June 28, 2004

York Region Centres and Corridors Strategy endorsed by Regional Council

NEWMARKET – York Regional Council endorsed the York Region Centres and Corridors Strategy, Making it Happen!  The purpose of the Strategy is to promote the development of a planned urban structure of centres and corridors and strengthen the relationship between land use, transportation and transit.
“A key part of York Region’s Growth Management Strategy is the development of Regional centres and corridors,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “However, we will continue to offer a balanced and broad range of housing options and choice.”
Regional centres are vibrant, higher density, mixed use precincts that serve as the Region’s “downtown”. York Region has designated and prepared detailed plans for four Regional centres.  They include Markham Centre, Newmarket Centre, Bayview Glen in Richmond Hill and the Vaughan Corporate Centre.  In addition, a series of urban and local centres are identified in local official plans.  These include old Woodbridge in Vaughan and Unionville in Markham.
The Regional centres are linked by the Regional corridors of Yonge Street and Highway 7, which have the greatest opportunity to add new housing units, employment and services in a mixed-use form that is supportive of higher order transit services. 
“During the Vision 2026 exercise, the public told us that they wanted careful growth management that maintained and enhanced York Region’s quality of life,” said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee. “The initiatives and actions within this Strategy represent practical steps York Region and its partners can take in pursuit of these goals.”
The Strategy provides broad policy direction and details 40 actions that are required to achieve the envisioned urban structure of Regional centres and corridors.  A key element is the proposed Regional Official Plan Amendment 43 (ROPA 43).  The overall intent of ROPA 43 is to provide a policy framework that strengthens the city building efforts of the local municipalities and clarity to the development process by clearly identifying the areas most suitable for intensified compact development within the Region’s centres and corridors.
The draft Centres and Corridors Strategy was first presented to Regional Council in May 2003 and was circulated broadly to private and public agencies throughout the Province.  The draft Strategy was also displayed at seven public consultations as part of preliminary public consultations for the proposed ROPA 43 during the summer of 2003, and seven presentations were made to local municipal councils and committees earlier this year.  Six public consultations/open houses were also held in five local municipalities.

A detailed action plan matrix has been prepared that outlines key implementation steps that will require coordination of efforts between Regional and local municipal staff, and will monitor progress of Centres and Corridors Strategy.  Staff will report back to the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee and Regional Council on a regular basis on the Strategy’s action plan.
An electronic file and printed copies of the Centres and Corridors Strategy are available upon request.  
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca

Contact:   Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
(905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238
E-mail:  wendy.lewis@region.york.on.ca

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