Update: Development Proposal Preliminary Report and April 9 Community Council Meeting

posted Mar 30, 2013, 11:14 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 30, 2013, 11:15 PM ]
The City of Toronto's Planning Department recently released a preliminary staff report (click to view/download) about the development proposal adjacent to 70 High Park Ave. The report is scheduled to go to a meeting of the Etobicoke York Community Council on April 9, 2013 at 10am (click for meeting info). The report is item EY23.4 (click for the item tracking page) on the Council agenda.

Early signs are that Councillor Doucette and the City's Planning staff recognize many of the concerns raised by local residents, so please continue to share your views with the City. The community needs to remain actively involved to encourage a proposal that is both acceptable and appropriate for the surrounding community and its residents.

City Staff Recommending Consultation with Community

The report, prepared by the City's Planning Division, recommends the following to the Etobicoke York Community Council (please scroll to the bottom for more details about preliminary issues identified by the City planning staff):
  1. That City of Toronto Planning Staff be directed to schedule a community consultation meeting for the lands at 51-77 Quebec Avenue and 40-66 High Park Avenue (i.e. the proposed development site) together with the Ward Councillor (Sarah Doucette).
  2. Notice for the community consultation meeting be given to landowners and residents within 120 metres of the site.
  3. Notice for the public meeting under the Planning Act be given according to the regulations of the Planning Act.
The Board has contacted the Secretary of the Community Council (etcc@toronto.ca) to urge that the City hold two or more (as opposed to one) community consultation meetings so that area residents have ample opportunity to respond to and provide input into the proposal. We have also asked the Secretary whether area residents are able to make either oral or written deputations to council. As soon as we here from the Secretary, we will notify you via this site. 

Councillor Doucette Concerned with Proposal

Councillor Doucette also released a letter to residents (click here to view) on March 28, 2013 stating the following position about the development proposal:

I have concerns about this development, particularly in relation to the height of the two towers. When the proposal was brought to my attention I recommended to the proponent that they hold an optional public meeting to allow residents to see and comment on what they were planning to submit. Unfortunately they chose not to do this and on January 9th City Planning received their application for a zoning by-law amendment for the demolition of the existing town houses and to construct two new residential apartment buildings. This application was then circulated to the relevant city divisions for technical review.

We have now reached the next step in the process where City Planning's Preliminary Report on this development is coming to the April 9th Community Council.  At Community Council City Planning will highlight the application and ask for a community consultation meeting, the city requires that this meeting be held within two months. I will also ask for the notice of distribution for this meeting to be increased to twice the city recommended distance.

City Planning hosts this first community consultation meeting and it is where the proponent will publically present their proposal. This meeting will provide the community with the opportunity to ask questions and comment on the proposal and this input is taken into account by City staff when they review the proposal. At this time I will tell the proponent that I recommend they consider working group meetings to ensure that the community is able to have meaningful dialogue regarding areas of the plan where they have concerns. I will also host further public meetings to make sure everyone's opinions are heard.

Preliminary Issues Identified by City Planning Staff

The City's preliminary report provides an overview of the proposed development and the relevant land use and development policies that will apply to the proposal. The report also acknowledges a series of issues on a preliminary basis that will be discussed with the development applicant. We would hope that these discussions take place with the broader community as well. The issues identified include the following:
  • conformity with Official Plan policies; 
  • height, scale and intensity of the proposed development and associated impacts;
  • compatibility and fit with the physical character of the area; 
  • providing appropriate separation distances between existing and proposed buildings to ensure sunlight, skyview and privacy; 
  • shadowing of adjacent streets and neighbouring properties including low-rise residential uses and buildings within close proximity to the site;
  • wind impact on the pedestrian environment and surrounding amenity areas; adequacy of the proposed parking supply;
  • the appropriateness of the location of the proposed access and servicing arrangement for this site and potential impacts on the existing rental apartment buildings and the adjacent buildings; 
  • conformity with the Criteria for Tall Building Proposals performance standards;
  • identification and securing of community benefits under Section 37 of the Planning Act, as a result of the proposed increased density and height of the proposal;
  • the adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed indoor and outdoor amenity space and access to these amenities for residents of both rental housing and the condominium units;
  • preservation and/or replacement of important landscape features and walkways and creation of such features where they do not currently exist;
  • full description of the existing amenities and common facilities for the existing 20 storey rental apartment buildings being retained;
  • identification and securing of improvements and/or renovations to the existing rental building; securing the existing rental housing units within the existing apartment building; review of the Toronto Green Standard Checklist for compliance with Tier 1 performance standards; and
  • the issues raised by the community.