Residents in Ward 16 Engaged in Protecting Our Neighbourhoods- Two Days at the Committee of Adjustment
May 14, 2014
Residents from all over Ward 16 are fighting to protect our green space and our neighbourhoods. Over the past two days, Tuesday, May 13th and Wednesday, May 14th, at the North York Community Council, residents have come together to speak against development proposals that are short-sighted and harmful to our neighbourhoods.
I am heartened by the engagement and involvement of so many of you, our Ward 16 residents, with these important issues, and was honoured to support you, watch you in action, and be present at these hearings.
On Monday, two key Ward 16 issues were dealt with at the Committee of Adjustment at the NYCC. The residents of 41 Chatsworth have been fighting to ensure that the trees, the ravine, and the land at 41 Chatsworth (site of a former church) are protected and unharmed by any development in the area. Moreover, residents want to ensure that any development on the site is done responsibly. The developer’s plans to build a 114-unit residential condominium with 120 car parking spaces would have a significant impact on the residents that live on this one-ways street, on the traffic in the area, and on the natural greenery of the ravine.
The NYCC moved to schedule a community consultation meeting with residents in the notice area of the property. The notice area for the property was greatly increased. This is great news for residents who will have to continue to work together to ensure that development on the site respects residents, our natural environment, and the Official Plan for Toronto, while providing needed, appropriate housing in the ward.
On Monday, two other development proposals brought together residents of the south-east portion of the Ward. Councillor Stintz argued that developers for 2360-2378 Yonge Street and for 31, 33, 35 & 37 have shown little interest in collaborating with one another and with the residents to ensure that developments on these two, relatively small and adjacent properties are properly done. Residents’ concerns range from over-densification to the increase of wind-tunnels, blocking and overshadowing of nearby residents to unacceptable congestion. The residents have also wanted to work with the developers to ensure that the properties that are built on the site enhance the beauty and character of the neighbourhood. It appears that this vision is not shared by the developers.
The applicant developers seek a zoning by-law amendment. NYCC passed two unanimous motions to ask City Council to put the city’s resources (solicitors and staffing) into opposing the developers’ appeals before the Ontario Municipal Board. This fight will continue.
On Wednesday, residents of the Bannockburn area were fighting a different fight. In this case, the applicant was not a private developer, but the Toronto District School Board, who was seeking to sever a portion of the green space at Bannockburn School. (See below for more on this matter.) A strong and substantial number of residents attended and many spoke to the Committee to oppose the severance. NYCC passed a motion to oppose the motion. This was a great victory for the community and for all of Toronto. As residents continue to use and enjoy this beloved green space, we also wait to find out whether or not the TDSB will appeal the decision, and whether the city (and the province?) will work with the TDSB to save Bannockburn park.