The text from David Godley will follow my preamble to this post; if you want to skip the preamble, just go forward to the heading entitled: “Conserving Long Branch September 2017 Part 1.”
Preamble from Jaan Pill
I have changed “Toronto Local Appeal Board,” in David Godley’s text, to “Toronto Local Appeal Body,” as the latter is the term the City of Toronto uses. “Board” would make more sense, of course, but “Body” is the word that’s officially is use. I may not have gotten around to doing all the corrections.
I didn’t realize until today how long ago it was that I received the email from David, with his most recent Conserving Long Branch update.
David sent this out on Sept. 9, 2017.
I am slow about posting various items to my website. I am slow for many reasons; among them (in this case) is that my interest in citizen input related to the COA / OMB / TLAB is vastly diminished, having learned in recent years “how things are done” in Long Branch. Learning about “how things are done” has been my introduction to local history, a topic and concept that had no interest for me, until I moved to Long Branch twenty years ago, when my wife and I bought our first house.
I fully support the efforts of those residents, who are addressing their own immediate concerns, and who remain keen to know about what is happening with regard to COA / OMB / TLAB.
The odds are vastly stacked against us, as citizens. A number of residents have been successful, in dealing with COA and/or OMB. Their success is an inspiration for all of us.
Residents, who have made the effort to address issues related to “civic engagement” in Toronto, in recent years, have either succeeded in their efforts, or else in some cases they have chosen to sell their properties and leave.
I can think, of people I know personally, on Twenty Third St., Valermo Drive (Alderwood), Villa Road, and Lake Promenade. Great people – articulate, dedicated; they have moved on, because what’s been happening here has been, for them, intolerable.
Albeit the odds are stacked against us, some residents have prevailed, with regard to OMB and/or COA decisions. It is always better, I believe, for residents to make a concerted effort to express their views, rather than just staying quiet, and saying nothing.
I have used quotation marks, when speaking of civic engagement, as in a majority of cases, that I have witnessed first-hand over several years of meetings and hearings, land-use decisions are made in South Etobicoke without regard, for the value of citizen input.
I look forward to keeping in touch with people who have left for greener pastures.
Several of them are on my email list, which I use to send out updates from my website, from time to time. I have also begin to work on the idea of a Long Branch Alumni group, as I have noted in a previous post.
Those of us who have a connection to Long Branch, but have subsequently moved away, still have a connection to the community, on some level, and it’s good of those of us, who have moved away, or are making plans in that direction, to stay in touch, and to learn from each other’s experiences – in Long Branch and in the great beyond, that exists outside of its boundaries.
It’s the people who live right next door, or right across the street, from particular recent “mega” projects who are most likely to leave Long Branch (and Alderwood and elsewhere) when they can. Not everyone is in a position to leave. Among those who can, there is much to be said for leaving.
It’s a part of life, that people come and go, with regard to any neighbourhood, in any city, in the world.
For newcomers, it’s a fresh slate; living next to a particular recent “mega” project is not going to have quite the same impact, as would be the case, for a long-term resident. For the person purchasing a “mega” project, it’s a also great neighbourhood – still a few trees left, here and there, and it’s likely the water is here to stay.
I am delighted that, in time, the emotional distancing that has occurred for me, in particular, with regard to the little pocket of the neighbourhood where I live, will be complemented by a physical distancing. In time, I’m out of here.
What I look forward to, in my case, is a work space that is sufficiently roomy, and quiet, that I can complete a local history project, related to my own and nearby neighbourhoods, that I began to work on a decade ago, not realizing at the time, what I was getting into. Those are my favourite kinds of projects. I look forward to being near water, and near trees, and fortunately such amenities are available, in other parts of Ontario, Canada, and the world.
I have accumulated many great recordings, photos, and documents related to local history in Long Branch and elsewhere, and look forward to working with them, at my leisure. I am sure that my first book, about the history of Long Branch, will sell at least, say, twenty copies, which will be a source of great satisfaction to me.
I am pleased to share the following news update from David Godley
Conserving Long Branch September 2017 Part 1
Greetings from Cool Long Branch
1) New Applications
70 29th Street, Variance. Soldier house 0.35 to 0.66 density. 26 October COA
2 25th Street, Variance 0.35 to 0.5 density. October 26 COA
62 36th Street. No information. 23 November COA
75 25th Street. No information 23 November COA
99 27th Street, Severance and Variances. 2 soldier houses 0.35 to 0.96 density. 7 December COA
2) Recent COA decisions
10 Lake Promenade, 2 soldier houses density 0.35 to 0.59 . 28 Sep COA moved forward to 24 August COA. Deferred
59 31st Street. Variance. 0.35 to 0.67 density. 24 August COA. Deferred
56 31st Street. Variance. Soldier house 0.35 to 0.55 density. 24 August COA. Refused
3) Outstanding Committee of Adjustment Applications (note the new issue of monster houses)
31 25th 2 storey house, 0.35 to 0.59 density. 27 July COA. Deferred
14 Atherton Crescent. Variance Second Storey Addition 0.35 to 0.51 density. 28 September COA.
35 38th, modern monster house 0.35 density to 0.63, 28 September COA
350 Lake Promenade, modern monster house, 0.35 to 0.5, Density, 26 October COA
50 36th Street, No information, 26 October COA
11 James Street. 2 soldier hoises 0.35 to 0.93 density. 26 October COA
15 38th Street. Severance and variances. Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.70 density. 26 October COA
70 36th Street. Severance and variances. Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.67 density, 26 October COA
27 39th Street. Severance and variances. Soldier huose 0.35 to 0.98 density. 23 November COA
50 31st Street. Severance and Variances. 2 Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.55. 7 December COA
90 Ash Crescent. Severance and variances. 2 soldier houses 0.35 to 1.04 and 1.08 density. 7 December COA
38 31st Street. Severance and variances. No details.
11 Garden Place Soldier Houses 0.35 to 0.71 density. Deferred
If you wish to look at all the material online go to “City of Toronto” “Development Applications” “Committee of Adjustment” “Ward 6” “Search” and follow the cues
4) Toronto Local Appeal Body
9 38th Street. A revised application from February 2016. 2 storey modern traditional and ultra modern on 25 feet frontage lots from 0.35 to 0.56 density in an area of wide lots. Approved by COA and appealed by the City to TLAB. You can still email unsigned letters to TLAB expressing your opinion but they must be in pdf. 14 people have done this.
This is Long Branch ‘s first appeal to TLAB. Hearing postponed from October 13 to November 13 2017. Deadline for registering as party or participant was 11 July 2017. Deadline for witness issues August 8 2017. TLAB is the last great hope to put planning back on an even keel. See comments below.
22 33rd Street. Appeal of consent only after COA refusal. A new application has been submitted for semis instead of singles Appealed to TLAB. TLAB cancelled hearing and transferred file to OMB.
38 36th Street. 3 storey soldier houses 0.35 density to 0.70. Refused by COA after 30 people showed up. Well organosed Robert Davis. Deadline for registering as a participant or party September 12, for witness outline of issues October 12 to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have pdf and signature software you can fax to TLAB 416 696 4307 12 December 2017
4) OMB Hearings
55 Long Branch Avenue. Doubling density of existing house and blocking sun, light and views from their rear garden. Appealed by owners to the north who were away for a couple of weeks with the notice delivered after they went away and decision made before they returned. No comments from Planning. Community have put them in touch with planner and lawyer. A settlement may be in the offinf halvong the density oncrease.Hearing 14 September 2017. PL170469 Good Luck, Vlad and Cristina.
30 38th Street, 27 June 2017 No planner on board. Awaiting Decision
40 37th Street, 18 April Awaiting Decision PL161248.
14 Villa Road, July 17 2017. Severance and variances for Soldier houses (3 story, double density or near on narrow (usually 25 feet frontage) lot. PL170039 Approved. Unfortunately hearing officer predictable.
68 Daisy Avenue, 73 4 storey townhouse units, February 24 2017. Pre-hearing Conference for 1 day held. Hearing Day 10 October 2017
82 Twenty Seventh Street, March 21 2017 to be continued August 21 2017 PL161006 Mike Flynn attended to help Gord Whicher the solicitoe attending for the City. Tragically Gord died of a heart attack age 64 at the beginning of September.
Gord was well known to Long Branch residents as a person who cared about his job and had an easy way with the community.
5 Ramsgate, 16 May 2017 Awaiting Decision PL161257
24 33rd, 1/2 May 2017 No planner on board Approved PL161073 Review request submitted to OMB by Lakeshore Planning Council Corporation
22 33rd, Severance and Variances for semi soldier houses 0.60 to 0.70 to density PL170413, 18 January 2018
Long Branch has had over 100 houses approved by severance in the last 5 years.
Nearly all of these were for soldier houses – double density, 3 storey on narrow lots are always alien (see photo and sketch).
During 2014-16 Ward 6 had 68 severance applications accompanied by variances.
The next highest figure was 25 for a Ward 23 (Willowdale).
Long Branch has most of the severances within Ward 6 and in contrast to other Wards is having an increased number of such applications. Long Branch is “Severance Central”.
Currently the COA mostly use demand and density increase to make decisions, neither of which is valid. Demand is not a consideration as outlined in OMB decision for 30 36th Street PL160520. Density is to be steered away from neighbourhoods where it compromises Long Branch character according to strong policies in the Official Plan. This was also confirmed by Jeffrey Cantos of the City’s Official Plan group that neighbouthoods are not for increased density and presented this wording to a TLAB business meeting in February.
Nearly all of new houses are the standard “Brampton subdivision” development design based on speculation and profit.There are some excellent examples of how to develop harmoniously (see photos) The COA should make decisions based on planning criteria and tests for the community that should be free of personal convictions. There is no integrity on the process.
The last great hope is the Toronto Local Appeal Body. Limited faith can be put in long promised Long Branch Neighbourhood Guidelines. They are weak by their nature as City adopted guidelines rather than rules and not strong enough in their wording to make much difference especially on reflecting and reinforcing character.They do not even express the well established and elementary principle that the street abutting properties are critical for evaluation, the nearby properties are the next most important. While individual staff members have confirmed this and City staff are of the position that block analysis is more important than the wider neighbourhood, nothing in the Guidelines speaks to prorities. If this intention had been clear in the Official Plan we would not have a rash of acne on Long Branch’s fair face. As it is we are constantly behind the eight ball. If the COA and OMB ignore legal documents such as the Official Plan, even the improved Guidelines stand little chance.
The development industry is still on charge!