York Region Committee of the Whole Meeting – Planning for Employment and Employment Conversions

By March 13, 2020 Uncategorized

WESTON DOWNS RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
81 Blackburn Blvd., Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 7J5
(905) 850-1767
www.westondownra.ca

March 12, 2020

Committee of the Whole
Region of York
c/o Regional Clerk
17250 Yonge Street
Newmarket, ON L3Y 6Z1

Attention: Regional Clerk and Members of the Commitee

RE:

Committee of the Whole Meeting – March 12, 2020
Item H.2.3 Planning for Employment and Employment Conversions
Report dated February 28, 2020
From the Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Planner

The Weston Downs Ratepayers Association (WDRA) represents a residential community of 1876 homes, bounded by Rutherford Road to the north, Langstaff Road to the south, Weston Road to the east and the National Estates to the west. On behalf of WDRA, we would like to express our support of the York Region Planning Staff recommendations with respect to the employment conversion requests V6, V9 and V10, located in the City of Vaughan.
The employment conversion request V6 is located in the Weston 400 employment area, adjacent to Highway 400, on the south side of Langstaff Road. We concur with staff’s assessment that these lands are part of a larger connected employment area and that the introduction of non-employment uses will affect the viability of future and existing surrounding employment. As well, we agree with staff’s position that this site, which is visible from and adjacent to Highway 400, will contribute to the goods movement corridor. Any conversion of this property will inhibit its economic development potential and it is contrary to the Regional and Provincial Planning objectives.

The employment conversion request V9 is located in the Weston 400 North prestige employment area north of Langstaff, between Weston Road and Highway 400. We oppose the request to change these lands from Prestige Employment to Employment Commercial – Mixed Use. Prestige Employment provides the opportunity for higher paying career jobs, rather than low paying commercial/retail jobs. We need to protect the future jobs of our children.
The employment conversion request V10 is located in the Vaughan Mills Centre Employment area, specifically located in the area north of Langstaff, east of Weston Road and west of Highway 400. We support staff’s position that this large sized employment site should be protected to support a diverse range, size and mix of employment opportunities. This large 39-hectare area is adjacent to the Highway 400 goods movement corridor.
The subject lands in V6, V9 and V10 are invaluable prestige employment lands considering:

  • All three are adjacent to Highway 400, which is a goods movement corridor.
  • All three are within walking distance of the Regional roads: Rutherford, Weston and Langstaff enabling the workforce living in Vaughan to easily travel to this employment area, using either private or public forms of transportation.
  • All three are within a short travel distance of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which will soon have a high density of potential workforce.
  • All three sites are within a larger contiguous employment area and the introduction of non-employment uses will negatively impact the viability of existing and future adjacent and surrounding employment uses and spur future conversions in these adjacent employment lands further depleting employment opportunities for the citizens of Vaughan.

In conclusion, all of the lands east of Weston Downs, between Weston Road and Hwy 400, are currently zoned employment lands. Employment lands are zoned for the type of companies that bring career type jobs to the citizens of Vaughan. Many Vaughan citizens are tired of long commutes to work, as we are becoming known as Vaughan, the Bedroom Community. Our Mayor in a recent publication, Celebrate Vaughan, Our City, Our Home sends a message to the citizens of Vaughan concluding that “With values rooted in hope, optimism and determination, we are leading with purpose, making Vaughan one of the best places to live, work and play.” The live and play is being achieved, but the work still requires a lot of work.

Do not deplete any of our employment lands. These changes will take away future career type jobs that result from the development of employment lands and instead replace them with no jobs (residential buildings) or lower pay retail type jobs (commercial buildings). Say NO to changing the prestige employment lands. The citizens of Vaughan need prestige employment lands to attract companies where our citizens and their children can have careers and not minimum wage jobs, in their own community.

The citizens of Vaughan want to Live, Play and WORK in Vaughan. Please do not give in to these developers, who have requested the conversion from employment to residential/mixed-use or commercial-mixed use. The developers want to capitalize on the high profits that are being generated on building condominiums at the expense of future employment for our children and the citizens of Vaughan. Protect our employment areas so that we can Live, Play and WORK in Vaughan.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

Weston Downs Ratepayers Association

Per:

Nadia Magarelli
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association
Victor Lacaria
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association
Rose Savage
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association