• Hyson Properties’ development application for 5864 Main Street and 28 Fairview Avenue was rejected by Council during their June 26, 2024 meeting.
  • The motion to refuse was put forward by Councillor Rick Upton and unanimously supported by his fellow Councillors.
  • Upton, along with area residents, expressed concerns regarding the proposed height and insufficient parking.
  • Staff supported the application and recommended its approval, stating it represented good planning and generally conformed to Provincial, Regional, and Town planning policies.
  • Council’s decision to deny the necessary Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments opens the door for an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).
  • OLT appeals can be lengthy, result in greater development than what Council considered, and may involve costly third-party defence.
  • Referencing the need to address the housing crisis, Hyson has pledged “to explore every course of action available” to advance their project.


Following two revisions, Hyson’s proposal aimed to deliver a 13-storey, 46.8-meter tall condominium comprising 210 units. With a lot area of only 4,053 square meters, it would have been the densest development approved for Stouffville’s Main Street to date.

The application included just one resident and 0.13 visitor parking spaces per unit, amounting to approximately 75% of the parking required by Stouffville’s Zoning By-Law. Upton, the local representative for the area and a staunch advocate for adherence to the Town’s mandated parking minimums, addressed the issue directly when commenting on his motion.

“Among other concerns with the submission was the extreme shortage of resident and visitor parking, which was proposed well below our Zoning By-Law and needs,” Upton explained in a statement to Bullet Point News. “This town is heavily reliant on cars due to a lack of alternative forms of transportation such as public transit.”

During the application process, Hyson reduced the building height from 18 to 13 storeys. However, the unit count increased from 200 to 210. Upton noted that a height reduction resulting in fewer units would have helped address the parking deficiencies while providing a better transition into the neighbourhood of single-storey homes to the north.

Hyson Properties responded to the outcome in a statement provided to Bullet Point News, which is included in its entirety below. “The housing shortage we face is unfair to people across our community,” it stated. “The solution to this crisis is to build more homes of all kinds. It will take bold action and a clear plan to get the job done…Today’s challenges will not be solved by yesterday’s thinking.”

Hyson emphasized Staff’s support for the proposal and their efforts to address community concerns, including height reductions and the addition of 32 parking spaces since their initial submission. They described the final proposal as “a fair and measured compromise that would get homes built while respecting the character of Stouffville’s gateway area.”

Addressing Upton and his motion directly, Hyson stated: “The local Councillor had the opportunity to approve a building that would have provided much-needed housing relief…Unfortunately, he moved a motion to do the complete opposite.”

“While our preference has always been to keep development decisions in the hands of the local Council, it will be up to the local Councillor to explain to taxpayers why his unwillingness to compromise has ensured that is no longer the reality,” they added.

Council’s opposition to the project contrasts with a recent decision to support Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments for Frontdoor Developments’ intensification project in the Cam Fella neighbourhood. During their consideration of that application, the potential for an OLT appeal was discussed extensively and seemed to influence Council’s final approval.

Upton supported the Cam Fella approvals. In his view, Frontdoor adequately addressed comments and concerns from Town Staff and local residents in their revisions. “Hyson, however, was unwilling to make adjustments and changes to bring their submission closer to Stouffville’s by-laws and disregarded local residents’ needs and concerns,” he told us.

One of those residents, Catherine Sword, spoke on behalf of 12 members of the Fairview and Rupert community during a deputation to Council. She stated that the proposal “threatens the very fabric of our close-knit community.” Their concerns centred around the building’s height, size, and density, inadequate setback and landscaping buffers to their neighbourhood, and lacking parking.

“The current proposal appears to prioritize developer interests over community welfare, leaving residents feeling disregarded in decisions that impact our quality of life,” Sword read. “Attempts to engage with the developer have been met with dismissiveness, hindering meaningful dialogue and increasing resident frustration.”

Upton remains hopeful that Hyson will consider a new submission which better minds the Town’s guidelines, regulations, and by-laws as opposed to an OLT appeal. “It is vitally important that new development is compatible with our existing community and isn’t intrusive to the residents,” he asserted.

As Chair, Mayor Iain Lovatt does not vote on matters before Council unless needed to break a tie. “While I personally hoped for a different outcome, as I have argued for years that parking minimums hinder much-needed housing, I support the decision of Council as a whole,” he said.

*Cover image is a Hyson Properties rendering of their development sourced from the related Staff report.