Conserving Long Branch – February 2017 Update from David Godley

Following message is David Godley <mhairig@pathcom.com>

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Hello from Cool Long Branch

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Contents

1) Status of applications

2) How to Proceed after the committee of Adjustment has made their decision.

3) Agenda TV program on the OMB

4) Awarding costs against participants

5) Local Appeal Board Meeting

6) Selection of Committee of Adjustment Members

7) Pilot Mediation Program

1) Status of applications

Severance Application from 12 January Committee of Adjustment

4 29th Street, (2) 3 storey Semi detached houses density 0.6 to 1.06. Approved

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.

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.

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 0.81

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

22 33rd. Returning from Community Meeting (2) 3 storey houses density 0.35 to 0.69

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.

Variance application without a Committee of Adjustment Date

39 27th 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

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, Awaiting Date

20 Elton, 28 March 2017

24 33rd, 1 May 2017

40 37th, Awaiting Date

14 Villa, Awaiting Date

34 27th, Awaiting Date

160 30th, Awaiting Date

OPA 320, Awaiting Date. A key policy for evaluation of character is as follows:

“The physical character of the geographic neighbourhood includes both the physical
characteristics of the entire geographic area and the physical characteristics of the properties which face the same street as the development site in the same block and the
block opposite the development site.

“A proposed development within a Neighbourhood will be materially consistent with the prevailing physical character of both properties which face the same street as the development site in the same block and the block opposite the development site and the entire geographic neighbourhood within which it is to be located.”

N.B. :This says that the micro-neighbourhood needs to be evaluated. To elaborate the two houses either side are the most critical for fit, then the houses on the same side of the street and then the part of the overall street which can be easily seen. Character fit is not affected by houses on parallel streets or streets at right angles. These may be affected by impacts on light/shadow, overlook and views including trees.

The Planning Department’s record of severances in South Long Branch give context to the current situation.(attached)

Consent and Related Minor Variance Applications – 2012 to Present

2) How to Proceed after the Committee of Adjustment has made their decision

Message to those residents concerned with these applications after the Committee of Adjustment has made their decision:

If the Committee of Adjustment refuse applications the Committee of Adjustment technician assigned to file should be contacted after 20 days. If an appeal has been launched the next step is to contact the Councillor’s Office. Daniel Fleming <dflemin@toronto.ca> deals with these cases.

A request needs to be made to have the Councillor authorise Council to have Legal to represent the City. If the Planning Department support the applications a private planner must be recruited by Legal. If Legal cannot find a suitable private planner please contact me. If the Planning Department oppose the application they will act as planner for the City.

Once the Council authorises City Legal to act, residents should meet with the City Planner for the file to go through the variances so that the relationship between the plans and variances is fully appreciated. It is always the density that is the key variance as this leads to greater massing,extra storeys , length etc.

The planning rationale (it is never expressed prior to the first Committee of Adjustment hearing) should be discussed especially the evaluation of character which should follow that outlined in OPA 320. Note that the issues are not between the applicant and residents.

Planners serve the City and their role is to balance local concerns with broader City concerns. The development industry’s function is to implement policy by building according to policy and other parts of the legal framework.

That does not prevent them from putting the case that the City’s broader objectives outweigh the local ones. However they have never made a convincing case yet with severances in Long Bran because the OMBis dysfunctional (see attached)

ombwhy

Where the Committee of Adjustment approves applications and residents object, the Councillor’s Office need to be contacted immediately as there is only a 20 day window to appeal. The Councillor should be requested to put the wheels in motion for an appeal which Legal will do. This also has to go to Council but will be at a later date.

If this does not happen residents will have to hire planner and legal on their own at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000. Needless to say this has never happened. Residents’ positions may not coincide with that of the City. The City do not act for residents but with mutual objectives, co-ordination is needed.

Once a date has been set for the hearing, those that made submissions to the Committee of Adjustment will receive notice, the Legal Department should be contacted to set up a briefing session (with the Planner present) to explain the OMB protocol, hear residents concerns and discuss marshalling of evidence. These should be informal meetings and the most effective type is in people’s homes in my experience.

3) Agenda TV program on the OMB

Hi Ed,

Well picked up. I have listened to the debate and it is political and superficial but useful to see how others view the situation..

Regg Cohen made the point that the OMB should bend over backwards to see the local point of view since the developers budget can easily outgun the opposition.

He also makes the point that OMB do not take a broad view and look at applications in isolation

The Councillor makes the point that Official Plans should be followed and decisions should be at the local level

Jane Pepino is highly political because she wants to make a lot of money. She cried openly at the Mental Hospital (Sam Smith Park) hearing because she lost supporting impersonal residential blocks.

The OMB made a well balanced decision which increased the quality of living in Lakeshore infinitely by not just providing open space but livening up the economy with Humber College.

The building industry representative, of course, was entirely predictable.

The whole issue is very complex and the workings beneath the surface seem to be unknown to the panelists.

On 03/02/2017 7:44 AM, Fazari, Edward PWC wrote:

I don’t know if anyone watched this (I haven’t yet), but yesterday evening’s The Agenda discussed the need for the OMB.

http://tvo.org/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin

TVO broadcast: Do We Need the OMB?

Regards,

Ed

David

4) Awarding costs against participants

To show the complexity you can check out a court decision where the OMB was overruled awarding costs against a participant rather than a party as their act says.

1. Lick’s/Reserve Properties’ Costs – Victory at Last! Last Fall my lawyers were at Osgoode Hall before the court seeking to overturn a decision of the OMB that would have meant I would have had to pay for some of Reserve Properties (AKA 1960 Queen Street East, their subsidiary) costs relating to the OMB Appeal of 1960 Queen (Lick’s Condo) in February 2013 (HERE).

The court’s decision is HERE (or HERE) and I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully this is the end of it, given the clarity and strength of the ruling.

5) Local Appeal Board Meeting

The first meeting of the TORONTO LOCAL APPEAL BODY

Agenda – Orientation on the Operations of the LAB

NOTICE OF MEETINGS – TORONTO LOCAL APPEAL BODY

Toronto Local Appeal Body meeting has been called for:

Friday, February 10th, 2017 commencing at 9:00 am in Committee Room 1, Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive, Scarborough, Ontario M1P 4N7.

For the agenda and additional resources for the meeting, please visit www.toronto.ca/tlab

For further information or assistance, please contact Hsing Yi Chao, Committee Secretary at (416) 338-2734 or e-mail at tlab@toronto.ca

Hsing Yi Chao

LINK to the AGENDA

February 3rd,2017

6) Selection of Committee of Adjustment Members

From Susanne Pringle, Secretary Treasurer Etobicoke York Committee of Adjustment panel.

I occasionally need to bring in substitute panel members to ensure we have quorum so meetings of the Committee of Adjustment do not need to be cancelled when one or more of our regular panel members is absent or our panel is down a member, as it currently is. I have had several different members attend Committee of Adjustment hearings in the last few months. Who attends dependents on availability of the committee member on that particular hearing date. This is an operational decision that is not subject to requests by members of the public.

If you would like to express your opinion on the appointment of new panel members, please be in touch with your City Councillor. The nominating Panel is meeting in February to appoint three new members of the Committee:

[Nominating Panel]

Please contact me if you require any further information.

Have a great day.

Susanne

Hi Susanne,

In a recent meeting with Jill Hogan, the issue of who selects substitute members arose.

The particular concern was with the Nov 3 meeting and substitute Michael from a Toronto panel. He effectively changed some of the decisions we might have had prior to being reduced to 4 members.

We lost our “conservation” member when Council appointed the Chair instead.

Can we ensure that a balanced perspective on the Committee can be maintained in future.

Hopefully when the COA is reconstituted in a couple of years we can have more people who represent the will of the people.

All the best.

David

7) Pilot Mediation Program

News Release from Councillor Mark Grimes

(we see support from our Mayor but he has yet to support a much more important issue – protection for the electorate against inappropriate development.)

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.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.

Comment: good to see the Mayor supporting this but when will he start supporting the electorate on having their noses rubbed in mud by the OM through the severance/variance approval system.

David Godley, an independent planning voice.

 

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