Yonge Street and Bernard Key Development Area

The Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area (Yonge/Bernard KDA) is an intensification area located at the intersection of Yonge Street and Bernard Avenue, which is identified in the Richmond Hill Official Plan as a Key Development Area.

Study Area 

Map of the Study Area, centered on the Yonge Street and Bernard Avenue intersection 

Current Status

Council considered the Yonge/Bernard KDA Official Plan, the Secondary Plan and the Zoning By-law during an Emergency Special Council meeting held on May 14, 2020.  Council considered this matter during a closed session portion of the meeting pursuant to Sections 239(2)(e) and 239(2)(f) of the Municipal Act, 2001. Sections 239(2)(e) and 239(2)(f) of the Municipal Act, 2001 permits Council to consider matters in the absence of the public when they are related to: litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals (including the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal), affecting the municipality or a local board; and the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.

For more information, refer to Item 12.6 of the May 13, 2020 Council meeting.

Background

What is a Key Development Area?

A Key Development Area (KDA), as identified in the Official Plan, is an existing major node of retail and/or commercial development with access to rapid transit, where opportunities for redevelopment of large land parcels exist to support new public streets. The policies of the Official Plan require that a Secondary Plan be prepared for areas designated as a Key Development Area.

What is a Major Transit Station Area?

In 2017, the Province updated the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In this new version, the concept of Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) was introduced. MTSAs are defined as areas that are within 500 to 800 metres of an existing or planned higher order transit station/stop; this represents about a 10 minute walk. The Growth Plan defines higher order transit as transit that operates in partially or completely dedicated rights of way, which allows the transit services to achieve levels of speed and reliability that is greater than in mixed traffic. This includes heavy rail (e.g. subways and inter-city rail), light rail, and buses that operate in dedicated rights-of-ways.

The Growth Plan directs that the Region of York establish boundaries for MTSAs. The Region is presently in the process of undertaking this work. For more information, view the York Region Municipal Comprehensive Review website.

As part of the re-thinking for the Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan, it is important to be mindful of this and other related new policy directions.

Why is intensification important?

Richmond Hill is a vibrant community and is a desirable place for many people to work, live, and play, with new residents moving into Richmond Hill every day. However, there is limited room to expand the City's boundaries to accommodate future growth due to features such as the Oak Ridges Moraine. While much of the future growth will be directed towards the City's Urban Growth Centre located at the Richmond Hill Centre, other areas of the City will also need to play a part in accommodating new residents and jobs. The Yonge/Bernard KDA is well situated to accommodate new growth, being located on Yonge Street with access to frequent rapid transit, a bus terminal, and existing retail uses.

Project History (November 2016 to Spring 2020)

There were four components to the Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan project:

  • A Planning Study was completed to guide implementation of the vision and planning objectives for the KDA. It provided a framework to prepare the Secondary Plan.
  • A Secondary Plan, which provided area-specific policies that reflect the unique context, character, and planned vision for the KDA as set out in the Official Plan, such as character (i.e. mix of uses, distribution of height and density, built form design), parks and urban open space, connectivity and mobility, and implementation.
  • A new Zoning By-law for the area, which provided the regulatory framework to implement the Secondary Plan and facilitate the redevelopment of this area as set out in the Official Plan and Secondary Plan over time.
  • A new Tertiary Plan for the neighbourhood portion of the study area, known as the South Brookside Tertiary Plan.
 Stage 1: Background Research
  • Background Report: identifies the background research and findings and identifies any opportunities and constraints that may exist within the Yonge/Bernard KDA (for an alternative format of this document, please contact planning@richmondhill.ca).
 Stage 2A: Options Development
  • March 1, 2017 Public Workshop 
  • March 30, 2017 Community Open House
  • If you would like a copy of the presentation or display boards from these meetings, please contact planning@richmondhill.ca.
 Stage 2B: Preferred Option and Policy Directions
 Stage 2C: Recommendations
 Stage 3A: Draft Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law

The Draft Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law were presented at the Council Public Meeting on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 for public comment.

  • Draft Yonge and Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan - provides area-specific policies that reflect the unique context, character, and planned vision for the KDA as set out in the Official Plan, such as character (i.e. mix of uses, distribution of height and density, built form design), parks and urban open space, connectivity and mobility, and implementation. 
  • Draft Yonge and Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan Zoning By-law - provides the regulatory framework to implement the Secondary Plan and facilitate the development of this area as set out in the Official Plan and Secondary Plan over time.
  • For copies of the draft Secondary Plan and draft Zoning By-law as presented at the Council Public Meeting, refer to Staff Report SRPRS.17.167.
 Stage 3A: Additional Transportation Analysis
  • An additional transportation analysis was conducted at the request of Council to further investigate alternatives to the road network within the Key Development Area. The results of this analysis was considered in the development of the Draft Secondary Plan.
 Stage 3B: Final Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law

The Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law were adopted at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, November 20, 2017.

Stage 4: Appeals Process & Revisit
  • The Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law were appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (appeal period ended January 2, 2018). See the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal website, case number PL180073.
  • At the April 16, 2019 Special Meeting of Council, a Council resolution was adopted regarding proposed changes to the Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law that Council would like the Tribunal to consider at the upcoming hearing.
  • At the May 14, 2019 Council Meeting, Council passed a resolution to rescind its April 16 motion. In light of more recent Provincial and Regional land use planning initiatives, Council directed staff to seek an adjournment of the hearing before the Local Planning Tribunal and for the City to undertake further consultation with landowners and the community regarding the Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law for the KDA.
  • On December 10, 2019, an Open House was held at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

If you would like a copy of any of the listed documents, please contact planning@richmondhill.ca.

Staff Reports

Staff Report SRPRS.16.151 - Council Direction for a Planning Study, Enactment of an Interim Control By-law and Preparation of the Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law - November 7, 2016

Staff Report SRPRS.16.191 - Council Direction for Planning Study, Interim Control By-law and KDA Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law - November 28, 2016

Staff Report SRPRS.17.127 - Yonge Street and Bernard Avenue Key Development Area Recommendations Report - July 4, 2017

Staff Report SRPRS.17.167 - Draft Yonge Street and Bernard Avenue Key Development Area Secondary Plan and Implementing Zoning By-law.pdf - November 1, 2017

Staff Report SRPRS.17.197 - Yonge and Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law - November 20, 2017
(To view the staff report appendices, click on item 11.11 on the November 20, 2017 Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda)

Staff Report SRPRS.20.058 - Directions Report for Yonge and Bernard Key Development Area - May 13, 2020
(To view the staff report appendices, click on item 12.6 on the May 13, 2020 Council Meeting Agenda)

Questions or Comments?

Please submit written questions or comments to the contact listed below. For more information regarding submissions and the collection of information, please contact the Office of the Clerk at 905-771-8800 or by email at clerks@richmondhill.ca.

Mail: Policy Planner, City of Richmond Hill, 225 East Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4 Fax: 905-771-2404 Email: bernardkda@richmondhill.ca