Settlement reached regarding City of Toronto Official Plan Amendment (OPA) 320 – You can access text and PDF at this post

I subscribe to the Toronto Edition of the Novae Res Urbis (NRU) newsletter. That’s how I learned about the settlement, that is the topic of the current post.

A subscription to the NRU newsletter is tremendously valuable for any person seeking to keep track of land-use planning issues in Toronto. I make a point of not quoting from the newsletter, at my website, because I fully support the business model, on which the NRU newsletter operates.

The OPA 320 amendment has been discussed previously at this website, including at a post entitled:

In April 13, 2018 interview, Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn outlines how OMB Reform legislation came to be enacted

The text, which you can access below, of the Dec. 7, 2018 Local Planning Appeal Tribunal decision, concerning OPA 320, is from the following link:

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onlpat/doc/2018/2018canlii118849/2018canlii118849.html

Please note the original document, available at the above-noted link, includes links for each numbered paragraph. In the text that follows below, I have omitted the links.

You can access the PDF version of the document here:

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onlpat/doc/2018/2018canlii118849/2018canlii118849.pdf

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
Tribunal d’appel de l’aménagement local

ISSUE DATE: December 07, 2018
CASE NO(S).: PL160771

The Ontario Municipal Board (the “OMB”) is continued under the name Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (the “Tribunal”), and any reference to the Ontario Municipal Board or Board in any publication of the Tribunal is deemed to be a reference to the Tribunal.

PROCEEDING COMMENCED UNDER subsection 17(36) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, as amended

Appellant: 100 Broadway Developments Inc.

Appellant: 100 Ranleigh Inc.

Appellant: 117 Broadway Holdings Inc.

Appellant: 1330192 Ontario Inc.; and others

Subject: Proposed Official Plan Amendment No. OPA 320

Municipality: City of Toronto

OMB Case No.: PL160771

OMB File No.: PL160771

OMB Case Name: Akbari v. Toronto (City)

Heard: October 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario

APPEARANCES:

Parties – Counsel/Representative*

City of Toronto – K. Matsumoto and N. Muscat

Preston Group, H-M Apartment Moccasin Inc., and Starlight Group Property Holdings – S. Lampert
BILD, Greater Toronto Apartments Association, TDSB and Minto Communities Canada Inc., Minto Properties Inc. – J. Dawson

Babak Sarshar and Parkset Developments Inc. – I. Kagan

Dunpar Developments Holdings Inc. and BILD – K. Sutton

CAPREIT Ltd. – J. Shapira

Small Builders Group – A. Stewart

Confederation of Resident and Ratepayer Associations in Toronto (“CORRA”) – E. Denny*

DECISION DELIVERED BY HUGH S. WILKINS AND ORDER OF THE TRIBUNAL

[1] The purpose of City of Toronto (“City”) Official Plan Amendment No. 320 (“OPA 320”) is to update the Healthy Neighbourhoods, Apartment Neighbourhoods, and Neighbourhood policies in the City’s Official Plan. It is part of the City’s five-year Official Plan review. City Council adopted OPA 320 on December 9 and 10, 2015 and the Minister of Municipal Affairs approved it (with one modification) on July 4, 2016. There were 57 appeals of this decision.

[2] Procedural matters in this proceeding were addressed by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“Tribunal”) at a series of pre-hearing conferences (“PHCs”). Both private and Tribunal-facilitated mediation efforts were also undertaken in an effort to resolve the matters in dispute. Through these mediation efforts, issues regarding the broad application of the policy modifications under OPA 320 were settled. The proposed settlement was approved by City Council in June and July 2018. At a PHC on August 15, 2018, the Tribunal directed that Parties with non-site-specific appeals of OPA 320, which are not resolved by the proposed settlement, were to advise the City of their issues by August 22, 2018. None were received.

[3] At that PHC, the Parties agreed that any remaining site-specific appeals of OPA 320 would be heard at a later date based on the understanding that after the general policies are determined by the Tribunal, it will be easier to determine site-specific impacts and address them accordingly.

[4] On October 10, 2018, the Tribunal convened a settlement hearing at which it heard land-use planning evidence in support of the proposed settlement of the non-site-specific appeals.

EVIDENCE, SUBMISSIONS AND FINDINGS

[5] At the settlement hearing, Paul Bain was qualified and provided land-use planning opinion evidence on behalf of the City. He opined that the proposed modifications to OPA 320 are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 (“PPS”), conform with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017 (“Growth Plan”), conform with the City’s Official Plan, and represent good planning.

[6] Mr. Bain comprehensively reviewed each of the proposed modifications to OPA 320. He described the Healthy Neighbourhoods section of the City’s Official Plan, stating that it sets out goals for enhancing and maintaining the physical characteristics of the City’s Neighbourhood and Apartment Neighbourhood areas. He stated that the proposed modifications to OPA 320 add policies to address each designation distinctly and to distinguish between the different scales of development of Neighbourhood and Apartment Neighbourhood designated areas.

[7] He said the proposed modifications to the Healthy Neighbourhoods section recognize that there are sites in Apartment Neighbourhood areas with existing apartment buildings where compatible infill development and additions to existing buildings may appropriately take place. He said the proposed modifications recognize that compatible infill development and additions on these sites can provide means of improving site conditions, by improving, among other things, amenity areas and landscaped open space.

[8] He said the proposed modifications in the Healthy Neighbourhoods section also address the compatibility of new development in Apartment Neighbourhood areas with adjacent or nearby Neighbourhood areas by addressing location, orientation, screening and other factors to minimize impacts. He said the proposed modifications also include provisions to improve the functioning of the local network of streets in Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods.

[9] Mr. Bain stated that the proposed modifications to the Healthy Neighbourhoods policies include updates to the Official Plan to reflect the City’s Tower Renewal Program. The Tower Renewal Program focuses on the City’s high-rise apartment buildings with the aim of improving building stock and properties through reinvestment, renovations, retrofits and programmes to improve the lives of residents. He said the proposed modifications permit infill on Apartment Neighbourhood sites that have poorly utilized open space areas and that such development will support renovations to existing buildings and improve facilities and amenities.

[10] Mr. Bain said the proposed modifications enhance community facilities through partnerships to better use common spaces on apartment sites. He stated that the proposed modifications to the Healthy Neighbourhoods policies also address the retrofitting and renovating of existing apartment buildings through building rehabilitation by way of, among other things, improved conservation of energy and water and through improved waste diversion. He said the proposed modifications also include policies that promote food security by encouraging the use of vegetable gardens in open space areas on Apartment Neighbourhood sites and permitting new small-scale non-residential uses at many residential tower sites, such as food markets, to serve area residents.

[11] Mr. Bain stated that the proposed modifications also include changes to the Official Plan’s chapter on Housing, including provisions to support diverse households with safe and appropriate housing, services, environments and streets and to maintain and improve the City’s existing housing stock by encouraging the renovation and retrofitting of existing apartment buildings. He said it also adds language to protect existing rental units with affordable and mid-range rents where there are developments on sites containing six or more rental units and existing rental units will be kept in the new development.

[12] Mr. Bain reviewed proposed modifications to the Apartment Neighbourhoods section of the Official Plan. He said the proposed modifications include language clarifying that significant growth is not intended within Apartment Neighbourhood areas, but compatible infill may be permitted on an existing apartment building site with sufficient underutilized space. He said the proposed modifications set out criteria to consider when addressing such applications. He said the proposed modifications also set out new urban design criteria for proposed additions to existing apartment buildings with specific requirements for horizontal and vertical additions. He said the modifications include a framework that could be required on larger sites where multiple apartment buildings are proposed so that public streets, shared driveways and new parks and open spaces are properly planned.

[13] Regarding the proposed modifications to the Official Plan’s Neighbourhoods policies, Mr. Bain stated that they provide clarification on different types of dwelling units in Neighbourhoods by addressing the characterization of walk-up apartment buildings and townhouses. He said they also clarify development criteria for development proposals in established Neighbourhoods requiring development to respect and reinforce the existing physical character of a neighbourhood. He said they address the extent of neighbourhoods by requiring consideration of both the geographic neighbourhood and the immediate context within the neighbourhoods in proximity to the development site. He said the proposed modifications require that a proposed development must be materially consistent with the prevailing physical character of the properties in both the broader geographic neighbourhood and the properties that face the same street as the proposed development in the same block and in the block opposite. To assist in interpretation, he stated that the proposed modifications clarify the definition of the term “prevailing” in this context.

[14] Mr. Bain stated that the proposed modifications allow for more intense development on major streets in Neighbourhood areas; provide specific development criteria for infill development proposed on atypical properties; and address situations where development on a larger or irregularly configured lot does not replicate the prevailing lot pattern but still represents good planning.

[15] Mr. Bain opined that the proposed modifications conform with the City’s Official Plan and are consistent with the PPS in that they sustain healthy, liveable and safe communities by accommodating a range and mix of residential development and a mix of housing to meet long-term needs. He opined that they also support long-term economic prosperity by encouraging a sense of place in communities through the promotion of well-designed built form and the conservation of features that help define local character. He further opined that they conform with the Official Plan and are consistent with the PPS in that they identify appropriate locations and promote appropriate opportunities for intensification and redevelopment.

[16] Mr. Bain opined that the proposed amendments to the Healthy Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods sections of the Official Plan further conform with the Official Plan and are consistent with the PPS in that they support energy conservation through policies that encourage the retrofitting and renovation of existing apartment buildings. He opined that they conform with the Official Plan and the Growth Plan by fostering community health and individual well-being and supporting the achievement of complete communities by encouraging the planting of gardens for growing food and by supporting diverse communities and enhanced community and neighbourhood amenities.

[17] Mr. Bain opined that these proposed modifications conform with the Official Plan and the Growth Plan in that they support the achievement of complete communities by providing a diverse range and mix of housing, expand convenient access to healthy, local and affordable food options by, among other things, encouraging retail on the ground floor of apartment buildings, mobile vendors, and community gardens on apartment sites. He opined that they ensure the development of high quality compact built form through site design standards and they help adapt to climate change impacts and to integrate green infrastructure through the retrofitting and renovation of existing apartment buildings.

[18] None of the parties in attendance opposed the proposed settlement. Eileen Denny, representative for the Confederation of Resident and Ratepayer Associations in Toronto, raised process and jurisdictional concerns, but did not specifically oppose the proposed settlement on its merits.

[19] Having considered the uncontradicted opinion evidence of Mr. Bain, the Tribunal finds that the proposed modifications to OPA 320 are consistent with the PPS, conform with the Growth Plan and the City’s Official Plan, and represent good planning. Based on the submissions of counsel and the authority given to the Tribunal under the Planning Act, the Tribunal finds that it has the jurisdiction and sufficient evidence to approve the proposed modifications to OPA 320 and that all statutorily required procedural steps have been properly taken in this proceeding. The Tribunal approves the proposed modifications.

OTHER MATTERS

[20] As noted above, any remaining site-specific appeals of OPA 320 will be heard at a later date. The Tribunal directed that a one-day PHC for those appeals will be held in Toronto on Friday, January 18, 2019 commencing at 10 a.m. to address scheduling and other procedural matters relating to that hearing. The PHC will be held at:

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
655 Bay Street,
16th Floor
Toronto, Ontario

[21] No further notice for the January PHC will be given.

ORDER

[22] The Tribunal orders that:

a. the official plan amendment appeal is allowed in part, and the proposed modifications to Official Plan Amendment No. 320 to the City’s Official Plan are approved in the form appended as Attachment 1 to this Decision;

“Hugh S. Wilkins”

HUGH S. WILKINS
MEMBER

If there is an attachment referred to in this document,
please visit www.elto.gov.on.ca to view the attachment in PDF format.

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

A constituent tribunal of Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario

Website: www.elto.gov.on.ca Telephone: 416-212-6349 Toll Free: 1-866-448-2248

[End]

 

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