January 23, 2003

York Region to develop centres and corridors strategy to manage growth and maintain quality of life

NEWMARKET Ė York Regional Council today approved the creation of a centres and corridors strategy for the Region. The goal is to create an urban structure that includes compact development, mixed residential and commercial use centres in Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan, connected by transportation corridors along Yonge Street and Highway 7.

"York Regionís southern municipalities are at a critical juncture in its transformation from a suburban community to a more urban environment," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. "Building regional centres and corridors will ensure York Region maintains its quality of life and economic vitality."

The strategy will prioritize and address key action items from a centres and corridors study that was released at Planning and Economic Development Committee on January 8, 2003. These include:

  • Reviewing a non-residential development charges rate structure that would encourage higher density development within centres and corridors.
  • Reviewing and examining the cost of capital services needs in higher density centres and corridors.
  • Examining property tax options, which with enabling provincial legislation, could encourage compact development in centres and corridors.
  • Encouraging local municipalities and school boards to reduce area specific development in centres and corridors.
  • Petitioning the federal and provincial governments to revise corporate and capital taxes to promote affordable housing.
  • Petitioning the federal and provincial governments to allocate a portion of the GST, PST and fuel taxes to municipalities.

"In order for the Region to continue to be economically successful in the long term, as well as maintain and improve its quality of life, an urban structure of centres connected by transit corridors must be supported and achieved," said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Regionís Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Regional staff will continue to consult with staff from the local municipalities in the preparation of the centres and corridors strategy, and will report back to Committee and Council in the spring.

Contact: Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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