By way of background concerning the current post, some time back I received news that a meeting hosted by Ward 9 Councillor Ana Bailao was going to be held in order that the developer would present his plans for 710 Lansdowne Ave. to the neighbourhood.
The committee of adjustment had given a deferral to the developer based on such a meeting taking place.
The meeting took place at Wallace Emerson Community Centre, located at Dupont and Dufferin.
A Ward 9 resident who attended the meeting has shared thoughts with me; below are excerpts from the resident’s overview:
About twenty community people turned out for the meeting as did our councillor, the builder’s full complement of people: architect, planner, owner, secretary, and business partner.
The builder had asked for a deferral from the COA in order to consult with the neighbourhood since he claimed he had no idea of the scale of the opposition to his building proposal, the 101 signature petition.
He was to come back to the COA with plans clearly showing changes due to talks with the neighbourhood.
As it turns out, the meeting was a presentation of his plans and not a consultation, or negotiation. The builder had made an adjustment to his plans by dropping a variance, submitted them to the COA and requested a new COA hearing, all of this before the community meeting took place.
The meeting was lively but clearly many people have no idea what their rights are in this type of situation and the whole thing had a futility to it which may have been the point. I suspect that even though the meeting was organized by our councillor for the benefit of the community which it did by informing it, the meeting became more of an information gathering process by the builder to find out what he would have to counter at the COA hearing.
So the situation is virtually the same as before and the next COA hearing will probably be held at the end of February or sometime in March.
I would be interested in comments, from residents in any ward in Toronto or elsewhere, regarding experiences with community meetings arranged by their local committee of adjustment. In your experience, what worked well, and what did not work well?