- The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville is considering the purchase of York Region lands at the northeast corner of Ninth Line and Main Street.
- The quarter-hectare property is composed of three plots, detailed in the map below, which have been deemed surplus by York Region.
- The Region originally acquired the lands between 2011 and 2012 for the now completed realignment of Ninth Line and Main. The parcels for sale are made up of lands not utilized in the final realignment.
- The municipal addresses for the properties are 5982 Main Street and 12278 Ninth Line. A segment of the original Ninth Line, now closed and no longer a roadway, is also included.
- The Town did not provide a comment on the reasons behind the potential acquisition, as the purchase has not been finalized.
- A York Region report presented at the September 14, 2023 Regional Council meeting referenced potential value as part of future land assembly to facilitate improved area development.
- “The Property has limited but feasible potential for independent development. Land assembly with the adjoining property will create more substantial development opportunities, mainly as a result of…more functional site configuration and Main Street frontage,” Regional Staff noted in the report.
- York Regional Council will vote on disposing the land and authorizing the Region’s Commissioner of Corporate Services to accept and execute the Agreement of Purchase with the Town at their meeting on November 9, 2023.
The Regional lands were twice appraised and then listed on the open market as a single plot in early 2021. The asking price was $1.85 million. While Regional policy dictates land purchase opportunities be presented to the local municipality prior to being publicly listed, the Town did not express interest in acquiring the site at that time.
After the property was listed, utilities were identified that had not been considered in the original appraisals. Offers were put on hold and the site was taken off the market. “The utilities had some impact on value, but the awkward land configuration and existing zoning posed a greater adverse impact to value than originally estimated by the appraisal provided in 2020,” a York Region report explained.
A follow-up appraisal resulted in a lower market value, and the site was again offered to the Town prior to being re-listed on the open market. This time, Stouffville expressed interest. Neither the current market value of the property, nor the Town’s offer, have been made public.
Land assembly offers opportunities for more comprehensive planning, especially as it pertains to smaller, more challenging parcels. If a builder was to purchase an adjacent site, Stouffville could then sell them the Regional lands and plan a more complete development. Such a deal could also yield potential profits for the Town.
Recent development proposals in Stouffville have highlighted challenges where land assembly has not been an option. These include FLATO’s commercial development at Main and Highway 48, which referenced concerns over building a more substantial mixed-use building due to land constrictions. The Cam Fella infill project is another example, as Staff noted difficulties in delivering a much-needed new park due to piecemeal planning underway in the area.
Bullet Point News will provide more information on the Town’s considerations when they become available.