Oct. 10, 2017 is deadline for comments regarding August 2017 Long Branch Character Guidelines draft

Beach at Marie Curtis Park. The view is from a location to the west of the corner of Lake Promenade and Forty Second St. Jaan Pill photo

Beach at Marie Curtis Park in Long Branch. The view is from a location to the west of the corner of Lake Promenade and Forty Second St. Jaan Pill photo. Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

The August 2017 Long Branch Guidelines draft is at:

August 2017 DRAFT Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines


By way of background, a post regarding the PREVIOUS DRAFT [February 2017] is entitled:

February 2017 draft of Long Branch (Toronto) Urban Design Guidelines document is available online

A Sept. 26, 2017 public meeting was held regarding the Character Guidelines

The meeting was highly productive and informative. SvN staff outlined the new draft. Attendees sat at tables and had plenty of time to share comments. At the end of the meeting, each table shared a brief summary of their key points with the group as a whole. A City of Toronto staff person acted as a facilitator at each table.

The following post outlines the purpose of the Sept. 26, 2017 meeting:

Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines – Sept. 26, 2017 public meeting @6:30 pm

Please send in your comments by Oct. 10, 2017

I am working on my own comments. A key point, that I shared at the table I was at, at the Sept. 26, 2017 meeting, and that I will share in my written comments, is that a central feature of the planning processes that have evolved in Long Branch in recent years entails the debasement of everyday language, at the Committee of Adjustment and OMB.

This debasement of language has led to a situation in which “Major” means “Minor,” and a system of case law at the OMB has been built up which reinforces such a distortion and stretching-out-of-shape of language.

What I will propose, in my own comments, is that it would be highly valuable if the Guidelines were to spell out, in detail, and in the visual language of urban design, what a “Minor” variance would look like, and what the relevant quantitative (that is, numbers-based) variables are, in the context of the Guideline.

I will argue, as well, that it would be valuable to also spell out what a “Major” variance would look like, and what the relevant quantitative variables are, in the context of the Guidelines.

As well, I will in my comments support the proposal that the Guidelines should be re-assesed, and if necessary revised, on a regular basis, to ensure that they have a practical, coherent, demonstrable effect on the urban-planning decisions that are being made by the Committee of Adjustment and the Toronto Local Appeal Body, as the years go by.

Under current conditions, when a decision-maker announces that “We have a street here that is eclectic,” you can be certain that such a statement is the kiss of death for the character of a given streetscape.

So long as we depend upon a vague and essentially meaningless word such as “eclectic,” the character of Long Branch is doomed. In some pockets of the neighbourhood, the kiss of death has already been bestowed, with a suitable sense of occasion, drama, and finality.

In that context, it is also imperative to be aware of the history of “institutional drift” that has been evident in decades past, with regard to the COA and OMB.

The latter topic (how COA and OMB decision-making processes have changed, little by little, with major consequences, over the decades) is outlined at a previous post entitled:

Culture of COA and OMB decision-making has changed dramatically in 25 years: MPP Peter Milczyn

Oct. 10 is deadline for comments

Please send your comments (note email below) to:

Sabrina Salatino
Community Planning, City Planning
City of Toronto

Etobicoke York District
2 Civic Centre Court, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M9C 5A3

Tel: 416-394-8025 | Fax: 416-394-6063 | Email: Sabrina.Salatino@toronto.ca

Footnote: My comments regarding February 2017 Guidelines draft

My comments regarding the February draft are at a post entitled:

Input from Jaan Pill of Preserved Stories regarding Feb. 7, 2017 Long Branch Guidelines Draft


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