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Weston Consulting News: April 2015
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The future Vaughan Metropolitan Centre will be stunning. Image provided by The City of Vaughan.

Weston’s front row seat on a changing Vaughan

Weston recently completed renovations to its Vaughan office, located in the heart of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the city’s new vibrant and modern urban centre and downtown core.
Renovations included a brand new, stylish employee kitchen (partially pictured below), which overlooks the site of the future TTC subway station and the KPMG office building, both currently under construction.

The view from Weston's new employee kitchen is a planner's dream, a chance to watch as plans come to life.

Unique challenges 
at Oshawa site

Weston Consulting recently achieved rezoning and draft plan of subdivision approvals from the City of Oshawa for client Delpark Homes.  Obtaining the approvals for the new residential community of 85 single detached homes drew upon the planning and consulting skills of Weston’s Jane McFarlane, Senior Planner with support from Courtney Heron-Monk, Planner and Kurt Franklin, Vice-President. 

The 20-acre Taunton-area development is distinguished by natural features--a tributary of the Bowmanville Creek along with valleylands run through the site.  Weston was involved in extensive consultation with an array of advisors, including a fluvial geomorphologist, and geotechnical, hydrogeological, slope stability and heritage consultants. 

Development approvals came with a set of unique challenges including a manmade pond, heritage features of an old farmhouse as well as servicing and cost sharing matters with adjacent landowners.

Expropriation in Ontario

“Expropriation” is the term used to describe the taking of land by a governmental authority (referred to as the “Expropriating Authority”) without the consent of the owner. An Expropriating Authority is required to compensate the owner for the land which has been taken. Lands are expropriated for either public or government use, or are delegated to third parties who will ultimately devote it to a civic use. Property taken by way of expropriation is commonly required for public utilities, transportation infrastructure, such as new highways and public facilities (e.g. schools, emergency services facilities, community centres, etc.).
 
Planners, lawyers and appraisers are all vital sources for landowners whose lands are scheduled to be expropriated. It is critical that these key resources are consulted early in the process to ensure that landowners are made aware of their options and prepare themselves in anticipation of taking important steps to protect and maximize their land values for compensation in the expropriation process.
 
Weston Consulting is a member of the Ontario Expropriation Association and has provided planning development opinions for numerous expropriation matters throughout the GTA. The expert testimony of our planners at the Ontario Municipal Board has contributed to landowners achieving higher valuations for their property and, in turn, greater compensation from the Expropriating Authority.

Should you have lands that are in the process of, or may be acquired in the future, by way of expropriation, please contact Ashlee Rivet, Senior Planner, at 905-738-8080 ext. 290 or anyone in our office to discuss how we can assist.

Image from greenbelt.ca

Coordinated Land Use Planning Review

The Ontario Greenbelt Plan recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as the largest urban greenbelt in the world on February 27, 2015. This milestone was marked by the Province’s announcement of the co-ordinated review of the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridge Moraine Conservation Plan, the Growth Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

This announcement builds on a commitment made by the Provincial Government to work with communities to improve land-use planning in Ontario and to protect the province’s valuable  ecological land and agricultural land from the effects of "urban sprawl".

The review of these documents presents a renewed opportunity to improve the plans to make them more workable and to foster healthy and complete communities. Weston looks forward to working with the Province in addressing some of the changes that need to be made to make the Plans more efficient and effective for both the Province and landowner’s benefit.
 
The Province has released a document entitled “Our Region, Our Community, Our Home” which can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website and will be hosting a series of public consultation sessions across the Province to help inform and guide discussion on the review. In addition to these public consultation sessions, members of the public can also submit their comments and ideas through the Ontario Environmental Registry (Registry #012-3256) or by submitting e-mails to landuseplanningreview@ontario.ca.

Input and feedback received from members of public will help inform draft amendments to the plan, and will be presented in a second round of consultations to be held later this year. Comments for the first round consultation must be submitted to the Province no later than May 28th, 2015. Information about how to participate in the second round will be provided by the Province at a later date.

Further information including townhall meeting dates and location details can be found on the co-ordinated review website at www.ontario.ca/landuseplanningreview

New faces at the firm

Weston Consulting is pleased to announce the hiring of four new high-energy planners. From l. to r.: 
Arthur Grabowski, Polycarp Tam, Josh Berry and Meghan Oliver.

Copyright © 2015 Weston Consulting, All rights reserved.


Weston Consulting - Vaughan Office
201 Millway Avenue, Suite 19
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5K8 Canada


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127 Berkeley Street
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2X1 Canada


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Oakville, ON L6H 7G3  Canada


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