings) to:
    • Continue to allow for houses to be added to and replaced with ones that are larger than what exists
    • Set a maximum lot coverage that is closer to the average existing coverage in each neighbourhood
    • Not allow for the construction of houses that would be out of place among the surrounding neighbourhood
  • Reduce restrictions on the location of supportive housing
  • Allow a broader set of uses on local collector streets (Gorham Street, Eagle Street, Prospect Street):
    • Duplexes, Triplexes, and Fourplexes on Gorham Street
    • Duplexes, Triplexes, and Fourplexes and small retail and office uses on Eagle Street and Prospect Street
  • Repeal the zoning by-laws from 1979 and 1981 that covers existing residential areas that were left out of the zoning by-law adopted in 2010
TheInitial Recommendations document references changes based on two maps. These are:

These recommendations are not final, and the Town welcomes any feedback on the initial recommendations as we work to create rules that provide the many kinds of housing that our residents need in a manner that fits well into each neighbourhood.