The Midtown Oakville Business and Development Plan is bounded by Sixteen Mile Creek and Chartwell Road, Cornwall Road and the QEW.
The goal of the Midtown Strategy is to create a vibrant, transit-supportive, mixed use urban community (home to 12,000 people) and an employment area (8,000 jobs) by 2031. This is a provincially mandated growth area and premier locale for intensification through Livable Oakville.
The Midtown Plan encompasses approximately 100 hectares bounded by the QEW to the north, Chartwell Road to the east, Cornwall Road to the south and the Sixteen Mile Creek valley to the west. It is proposed that residential development will take place west of Trafalgar Road, while the commercial/office development will take place east of Trafalgar Road.
Update – Meeting with Town of Oakville Planning Staff
Along with the Trafalgar-Chartwell and the Chartwell-Maple Grove Residents’ Associations, JCRA met with Town Planning staff in mid-November to clarify questions related to the Midtown community development, the issue of bonusing in that development and next steps in the Town’s planning of the MidTown Strategy. Section 37 of the Planning Act allows the Town to secure identified public benefits in exchange for permitting additional height and/or density in a development through the rezoning process. This is commonly referred to as bonusing.
Discussions led by Director of Planning Services, Dana Anderson, centred on funding for the MidTown Plan through development charges. Concerns were raised by all RA’s present that the Town has limited funds allocated in its Capital Budget to support the needed infrastructure development. Town Planning staff acknowledged that without approved and committed development there are constraints to deal with congestion and the required road network. They are investigating options for this funding. The Town shared that there is significant interest in the Commercial development along South Service Road, east of Trafalgar Road, but limited progress on the residential options to the west of Trafalgar Road.
A key element of the MidTown Plan is the construction of the Cross Avenue extension east of Trafalgar Road. The Cross Avenue extension would lead the way for the building a future transit hub and the expansion of the Oakville GO Train station by Metrolinx. However, land contributions for future local roads within this development could be achieved through “area exchanges” once development applications are approved. Area exchanges are a new concept that generally means the Developer receives an identified benefit for contributing to the Town’s road allowance network identified in the MidTown Plan. Once the policy framework has been developed, Town staff will be providing greater clarity on both, the definition of an area exchange and bonusing.
Currently Town staff are working on issues and policy work development around finalizing the proposed OP (Official Plan) and ZBL (Zoning By-law) amendments. The Environmental Assessment is currently being finalized by the Province (MOECC, Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change) and may take another 6 months at minimum to be approved.
The Town Planning department has critical issues to resolve to make the Midtown Plan a viable community development. These include:
- Meeting with Midtown landowners regarding the proposed local road network
- Developing parkland dedication options/procedures; at this time Town staff have explained that green space will most likely be more linear (long and narrow green space) instead playing fields or playgrounds
- developing a Midtown municipal parking program and standards, including required space provisions developers must provide
- Creating and developing a Midtown community improvement plan
- Reviewing the current bonusing provisions for residential height and density and developing a cap; the RA’s expressed significant concern that currently there is no cap while the Town indicated a cap of up to 35 stories would be considered.
Decisions regarding bonusing will go to Town Council in 2015, once Town staff have prepared a policy.
JCRA will continue to engage with the other Oakville RA’s and the Town of Oakville to ensure that public consultation regarding bonusing is a priority. JCRA has dedicated two Directors to monitor all developments related to the MidTown Plan, and we will continue to keep you informed on this issue.
Click here for Midtown Update Paper PDF