CBC’s John Lancaster reports: Buyers will be told to keep ‘windows and exterior doors’ closed to cut down on noise from Metrolinx yard

An April 14, 2018 article by CBC’s John Lancaster, investigative reporter, is entitled: “City council approves controversial development that comes with noise warning to buyers: Buyers will be told to keep ‘windows and exterior doors’ closed to cut down on noise from Metrolinx yard.”

The article notes:

Even before Dunpar submitted the most recent changes, Etobicoke councillors Justin Di Ciano and Mark Grimes led the charge to approve the project and reject the concerns of city planners. Council, including Mayor John Tory, first gave it the green light in 2016, but Metrolinx appealed the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

The OMB would have had final say on the matter. But now, just weeks before the hearing was set to begin, the settlement was reached.

However, the city never alerted local residents’ groups who had filed formal objections to the proposed development.

“There’s been absolutely no transparency. Everything seems secret,” local resident Dan Irwin told CBC Toronto.

[End of first excerpt]

A second excerpt reads:

Councillors under investigation by OPP

Grimes’s and Di Ciano’s support for the project raised questions about their ties to the developer.

In 2016, the city’s integrity commissioner opened an investigation into those connections. She uncovered information that was passed on to police who launched their own investigation. There’s nothing to indicate the referral to police was related to the Judson development.

As CBC News has reported, police are looking into alleged Election Act violations possibly related to Dunpar.

CBC Toronto reported Dunpar picked up the tab for more than $40,000 in polling and campaign research done in both councillors’ wards in the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election.

[End of second excerpt]

Commentary

The article provides a valuable glimpse of at least one aspect of land-use decision making in south Etobicoke. The article also gives rise to the feeling, in my case, that in some respects residents of south Etobicoke are living in a zoo.

Updates

An April 16, 2018 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Etobicoke development would leave residents next to noisy GO rail yard and “advised to close the windows”: City, developer and transit agency struck a deal to allow controversial townhome development officials warned against.”

The article notes:

The deal was struck late last month and approved by city council at its last meeting, which heard secret advice from the city’s lawyers, seen by the Star, to accept the deal. The details of the settlement have now been published. It must still be approved at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly the Ontario Municipal Board), which hears most land-use planning disputes. A hearing begins this week.

The settlement was reached nearly two years after council ignored unequivocal advice from city and provincial officials not to allow the 72-unit residential development on the Judson St. site, near Royal York Rd. in Mimico. The proposed townhomes sit just north of the Willowbrook rail-maintenance facility along the rail line, which is expected to do work around the clock, activity that produces light and noise, involving the revving of engines and testing of brakes.

[End]

A July 23, 2016 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Etobicoke councillor defends controversial rezoning next to Willowbrook railyard: Councillor Justin Di Ciano said it makes sense to build townhomes next to the facility, which staff say will produce increasing nighttime noise.”

 

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