June 10, 2009
Media Release

Master Plan draft reports reflect three rounds of public input

Public and stakeholders have until September 30 th to comment
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council has authorized the release of the draft updates to the Region’s Transportation Master Plan and the Water and Wastewater Master Plan for public review.  These will be used to support a Regional Official Plan update to be submitted to Regional Council for approval by the end of the year.
 
The second and third rounds of public consultations for the master plan were conducted in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009.  The comments received from the public and stakeholders were incorporated in the current studies.  Throughout these studies, York Region residents and stakeholders provided valuable input to the study teams that used the input to prepare draft policies, programs and systems for recommended implementation over the next 25 years.
 
Regional Council authorized staff to circulate the draft reports for a minimum 30-day public review period.  Comments received by September 30, 2009 will be considered and incorporated into the final reports, presented to Regional Council for approval in the fall of 2009 and used in support of the Regional Official Plan update.
Moving on sustainability: Transportation Master Plan draft report
The draft report includes an executive summary, the main study, a compendium of technical appendices and a record of consultations for the study.
 
The plan describes the following transportation planning elements and information:
• An innovative study approach incorporating sustainability principles and best practices
• Identification of existing conditions and relevant policies and plans driving the need for an update
• A review of the planning process and public consultation initiatives conducted as part of the study
• A recommended set of 2031 road and transit network plans to address the sustainability goals
• A complementary set of policies and strategies emphasizing the sustainability principles
• A recommended phasing plan for the implementation of the road and transit networks as well as the policies and strategies
• An estimate for the total cost of the plan and potential funding and other resource needs
 
The draft Transportation Master Plan will cost an estimated $18.3 billion to implement over the next 25 years.  This estimated gross cost includes both initial and on-going capital costs of projects recommended in the draft Master Plan Update.  It includes projects which may be funded in whole or in part by other agencies, including senior levels of government.
 
Rapid transit lines previously identified in the Master Plan in 2002 include:
• Extensions of the Spadina and Yonge subway lines to Highway 7 at the Vaughan Corporate Centre and Richmond Hill-Langstaff Centre respectively (2.5 kilometres and 4.2 kilometres, respectively)
• Yonge Street rapid transit line from the Richmond Hill-Langstaff Centre to the Newmarket Centre and across Davis Drive (25 kilometres and 3 kilometres)
• A Highway 7 rapid transit line from the City of Brampton to the City of Pickering (39 kilometres)
• A Markham north-south rapid transit line in the Warden Avenue corridor (4 kilometres)
 
New rapid transit lines identified in the draft Update include:
• An east-west line in the Major Mackenzie Drive corridor extending from Weston Road in the City of Vaughan to Ninth Line in the Town of Markham and connecting to the Highway 7 rapidway along Ninth Line (27 kilometres)
• An east-west line in the Steeles Avenue corridor extending from Highway 27 in the west to east Markham and connecting to an extension of the proposed Malvern rapid transit corridor (33 kilometres)
• A north-south extension of the proposed Jane Street LRT line from the City of Toronto to the Major Mackenzie Drive corridor (8 kilometres)
• A north-south line in the Bathurst-Dufferin Street corridor (10 kilometres)
• A north-south extension of the proposed Don Mills LRT line from the City of Toronto to Major MacKenzie Drive along Leslie Street (8.5 kilometres)
 
With the new rapid transit lines, a revised network of transit priority corridors (200 kilometres) has been recommended where bus services operating in mixed traffic can efficiently feed the rapid transit lines assisted by transit priority measures such as traffic signal priority, queue jump lanes and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/transit lanes.
 
The draft road network is primarily made up of improvements associated with the transit priority corridors identified in the transit network and widening of two-lane roads to four lanes in the emerging travel corridors of York Region.  It reflects the new focus on sustainable modes of transportation such as transit, cycling and walking.
 
The 2002 Transportation Master Plan provided a strong foundation for the York Region projects included in Metrolinx’s Big Move initiative.  The current update will enhance and complement the 2002 plan and continue moving forward in developing new phases of York Region’s transportation network.
Servicing for a safe and healthy environment:  York Region’s Water and Wastewater Master Plan update draft report
The Water and Wastewater Master Plan update is the blueprint for sustainable long-term water and wastewater servicing that meets growth plan targets while preserving the natural heritage and environment.
 
York Region’s Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy includes the following priorities:
• Ensure safe and clean drinking water
• Maintain healthy watersheds
• Respect for natural cultural heritage
• Wise use of water
• Protect community well-being
• Provide full and equitable funding and value-for-money
• Promote timely and integrated service delivery
• Plan for climate change and enhance energy efficiency
• Further encourage communications, consultation and engagement
• Conduct monitoring, performance measurement and adaptive management
 
Four key priorities of the Water and Wastewater Master Plan are:
1. Ensure certainty of supply
2. Meet and exceed Ontario Drinking Water Standards
3. Meet or exceed water quality and air quality requirements
4. Ensure water and wastewater reliability
 

The Master Plan update identified Lake Ontario-based servicing as the preferred alternative to meet York Region’s long-term water and wastewater servicing needs.  This alternative was strongly supported by the public.
 
The Master Plan update served to re-affirm previously identified projects in past master planning efforts and Class Environmental Assessments.  New infrastructure projects were identified to service future growth in the northern portions of both the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham and in northern York Region.
 
Infrastructure projects for the Water and Wastewater Master Plan includes building:
• 160 kilometres of new trunk watermains
• 12 new water pumping stations
• 22 water storage facilities
• 50 kilometres of new trunk sewers and forcermains
• Four new wastewater pumping stations
• Eight wastewater treatment plant expansions or upgrades
• One new wastewater treatment plant
 
Capital costs for the water and wastewater infrastructure in the Water and Wastewater Master Plan is estimated at $4.8 billion from now to 2031 and $6.6 billion from now to 2051.
 
Equally important will be the adoption and implementation of policies and programs that support sustainable servicing as outlined in the Region’s Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy.
Financing implementation of the Master Plans: 25-year Fiscal Impact Analysis
A 25-Year Fiscal Impact Study is being undertaken to assess the costs of the population growth that is required by the Province.  This study focuses on the needed investments in transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure along with investments in human services associated with the growth that is forecasted to occur in the Region by 2031.
 
The fiscal analysis is a comprehensive study of the long-term operating and capital costs that are required to accommodate growth as well as capital rehabilitation and replacement needs.  The study assesses the potential impacts on the tax levy, development charges and water and wastewater rates as well as reserves and debt levels.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
                       Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                       Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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