Benefits of opening up data: Thanks @Fleischmarket

David Fleischer yesterday tweeted a question about the minimum intensification targets of lower-tier municipalities in Table 3.5 and Figure 3.3 of our new report about the Implementation of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

@NeptisRegions Your data shows Markham set a 40% intensification target but didn't they end up at 60%? Were some OPs still in process?

— David Fleischer (@Fleischmarket) November 5, 2013

Fleischer was right, Markham plans to use a 60% minimum intensification target.

The data used in our report is from the official plans of upper-tier municipalities such as York Region because, as specified by the Growth Plan, the minimum intensification targets are allocated to lower-tier municipalities (i.e.Markham, Vaughan etc.) by the upper-tier municipality (i.e. York).

The minimum intensification target for York Region as stated in their official plan is 40%.

Unlike other municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, York Region has implemented the minimum intensification target for each of its lower-tier municipalities using a total number of residential units instead of a % of total units.

The York official plan does not specify the percentage of intensification for each lower-tier municipality in York Region. However, both the York plan and its intensification study cite a 40 per cent regional intensification target. This is what can lead to confusion.

The York Region official plan included a policy that allowed for the lower-tier municipalities to exceed the York minimum target. Markham chose to set an intensification target in their official plan that is 60 per cent, more aggressive than York’s minimum target. The York plan is currently under appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board.

York Region may have had reason to allocate lower-tier intensification targets using the total number of units instead of a % of total units, however this issue (i.e. of measuring intensification) is yet another example of the patchwork of methods and lack of standard approaches used to implement the Growth Plan across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  

The report has been updated to clarify this point.

Thank you David for pointing the Markham situation to us.