The editor of the Long Branch Village Facebook page has shared the following reflections the morning after the Committee of Adjustment meeting on Dec. 8, 2016:
Last night watched #LongBranchTO residents pleading for City planners to not approve developer applications that include removal of mature trees, being one of these completely naive residents and feeling like my argument was absolutely futile. (It is!)
Who cares about trees anyway or that some of these trees even have owl nests, prevent flooding, provide much-needed shade, reduce pollution…etc etc
The committee of adjustment members do not care that these trees are over 100 years-old or that it’s important to preserve the urban forest. One of the committee members said yesterday that “A single family home of under 1,200 square feet is simply not marketable anymore”, which obviously means that the trees that stand in the way of progress must be removed to make way for larger homes. The forestry department seems to agree because these trees are constantly being legally removed in our neighbourhood.
Urban intensification is a modern reality and this is not an argument against it, except that none of the split lot applications last night included plans for modest semi-detached dwellings, which would have saved some of these 100 year-old trees and still welcomed 2 new families into the neighbourhood, not profitable enough for the developer/builder/the city.
If you’re upset about the fast “deforestation” of our neighbourhood, your opinion/feelings will not be taken into consideration and that our Ward 6 councillor’s official letter to the city urging for protection of trees is just that, an irrelevant letter that his staff keep on pointing to its existence every time someone pleads for his help to save our trees.
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Comments at Long Branch Villa Facebook Page regarding the above-noted post
You can find plenty of comments at the Long Branch Villa Facebook Page regarding the above-noted post.
By way of example:
C of A members are chosen by the Planning and Growth Management Committee – ie. City Councillors, but Mark Grimes is not on this committee. Chosen from a pool of applicants that are Toronto residents. It is a four year term appointment and members receive a few hundred dollars stipend for each hearing. The pool was a weak one this time around and with cllrs like Giorgio Mammoliti, odds of choosing a member that has the training to assess properly these applications greatly diminishes. We have Etobicoke members that say things like ‘I’ve heard enough about the Official Plan. I will base my decision on what I feel is best’. They are now also basing decisions on whether they feel it will win at the OMB. Little discussion about the planning merits of the applications.
Dorothy, age 97, has a message for the Committee of Adjustment
The following video sums up the story of what the Committee of Adjustment is about.
The text accompanying the video notes:
Please contact us through the Preserved Stories website if you have any questions or would like to help us in our community self-organizing efforts.
We owe thanks to each person who wrote a letter, and each person who turned up at the Nov. 3, 2016 Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment meeting.
The outcome was not what we had hoped for but we were aware that we do what we can, knowing that the decision is not in our hands.
We are gratified that many residents who were at the meeting have spoken of the impressive quality of the presentations that were made by Villa Road residents, at the Committee of Adjustment meeting. We heard many well-researched, thoughtful presentations, from many groups of citizens facing situations similar to Vila Road, at the meeting.
We are appealing the decision to the OMB.
We were pleased that City TV has carried two News Reports about Dorothy’s story and related topics on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, 2016.
We are gratified that, through Dorothy’s story, we have been able to reach a wider audience, than would otherwise have been the case, as is evident from the following two News Reports:
Please visit the Preserved Stories website for blog posts about Dorothy, Villa Road, and the Etobicoke-York Committee of Adjustment. We welcome your comments and suggestions.