Preserved Stories Blog


Conserving Long Branch – March 2017 Update from David Godley (Part 1)

The following text is from David Godley [I have added some notes in square brackets]

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1) Status of applications

Severance Applications for 9 February Committee of Adjustment

75 41st Street, (2) 2 storey buildings, one existing and one proposed from density 0.35 to 0.63. Two storeys is a better fit for the street than 3 storeys but the density and mass of the new one is too great. Approved

11 Garden Place, (2) 2 storey long buildings from 0.35 density to 0.70. Two storeys is a better fit for the street than 3 storeys although the density is too high and the mass too great. Deferred

Severance Applications and Variances for 9 March Committee of Adjustment

81 26th St. Returning from Community Meeting (1) 3 storey house 0.35 density to 1.18 (See part 2 of Update)

55 Long Branch Avenue. Large rear addition from 0.35 to 0.71. Streetscape conserved but impacts on adjacent houses due to double the density.

22 33rd. Returning to COA without Community Meeting (2) 3 storey houses density 0.35 to 0.69 (See Part 2 of Update)

9 38th Street. A revised application from February 2016. 2 storey traditional and ultra modern on 25 feet frontage lots from 0.35at 0.56 density in a solid area of wide lots.(See Part 2 of Update)

Severance Applications and Variances for 6 April Committee of Adjustment

99 27th Street (2) 3 storey detached 0.35 to 1.18 – a non-fit proposal at over 3 times density where the character is rapidly becoming that of Brampton North.

People in this area have now faced 6 OMB hearings with 2 outstanding.

32 36th Street, (1) 3 storey buildings, soldier houses 0.35 to 0.91 density. Far too high a density. If 30 32nd is approved a new area of character destruction will be started.

20 Daisy (1) 2 storey house 0.35 to 0.53

23 35th addition to heritage building 2 storeys with good design facing Park but affecting abutting properties

Variance application without a Committee of Adjustment Date

39 27th Street (no information posted)

56 31st Street (no information posted)

If you wish to look at all the material online go “City of Toronto” “Development Applications” “Committee of Adjustment” “Ward 6” “Search” and follow the cues.

OMB Hearings

80 Twenty Third Street, January 4 2017. Awaiting Decision

2 Ash Avenue, January 23 2017. Applicant, City and Residents settled.

68 Daisy Avenue, 73 4 storey townhouse units, February 24 2017. Prehearing Conference for 1 day held

2 Shamrock Avenue, March 8 2017

82 Twenty Seventh Street, March 21 2017

9 Meaford , April 11 2017

5 31st, 28 March 2017

5 Ramsgate, 16 May 2017

20 Elton, 28 March 2017

24 33rd, 1 May 2017 No planner on board (See Part 2 of Update)

40 37th, 18 April 2017

14 Villa, Awaiting Date

34 27th, 15 May 2017

160 30th, 28 June 2017

2) Help is at hand

Those seeking help for preparation of presentations to the COA or OMB can review material at

Preserved Stories

Long Branch with so much experience of COA and OMB appearances has more knowledge perhaps than any other neighbourhood.

We have a history of helping each other.

Christine is the current champion of the support system. Feel free to contact her at
channan@rogers.com

3) The Context of Current Planning: The Plunder of Long Branch

Five years ago the severance of 364 Lake Promenade was refused by the OMB. That is the last decision on severances the OMB made that had a semblance of logic. Even other applications refused (which were few and far between) did not seem to comprehend the issues fully.

Since then we have had 100 approvals for soldier houses (3 storey roughly double density) by either the COA or the OMB. None of these fit the low density ambiance of Long Branch and destroy the tree canopy. No soldier house should ever have been allowed because they break every rule in the planning book.

What is more the destruction of character has been accelerating and the OMB, COA and even Planning Department are making increasingly bizarre judgments.

Why has the system gone so wrong? It stems from the OMB who are exceedingly biased for development and have given no weight to pubic input. Yet the planning appeal system was designed to protect the public interest. In Toronto according to the Official Plan those residents in Long Branch should be shaping their neighbourhood. Although they have given their all to ensure the planning and legal framework is observed, they are the ones who have been punished.

The Planning Department who have always been courteous and responsive have initiated the Community meetings which have moderated damage and the Urban Design Guidelines which so far have had no effect.

Urban Design, the third dimension in planning, is the missing ingredient in all the processing despite being strongly emphasised in the Official Plan, (another feather in the hat for the Planning Department.)

However it seems that the Urban Design section has no input into comments on applications. Urban Design is certainly not fully understood by the Community Planning Division. Information and analysis on urban design are always missing and no rationale is offered. The 9 Meaford comment was the a mistake based on lack of knowledge on how to evaluate urban design in accordance with City policy and how to achieve harmonious fit.

The COA and OMB are clueless when it comes to urban design which is usually 100% of the issues. Only land use seems to be comprehended and since soldier houses are detached this is not in debate.

Essentially we are subject to planning decisions being made akin to plumbers carrying out dentistry. No wonder Long Branch is beginning to look like a row of poorly fitting teeth.

Long Branch has been sold down the river. While the Planning Department are helping on the worst excesses only our Councillor and The Toronto Star are fully behind us. The Mayor does not care.

It is hard to believe that in a first world country with the sophistication of Toronto that we have to put up with so much ignorance and ineptitude of public servants. It would be fascinating to watch as an outsider. But those who are grievously affected are wounded animals.

David Godley March 2 2017

[Some additional topics]

4) DeGasperis ruling on ‘Minor”

5) Representation to Nominating committee [I will address this as a separate post]

6) Toronto Local Area Board [I will address this as a separate post]

7) Environmental Defence. Focus on the OMB [I will check on this item]

8) Integrity Commission

Dear Mr. Godley,

The Integrity Commissioner asked me to respond to your email of February 10, 2017. Your email was addressed to a number of people and dealt with issues that are not within the scope of work of the Commissioner. The Commissioner therefore asked me to provide you with some information about the role of this Office.

The Integrity Commissioner can receive complaints that a member of an Adjudicative Board has contravened the Code of Conduct for Members of Adjudicative Boards. The complaint process follows the Complaint Protocol. These documents are the best guides of what is required for a complaint, how an investigation proceeds, and (if the Commissioner finds a contravention of the Code), the kinds of penalties the Commissioner can recommend to the Adjudicative Board. The Commissioner can only deal with conduct that is described in the Articles of the Code of Conduct.

Please keep in mind that the Integrity Commissioner can only act in response to a formal or informal complaint. Complaints about members of Adjudicative Boards must be filed in accordance with the Complaint Protocol. You can find general information about the process to file a complaint on our website, toronto.ca/integrity.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Adam D’Amico
Intake and Office Assistant
Office of the Integrity Commissioner
375 University Avenue, Suite 202
Toronto, ON M5G 2J5

Main: (416) 392-3826
Fax: (416) 696-3615
Email: Adam.DAmico@toronto.ca

Web: www.toronto.ca/integrity

Twitter: @TO_Integrity

9) Mediation Pilot

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News Release from Councillor Grimes

February 2, 2017

Pilot mediation program launched to resolve disputes on minor variance and consent applications in Toronto

The City of Toronto is launching a city-wide Mediation Pilot Program today to assist in resolving disputes for minor variance and consent applications being considered by the Committee of Adjustment.

This free program strives to assist disputing parties in reaching a voluntary, mutually-acceptable solution for some or all of the issues in dispute. The program is intended to help foster a collaborative process with neighbours as well as to reduce costs, provide access to neutral professional expertise and increase the likelihood of a settlement.

“Toronto is investing in providing smart and efficient City services that respond to Torontonians’ needs,” said Mayor John Tory. “The hope is that through the Mediation Pilot Program, residents can resolve disputes quicker and at reduced costs – and reduce the number of appeals.”

“The planning process can be overwhelming. Residents concerned about minor variances or consents may not have the experience or financial resources to challenge lawyers and planners hired by applicants,” said Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24 Willowdale), Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee. “I am hoping that mediation will provide an opportunity for neighbours to get professional assistance and avoid expensive appeals.”

The mediation sessions will be conducted by a neutral third-party mediator and a neutral, experienced professional planner with knowledge of the City’s Official Plan and zoning bylaws, including applicable minor variance and consent legislation. The Committee of Adjustment renders the final decision and is not bound by the mediated agreement.

The program will roll out across the city and will be available through the Committee of Adjustment starting with North York on February 9, followed by Toronto and East York on February 15, Scarborough on February 16, and Etobicoke and York on February 23.

More information about the Mediation Pilot Program is available at http://www.toronto.ca/cofa.

10) OMB Submission [I will post this separately]  Further items to follow.

 

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