Here’s the letter, for your interest, that we’ve prepared regarding 4 James Street
c/o Susanne Pringle, Manager & Deputy Secretary Treasurer
Office of the Committee of Adjustment
Etobicoke Civic Centre
February 23, 2012
Dear Susan Pringle:
We are writing with regard to 4 James Street in our role as homeowners who have lived in Long Branch for fifteen years.
We are aware of the immense development pressures that exist in Long Branch and nearby communities.
We are pleased that the Committee of Adjustment hearings offer an opportunity for residents to engage in a dialogue with elected officials and city planners with regard to planning issues in our communities.
We are not opposed to development. We support development that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders in development, including the interests of local communities.
We celebrate renovation and development projects that we encounter on our regular walks in our neighbourhood, accompanied on many occasions by our family dog.
We would like to point out examples of construction projects in recent years that have made excellent use of existing footprints. These projects include, by way of example:
- 1 Villa Road
- 2 Hilo Road
- 387 Lake Promenade
- 308 Lake Promenade
- 3 Thirty Fifth Street
- 5 Thirty Fifth Street
- 262 Lake Promenade
These houses are all different – and delightful to encounter. They fit in well with surrounding buildings.
Our community is planning a Jane’s Walk in Long Branch for Sunday, May 6, 2012. These are buildings that Jane Jacobs would have enjoyed seeing during a walk in Long Branch. We know from what she has written and talked about that she saw benefits from having a variety of new, old, single-family, and multi-residential housing in a neighbourhood.
The above-mentioned houses are all on original footprints. We also happen to like (this is a matter of personal opinion, of course) the new buildings going up at 73A and 73B James Street on a lot that has been severed into two lots. The house at 71 James Street to the east of these two buildings is a multi-residential building of considerable size.
To the west of the two new buildings is a large house at 75 James Street that is roughly comparable in height to 73A and 73B James Street and is comparable in size. These two houses – 73A and 73B James Street – work well. We believe that it’s likely that Jane Jacobs would have enjoyed encountering them on a walk.
Which takes us to 4 James Street. We don’t think that severing the existing lot is a good idea. Two large houses, on each of the severed lots that would exist on the lot that now has a single house, would not fit in with the streetscape.
The current immense development pressure in Long Branch is an occasion for random development. A house deteriorates. An owner runs low on funds. The house is sold. Rather than a random process, it’s helpful when development is coordinated.
We wish you success, in your role as members of the Office of the Committee of Adjustment, in ensuring that such coordination occurs.
We appreciate the opportunity share our views.
By way of an update, Malclom Archer of the Ratepayers Association of South Long Branch (RASL) has shared this message with his email distribution list:
Neighbours banded together again today to speak out against the proposed severance and proposed overbuilding at 4 James.
The Committee of Adjustment agreed with us and turned down the applicants proposal.
#11 Lake Promenade has been deferred.
A further message from Malcolm Archer:
Question: Why was 11 Lake Promenade deferred?
Answer: It was at the request of the TRCA [Toronto and Region Conservation Authority].