Quartek Group approaches each project with a holistic, integrated and professional design strategy. Concepts and designs are vetted by regularly scheduled design team meetings to enhance design quality and expedite problem solving. An ethos to provide quality service for our clients is of utmost importance.
Our approach requires input of design participants during the conceptual and formative phases of a project’s development. Timely participation of the owner, end-user and any stakeholder group in the design process is crucial to a successful and achievable final design culmination. This is where we find innovation; producing the optimal environment for you.
Municipal Planning Services
Working on a community scale, Quartek has experience helping towns, and municipalities develop practical policies that are suited to the local context, protect the public interest, and promote sustainable growth. These projects are carried out in close consultation with local municipal staff, residents, Councils, and the appropriate approval authorities. We have successfully worked in urban and rural settings at various community scales. In the course of our experience, we have undertaken the development review function on behalf of municipalities and developed zoning bylaws, secondary plans, local official plans and urban design studies, and provide professional planning representation at Ontario Municipal Board Hearings.
Consent and Minor Variances
The planning team at Quartek Group has experience working for municipal governments and is skilled in obtaining consent to sever parcels of land and minor variances for small or large developments. They are knowledgeable about Committee of Adjustment processes and the types of requests that can be supported from a policy and a zoning perspective.
The planners have a sound understanding of the provincial plans and local policies and are highly successful in obtaining consent and minor variance approvals in urban and rural areas.
Plans of Subdivision/Condominium
A proposal to subdivide property into two or more parcels can be done through either Draft Plan of Subdivision or Draft Plan of Condominium. Depending on the proposal, there may be advantages to using one over the other. For example, Condominiums can offer more development flexibility, but may also require a greater upfront investment to the developer. Our Planning staff offer considerable experience in preparing applications for Draft Plan of Subdivision/Condominium and have a high success rate in approvals. We also offer services to remove Draft Plan conditions and negotiate fair subdivision agreements.
Urban design is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. It is a multi-discipline art of creating a quality public realm. Many municipalities now require urban design elements to be incorporated into new developments for approval. The design team at Quartek offer a full range of Urban Design services from drafting Urban Design guidelines on behalf of municipalities to providing illustrations for development proposals.
Based on professional experience and education, Quartek Planners have been qualified to provide professional planning opinion evidence at various judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings including Ontario Municipal Board Hearings, the Environmental Review Tribunal and Provincial Courts on various land use matters. Working together with legal counsel solutions are often mediated with parties through minutes of settlement and/or scoped to reduce hearing time and minimize costs.
Planning Tools – GIS
GIS (Graphical Information Systems) continues to grow in various industries. Most municipalities now have a GIS system in use and those who don’t are working on one. GIS is a way for information to be stored graphically and analyzed through visual representation. It is mostly used in map format such as Zoning and Offical Plan schedules or mapping. Some municipalities have used it keep track of their services such as water, stormwater and sanitary services, recreational equipment and facilities, identify gaps in services, develop replacement programs for services and analyze trends in growth and development.
At Quartek, we use ArcGIS software by ESRI. This software is the most compatible with what the municipalities use. We have a data license agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). We have done a wide range of GIS projects including density heat mapping, site selection and proximity, editing and mapping population statistics, Zoning Schedules, Official Plan Schedules, route maps, and company operations mapping.