The first prehearing conference took place on May 3, 2017 in the Council Chamber in Newmarket.

Blair Taylor, the presiding OMB member, granted participant status to 20 interested individuals and party status to Trinity United Church and Heart of Newmarket Citizens Group. There will be a second prehearing conference on August 11th, most likely in the Council Chamber, at which time the request for party status by Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – Newmarket branch will be decided.

There are two issues under appeal. One is an appeal of the Town’s Heritage Conservation District by-law. The other is from the refusal of Council to approve the developer’s application for an amendment to the zoning by-law.

Consolidation of two or more separate proceedings is a frequent practice when there are common questions of fact or law, as there are with these two appeals. The principal parties were in agreement that the appeals be consolidated and Board member Taylor made an order accordingly.

Legal counsel for the developer and the Town were in agreement that a total of 15 days should be set aside for the hearing of the appeals.

The appeal of the Town’s decision to refuse the developer’s application for a zoning by-law amendment has caused the developer to prepare an alternate proposal. Some will have heard of a “land swap” that has been proposed by the developer. The land the developer would have swapped with the Town involves part of the developer’s land that extends into Market Square. The Town has been using this land for parking at the sufferance of the developer, but that would change under the alternate proposal. Referred to by the developer’s legal counsel as “Option B”, this new proposal would involve loading facilities and the waste storage area being built in Market Square. The Town’s lawyer will be obtaining instructions regarding “Option B” from Council in the near future.

The developer’s lawyer will be preparing a draft procedural order that will be discussed when the matter comes back for a second prehearing conference on August 11th. In the interim, each of the three parties to the proceedings will be delivering a draft list of the issues they see as being relevant as well as a draft list of the witnesses they each propose to call.

We’ll keep you up-to-date as more information becomes available.