Planning & Development
 

This page is organized as follows:
**NEW** Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review
**NEW** SAHRA’s Report for 2016
**NEW** Construction Management Plan for 1700 Avenue Road

228 Wilson Avenue
1560 Avenue Road at Douglas
4050 Yonge St.
OMB Appeal Fees have changed
When is a Building Permit required?
90 Eglinton West
1780 Avenue Road at Melrose
Green-Finger proposal at Brooke at Avenue Road
1580 Avenue Road
SAHRA’s Report for 2015
Speed Limits on SAHRA’s Streets
The Waiver Process
Payment-in-Lieu of Parking Policy
2100 Avenue Road
Update on Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review
Update on Section 37 Monies
250 Lawrence Avenue West
107-2010 Section (f) Amendment – 3rd storey step-back on side streets
1912-1914 Avenue Road at Brooke
Strategy for Minimizing the Negative Impacts of Residential Infill Construction
Right-of-Entry Permit
2078 Avenue Road
2088 Avenue Road
FoNTRA letter to Provincial and Municipal Officials on Bill 73: Smart Growth for our Communities
Section 37 Review
McMansion Wars article
Sign Bylaw Information
Ward 16 Parks
Tips for Dealing with the Developer on the Construction of a New House
Right-of-Entry Permit – Updated Jan, 2016
Dealing with Committee of Adjustment Applications
The 10K Chimney Surprise!
OMB Information
FoNTRA’s position on Council Request to move Toronto from OMB
Development applications appealed to the OMB
Avenue Road Avenue Study
Committee of Adjustment Applications

**NEW** Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review
The Planning Department released their Review Report on the 14 outstanding recommendations on April 20, 2017 and it was approved at the North York Community Council meeting on May 2, 2017. 

The Report prepared by the City:
Staff Report ARAS Recommendations Review April 20 2017

SAHRA’s Comments on the Review:
Avenue Road Avenue Study Review SAHRA Comments May 2017

A summary follows of SAHRA’s Comments document:

A positive result of the Review is that the various City departments have completed some greening, park and streetscaping tasks that should have been on-going from 2009. Some work has been done on the trees lining Avenue Road, some improvements have been made in Brookdale Park, and additional street furniture has been added (TTC shelters, benches and bicycle rings).

The summary now appears as follows with 9 recommendations implemented out of 21 Recomm  Count
Implemented

#1-6 Official Plan/Zoning By-law changes for development

#15 Street furniture (TTC shelters, benches, bicycle rings)

#18 Upper Avenue street signs ($19.5K of Section 37 monies)

#21 Harmonized Sign By-law was implemented – no Billboards eliminated as yet of 22

9
# Implemented 9
Closed (now part of 250 Lawrence Ave West development negotiations)

#7, 8 and 9 – Douglas Greenbelt Ravine

3
Rejected by the City

#11 – Closure of Dunblaine Avenue on the east side to create a village square park

#13 – Closure of laneways to create parkettes

#14 – Provide landscaped areas within the painted centre lane medians on Avenue Rd

#20 – Undertake an Area Traffic Study

4
# Closed and Rejected 7
May happen

#10 – Roe Avenue Bus Loop conversion to parkette

1
In SAHRA’s opinion, will likely NOT happen

#12 – Landscape and improve spaces between curbs and rights-of-way (15 locations)

#16 – Public art at ‘gateway’ locations

#17 – Public art on utility boxes (2 done/4 recommended but no funding)

#19 – New public parking lots and underground structures

4

It is important to note that the Report also provides a number of new recommendations regarding Parking. It suggests a Parking Working Group should be formed to report on opportunities to provide additional on-street parking on side streets in the Avenue Road Study area that could be located in close proximity to Avenue Road and to remove the existing mid-day parking prohibition on side streets along Avenue Road from between Brooke Avenue to Ridley Boulevard. There are also recommendations to add street parking on Bedford Park Avenue, Douglas Avenue and Dunblaine Avenue.

The Review Report states that Upper Avenue is tree canopy deficient (less than 10%) as well as park deficient (the lowest and second lowest levels of parkland – SAHRA’s area in fact has NO parks). Our Avenue is also disfigured by boulevard parking – 20 locations for over 69 parking spaces. SAHRA asked that Council direct the City to take action not only on the items listed under Recommendations but on ALL tree canopy and park tasks. This request was refused – the only Recommendations that the City has been directed to act on are:

1 (a)      Paint murals on four traffic control boxes

1 (b)      Explore conversion of commercial boulevard parking permits on 6 street corners

2 (a)      Plant trees at 2175, 2177 and 2181 Avenue Road (apartments near the 401)

2 (b)      Plant trees at 1997 Avenue Road (Comtech Fire Credit Union)

2 (c)      On-going improvements to Cranbrooke Avenue entrance to Brookdale Park

2 (d)      On-going improvements to Brookdale Park

The Recommendations implemented and to be acted on are underwhelming and disappointing!


A detailed summary of the status of each of the 14 outstanding recommendations:

ARAS Oustanding Recommendations Status

Past history on this topic is contained in the sections outlined above in red.

 

**NEW** SAHRA’s Report for 2016
2016 was a very busy year for the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association both for the Directors and our Members. We presented a  ‘AGM Report for 2016’  at the Annual General Meeting in April, 2017 reviewing the activities, accomplishments and the issues still in progress.
Report for 2016 AGM (Full Report)

 

**NEW** Construction Management Plan for 1700 Avenue Road (The Brookdale)
Demolition at this site for a 100-unit condominium with street-level retail spaces was completed in mid-2016 and excavation work is now underway.  The following is a link to a recent article in Urban Toronto: http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2017/05/excavation-progressing-brookdale-avenue-road

A development of this nature requires that a Construction Management Plan (CMP) be prepared to provide details on how the developer will manage the construction, impacts and safety to the neighbouring community to ensure disruptions are kept to a minimum and safety always maximized.  An extract has been prepared of this document Construction Management Plan for the Brookdale at 1700 Avenue Road.

The developer has committed to try to minimize disruption as much as possible but with a large project of this nature, events are likely going to arise where we will have to exercise patience.  However, major and on-going issues should be reported to 311.  Reporting an issue to 311 creates a log.  Repeat calls signal a recurring problem to the City.

228 Wilson Avenue
Update Oct 17, 2016:

We are now awaiting the submission of the formal application to Planning.  As these are not minor changes, SAHRA and OOGRA have stated that the application should be dealt with as zoning amendments which should go to the North York Community Council/City Council not to the Committee of Adjustments, which deals with minor variances.  We will keep our members advised once the Application is received.

Public Hearing:  Monday, Sept 12, 2016  6:00-7:30 pm  at Armour Heights Community Centre, 2140 Avenue Rd.

The original developer obtained approval of Zoning By-law No. 1071-2014 by the North York Community Council and City Council to “permit a 17-storey (57 metre) condominium apartment building at 228 Wilson Avenue with a total of 108 dwelling units  and 130 parking spaces proposed within a 5 level below grade parking garage.  Access to the site would be provided from a driveway off Wilson Avenue at the east end of the site.”   Section 37 monies in the amount of $325,000 were assessed to be used for capital improvements to Old Orchard park and for streetscape improvements in the vicinity of the site, with input on specific allocations by the Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association (OOGRA) and the developer was also required to satisfy ‘parkland dedication’ though a cash-in-lieu payment.  As part of the approval, it was also agreed that the local Residents’ Association would be a party to the Site Plan Control Application process via a Working Group.

The property is now being sold to Verdiroc (see website http://www.verdiroc.com/market-rental-housing/ ). The building envelope remains as 17 storeys but Verdiroc is planning to provide Rental Units rather than condos.  In their Building Application they increased the number of rental units to 142 (34 additional units / a 31% increase to the original plans).  We understand they also want to only provide 4 levels of parking instead of 5 (so a decrease in the original condo-to-parking arrangement of 118 owner spots and 22 visitor spots for 108 condos) despite the increase in the number of units.  We do not know the fate of the  479 m2  of indoor amenity space that was originally planned – party room and a games room on the second floor and a pool and fitness room with change room facilities on the third floor.

City of Toronto Planning interprets the above changes as being “consistent with the adopted By-law 1071-2014”.  They have stated that the By-law for this site has been approved and allows changes not effecting the building envelope.  SAHRA and OOGRA disagree with this position as the By-law is specific regarding the number of units, the parking space calculations and the amenity area sizes. We have been advised by our lawyer and  planner that changes to these Exception Regulations would require a variance application to the Committee of Adjustment.

Verdiroc submitted a Building Application on August 17, 2016 and Councillor Carmichael-Greb announced in her Sept 2 newsletter that a Community Information Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Sept 12th.  This Community meeting is being held as a courtesy information session and normal notice requirements do not apply, according to the City.

SAHRA and OOGRA oppose the increased densification (31%) and  decreased parking spaces – these are significant changes.  Zoning By-law No. 1071-2014 specifically states that it permits a 17-storey (57 metre) residential dwelling building at 228 Wilson Avenue; for a  total of 108 dwelling units. The Vehicle Parking calculation is defined in the By-law based on unit type (calculated then to be 130 parking spaces proposed within a 5 level below grade parking garage) – these need to be recalculated based on the proposed revised makeup of the units.

In addition, the Final Report for the Aug 2014 Zoning By-law requires that OOGRA be involved in a Working Group to deal with Site Plan issues, along with Planning and the Developer.  What happened to this commitment?  If the building is being ‘redesigned’ even although within the same footprint for a different population (renters rather than owners) then it  becomes even more important that the Residents’ Association be aware/involved with the redesign.

It is important that we hear from Councillor Carmichael-Greb and the Planning officials what is now being proposed for this site.  Please come out to this Information meeting to help the community in their attempts to ensure new developments contribute to the harmonious growth of our Neighbourhoods!

We are asking Councillor Carmichael-Greb to support her constituency by ensuring  that the City and Verdiroc follow through on the  development as agreed to under Zoning By-law 1071-2014 and legally binding documents.

 

1560 Avenue Road at Douglas
Update Oct 17, 2016:
The Committee of Adjustments Deferred this application on August 25, 2016.  But construction continues on the site…Planning and Building Inspection have been notified.  

In May, the building at the corner of Avenue Road and Douglas was demolished.  Apparently a Building Permit was issued back in 2010.  The Planning Department issued a Zoning By-law notice in June as the by-laws controlling development on Avenue Road were changed in 20113.  The developer has since prepared two revised plans which still do not meet the current bylaws.  The developer submitted an application to the Committee of Adjustments (CofA) on Aug 25,2016.  The Planning Department submitted a recommendation that the application be DEFERRED to allow an opportunity for the applicant to submit a site plan application,  SAHRA and OOGRA (The Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association) also asked that the application be DEFERRED  so that all the unanswered questions can be resolved to ensure that the development will adhere to the Avenue Road Avenue Study guidelines and the associated by-laws.  The Committee of Adjustments decision was to DEFER this application!  We await clarifications and revised plans from the Planning Department.

4050 Avenue Road
Update Oct 17, 2016:

Councillor Carmichael Greb put an urgent Motion forward at City Council on Oct 5, 2016 to approve the Final Staff Report from Planning on zoning amendments and Section allocations; this was Carried.  We expect that the Building Permit will be issued shortly.  $300,000 is to be paid prior to Dec 1, 2016 – it appears that the City wanted to secure Section 37 funding for needed community improvements and to take advantage of the opportunity to improve existing infrastructure to this site.

The documents specify the overall amount of the Section 37 funds to be paid ($1,500,000) with a list of 5 allocations:

  1. Upgrades to the existing transit passenger pick-up and drop-off parking area along Old York Mills Road
  2. Path and trail improvements/connections within the West Don River Valley area adjacent to the site, York Mills Park and York Mills Valley Park
  3. Improvements to Woburn Park
  4. Improvements to the Douglas Greenbelt
  5. Improvements to Old Orchard Park (replaced Brookdale Park which has recently been improved)

An earlier allocation to ‘Establishment of a Village Square on Dunblaine Avenue’ has been removed as Transportation Services does not agree with this proposed change.

We have asked Councillor Carmichael Greb to provide us the dollar value of the allocations amongst the 5 items.

 

OMB Appeal Fees have changed
The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a constituent tribunal of the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO), has changed its appeal fees.

Effective July 1, 2016, the OMB appeal fee has changed from $125 to $300.

The appeal fee increase applies to OMB appeals that are date stamped by the municipality/approval authority on or after July 1, 2016.  OMB appeal fees are still $125 for appeals date stamped before July 1, 2016.

OMB filing fees have not changed for 25 years, while operating and administrative costs have increased significantly. This fee change is in line with the Ministry’s revenue and reinvestment strategy, which supports the province’s plan to move towards recovering operating costs through user fees.

If you have any questions about this fee contact the OMB at (416) 212-6349 or toll free at 1-866-448-2248.

When is a Building Permit required?
Under the Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction and/or demolition of a new building, an addition, or material alteration of any building or structure.  The linked document provides a list of common projects that require or do not require a building permit.
Building Permit Definitions


Update on 90 Eglinton West (24 storey building in a Mid-Rise building area)

A Community Meeting was held on May 11, 2016 to review the proposal from Madison to build a 24-storey tower at the corner of Eglinton and Henning.  The height goes well beyond the City zoning allocation for a midrise building.  Based on the width of Eglinton Avenue, the maximum number of floors permitted is 7.  The community made their opposition to this proposal very clear.  Councillor Carmichael Greb stated in her recent Newsletter that she supports the position of the community and she looks forward to seeing the City Planning report for the revised application.

The developer has now purchased residential properties at 17 and 19 Henning Avenue.  The North York Community Council has authorized another Community Consultation Meeting to be held to review an application for an Official Plan Amendment application for these properties from Neighbourhoods designation to Mixed Use Areas.  We will advise as soon as a meeting date is set.

Planning’s Preliminary Report:
90 Eglinton W. Preliminary Report 2016


1780 Avenue Road (SW corner at Melrose – Canada Post)
Update:  October, 2016

To our knowledge,  Cresford Developments did NOT submit an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for the CofA ruling on June 9th.  It has been confirmed that this property was sold by Cresford Developments to Dawnik Investments Inc; the sale Closed on June 21, 2016. We have located this company and made contact with them in September to inquire about their intentions with this property – we have not received a response as yet.  The building is currently being advertised for lease for a 10-15 year period.  The Planning Department has stated that they have NOT received any Revised Plans.

June 9, 2016
Councillor Carmichael-Greb arranged a meeting on May 20, 2016 between a representative of Cresford Developments, City Planning staff with SAHRA and OOGRA representatives. Cresford advised that after the Deferral of the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) hearing on April 21, 2016 (which was done under Waiver) that they had gone through the PPR process and subsequently the list of variances has been modified.

A comparison between the April 29 (17 variance requests) and June 9 (14 variance requests) documents shows that 5 variances were removed. We felt that the variance requiring that “a restaurant that has a gross floor area larger than 1000m2 must be no closer than 300m from an R or RM zone” should not have been deleted. The drawings we were given show the interior and exterior restaurant areas to be greater than 1000m2 therefore this variance should remain.  However, revised plans were submitted to the CofA showing a revised interior floor area for the restaurant of 820m2. Accordingly, the variance request was deleted.

CofA Notice June 9 2016

Five new variances were added. The new variances relates to the length and size of the loading spaces, to the fact that zero step-back is provided from the brise soleil at the top of the second storey both abutting Avenue and Melrose, a  requirement that an outdoor patio must be set back at least 30m from a lot in the Residential Zone and that an outdoor patio located above the first storey of the building must be at least 40m from the Residential Zone.  All very significant  Major variances!

No structural/design changes were proposed by Cresford at the May 20th meeting. They were focused on working around the variance requests and/or receiving approval for the project as proposed.

A Transportation Services Staff Report was published on June 7, 2016 reviewing 6 of the variance requests. The report recommended refusal of the request for no accessible parking space; that trucks must access the loading space in a backward motion; and they recommended that the City’s Payment-in-Lieu of Parking be applied.

1780 Avenue Road Transportation Services Report

SAHRA submitted a second letter opposing this application on June 8, 2016 focused on four MAJOR (not Minor) variance requests:

  1. The outdoor patio not set back at least 30m from the Residential Zone.
  2. The outdoor patio above the first storey of the building not set back at least 40m from the Residential Zone.
  3. A missing variance “An eating establishment with an interior floor area greater than 1000m2 must be at least 300m from a lot in the Residential Zone category.” This was deleted as revised plans now show the restaurant areas to total 820m2.
  4. A 2m Step-back from the brise soleil at the top of the second storey is not provided abutting Avenue Road nor abutting Melrose Avenue.

 

Parking for such a large restaurant operation was also listed as a very major concern for both local businesses and residents, in combination with other major developments on Avenue Road. If they cannot provide parking, Payment-in-Lieu of Parking should be applicable for the 7 deficient spaces.  This could have a value of somewhere in the range of $200K to $300K.  This should be made a Condition of any Approvals by the CofA.

SAHRA 1780 Avenue Road CofA June 9 2016

The Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association (OOGRA) submitted a supporting letter to SAHRA’s letter also asking how sewage capacity requirements have been assessed as a 400 seat establishment will no doubt have a huge impact on already serious sewage capacity issues in our neighbourhood.

At the Committee of Adjustment hearing SAHRA spoke to appropriateness for the neighbourhood, parking and invasiveness/noise of the patios. The CofA members were curious why the building wasn’t being completely redeveloped; raised arguments around the loading zone (delivery trucks will have to back in so there will be constant disruptive beeping); expressed concern that there isn’t enough parking in the Avenue Road area to support the intensification that is occurring and were concerned about the patio.  In the end they approved all the variances but #13 amd #14 (related to #1 and #2 above).  But they did NOT make Payment-in-Lieu of Parking a condition of the approvals.

We do not understand what impact the refusal of the ground floor patio and third storey patio will have on the project. Cresford Developments has until June 29th to submit an Appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) or they could decide to submit Revised Plans to the Planning Department reworking the first floor plans to not have a patio and/or revise the third floor restaurant/terrace plans.   We will have to wait and see which way they proceed.

We do not understand ‘why’ the CofA did NOT make Payment-in-Lieu of Parking a condition of the Approvals. We have therefore sent a letter to our Councillor and City officials asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ this can be corrected (perhaps by the North York Community Council or by City Council).  This is an important issue as $200K-$300K would be an valuable addition to funding for parking solutions on Upper Avenue.

We will provide an update again on June 29th (the OMB Appeal deadline date).

June 6, 2016
We reported on April 25, 2016 that an application had been submitted to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) on April 21, 2016  for variances required to develop this site as a 3-storey (with very high ceiling heights) commercial building hosting a restaurant on the basement, ground (with a patio off Melrose) and third floors (with a large balcony area overlooking Melrose). Offices would also be located on the second and third floors.  SAHRA and OOGRA submitted Objection Letters due to missed variances and issues related to such a large restaurant operation both on the impact on Melrose residents and on parking.  At the Hearing, the developer (Cresford Developments) asked for a Deferral and it was granted.  Since the time of the application to the CofA, Cresford has sold the property- we do not know who the new owner is.  Recently banners have been put up on the building ““flagship retail for lease” under Sutton Realty but we do not know what this means.   The CofA application has now been revised and has been scheduled to be heard on June 9, 2016.  SAHRA will be submitting a letter to the CofA regarding concerns with this revised application.

April 25, 2016
An application was submitted to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) on April 21, 2016  for variances required to develop this site as a 3-storey (with very high ceiling heights) commercial building hosting a restaurant on the basement, ground (with a patio off Melrose) and third floors (with a large balcony area overlooking Melrose). Offices would also be located on the second and third floors. 

Although the building would only be 3 storeys, it will be 13m in height (16.5m is allowed by the Avenue Road Avenue Study) plus a mechanical penthouse of 3.64m (the maximum allowed is 2m), with the rear floors going straight up (no terracing).  They are using the commercial property to the west (367 Melrose) as the starting point for calculation of the 45 degree angular plane.  17 variance requests have been submitted.

From SAHRA’s perspective, this is a significant restaurant development for Avenue Road as it is over 1000 m2 (approximately 12,000 sq feet) plus an outdoor patio area as well as a large balcony restaurant area on the third floor, overlooking Melrose Avenue. These outdoor areas will invade residents’ privacy. This size of restaurant seems out of scale for the neighbourhood. The by-laws that control restaurants need to be reviewed in conjunction with the by-laws put in place as a result of the Avenue Road Avenue Study (2009).  Type of restaurant, noise, patio curfews, parking, traffic, hours of operation, signage and lighting are also issues of concern for a restaurant operation that could accommodate up to 400 customers.  Parking for such a large restaurant operation (only providing 6 parking spaces) is a very major concern for both the local businesses and residents, in combination with the other major developments on Avenue Road.  The community is concerned as this could be anything from a fine dining restaurant to a karaoke bar.

SAHRA and OOGRA submitted Objection Letters due to missed variances and issues related to such a large restaurant operation.  At the Hearing, the developer (Cresford Developments) asked for a Deferral and it was granted.  Since the time of the application to the CofA, Cresford has sold the property- we do not know who the new owner is.  Recently banners have been put up on the building ““flagship retail for lease” under Sutton Realty but we do not know what this means.

1780 Avenue Road picture

Architectural Drawings:  1780 Avenue Road Architectural Drawings
Committee of Adjustment Variances:  CofA Notice April 21 2016
SAHRA Request for Deferral letter:  SAHRA 1780 Avenue Road Deferral

Green-Finger proposal on Brooke Avenue at Avenue Road
One of the recommendations from the Avenue Road Avenue Study (2009) is the creation of “green-fingers” proposal to provide for landscaping and plantings at the entrances to our neighbourhoods wherever possible on branching streets east and west of Avenue Road. 
An opportunity exists for the creation of a green-finger at the corner of Brooke Avenue and Avenue Road.  Brooke Avenue has an irregularly wider road width at the west side of Avenue Road.  A 4-storey mid-rise commercial development at 1912-1914 Avenue Road on the northwest corner of Brooke Avenue is presently under review for site plan approval.  This is an opportune time for the City to prepare for reconstruction to correct the Brooke Avenue alignment and in the process provide for the first green finger on the west side of Avenue Road. 
Councillor Carmichael Greb therefore submitted an urgent motion to North York Community Council on June 13, 2016:

City Council direct the General Manager, Transportation Services, in consultation with the Public Realm Office, and Technical Services staff, to review and prepare a work plan to correct the Brooke Avenue alignment and provide for improvement to the pedestrian realm, including additional landscaping or tree plantings, and be prepared to implement such improvements in conjunction with the development at 1912-1914 Avenue Road.

The Motion was approved by the North York Community Council (NYCC); considered by City Council on July 12, 2016.

 Councillor Carmichael Greb’s Request to NYCC: 

 Brooke Green Finger Councillor Letter June 13 2016

Good News!


1580 Avenue Road (SW corner at Bedford – The Beer
Store)
June 6 Update
This application proposes to amend the former City of North York Zoning By-law 7625 and City-wide Zoning By-law 569-2013 for the lands at 1580 Avenue Road, to permit a 7-storey (24.7 metres exclusive of mechanical penthouse) mixed-use development containing 70 residential units, 725 square metres of commercial space at-grade and 7575 square metres of residential gross floor area, a density of 3.93 times the area of the lot and 129 vehicular parking spaces on 3 levels below grade.  The Preliminary Staff Report (attached) has been submitted for the next North York Community Council meeting on June 14th.  At that time, the Staff will be directed to schedule a community consultation meeting (possibly to be held before the end of June, 2016).  We will advise as soon as a meeting date is set.
1580 Avenue Road Preliminary Staff Report May 2016

An Application was submitted on April 11, 2016 for a Zoning Amendment for a 70 unit, 8,300 square meter 7-storey (with terrace at the top of the 7th floor ) plus mechanical penthouse condominium with retail on the ground floor (with the main tenant being The Beer Store).  We understand that this request will be heard by the North York Community Council rather than going through the Committee of Adjustment.  There are a number of variances to the built form guidelines defined in the Avenue Road Avenue Study and the associated bylaws: height of 24.7m vs 22.5; mechanical penthouse of 5m vs 2m and angular planes not met off Avenue Road nor at the rear. 

1580 Avenue Road picture

Drawings:  1580 AVENUE ROAD – 2016.03.24

 

SAHRA’s Report for 2015
2015 was a very busy year for the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association both for the Directors and our Members. We presented a  ‘AGM Report for 2015’  at the Annual General Meeting on April 6, 2016 reviewing the activities, accomplishments and the issues still in progress.
AGM Report for 2015

Speed Limits on SAHRA’s Streets
Transportation Services recommended to North York Community Council on April 5, 2016 that speed limit changes be made to 11 of our side streets to modify them from 50 km/h to the standard of 40 km/h.  Approved on April 5, 2016!

The Transportation Services Staff Report and the Map of the affected Streets is attached:
Transportation Staff Report Mar 2016
Transportation Staff Report Map Mar 2016

July 19, 2015 Update on Speed Limits on SAHRA’s Streets
In a June 3 Email Blast, we provided an analysis of the 21 streets in the SAHRA boundaries showing that there are 10 anomalies where interior residential streets are rated at 50 km/hr.  A spreadsheet was submitted to the Councillor and Candice Martins, Traffic Operations on May 30/June 8th.  We have been told that Traffic will add it to their waiting list but the wait time is currently at least 9 months; the Councillor has confirmed that our request will have to undergo the process and time line that Traffic has outlined. 

The Toronto and East York Community Council approved a change in June, 2015 of all residential streets to 30 km for Toronto and East York. Now also may be considered by the North York Community Council. We were advised by Councillor’s office that even if this was approved Transportation Services is stating that the expected time frame for Implementation “would take over two years to complete but more realistically 3 years”.  

The 10 (now 11) anomaly situations are (defined as 50 km/hr):
Delhi Avenue (added)
Dunblaine Ave
Elm Road (above Roe)
Greer Road (above Roe)
Haddington Ave (east of Avenue Rd)
Harley Ave (west of Yonge Blvd)
Hedon Ave
Jainey Place
Joicey Blvd (from Old Orchard Grove)
Ravenhill
Ridley Blvd (from Old Orchard Grove)

June 5, 2015  Speed Limits on SAHRA’s Streets
Searches have been done on Municipal Code Speed Limits for the 21 streets within SAHRA’s boundaries. It is very interesting that there are anomalies to what we would expect which would be primarily 40 km/hr speed limits on the residential streets within our main street boundaries.  If no speed limit is posted, the default speed limit of 50 km/hr applies.  We appear to have 10 situations that need to be reviewed.  SAHRA is arranging a meeting with Traffic Operations to review all of these anomalies at one time, as the most efficient way to deal with the problems.  Attached is a spreadsheet showing the listed Speed Limits for each street with details on the ‘Between’ information:

Street Speed Limits


The Waiver Process
As SAHRA deals with Committee of Adjustment (CofA) variance applications, both residential and commercial, we have discovered that often the applications are made under the ‘Waiver’ condition.  We believe that applications to the Committee of Adjustment should be accompanied by a Preliminary Project Review (PPR) prepared by the Building Division.  The Waiver is being used more often by builders so that they do not have to wait for a zoning examiner review, which gets them through the process more quickly.  Sometimes the applicant will submit it for the PPR and apply to the CofA at the same time hoping the PPR will catch up before the application is published and they can just make minor adjustments before the application is heard – it keeps the application in the line.  Errors in correctly identifying the minor variances could results in costly delays for the applicant as it should get caught when they apply for a Building Permit.  At that point, a zoning examiner does a review and will send the application back through the CofA process if something is missed.  The Waiver process started some years ago when there was a huge backlog when the new by-law was enacted and everything had to be redone.

At SAHRA’s Annual General Meeting in April, 2015, SAHRA discussed with Councillor Carmichael Greb and Planning and Building representatives problems we feel are a result of the current Waiver process, asking that a review be done to consider eliminating the Waiver process.  We provided specific instances were there have been problem situations where we believe the Zoning Examiner did not detect a variance that should have been required, after the CofA process, before the Building Permit was issued.  When discovered, it was too late to remedy the structure.

No action has taken place on this request to our knowledge so SAHRA submitted a formal request on March 10, 2016 to Councillor Carmichael Greb to put a Motion forward to City Council as soon as possible asking that the Planning Department do a complete review to determine if and when the Waiver process can be eliminated and that a Staff Report be presented to City Council to report back on their findings by Quarter 4 of 2016.

SAHRA has reviewed this issue with the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) and other Ward 16 Residents’ Associations as this is a City-wide issue and they are submitting supporting letters.

On March 29, 2016 Councillor Carmichael Greb stated that this is a city-wide issue and the impact of eliminating the Waiver process across the City has to assessed before any action can be taken; she is discussing this with City Staff.

SAHRA submitted a follow-up letter on April 14, 2016 asking if a Motion will be tabled at the June 15, 2016 Planning and Growth Management Committee asking for the review and Staff Report by Quarter 4, 2016.

SAHRA’s request letter:  SAHRA request re Waiver Review

 

Payment-in-Lieu of Parking Policy
Recently as part of the OMB Appeal of 1912-1914 Avenue Road, we had to review the City policy for Payment-in-Lieu of Parking. The ruling document appears to be the ‘Harmonization of the Fee Schedules for Payment-in-Lieu of Parking’ document dated June 14, 2004. In that document, the Fee Schedule was set to be used by all Wards based on a Category 1, 2 or 3 definition (Page 5). For example, Category 2 and 3 set a fee of $5,000 for ‘the current estimated construction cost of a parking space in a typical above-grade garage or a typical underground garage”.

This fee schedule was defined in 2004.  Although Recommendation (4) states “the fee structure for payment-in-lieu of parking be reviewed every four years in order to reflect up-to-date costs for the provisions of parking”, we cannot find any record of such a review being done/implemented.

The City’s Official Plan calls for a significant portion of future growth along the Avenues. Accordingly we must find parking solutions to deal with this growth. The collection of Payment-in-Lieu of Parking would be a source of funding for these solutions.  Therefore, the City needs to define the appropriate current fee structure and ensure collection of the monies when the property is unable to provide the required parking spaces.

SAHRA submitted a formal request on March 10, 2016 to Councillor Carmichael Greb to put a Motion forward to City Council as soon as possible asking that the appropriate City deparments review the current legislation controlling Payment-in-Lieu of Parking to provide a Report including recommendations for updates in Q4.  We asked that the review consider the feasibility of introducing a formula for increasing the fees from year to year within the legislation to keep up with increasing costs.

SAHRA has reviewed this issue with other Ward 16 Residents’ Associations and the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) as this is a City-wide request and they are also submitting supporting letters.

On March 29, 2016 Councillor Carmichael Greb stated that City staff have been tasked with investigating the current situation; this is a city-wide issue so she wants to explore what standards are being applied across the City before approaching Council with a Motion.

SAHRA submitted a follow-up letter on April 14, 2016 asking if a Motion will be tabled at the June 15, 2016 Planning and Growth Management Committee asking for the review and Staff Report by Quarter 4, 2016.

SAHRA’s request letter: SAHRA Request for updating the Payment in Lieu of Parking Policy letter
Current Policy:  Payment In Lieu of Parking Policy

2100 Avenue Road (Seligman’s at Carmichael)
Update Oct 17, 2016:

The Final Report from Planning was very much in favour of the application, recommending that the North York Community Council (NYCC) approve the zoning amendment and all variance requests for this property as either (a) a 3-storey mixed-use building with commercial uses in the basement and on the ground floor level and a residential dwelling unit on the second and third levels OR (b) a 3-storey wholly commercial use.

Councillor Carmichael Greb supported the application and put the Motion forward at the Oct 13 meeting of the North York Community Council to accept Planning’s Report and approve this application – it was Carried.

This is the second residential property in the section north of Joicey up to Wilson to be approved by NYCC for commercial use whereas the Avenue Road Avenue Study recommendation was that the area remain residential as the gateway to Upper Avenue.

Update Sep 28, 2016:
A Community Meeting was held on May 25, 2016 to review proposed re-zoning to amend the zoning standards for the Residential Detached Zone (RD) and re-development of this property.

A revised application was submitted on July 8, 2016 for either (a) a 3-storey mixed-use building with commercial uses in the basement and on the ground floor level and a residential dwelling unit on the second and third levels OR (b) a 3-storey wholly commercial use.

The application was scheduled to be heard at the Oct 13, 2016 meeting of the North York Community Council with a Public Hearing if speakers wished to speak.

The totally commercial option will increase the parking requirements but we understand that the proposed parking (3 parking spaces and 1 small car space) would not change. An additional variance will also be required due to an increase in the commercial gross floor area.

At the time of the Avenue Road Avenue Study (2009), there was discussion about whether the detached homes on Avenue Road north of Joicey Blvd should be used for wholly commercial purposes.  Given the difficulty of access and egress on this congested portion of Avenue Road south of the 401 ramps, it was recommended that these dwellings be limited to live/work or wholly residential uses.  The study recommended that Zoning By-law 7625 for the former City of North York be amended for the portion of Avenue Road north of Joicey Blvd and the other low-rise residential neighbourhoods in the North York portion of study area so that Home Occupations could be permitted under the same conditions as are permitted in the former City of Toronto.  By-law 1-83 was amended to allow Home Occupation in the broader study area. Home Occupation is restricted to certain types of businesses and also means that the Owner must live in the home and that other ’employees’ are not permitted to work at the site.

It is important to our Neighbourhood that we maintain this residential gateway into Avenue Road.  The outcome of this proposal will be precedent setting for all future development along Upper Avenue between Joicey and Wilson.

Update Mar, 2016:
A Community Hearing was organized to discuss this proposed rezoning and redevelopment on:

Wednesday, March 25  7:00-9:00 p.m.

Armour Heights Community Centre, 2140 Avenue Road
Community Consultation Meeting Notice May 25 2016 combined

The outcome of this proposal will be precedent setting for all future development along Upper Avenue between Joicey and Wilson.
We encourage everyone to attend this important session to provide your feedback/input.

This application proposes to maintain the conversion of the existing one-storey mixed use building converted from residential to office/residential uses and to construct a two-storey addition atop the existing building in order to accommodate a two-storey residential unit on the second and third floor of the building at 2100 Avenue Road. The proposed 2 storey addition would result in a building height of 11.2 metres and a gross floor area of 355.15 square metres.

Update Feb, 2016:
The Planning Department published a Preliminary Report (attached) which was presented at the Feb 23, 2016 meeting of the North York Community Council.

Preliminary Staff Report 2100 Avenue Road Jan 13 2016

Architectural Plans:  Architectural Plans

A Community Consultation meeting will now be arranged, possibly on June 25th and it will then go back to the NYCCF, likely in Sept, 2016.

The application seeks to amend Zoning By-law 7625 to permit the proposed dwelling unit, as the By-law currently only allows for single family detached dwellings, to decrease the required parking spaces to provide 3 spaces from 5 spaces and to increase the building length to 19.04 meters. The Avenue Road Avenue Study (2009) specifically states that the area north of Joicey should remain residential although home-based occupations (where the owner lives in the unit) were to be permitted.

The application also seeks to amend Zoning By-law No. 7625 and the City wide Zoning By-law No. 569-2013 to permit the proposed office use, to increase the permitted building height from 8.8 metres (By-law 7625) or 10.0 metres (by-law 569-2013) to 11.2 metres, to increase the permitted number of storeys from 2 storeys to 3 storeys and to increase the lot coverage from 30% to 35.9%.

It is important to note that the By-laws passed controlling Built-Form and Urban Design Guidelines as an outcome of the Avenue Road Avenue Study (2009) only apply to the area between Lawrence to Joicey.  SAHRA believes that a new study and new by-laws would be required for the area from Joicey to Wilson if re-zoning is permitted.

SAHRA submitted a Position Letter on this request to Planning and the North York Community Council for the Feb 23, 2016 meeting.  Our opinion is that the re-zoning request should not be allowed and accordingly, the development requests/variances should also be denied.

SAHRA 2100 Avenue Road letter

We understand that Councillor Carmichael Greb’s Development Advisory Panel reviewed this application at their Monday, April 4th meeting.

 

Update on Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review
A request was made at SAHRA’s Annual General Meeting in April, 2015 for Councillor Carmichael Greb and the City to review the status and action plans for 14 recommendations from the Avenue Road Avenue Study that have not yet been acted on.

The outstanding recommendations are:

Councillor Carmichael-Greb held a Public Meeting on Nov 12, 2015 at which time Planning presented their review. Approximately 60-70 residents attended the meeting.

SAHRA prepared ‘Comments’ on this review – we feel that the City is not meeting its obligations to the agreements reached in the Study.  We submitted a formal request to the Councillor on Mar 10, 2016 asking that they commit to a serious review of the 14 outstanding Recommendations to define action plans and funding; prepare estimates of costs and possible sources of funding; review Section 37 monies (monies assessed against developments exceeding densification levels to be spent on community improvements) as potential funding sources; and that the findings/conclusions be reviewed with SAHRA and OOGRA prior to presentation to the North York Community Council.

SAHRA’s request letter:  SAHRA Comments Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review letter
SAHRA’s ‘Comments’ document:  Avenue Road Avenue Study Review SAHRA Comments
Summary for Section 37 Discussions document:  Summary for Section 37 Discussions Mar 2016

We were then advised that Planning was intending to present their Report at the May meeting of NYCC and the Councillor suggeste that we should wait until the final report is released and review the details of this report which will speak to our concerns; that there will be an opportunity for us to share our thoughts and concerns in a public forum at the Community Council meeting in May.  We explained to the Councillor again that we want to review the report prior to presentation to NYCC.  As the Residents’ Associations in the area, we want to have a working session to review and discuss the report before it becomes final – before it is presented to North York Community Council and to a Community meeting.  The Councillor has now agreed to arrange a review meeting with SAHRA and OOGRA before the NYCC presentation.  The NYCC presentation will be delayed from May, 2016 to likely June, 2016.


Update on Section 37 Monies
Update Oct, 2016:
The ‘Summary of Section 37 Discussions” document was updated on Oct 8, 2016 for Motions put forward at the Oct 5, 2016 meeting of City Council concerning 1717 Avenue Road monies for street signs, 4050 Yonge St. Section 37 allocation changes  and annual reporting of Section 37 assessments, receipts, disbursements and balances:

summary-for-section-37-discussions-oct-2016

Section 37 of the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to grant increases in height and density of development, in exchange for the provision of “facilities, services or matters”.  The City of Toronto has used Section 37 provisions for community benefit contributions more extensively than any other municipality in Ontario. Since amalgamation the City has secured $309 million in Section 37 cash benefits and received $212 million in payments and accrued interest, as well as significant additional un-quantified in-kind benefits that may exceed the value of the cash contributions. Gladki Planning Associates was engaged by the City to provide recommendations to improve the clarity and transparency of the Section 37 process for obtaining community benefit contributions at the City.Their final report in January, 2014 integrates feedback generated at workshops with recommendations from an October, 2013 study “Improvements to the Section 37 Implementation Process” also prepared by Gladki Planning Associates. Section 37 Review – Final Report (7) (1) Section 37 contributions were or will be applicable to the following developments within the Wilson to Lawrence/Yonge to Bathurst boundaries: 1717 Avenue Road, 1684-1704 Avenue Road, 228 Wilson Avenue, 4050 Yonge Street and 250 Lawrence Avenue West.

At the AGM in April, 2015, SAHRA reviewed the document prepared on past Section 37 assessments, allocations and disbursements, asking the Councillor to have not-yet disbursed allocations reviewed for possible re-allocations. On March 10, 2016 SAHRA submitted a formal request to the Councillor regarding the Nov 12, 2015 Review of the Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations once again asking that the Councillor and City Departments review all Section 37 monies not yet received and/or distributed and determine if re-allocations should be made.  On Mar 16th, we were told that “The Councillor will not be making changes to section 37 allocations already committed.”  SAHRA responded to this again on Mar 20th, providing two specific scenarios that should be reviewed.  The response on March 21, 2016 was that “The Councillor will not be making changes to the section 37 decisions made under the previous  Councillor.”

We submitted a Wish List for future Section 37 allocations to Councillor Carmichael Greb on July 14, 2015.

SAHRA’s request letter:  SAHRA Comments Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review letter
Summary for Section 37 Discussions document:  Summary for Section 37 Discussions Mar 2016
SAHRA’s Section 37 Wish List:  SAHRA Wish List Submission to Councillor Carmichael Greb on July 14

 

250 Lawrence Avenue West
A Community Consultation Meeting was held on June 8th for this proposal to demolish the medical/commercial building to construct a 11-storey residential apartment building with a height of 40.2 meters including mechanical space containing 264 units with 3 levels of underground parking. A pair of 3-storey semi-detached dwellings and three 3-storey townhouse dwellings are also proposed fronting on the west end of Glengarry Ave. Planning is currently preparing their Final Report for presentation to the North York Community Council.  SAHRA, OOGRA and local residents are concerned about this proposal, one of the prime concerns being the height/number of floors.

SAHRA submitted a position letter on February 1, 2016 to Councillor Carmichael Greb, Planning and the North York Community Council as our opinion is that the height should be in keeping with the heights allowed for the Bedford Glen Apartments, the Rosewell Gardens development and the guidelines/by-laws defined by the Avenue Road Study.

SAHRA’s position letter:  SAHRA 250 Lawrence Ave West letter

Planning advised on Feb 4, 2016 that the development is still undergoing review by Planning Staff who have similar concerns to SAHRA with regards to the proposed development. Currently, Planning staff are working with the applicant, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Toronto Water, Parks Planning and Ravines to obtain a proper buffer from the ravine lands and a park connection from Lawrence Avenue West north to Glengarry Avenue that can be publically accessed by all residents.  The applicant has not submitted any new plans to Planning for this development since their first submission.

The Preliminary Staff Report listed a number of Issues To Be Resolved:

The Preliminary Staff Report:  Preliminary Staff Report 250 Lawrence Ave West

By-law 107-2010 Section (f) Amendment – 3rd storey step-back on side streets
Official notice has been received from the City Clerk that City Council on March 10, 2016 adopted the required amendments to the former City of North York Zoning By-law 7625 and the City of Toronto Zoning By-law 569-2013 for the lands fronting onto Avenue Road and within the Avenue Road study area, from Joicey Boulevard to Lawrence Avenue West substantially in accordance with the draft Zoning By-law Amendment presented as Attachment 8 to the report (February 16, 2016) from the Director, Community Planning, North York District.  It is now official!

“Any building or structure 3 storeys or greater in height must have a minimum 2.0 metre step-back at the top of the second storey, from all main walls facing a lot line which abuts a street, measured from the exterior of the main wall.”

At the SAHRA Annual General Meeting in April, 2015, Councillor Carmichael Greb committed to submit a request to Motion for a revision to the existing By-law 107-2010 Section (f), applicable to Avenue Road, to provide clarity on the zoning bylaw requirement that any building or structure with 3 or more storeys must have a minimum 2.0 metre step-back at the top of the second storey, from all main walls facing a lot line which abuts a street, measured from the exterior face of the main wall.

The Motion was submitted and approved at the May 12, 2015 meeting of Council for reporting back by the Staff in Q4, 2015.

In June, 2015, a building permit application was received for a third storey addition for 2078 Avenue Road. Subsequently, the owner applied for an additional permit for a fourth and fifth storey residential addition.  There was significant community concern over the staging of the building’s redevelopment, and particularly over the lack of a 2 metre step-back of the third floor from all lot lines facing a street.

It was the decision of City Legal and Planning reviews of the Avenue Road Study and the implemented Zoning By-laws that the wording of the section requiring the step-back required clarification to be properly interpreted as originally intended.  The City decided that 2078 Avenue Road did NOT have to provide a step-back on the third floor on the side street and the Building Permit (previously revoked) for 2078 Avenue Road was re-issued.

The community was advised that until such time the by-law wording was amended that the City could not enforce the step-back requirements at the top of the second storey on side streets.

At the Nov 12, 2015 Community Hearing about the Avenue Road Avenue Study Recommendations Review, the Planning Department presented suggested amendments to By-law 107-2010 Section (f).

The South Armour Heights Residents’ Association obtained advice on those proposed amendments and then retained a lawyer to provide professional advice on wording to put forward to Planning and the Councillor for presentation at the Feb 23, 2016 meeting of the North York Community Council.

On February 16, 2016, the Planning Department issued a Staff Report recommending that by-law amendments be made as follows:

Staff Report backgroundfile-90590 Feb 17 2016

“Any building or structure 3 storeys or greater in height must have a minimum 2.0 metre step-back at the top of the second storey, from all main walls facing a lot line which abuts a street, measured from the exterior of the main wall.”

The reworded Zoning By-law clauses would clarify that a step-back is required at the top of the second storey for any building 3 storeys or greater and for all walls facing a public street if the building is on a corner lot. This will assist in avoiding any future confusion over the interpretation of those particular clauses.

The Staff Report was approved at the Feb 23, 2016 meeting of the North York Community Council. SAHRA provided a letter of support.  We also spoke to the proposed amendment, confirming SAHRA’s support for this amendment but also stating that while the current bylaw may not fully embody the vision of the Avenue Road Study, it is the basis for reviewing and approving new developments. SAHRA  believes this amendment is a step in the right direction and will improve the decision making process for City staff.

SAHRA will continue to work towards fulfilling the vision for Avenue Road, but we recognize that public policy is often the result of small incremental changes. We welcome the Section (f) change and will continue to seek further change in the future to order to build the best Avenue Road possible.

The by-law amendment will now go forward to the March 10, 2016 meeting of City Council for formal approval and zoning-law amendment implementation.

Unfortunately, 2078 Avenue Road has been given permission to NOT provide the step-back on the third storey on Joicey but hereonin we believe that we have a firm by-law that cannot be questioned.

SAHRA has retained a lawyer to now proceed with additional reviews of By-law 107-2010 for any other required amendments to ensure that the intentions of the Avenue Road Avenue Study are properly reflected in the by-laws.

Thanks to the community members who have been involved in the review of Section (f) and the necessary amendments to ensure that the step-back requirements on side streets are enforced!

 

1912-1914 Avenue Road

The original proposal at this site at the north-west corner of Avenue Road and Brooke Avenue was submitted in Oct, 2014. The application was for a 5-storey mixed-use commercial building, retail on the first floor and office space elsewhere. The Owner applied to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) for 15 variances in Proposal #2. The building height was 19.2 metres plus another 4 metres for mechanical with no step-back on the side street.

SAHRA decided to oppose Proposal #2 as it was then configured in order to uphold the Avenue Road Avenue Study and its associated by-laws, which were approved by City Council in 2009 after significant consultation between city planners, SAHRA, area residents and a Local Advisory Committee.

SAHRA, the Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association (OOGRA) and community members opposed the proposal at the CofA and the CofA refused the application on Aug 6, 2015. Following this, the developer submitted an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and a hearing date was set for February 24, 2016.

Councillor Carmichael Greb hosted a Community Meeting on Jan 20, 2016 at which it became clear that the revised Proposal #3 was not acceptable.

SAHRA retained a planner and a lawyer to prepare for the OMB, and arranged Without Prejudice discussions with the owner’s team. These discussions have led to a Settlement between the owner and SAHRA.

Based on the opinions of our lawyer and planner, we concluded certain items could not be successfully argued given the specific context of the proposal and the position taken by the City. Some matters require review of the By-laws and we will devote resources in the coming months to achieve long term resolutions.  Given the changes we have been able to accomplish, it is unlikely a better result would occur if the matter was fought at the OMB.  Therefore, SAHRA will appear in support of the Settlement.  We hope you will see the logic in our decision and support SAHRA in this Settlement.

Accomplishments by the Community:

SAHRA believes that we have gained substantial improvements in the built-form/design of this building; that we ensured the allocation of funds to be applied to parking solutions on Avenue Road and that we will get By-law amendments in place to clarify intensions for future projects.

Proposal 4 picture 1

 

Proposal 4 picture 2

The complete package of the Revised Plans (Proposal #4) can be viewed here:

Revised Plans 16-02-10 – 1912-1914 Avenue Road

What has this cost SAHRA?

SAHRA retained a planner and a lawyer to prepare for the OMB hearing and to negotiate the Settlement with the owner. The costs are expected to be $14,000 in total. A fundraising campaign was initiated back in early November.  The Board would like to thank all those who contributed both financially and with their time. To date, $6,750 has been raised, contributions by 77 individuals.

As you can see, SAHRA’s expenses are well more than the monies received. Please consider donating to SAHRA by sending a cheque or online – please go to http://sahratoronto.com/membership/ to download and the Membership Form to accompany your cheque or to click on the Membership button if you wish to contribute via PayPal or a credit/debit card.

The SAHRA Board feels that we have received good value for the services provided and that the money has been well-used in protecting the recommendations and intentions of the Avenue Road Avenue Study and the associated by-laws for this first precedent-setting development.

Many thanks for your continuing support to SAHRA as we strive to ensure adherence to the Avenue Road Avenue Study guidelines for developments on Avenue Road!

1912-1914 Avenue Road Picture 1  1912-1914 Avenue Road Picture 2 Side

1912-1914 Avenue (at the northwest corner of Brooke)

History:
The developer for a proposed 5-storey knock down/replace building applied to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) on Aug 6, 2015 for 15 variances for a totally commercial building.

Variances were requested for:
Waste (not providing a wholly enclosed building/will be stored within the individual units)
Fencing (would not be provided);
Landscape strip (would not be provided)
Parking (no parking spaces would be provided) and
Loading spaces (would not be provided).

As well, significant variances were requested for the built-form for height, rear setback, step-backs and gross floor area.

Height – the maximum allowed is 5 storeys or 16.5m, excluding the mechanical penthouse. The mechanical penthouse must not be more than 2m.  The developer asked for 19.4m (for the 5 storeys) plus another 4.2m for the mechanical for a total of 23.6m (versus the allowed 18.5m).
Rear setback – the setback minimum is 7.5m from the rear lot line but the proposed setback is only 4.5m from the rear lot line.
Step-backs – Step-backs are also required at the rear of the building to maintain a 45 degree angular plane – this is being done. 2m step-backs are required at the 3rd storey abutting Avenue Road (the developer has incorporated this step-back in the design) but they are not incorporating the step-back required on the side abutting Brooke Avenue.
Gross Floor Area – the maximum gross floor area is 300% lot area, of which no more than 200% shall be used for commercial purposes.  The proposed GFA is 368% of the lot area which is entirely for commercial purposes.

1912-1914 Avenue Road South Elevation Drawing

1912-1914 Avenue Road East Elevation Drawing

The link can be found below for SAHRA’s submission to the CofA.  It focused on the built-form variance requests is attached; the Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association and other concerned residents also submitted letters opposing the built-form and other variance requests; we attended the Hearing on Aug 6, 2015 to present our objections.

The developer claimed to have received letters of support from Planning, Councillor Carmichael Greb and Transportation.

The CofA refused the application!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard, under such tight timelines, to submit their opinions to the CofA and/or to hang in (for 6 hours) to present to the CofA!

After the hearing Councillor Carmichael Greb stated “It is my job to take the needs and wants of the community as a whole into account. With respect to this particular case, it is important to realize that the City needs office space outside of the downtown core – especially when we are losing existing commercial space (i.e. 250 Lawrence Ave. W.) . Many residents have asked for employment use in this area and have advocated for development that allows people to live and work in the area instead of travelling to their workplaces on transit and roadways that are at or near capacity. While taking this into consideration, I had written to the Committee of Adjustment to ask that should they choose to grant the requested variances that they do so with certain conditions – a 2m setback on Brooke and that it be subject to site plan approval.”

We are dismayed that our Ward 16 Councillor would not support the Residents’ Associations and concerned residents in upholding the Avenue Road Study (2009) and the associated By-law changes, for the sake of some additional jobs at 1912-1914 Avenue Road.

We are not opposing the strictly commercial use for this building and the additional jobs it would house but a totally commercial building should work within the built-form specifications and maximums as defined by the Avenue Road Study and the associated By-laws. Why did Planning allow an application this complex, with this many significant variances to go to CofA?  This likely means we are going to have problems with every application that surfaces from hereon.

We believe this issue is bigger than just Avenue Road and the Avenue Road Study – if approved it negates the principles of several studies related to the Avenues throughout the City that have been completed in the last 5-7 years!

The residents of this area believed that the Avenue Road Study guiding principles and associated By-law changes would be enforced as the existing one to three storey buildings were redeveloped or renovated to the now-allowed 5-storeys.

This building, as proposed, does not comply with a significant number of these very specific rules.  The proposal should not be approved as it would make irrelevant years of time and money contributed by city planners, area residents and the Local Advisory Committee on developing the master plan for the Upper Avenue.  If the by-laws are not applied to this instance of a 5-storey renovation/ development, all future developments on Avenue Road will ask for equivalent variances!

1912-1914 Avenue Road is the first, precedent setting 5-storey new build!

We expected that the developer would submit an appeal to the OMB by Aug 26; they have done so and a 3-day Hearing has been scheduled to begin on Feb 24, 2016.   SAHRA has applied for Party status at this Hearing and we have retained a Planner and a Lawyer to present our case at this hearing.  We are now preparing our planning and legal arguments for the OMB Hearing.  While there is obviously a great deal of passion surrounding the Avenue Rd Study, the day will only be won with dispassionate arguments based on existing bylaws. There are legitimate points we can use to win this case.  We hope everyone will continue to share their ideas and thoughts so these arguments can be further refined and improved. Now on to the OMB!

The following documents will help you understand the proposal:

The Aug 6, 2015 CofA variances – 1912-1914 Avenue Road CofA Aug 6 Variances

Drawings CofA Aug 6 2015

SAHRA’s letter to the CofA on Aug 6, 2015 – SAHRA 1912 1914 Avenue Road Aug 6 2015

The developer’s submission for the OMB Appeal – 1912 -1914 Avenue Rd OMB Appeal Submission

The Avenue Road Avenue Study Final Report published by the City in 2009 – avenue_final_report

The Consultants’ more detailed report on the Avenue Road Avenue Study – avenue road avenue study_finalreport_april2008

Strategy for Minimizing the Negative Impacts of Residential Infill Construction
On February 24th, the Planning and Growth Management Committee voted in support of the Strategy for Minimizing the Negative Impacts of Residential Infill Construction Activity.

This strategy is designed to:

Many homeowners in Ward 16 have experienced the negative effects of infill construction activity. We hope this strategy moves forward in order to help those who are impacted.

The specific Actions to be implemented between Q2 2016 up to Q4 of 2017 are:

Q2 2016
Introductory Building Inspection to outline all City expectations for builders and their obligation
Provide additional training to Building Inspectors on key zoning requirements in order to strengthen their ability to respond to zoning issues earlier
Improve verification of actual construction with approved permit drawings through additional divisional practices and training

Q3 2016
Introduce a ticketing pilot in Toronto Building for residential infill projects
Toronto Building to implement the new staff resources to monitor issues and co-ordinate inter-divisional response to problem residential infill sites

Q4 2016
Establish a dedicated City website with key information about construction, including orders and construction stages passed
Require construction signage to be posted on site with key information to the public
Facilitate the development of a good neighbor guide for builders with BILD and residential ratepayer associations

Q1 2017
Municipal Licensing and Standards report to the Licensing and Standards Committee in Q1 2017 with recommendations with respect to dust control measures for residential infill construction

Q4 2017
When reporting back in Q4 2017 on proposed strategy, consider expanding ticketing to other divisions
Improve inter-divisional data collection on negative impacts of residential infill construction

SAHRA thanks FoNTRA (the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations) and SERRA (the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association) for their involvement with the development of this Strategy.

 

2078 Avenue Road

Fall Newsletter 2078 Avenue Road (at Joicey)
Local residents, SAHRA and OOGRA (Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association) have been following this ‘renovation’ development for a number of months as it was not compliant with By-laws set up as a result of the Avenue Road Study in 2009. Because this is a renovation rather than a knock down and new build, it is managed by the Building Department rather than Planning. As the developer has not built according to the Permit(s), a Stop Work Order was issued in Nov, 2014 for seven non-compliant items. The developer then applied to the Committee of Adjustment for a variance to NOT have to do a step-back on the 3rd floor abutting Joicey. SAHRA, OOGRA and a large number of residents submitted Letters of Objection to the CoA hearing scheduled for May 7, 2015. On the day of the hearing, the developer withdrew the application! The developer told the Building Department that it was his intention to challenge the issue through the courts rather than through the CofA. The Building Department has stated that their position remains that the construction above the third floor is not permitted without the proper step-backs from both Joicey Street and Avenue Road, including the step-backs on the third floor. The Building Department has revoked the permit for construction above the third floor
But construction continues! Not just on the second floor (which is allowed) but on the third, fourth and fifth. Not dismantling to become compliant, but work to complete the building in its non-compliant state. We have been told that the issue is now in the hands of the City Legal DepartmentSAHRA is continuing to communicate with Councillor Carmichael Greb and the Building Department repeating our request that the Avenue Road Study guidelines and the associated By-laws be enforced. This is precedent setting for the future development of Avenue Road!
July 30 #2, 2015  2078 Avenue Road status
No updates have been received from the Building Department since our last update on July 19th advising that the matter is now in the hands of the City’s Legal department.  The developer is allowed under Permit to carry on with work on the second and third floors.  But the Permits for the fourth and fifth floor have been revoked…although work continues on these floors.
July 19, 2015 2078 Avenue Road (at Joicey) update
In our last update on June 3rd, we advised that the developer withdrew his Committee of Adjustment (CofA) application on May 7th.  We questioned the Building Department whether he would be resubmitting to the CofA and were told that the developer has told the Building Department that it was his intention to challenge the issue through the courts rather than through the Committee of Adjustment.  The Building Department has stated that their position remains that the construction above the third floor is not permitted without the proper setbacks from both Joicey Street and Avenue Road, including the setbacks on the third floor.  The Building Department has revoked the permit for the construction above the third floor.
But construction continues!  Not just on the second floor (which he is allowed to do) but on the third, fourth and fifth.  Not dismantling to become compliant…but work to complete the building in its non-compliant state.  We continue to send pictures of the on-going activity but the Building Department appears unable to enforce the stop work order and the revoking of permits.  We have been told that the issue is in the hands of the City Legal Department and that there should be an answer later this coming week.
SAHRA is continuing to communicate with Councillor Carmichael Greb and the Building Department repeating our request that the Avenue Road Study guidelines be enforced, including all setbacks both off Avenue and Joicey and at the rear of the building.  This is precedent setting for the future development of Avenue Road! 
We will give you an update again as soon as we are advised on results of the meeting this week as we know that many of our members/residents are very concerned about this non-compliant development.
June 3 2015  2078 Avenue Road status
In our email on May 11th, we informed you of the results of the May 7th Committee of Adjustment hearing for this property…the developer withdrew the Application!We asked the Councillor and the Building Department to review the situation to determine what this meant/what the developer’s intentions were/where we go from here.We talked with Will Johnston, Director, Building Department on May 27th.  He confirmed that the Building Department is “standing strong on the need to comply” – that they want compliance.  We understand that Building has revoked the Permit and that they are discussing the issue with Legal.Meanwhile dismantling work continues, perhaps to correct non-compliant issues?We have explained to the Building Department that SAHRA is very concerned about what this developer is doing.  It is precedent-setting for other developments on Avenue Road.
We will continue to ask the Building Department to report on status/compliancy.

 June 1 2015 Front  June 2 Joicey Pictures as of June 1st

2078 Avenue Road – variance request withdrawn
Our email blast of May 1 outlined SAHRA’s objection for requested variances submitted to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) on May 7th by the developer of 2078 Avenue Road so that he would NOT have to do a step-back on the 3rd floor abutting Joicey.
SAHRA submitted a letter of objection along with a 10-page outline detailing the guidelines/recommendations from the Avenue Road Study (2009) along with a history of the building at this site.  CORRA (Confederation of Residents and Ratepayers Association) submitted a supporting letter of objection as the development does not maintain the intent of the City’s Official Plan and the Avenue Road Study.  Councillor Carmichel Greb submitted a letter asking that the Committee Refuse this application due to its inconsistency with the Avenue Road Study guidelines and because it does not meet the four prescribed tests: the variances are not minor, not appropriate to the land and buildings in the area, do not maintain the general intent of Zoning Code and By-laws, and do not maintain the general intent of the Official Plan. In addition, 36 letters of objections, many with personal comments/perspectives were submitted by concerned residents.  A number of these residents were very involved with the Avenue Road Study between 2007 to 2009, providing valuable insight on the intentions of the Study. 
A Staff Report was prepared by Planning for the CofA.  It was disappointing in that they did not address the Avenue Road guidelines regarding the step-back at the 3rd floor abutting Joicey.  Rather they recommended that (1) the proposal be developed substantially in accordance with the north elevation submitted to the CofA on Feb 25, 2015 which only shows the step-back at the 3rd floor abutting Avenue (and not at the 5th floor – apparently the Building Dept says that the 45 degree angular plane is maintained as it is), (2)  that a cornice or architectural feature be provided at the top of the 2nd-storey facing Joicey to reinforce the 2-storey character of the area and (3) that commercial boulevard parking on Joicey be removed when the current permit expires and be replaced with landscaping.
A SAHRA representative and other interested residents attended the CofA hearing which was scheduled as the last application to be heard at the May 7 session starting at 3:30 p.m.  The session ended without this case being called!  The attendees were then advised that the applicant had not appeared as he had ‘withdrawn the application’.
We have never encountered this situation before.  We are waiting for the Councillor’s office to review the situation with the Committee of Adjustment and the Planning and Building Departments to determine what this means/what the developer’s intentions are/where we go from here.  Does this perhaps means that the developer intends to alter the third floor abutting Joicey to provide the 2m step-back?
We are very concerned about what is going to be done to make 2078 Avenue Road compliant with the Avenue Road Study guidelines. We will monitor the situation closely with Councillor Carmichael Greb and the Planning and Building Departments and advise you as soon as we obtain information on what is going to happen now.
2078 Avenue Road – Committee of Adjustment Hearing – May 7, 2015
It’s a busy week on Avenue Road…on May 4 there is the Community Consultation Meeting for 2088 Avenue Road and on May 7 there is a Committee of Adjustment hearing for variances at 2078 Avenue Road.  In both these situations, the Avenue Road Study guidelines/recommendations are not being followed.  We are asking our residents to submit letters of Objections to both applications.
We sent out an email blast on Friday (May 1) with a template of a letter to send about 2078 Avenue Road to the Committee of Adjustment .  The Committee needs to understand that the residents in this area want the Avenue Road Study recommendations to be honoured for the developments on Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson.
A template is included below of an objection letter you can modify as you wish to state your opinions.  Please modify it as you wish and then fax it to 416-395-7200 or email it to shong@toronto.ca by May 6, 2015.  Please also copy Councillor Carmichael Greb (councilor_carmichaelgreb@toronto@rogers.com and sahratoronto@rogers.com.
SAHRA 2078 Avenue Road 2015 Residents

2088 Avenue Road

Fall Newsletter 2088 Avenue Road
A Community Consultation meeting was held about this proposal to demolish the existing bungalow to construct a new 5-storey business and professional office with two residential units on the upper two floors. The current zoning is “One Family Detached” in By-law No. 7625 – a zoning amendment via North York Community Council and City Council would be necessary to permit a mixed-used building.

The Avenue Road Study (2009) purposedly did NOT re-zone Avenue Road north of Joicey to C4 but the Zoning By-laws 7625 was amended for this portion of Avenue Road to permit home occupations under the same conditions as are permitted in the portion of the study area in the former City of Toronto. This means a live/work use (an office or studio in a portion of the home where it is the owner’s primary place of work)

The position of SAHRA and OOGRA is that rezoning should not be allowed as it will then open up the entire section between Joicey and the 401 for commercial 5-storey development.

We understand the developer will be resubmitting his application…possibly for a 3 storey retail/commercial/ residential building but re-zoning would still be required and it will impact the single family homes in that area. We will keep you informed on Next Steps!

2088 Avenue Road – Community Consultation Meeting – May 4, 2015
A reminder about this meeting  – it is important that Residents attend this meeting if possible to point out to the City that it is our expectation that the Avenue Road Study recommendations will be honoured.

If you are not able to attend the meeting, please forward an email to Ben DiRaimo (bdiraimo@toronto.ca) with a copy to our Councillor (councillor_carmichaelgreb@toronto.ca) and SAHRA (sahratoronto@rogers.com) stating your opinion on this request for re-zoning and the construction of a 5 storey complex north of Joicey, in a section of Avenue which was to remain as residential zoning.  A template is attached that you can modify as you wish to state your opinions.

2088 Avenue Road May 4 Opinion

May 4, 2015 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Armour Heights Community Centre, Room 3 2088 Avenue Road Community Consultation Meeting – northwest corner of Joicey
The City is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments. Proposal You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2014.NY34.68 To speak to the planner directly, contact Ben DiRaimo at 416-395-7119 or bdiraimo@toronto.ca. You may also contact Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb, Ward 16 at 416-392-4090.
Extracts from the Staff Report: The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing single-storey residential dwelling and construct a new 5-storey business and professional office with two residential dwelling units (bachelor apartments) on the upper two floors. The new building is proposed with a gross floor area of 540.3 square metres, of which 153.3 square metres would be intended for ground floor retail, 253.9 square metres for office uses, and 132.7 square metres for commercial uses. The building is proposed with a floor space index (FSI) of approximately 1.7. A total of two parking spaces are proposed within the rear yard of the building accessed from a driveway from Joicey Boulevard consistent with where the existing driveway is presently located.The City’s Official Plan calls for a significant proportion of future growth along the Avenues. Avenue Road between Lawrence Avenue West and Wilson Avenue was selected as one of three Avenue Studies to be undertaken in 2007. The Avenue Road Avenue Study addresses the two-kilometre length of Avenue Road between Lawrence Avenue West and Wilson Avenue. City Council on November 30, December 1, 2, 4 and 7th, 2009 adopted the final staff report for the Avenue Road Avenues Study. The key recommendations of the study focus on creating conditions for smaller-scale, mid-rise developments of five-storeys with limited opportunities for larger-scale developments up to seven-storeys for the area between Lawrence Avenue West and Joicey Boulevard.The function of Avenue Road as a primarily retail-oriented street should be retained and new development or redevelopment will be required to maintain an active retail frontage. However, Avenue Road between Joicey Boulevard and Wilson Avenue is characterized by low-scale, residential uses with some lower scale commercial uses as the primary form of development. The study also noted the difficulty of access and egress to and from the 401 and recommended that this portion of Avenue Road be limited to live/work units or wholly-residential uses. The subject lands are currently zoned “One Family Detached Dwelling Seventh Density Zone – Exception 16 (R7(16))” in Zoning By-law No. 7625 of the former City of North York and “Residential Detached Zone (RD f9.0; a275)” in the new City of Toronto Zoning By-law No. 569-2013. This zoning permits single detached dwellings and accessory buildings, recreational uses, and makes special provisions for home occupation uses.An amendment to Zoning By-law No. 7625 for the former City of North York and the new City of Toronto Zoning By-law No. 569-2013 is required as the R7(16) and RD (f9.0; a275) zonings do not permit the proposed 5-storey mixed-use building. A rezoning application is required to implement the necessary zoning standards that would facilitate the new development. The proposal will be reviewed to determine whether the proposal is appropriate within the context of the area.Other issues identified to date in the review of this application include:
Please join us at this Community Consultation Meeting to state your opinions on this proposed development.
 

FoNTRA letter to Provincial and Municipal Officials on Bill 73: Smart Growth for our Communities Act 2015

On June 2, 2015, The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations which is an umbrella organization currently representing 32 residents’ associations located in the heart of Toronto, forwarded an opinion with Reform recommendations on the proposed provincial Bill 73: Smart Growth For Our Communities Act, 2015.  It includes comments and recommendations related to the TORONTO OFFICIAL PLAN, TORONTO’S ZONING BY-LAW, TORONTO’S PLANNING PRACTICE and TORONTO’S COMMITTEE OF ADJUSTMENT.  FoNTRA observations are given on the key planning reforms proposed in Bill 73 as seen through a specific Toronto lens.
REFORM 1: Conformity of Official Plans with the Growth Plan and PPS FoNTRA supports the prohibition of appeals to the Official Plan on certain specified matters. However, all aspects of the Growth Plan, not just growth forecasts and settlement boundaries, need to be covered. Today, nine years after the Growth Plan came into force in 2006, only 71% of lower-tier municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe have actually brought their Official Plan into conformity with the Growth Plan and, while all 21 upper and single-tier municipalities have brought their Official Plans into conformity, only 76% are actually in effect or partially in effect. The Province’s failure to ensure a timely implementation of the Growth Plan has created uncertainty and con-fusion, regularly exploited by developers who argue that their particular proposal better meets the Growth Plan than the Official Plan which already may be in conformity. FoNTRA recommends that compliance of all Official Plans with Provincial Policies and Plans be required within two years of the coming into force. Once the Province has determined conformity and approved a Plan, related appeals to be defended by municipalities need to be prohibited.
REFORM 2: Global Appeals of new Official Plans While FoNTRA supports in principle the proposed prohibition of global appeals of new Official Plans, FoNTRA recommends that Bill 73 define what constitutes a ‘new’ Official Plan. Toronto has no ‘new’ Official Plan.
REFORM 3: Moratorium on Amendments to new Official Plans by Private Parties FoNTRA supports the moratorium on amendments to new Official Plans by private parties but recommends that the time period be extended from two years to five years. FoNTRA has long advocated a strengthening of both the planning substance and the planning process, as follows: 1) Official Plans should be required to provide population and density allocations in order to offer intelligent guidance for site-specific re-zonings; and, 2) site-specific amendments to the Official Plan by individuals should be eliminated or curtailed in order to maintain the validity of adopted public policy in between the mandatory comprehensive reviews.
REFORM 4: Specified Content of Official Plans FoNTRA supports the requirement to make it mandatory for Official Plans to include the description of measures and procedures for informing and obtaining the views of the public in relation to certain planning documents. However, FoNTRA believes that an even stronger need exists to make it mandatory for Official Plans to describe population allocations and development densities, in order to properly plan for infrastructure needs.
REFORM 5: Review Periods for Official Plans FoNTRA supports the extension of the mandatory review periods for Official Plans from five years to ten years but recommends that this provision apply to all Official Plans, not just ‘new’ ones. FoNTRA recommends that the review period be limited to two years in order to prevent piecemeal ‘thematic’ reviews, as currently conducted by Toronto, of an Official Plan which had been characterized, as follows: “The Plan is an integrated document. For any individual part to be properly understood, the Plan must be read as a whole.”
REFORM 6: Imposition of Development Permit System FoNTRA does not support the proposal to authorize the Minister imposing a development permit system on local municipalities or to authorize upper-tier municipalities to adopt by-laws imposing similar requirements on lower-tier municipalities. While FoNTRA recognizes that development control using development permits can offer ad vantages under certain specific circumstances, Ontario currently lacks the necessary experience gained from a prac-tical application. The few lessons learned from the extremely limited use of a development permit system in Lake of Bays, Carleton Place, Gananoque, and Brampton’s Main Street North Revitalization area have little relevance to the Toronto situation with almost half a million separate land parcels in need of an effective regulatory framework.
REFORM 7: Operation of Section 37 of the Planning Act FoNTRA supports the proposal to require any money collected under Section 37 to be kept in a special account and subject to an annual financial statement. However, the use of Section 37 requires additional safeguards. As outlined above, and contrary to the statutory requirements, Toronto maintains obsolete zoning regulations, in part at least, to generate cash by allowing developments that exceed the prescribed height or density. FoNTRA recommends that the Planning Act limit the use of this tool to Zoning By-laws updated to implement the Official Plan and only for physical improvements that directly increase the carrying capacity of the site to be developed. Absent of these additional amendments to the Planning Act, the use of Section 37 still fails to meet fundamental planning principles.
REFORM 8: OMB to ‘have regard to’ information and material received prior to appeal FoNTRA supports the proposal to require the OMB to have regard to written and oral submissions from the public received by the municipal council or approval authority in cases where appeals arise from a failure of a municipal council or approval authority to make a decision within the stipulated time frame.
REFORM 9: Moratorium on Minor Variance Applications FoNTRA supports the moratorium on minor variance applications following owner-initiated site specific amend-ments to the Zoning By-law but recommends that the time period be extended from two years to five years. A two-year limitation is unlikely to stop this practice for large and complex projects with a lengthy development process. However, FoNTRA does not support a similar two-year moratorium following the adoption of a comprehensive Zoning By-law. As outlined above, Toronto has a large number of legal non-conforming properties whose pre-zoning development standards have never been captured adequately in any Zoning By-law.
REFORM 10: Operation of the Committee of Adjustment FoNTRA supports in principle the proposal to add to the existing four tests for minor variances a requirement to consider any prescribed criteria. It is assumed that this provision relates to the stated intent to define the nature of minor variances through regulation. FoNTRA also supports in principle the proposal to require written reasons for Committee decisions as long as this requirement is better defined. Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment routinely issues written reasons, albeit totally meaningless, since they simply repeat the language of the Planning Act.
In summary, Toronto will not be able to benefit from key planning reforms unless the ten refinements listed above are implemented – perhaps through amendments to the City of Toronto Act. FoNTRA appreciates this public consultation and is ready to discuss its ideas with Ministry staff and at the upcoming legislative hearings.
The full letter can be read here:  FoNTRA Bill 73 Word document

Section 37 Review
Update October 2016:
Councillor Carmichael Greb put a Motion forward at the City Council meeting on Oct 5, 2016 to release $5447.21 of Section 37 monies from the 1717 Avenue Road development in order to complete ($14,000 of signs were installed earlier) the installation of ‘Upper Avenue’ street signs between Lawrence to Wilson. It was Carried.  We have asked the Councillor’s Office for information on the streets to be re-signed.

Section 37 of the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to grant increases in height and density of development, in exchange for the provision of “facilities, services or matters”.  The City of Toronto has used Section 37 provisions for community benefit contributions more extensively than any other municipality in Ontario. Since amalgamation the City has secured $309 million in Section 37 cash benefits and received $212 million in payments and accrued interest, as well as significant additional un-quantified in-kind benefits that may exceed the value of the cash contributions. Gladki Planning Associates was engaged by the City to provide recommendations to improve the clarity and transparency of the Section 37 process for obtaining community benefit contributions at the City.Their final report in January, 2014 integrates feedback generated at workshops with recommendations from an October, 2013 study “Improvements to the Section 37 Implementation Process” also prepared by Gladki Planning Associates.Section 37 Review – Final Report (7) (1)Section 37 contributions were or will be applicable to the following developments within the Wilson to Lawrence/Yonge to Bathurst boundaries: 1717 Avenue Road, 1684-1704 Avenue Road, 228 Wilson Avenue, 4050 Yonge Street and 250 Lawrence Avenue West.

McMansion Wars article
An interesting article published in the Toronto Life in March, 2015 written by Kelly Pullen on “McManion Wars” in Forest Hill. McMansion Wars

Sign ByLaw Information
The Avenue Road Study Report in October, 2009 stated the following regarding Signage on Avenue Road between Lawrence and the 401: “In the Study Area 19 rooftop billboard locations existed at the time of the study.  This concentration of roof signs can be attributed to the low scale of buildings, the heavy vehicular traffic and the relative scarcity of alternative commercial properties with roof sign opportunities on Avenue Road between Lawrence Avenue and downtown.  Both merchants and local residents are of the opinion that this concentration of rooftop billboards detracts from the visual appearance of the area.  The first party signage identifying businesses is generally good quality and well-maintained. The Avenue Road Study recommendation related to this was: “Direct Building staff to incorporate into the new harmonized Sign By-law, if required, a provision to prohibit new third party roof signs on the portion of Avenue Road between Lawrence Avenue and Highway 401.” In 2010 the new harmonized Sign Bylaw came into effect which prohibits any new roof top signs.  Therefore, only the 19 that existed in 2009 and were still in effect in 2010 and any new ones installed between 2009 and 2010 are allowed to continue to exist at this time.  Any sign erected under the previous bylaws exist legally and the City cannot require these signs be brought into compliance with the new bylaw.  If a sign is substantially altered, however, a new permit would be required.  For example, a roof sign existing legally prior to 2010 is permitted to continue in its original form but if it is removed, any new structure would need to get a permit under the new bylaw. So a roof sign would be gone and the old permit would no longer be valid.The 2010 Sign Bylaw (Chapter 694 of the Toronto Municipal Code: Sign By-law Chapter 694

Public Consultation Input on Sign and Billboard Regulations
The City of Toronto is looking for input from the public and business owners on potential changes to the City of Toronto Act and the Toronto Sign Bylaw. The proposed changes would increase the City’s ability to implement and enforce the Sign Bylaw. At the January 8, 2015 meeting of the Planning and Growth Management Committee, staff recommended that Council request the province to amend the City of Toronto Act so that the city’s Sign Bylaw could apply to signs and billboards that existed prior to the current Sign Bylaw being enacted. If approved by the Province, the amendment to the City of Toronto Act could restore the level of authority back to similar levels that, prior to 1983 existed for municipalities in Ontario and that currently exist in other large Canadian cities (e.g. Vancouver and Montreal). In response to the staff recommendations, City Council requested that staff hold public and stakeholder consultations on this request to the Province and report back to council in April 2015 on how the city should address existing non-conforming signs if the Province amends the City of Toronto Act. All residents, property owners, businesses, and members of the public were invited to attend workshops from 7 to 9 p.m. to speak with City staff about their thoughts and ideas on this subject. A brief presentation will start at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, North York Civic Centre Wednesday February 25, York Civic Centre Tuesday March 3, Toronto City Hall Thursday, March 5, Scarborough Civic Centre Specific issues being considered as part of this consultation include:
Both FoNTRA and CORRA have been actively involved with these reviews representing the North Toronto and all GTA Residents’ Associations.Further details on the Sign ByLaws are available at: www.toronto.ca/signbylawunit/
Staff Report March 25, 2015
A Staff Report is being submitted to the Planning Growth and Management Committee on April 13, 2015.  Then it may be referred back to staff for further information or study or it may be forwarded on to Council for further debate.Sign By-law Potential Amendments April 2015The Recommendations are:
1. City Council request that the Province of Ontario amend Subsection 110(1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, to provide increased authority for the City to regulate the operation of existing advertising devices, including signs; and, 2. City Council request that, following amendments to Subsection 110(1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Chief Building Official and Executive Director, Toronto Building engage in further consultation with stakeholders and members of the public concerning what regulations should be applied to existing non-conforming signs.

Ward 16 Parks
The Parks, Forestry and Recreation department of the City of Toronto provided the following information in response to SAHRA’s request for information for further information after reviewing the ‘Park Plan 2013-2017’. The department prepared a report and maps with the information requested. The current list of capital projects for Ward 16 is based on 5, 10 and 20 year capital plans and informed by legacy strategies, “Our Common Grounds” (2004) and “Recreation Facilities Report” (2004).  As directed therein, much of their attention has been focused on maintaining the state of good repair of our existing assets. The long range plans may change as a result of the impending Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.  Parks, Forestry and Recreation is in the process of hiring a consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive review of the current state of our facilities city-wide to recommend directions for the future.  There will be opportunity for community and stakeholder input later this year.A diagram of all the parks in Ward 16: Ward 16 Parks_2
A diagram of all capital projects for those parks: Ward 16 ParksCapProj_1
The report prepared by Parks, Forestry and Recreation of Ward 16 Parks: Ward_16_Parks_RP_LA_2


Tips for Dealing with the Developer on the Construction of a New House
The Winter 2014 Newsletter contained an insert on this subject as a supplement to the four-page guide in the Winter 2013 Newsletter on dealing with the Committee of Adjustment and the very detailed document prepared by the York Mills Ratepayewrs Association in 2006.  Review this article to understand points you should be concerned about BEFORE the Committee of Adjustment hearing as well as DURING the construction itself.Newsletter Winter 2014 Insert

 

Right-of-Entry Permit – Updated Jan, 2016
The right-of-entry bylaw provides the right to access a neighbour’s property when necessary to make repairs or alterations to an existing structure when the repair is necessary for health and safety reasons. If your neighbour agrees to let you use their property, then no permit is required. Even if there is no permit, the following rules should apply:

If your neighbour does not agree, you must apply for a permit.

Right to enter for health and safety reasons only

Right-of-Entry permit applications will only be accepted if work is to be performed on an existing structure and the repair is necessary for health or safety reasons.

The permit application must include the following:

If your neighbour does not agree, you must apply for a permit.

The owner or occupant of the land to be accessed will be advised by the City of any application to enter the property.  Once the permit is issued, the owner or occupant of the land to be accessed is notified and provided a copy of the relevant terms and conditions.

Once a permit is granted to a neighbour to enter a person’s property to perform repairs for health and safety reasons, it is a Provincial offense for that neighbour to obstruct or hinder access and they can be charged.

Permit application
To apply for a permit, print and complete all of the forms listed below. Access the City website for access to the current version of the forms.

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=424feebc70161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

There are two types of permits: for low-impact work and high-impact work. To determine which permit you require see the information below.

Right of Entry Overview
This form provides a general overview of the permit application process and includes a list of what the applicant needs to submit.

Right of Entry Permit Application
This is the main application form. This form also needs to be completed if you are applying for a permit renewal. Please make sure that the form is completed in full and as accurately as possible. Counter staff will not accept incomplete applications.

Declaration of Responsibilities
By signing this form the applicant declares that he or she understands the obligations under the bylaw and permit and will abide by them. This form also needs to be submitted if a permit renewal is requested.

Right of Entry Pre-assessment
Permits generally take six to eight weeks to issue. Please submit them to the Road Allowance office (see the section ‘Where to contact us or submit Right-of-Entry Applications’ below.

Application and renewal fees

The non-refundable fees for 2015 to obtain a right-of-entry permit are as follows:

Type Fee
 Low-impact (New application) $  294.21
 Low-impact (Renewal) $  162.46
 High-impact (New application) $  1080.90
 High-impact (Renewal) $   356.90

Security deposit
The bylaw requires that the person seeking access to the neighbouring land provide a security deposit in case the land is not brought back to its original condition or there are other damages. This deposit is $500 for a low-impact permit and a minimum of $2,000 for a high-impact permit. The final security deposit amount for a high-impact permit is determined by Municipal Licensing and Standards as part of its application review.

Please note that a low-impact permit security deposit may be held for up to 60 days from the completion of the work and that a high-impact permit security deposit will be held for twelve months after the completion of work.

Only certified cheques or money orders are accepted for security deposits. Cheques are to be made out to the City Treasurer. Please note that no interest is paid by the City on security deposits.

Where to contact us or submit Right-of-Entry application forms:

ML&S Road Allowance

Phone: 416-392-6700

E-mail:mlsroadallowance@toronto.ca

Fax: 416-392-4515

East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue, 3rd Floor

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except statutory holidays

Related Links

Access the City website for access to the current version of the following related links:

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=424feebc70161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD


Right of Entry Frequently Asked Questions

  1. From where does the City get its authority to pass the right-of-entry bylaw?  

The authority to pass a right-of-entry bylaw comes from Section 101 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The authority also exists under the Municipal Act, 2001 for other municipalities.       

  1. Do other municipalities have similar bylaws? 

Yes, other Ontario municipalities such as Ottawa (Bylaw 2005-0025) and Windsor (Bylaw 5711) also require a permit to obtain access to adjoining lands for making repairs and alterations.

  1. Is this right-of-entry bylaw new?        

No, the right-of-entry bylaw is a new city-wide bylaw, which took effect on February 28, 2009. Prior to that, all former municipalities making up the amalgamated City or Toronto, with the exception of North York, had a right-of-entry bylaw prior to the implementation of the city-wide bylaw.

  1. Why is this bylaw being introduced to North York now?           

The main purpose of the new by-law is to ensure that the entire City of Toronto operates under the same rules concerning right of entry. This promotes fairness and consistency city-wide.

  1. If I need to access my neighbour’s land to make repairs and alterations to my own property, do I need a permit?  

If neighbours can come to an agreement on the access needed, then no right-of-entry permit is required. If this is the case, although not covered by the terms and conditions of a specific permit, the provincial legislation still requires that the neighbour granting the entry is given notice and that his or her land is brought back to its original condition.

  1. What kind of work does a right-of-entry permit cover?            

The permit only applies to repairs and alterations to an existing structure, such as a building, fence, or other structure, that need to be performed for health and safety reasons. Plumbing and sewage (which may include drainage systems) not located directly in a building are also covered. Landscaping or other yard work is not covered. Where the structure is a swimming pool, the work is limited to repairs and alterations, which includes maintenance and upkeep and any activities related directly to such work, such as troubleshooting or periodical inspections. It is important to note that repairs and alterations are limited to the owner’s property. The permit does not give the right to the owner to repair or alter anything on their neighbour’s property.

  1. Can I access my neighbours roof under a right-of-entry permit?           

If the work that is to be conducted reasonably necessitates that the neighbour’s roof be accessed, a right-of-entry permit may grant this access. Such entry will be strictly limited to what is required and the property owner seeking the entry, along with his or her contractor, will be responsible for ensuring there is no damage to the neigbour’s roof.

  1. If I need to swing a load with a crane over my neighbour’s property, do I need a right-of-entry permit?              

If your neighbour refuses to grant you access over his or her property, you will require a right-of-entry permit to swing a load or crane over his or her land, as this access implies hazards to both people and property and therefore needs to be explicitly addressed.

  1. If I obtain a right-of-entry permit, do I still need to take out a building permit?              

Right-of-entry permits and building permits are very different things. A right-of-entry permit grants access to carry out some specified work. The building permit facilitates a technical inspection process for work that is deemed to require it. If you obtain a right-of-entry permit, you may or may not need a building permit. Similarly, just because you do not need a right-of-entry permit to access your neighbour’s land does not mean that you don’t need a building permit. If you are uncertain about whether you need a right-of-entry permit, contact us. If you are uncertain about whether you need a building permit, visit Toronto Building to find out.

  1. How long does it take to issue a right-of-entry permit?           

From the moment a right-of-entry application is submitted, it generally takes six to eight weeks before a permit can be issued. This time frame is determined in large part by the notice and consultation requirements of the bylaw, including a ten-business-day period that is granted the owner or occupant of the land that is proposed to be accessed to submit any issues or concerns that he or she may have respecting the entry. The permit application process also includes on-site inspections and a review by the ML&S District Manager, which may include consultations with other authorities or experts. Please note that once a permit is issued, there is also a five-business-day waiting period to allow for notification to the neighbour by registered mail (plus a 24-hour notice that must be provided by the owner seeking entry).

  1. In the event of an emergency, do I still need to apply for a right-of-entry permit?        

In the event of an emergency, where a building, fence or other structure poses an immediate danger to the health or safety of any person, the owner or occupant of the building, fence or other structure may enter the neighbour’s land without a permit or prior consent, but only to terminate the emergency. The person entering must provide notice beforehand, to the extent possible, and act as if a permit were in place. Afterwards, unless the neighbour explicitly waives this requirement, the owner or occupant who entered the land must apply for a permit retroactively for the work already performed as well as for any additional work that still needs to be done. This requirement includes permit fees and security deposits. Note that in the event of an emergency, in which City staff are made aware of the matter, an Officer may exercise his or her right to issue an Emergency Order under Section 15.7 of the Building Code Act, and if necessary take City action to terminate the emergency.

  1. Who can access a neighbour’s land under a permit?  

Only the persons or companies listed on the right-of-entry permit can access the neighbour’s land. If the owner or occupant of the land being repaired or altered wishes to have access to his neighbour’s land to do or inspect any work, his or her name must be included in the permit. Contractors need not specify the name of individuals. All persons or companies exercising the right-of-entry must identify themselves if asked by the owner of the land being accessed or a City Officer.

  1. What should I do if I have a right-of-entry permit and my neighbour still refuses to grant me the required access?             

If you have a right-of-entry permit and comply with all of its terms and conditions, and your neighbour still refuses to grant you the required access, contact the Manager or Supervisor indicated on your permit. An officer will be dispatched to advise your neighbour that he or she is in contravention of the bylaw and failing compliance may be subject to fines and other proceedings. The City will then take action to enforce the bylaw and its permit. Damages resulting from the non-compliance of the neighbour, however, are a civil matter and would have to be pursued by the permit-holder in court.

  1. What should I do if my neighbour, or his or her contractors, access my land without my agreement, and without a right-of-entry permit or another separate legal right to do so? 

In the event that a neighbour enters onto land without consent, a permit, or under a separate legal right to do so (as discussed in Question No. 16), he or she may be trespassing under the Trespass to Property Act. You may advise your neighbour of the requirements under the bylaw and refer him or her to our web site or to our offices for more information. Trespassing, however, is a police matter.

  1. How can I renew my right-of-entry permit? 

If there are circumstances beyond your control that necessitate you extend the period of access beyond the date indicated on your right-of-entry permit, you must apply for your permit’s renewal. A renewal application must be filed before the original permit expires. If the permit expires prior to your renewal being issued, you may be asked to cease any access until the renewal is issued. Renewals applications are filed like original applications and are subject to the same time lines. The fees for a permit renewal are lower than for a new application.

  1. How does a separate right-of-entry power affect the requirement for a right-of-entry permit?

The bylaw does not affect a separate right-of-entry power that your neighbour already has over your land (e.g., an easement or easement agreement registered on title). The easement allows a specified use of a part or parts of your property and is subject to the terms and conditions set out in the document creating the easement. The existence of a separate right-of-entry power just gives the neighbour additional options to consider depending on the scope of the easement and the required access. Any access pertaining to repairs or alterations not covered by the easement is subject to the right-of-entry bylaw and may require a permit, if consent is not otherwise obtained. The owner making the repiars or alterations, at his or her option, could also proceed under the right-of-entry bylaw without relying on any applicable easement for any part of the required access.

  1. What does the security deposit cover?           

The security deposit is intended to “provide compensation for any damages caused by the entry or by anything done on the adjoining land.” Generally, damages refers to the physical damage done to a property and they usually occur when it is not brought back to its original condition. Such damages, however, may also include the loss of potential revenues in the case of commercial properties.

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=4f2d529d2ca71410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=424feebc70161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Dealing with Committee of Adjustment Applications

Useful Guide to North York Committee of Adjustment
We thank Councillor Karen Stintz for allowing us to publish a four page “Guide to the North York Committee Of Adjustment” prepared by consultant, Linda McCarthy.  This is a great introduction and summary to the often mysterious and sometimes intimidating Committee of Adjustment policies and procedures.  
Linda McCarthy is available to assist Ward 16 residents with their interactions with the Committee Of Adjustment on behalf of Councillor Stintz’s office (see Page 4). C of A Guide_1

A document prepared by the Lytton Park Residents’ Organization entitled “Residential Development/Renovation Proposals: Working through Committee of Adjustment and Ontario Municipal Board Hearings – Best Practices/Lessons Learned.
coa-and-omb-lpro-flyer-jan-2016
An article prepared by the Teddington Park Residents Association and distributed by CORRA on “Minor Variance Applications – 5 Nuggets of Wisdom”
This past year our Neighbourhood has seen a spike in the number of minor variance applications at the Committee of Adjustment.  Many of the decisions approved variances that our Association believed would threaten the physical character and stability of our neighbourhood.

We appealed three COA decisions to the OMB and the experience and outcomes have all been different.  The OMB process is difficult, frustrating and upsetting.  But in order to reconsider or reaffirm a Committee decision, we all have to deal with the OMB.
Based on my most recent experiences, here are 5 nuggets of wisdom I would like to pass along: 
Do not despair.  The human face-to-face contact with the OMB armed with counsel and a planning consultant make evident the seriousness of the matter to your residents, your neighbourhood, the developer/applicant and the Board member adjudicating.  We can win.  And even a loss teaches us how to be better prepared for the next time.
The onus to satisfy the 4 tests for a minor variance rests with the developer/applicant.  These tests are onerous when properly applied and justification needs to be demonstrated not by you but by the developer/applicant. Hammer this point home over and over and over again:  “The applicant has not shown….”
Be wary of large study areas that are not rigorously supported by property statistics and photos that represent the streetscapes. This is the number one way that developers/applicants will use to stretch their case.  The planning consultant’s use of a study area underpins their opinion, judgements and conclusions.  For stable neighbourhoods, the planned context is the existing context and from this we should expect the numerical property data be presented for all properties of the study area for proper analysis.
Density matters.  For residential properties under the City of Toronto zoning by-law 438-86, density is a product of the lot area.  And from the OP, density is an essential standard in defining character for a neighbourhood. The average density, and the number and percentage of homes below the requested density variance are numerics that matter.  And if these numerics do not support the variance request how then can we conclude the proposal respects and reinforces the physical character and stability of the neighbourhood?  Again we must hammer this point home.
Share positive OMB decisions.  Knowing about, and understanding positive OMB decisions enable each of us to be better prepared when we must go in front of the OMB.  With that said, attached is the Philipov v. Campbell (241 Golfdale Road) PL081436, June 24, 2009 OMB decision and order delivered by J. Stefanko dismissing the applicant’s appeal seeking a density of 59.9% and reaffirming the COA approval of 50% in a residential R1 0.35 zone. Residents and neighbourhood defenders do receive positive decisions from the OMB.  But, we need to leverage these wins collectively to spread the word that these decisions do exist and to use them to improve our performance. Please share your OMB wins with CORRA—by forwarding the OMB PL No., date of the decision/order, the address of the property in question, and the adjudicator’s name to corratoronto@gmail.com along with a short commentary to help everyone understand the context of the decision. In this way, CORRA will begin a shared library of annotated OMB decisions to help residents and resident associations make a difference. Eileen Denny, President Teddington Park Residents Association Inc.
York Mills Ratepayers Association Guidelines for Dealing with Committee of Adjustment Applications © 2006 York Mills Ratepayers Association
Published by the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association by permission of the York Mills Ratepayers Association
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO READER:  The information provided in this article is a brief summary for informational purposes only and is only applicable with respect to the Committee of Adjustment (North York) in the City of Toronto. It is not meant to be legal advice. If you require information or advice as it relates to your individual circumstances you are advised to consult with your own lawyer.
Table of Contents:
A.  INTRODUCTION
B.  COMMITTEE OF ADJUSTMENT-MINOR VARIANCES &
 CONSENT APPLICATIONS FOR SEVERANCE
C.  STEPS YOU MUST TAKE QUICKLY
D.  WHAT COA HANDLES AND WHAT IT DOESN’T HANDLE
E.   KEY LEGAL FINDINGS
F.  A PPEALS OF COA DECISIONS TO THE ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD (OMB)
A.    INTRODUCTION
This guideline was prepared for York Mills residents when considering an objection to an application for a minor variance and when appearing before the City Committee of Adjustment (COA). The YMRA Executive has a responsibility for assisting residents helping ensure that the development of our York Mills Area is in keeping with the Intents stated in the City’s Official Plan and zoning bylaws as well as the Association’s Articles of Association. We live in what has been described by one homeowner as “a lovely community”.  Some streetscapes have and are still changing as a result of redevelopment and/or renovation of specific properties.  Over the years the Association has encouraged property owners to respect and appreciate the characteristics of their neighbourhood as conveyed by the definitions and regulations stated in the City’s Official Plan and implemented through the applicable zoning bylaws.  In the course of this, homeowners and the YMRA may participate in COA and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) public hearings and processes. Beyond this, however, ratepayers must remain involved, particularly after an OMB decision, and monitor negotiations that can occur between a developer and the City Planning staff in the preparing of the final siting plan or in some cases a site plan. Under the current Planning Act, the City must provide notice 9 days before the Committee Of Adjustment (COA) hearing.  When a notice is received that someone in your neighbourhood is applying for variances at the Committee Of Adjustment (COA) you, and any of your concerned neighbours, must move very quickly to determine whether you have any questions and/or objections to the application.  During these 9 days, you must determine what the applicant is planning to do, what variances the applicant is asking the COA to approve and how the proposed variances may affect your and your neighbourhood.  Note that your local Councilor and the COA Planning Staff recommend that the Applicant meet with immediate neighbours prior to the COA hearing on their Application.
B.    COMMITTEE OF ADJUSTMENT-MINOR VARIANCES & CONSENT APPLICATIONS FOR SEVERANCE
The role of the Committee of Adjustment is to provide flexibility in dealing with minor adjustments to zoning by-law requirements. To approve such variance, the Committee must be satisfied that these 4 critical points are followed:
  • the variance requested is minor
  • the proposal is appropriate for the development of the land and/or building
  • the general intent and purpose of the City’s Zoning By-law are maintained and
  • the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan are maintained.
CATEGORIES OF VARIANCE APPLICATIONS YMRA OPPOSES: Except in special circumstances, the YMRA would oppose applications to the COA for variances including:
Changes that do not conform to the applicable zoning bylaw respecting length, height and set-backs. Changes contrary to emerging municipal planning direction with respect to the provision of municipal and emergency services. Changes having to do with below grade garages.  Apart from drainage and aesthetics, other concerns include safety, snow clearance and neighbourhood preferences. Loss of greenspace. Loss of privacy due to intrusions from length variances, sideyard set-back variances and balcony variances. Loss of line of sight from length, sideyard and height variances.
The Committee Of Adjustment forms its opinions through a detailed review of all material filed with an application, letters received, deputations made at the public hearing and results of site inspections. Apart from the “Steps You Must Take Quickly” (below), the Association has a longstanding policy which permits its President or, if delegated, the Chairman of the YMRA’s development committee to have the authority to communicate with the COA on applications which arise between Executive meetings. This permits the YMRA to register initial opposition to those items we feel critical to maintaining the character of the community – height- length of dwelling, side-yard setbacks, below grade garages, third storey, first floor elevation, density, lot coverage and lot severances.  The policy also permits us to have sober second thoughts at the next meeting of the Executive and drop our opposition, if appropriate.
C.    STEPS YOU MUST TAKE QUICKLY
Read the Notice Of Application and visit the site so that you can visualize what the applicant is planning and if you decide the application meets the 4 critical points listed in Section B. Read these YMRA GUIDELINES thoroughly; confirm that the variance application is within one of the categories (see Section B) that the YMRA usually objects to. Call the North York COA planner involved with the application (name & tel # are on the notice). Request a copy of the site plan, the proposed building elevations and previous COA decisions in your neighbourhood. Ask whether there are any Staff reports on this application. Outline your concerns; perhaps the Staff will have suggestions. Call the Applicant and discuss what questions you want answered, including”why” the Applicant is asking for specific variances and you can explain how you think his variances might affect you. Is the applicant willing to accommodate your concerns and alter their application? Discuss the Application with your neighbours so that you can share your questions, concerns, and information gathering. You may ask our Councilor, to assist you in getting more information and give you his/her support in objecting. Prepare a letter of objection to the COA. You must address the specific variances being sought and describe how each could impact on your property and not just say that you don’t want the variances granted.  If there are any objections, the more who write, the more likely the COA will be responsive to your concerns.  Letters can be faxed to the COA.  Copy the Councillor with any letters you and your neighbours write. It is always better to attend and speak at the COA hearing, in addition to sending your written comments.  The COA members may ask you questions and you may respond to comments made by the Applicant at the hearing. Following in this document is a more detailed discussion of various items that the COA deals with and examples of how they may be handled.  York Mills Ratepayers Association is part of Ward 25 and may be able to assist you in dealing with COA matters in your neighbourhood.
D.    WHAT COA HANDLES AND WHAT IT DOESN’T HANDLE
1.      MINOR VARIANCES & CONSENT APPLICATIONS FOR SEVERANCE Zoning regulations depend on area; most properties in our area are zoned R3 & R4.
The Application for Variance notice should show exactly what the Applicant is seeking versus what current zoning allows (which is shown below ). General Variance Information:
  • Front = 7.5 meters (24.6ft) from front property line
  • Each Side, from property line for 1-storey = 1.2m (3.94ft) 2-storey = l.8m (5.9ft)
  • Back = 9.5m (3 l.l7ft) from rear property line
  • Building Height Flat Roof =8.0m (26.25ft) Other Roof = 8.8m(28.87ft)
  • Building Length = l6.8m (55.l2ft) maximum but extension to l8.9m (62ft) is possible subject to several conditions
  • Elevations above grade = 1.5m (4.92ft)- elevation of centre line of road (established grade) at centre point of lot
  • Lot Area = a minimum 550 sq m (5920 sq ft) for R4 & 690 sq m (7427 sq ft) for R3
  • Lot Coverage = 35% of lot area-all buildings incl garages/sheds
  • Below grade garage = if under 45’  frontage & driveway slope under 10% & stormsewers exist
  • Front yard coverage = 50% maximum hard surface
  • Driveway width = max 6m (19.69 ft) or width of garage
  • Parking pads = none allowed in North York
Mitigating factors are below. Some variances may be allowed “technically” due to:
  • Shape of lot
  • Lot size
  • Position on lot relative to adjacent homes
  • Grade of Lot (all directions)
  • Grade of roads
The items below are sometimes raised but technically are the responsibility of Site Plans & Technical Services.  Nevertheless, you should discuss with the COA Planner if you think these items have a bearing on the specific application.
  • Adequacy of roads, vehicular access, parking & loading
  • Adequacy of utilities & municipal services
‘HARDSHIP” REASON:  Typically a claim by an applicant of “hardship” is not a legal or valid reason for the COA to grant a variance.  An applicant may claim that if variances are not granted to them, it will impose “hardship” on them and/or their families.  Someone who buys an older house and plans to knock it down or remodel it may claim that he has invested a lot of money in buying the house and if he cannot get the variances to build/remodel as he wishes to, it will cause him hardship.  Our response to this is that anyone buying a property (including their real estate agent and their lawyer) should know the zoning regulations for that property prior to their purchase and be prepared to build/remodel within those regulations. It is possible to have some individual family “hardship” situations arise that might be of a minor variance nature but these are few and far between.  An example might be a need to construct a special ramp for a wheelchair or other mobility vehicle for someone who is incapacitated and which proposed new ramp might require a minor variance.
2. MINOR VARIANCE Question. What is the definition of “minor”? Answer. There is no specific legal definition of “minor” in terms of variances.  There are two quotations from a 2006 OMB case and the 2005 Ontario Superior Court that  deal twith the term MINOR VARIANCE. The quotations from these 2 cases provide only a  general guideline. The answer for a particular case depends on the specific facts of the  application. a. EXISTING LOT & EXISTING BUILDING Many existing lots and buildings exist on lots that were legal when built on, but currently are too small, but are “grandfathered in” as “legal non-conforming”. COA will not force such a building to be remodeled to conform to current regulations. However if extensive remodeling is planned (over 50% of existing foundation is changed), it would be considered a new house and current regulations do come into force. For example, the side setback for a 1-storey home in our area tends to be 1.2m  and for a 2-storey home l.8m. If an owner of a current 1-storey building wants to add a 2nd floor then technically the lst floor setback should be expanded by 0.6m on each side; but that just isn’t  going to happen. The concern is to allow a 2nd storey addition that may be narrower than the lst storey and not “loom” over the neighbours on each side. It is a case of negotiation with applicants, neighbours and the COA planners to alter proposed additions to mitigate effects on neighbours, preferably before the COA hearing. b. EXISTING LOT BUT NEW BUILDING COA should not consider any variances for a new building on an existing lot.  Applicant should be aware of existing regulations and should build within them. Applicant should not be allowed to claim any “hardship” in this situation.  In this situation, a proposed new 2-storey house should have a side yard setback of 1.8 on each side and unless the lot shape or something very unusual exists, there seems no valid reason to allow a lesser setback.  See DECISION OF COA (file #A0368/06NY) on June 20, 2006 re 9 Valley Ridge Place. c. LOT SEVERANCE Where applicant seeks to build more than 1 house per lot, by severing one lot into two; or by combining two or more lots and applying for severance to change lot configurations so that more than 1 house per original lot would be built.  There are some localized by-laws in force which mandate “1 lot = 1 house”. For example, by-law 26098 (1981) regulates lots located on the S side of Valley Rd between Bayview Ridge Cres and Bayview Ave, along the W side of Bayview Ave between Valley Rd and Arjay Cres and along Bayview Ridge Cres, Valley Ridge Pl and Bayview Ridge inclusive as a neighbourhood unique to itself by recognizing that the lot frontages and areas are larger than required.  There may be other by-laws in our area.  Contact the Councillor’s office and/or the Communityy Planner named in the Application.
3. REQUEST FOR DEFERRAL
Sometimes the applicant has not provided enough notice/details of their application to neighbours or there is inadequate time to prepare for a COA meeting. If this applies to you, a REQUEST FOR DEFERRAL letter may be submitted to the COA requesting more time to allow you and your neighbours adequate time for review, preparation and possible negotiation with the applicant. Note that the Applicant may request a deferral and be granted it before the date of the COA hearing. Everyone else must request a deferral as soon as possible after receiving the Notice of Application and before the COA hearing date. If unable to request in advance, you can make a request for deferral at the COA hearing (however this is not generally recommended unless you explain why you couldn’t  submit a pre-hearing date deferral request. The COA board will decide whether to grant it or not (another reason to attend the COA hearings in person!).
E. KEY LEGAL FINDINGS
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in a precedent setting case, examined the issue of how the COA and OMB are to handle applications and appeals relating to matters of minor variance. In the particular case, the COA initially ruled that an applicant should not be granted 3 out of 4 severances requested. The applicant appealed the COA decision to the OMB, which then overruled the COA decision and granted all 4 variances. Those opposing the variances appealed the OMB decision to the Ontario Superior Court, which then overruled the OMB decision on the basis that the OMB had not  applied the proper legal tests in determining whether to grant the requested variances. (See Ontario Superior Court Of Justice, Court File No.: Toronto 775/03 & 777/0 dated 2005070 and released July 8, 2005). The summary by the Court included the following 4 major points that MUST be satisfied in order to be granted:
  1. Be a minor variance
  2. Be desirable, in the opinion of the committee (COA) for the appropriate development of use of the land, building, or structure
  3. Maintain, in the opinion of the committee (COA), the general intent and purpose of the zoning by-law, and
  4. Maintain, in the opinion of the committee (COA), the general intent and purpose of the official plan.
As a follow-up the case above, the Superior Court sent the case back to the OMB to reassess the 3 contentious requests for variance under these 4 major guidelines.  The OMB decision was issued June 27, 2006 (some 2 ½ years after the original COA hearing and likely cost well over a hundred thousand dollars).  The details of the subsequently revised OMB decision are defined under OMB Decision 1848 File No. V030264 (35 Green Valley Road).  Noteworthy is that this time, each of the 3 denied variances were discussed in terms of the 4 guidelines.  This time, instead of just granting all 3 variances as requested by the Applicant, the OMB granted only 1 completely; denied 1 completely and while granting the 3rd (now much reduced in scope) imposed various conditions on it. As shown in the above example, when the OMB applied the proper four tests, it came to a different decision from when it first examined the case. Therefore when you prepare any objections to the COA for requests for variances it is highly recommended that you refer to the four key points as the legal reasons supporting your arguments for or against proposed minor variances. In a recent COA decision the objection by the YMRA to the applicationfor variance Was successful against a request for variance and the COA in its written decision specifically relied on a summary of the above 4 points (A0368/06NY). This particular decision not only focused the issues to the COA members, but also provided appropriate wording for preparing replies on future applications for variances.
F. APPEALS OF COA DECISIONS TO THE ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD (OMB)
Under current Provincial legislation, any decision of the COA (or for that matter the North York City Council) regarding zoning & variances may be appealed to the OMB. This includes applicants and those opposing the applications. Appeals to the OMB can become relatively costly, beyond an appeal file cost of some $125.  Usually there are costs for a lawyer, a professional planner, perhaps a traffic expert.  In the past most appeals to the OMB have been by developers with relatively “deep pockets” and can add up to many thousands of dollars in cost.  In cases where major community precedents are involved, and the City has been involved in opposing the COA application, the City might lead the appeal to the OMB.  As well, the YMRA might be able to assist with the appeal to the OMB.  Fund-raising in the community/neighbourhood usually is necessary.  In some cases where decisions impact on more than just one small neighbourhood, hundreds of homeowners and more than one Ratepayers Association may be involved. To appeal any COA decision to the OMB, you must write a letter to the COA and pay the required fee (currently $125).  One letter to the COA, initiating a neighbours’ appear to the OMB of a COA decision grating some variances, outlining why the COA decision was incorrect and is being appealed serves as a good model (9COAfile No. A0253/06NY re 57 Roslin Avenue). –end–


The $10K Chimney Surprise!
Some ‘small house’ residents have already been through the experience of learning about the Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code and Ontario Regulation 212/0 – Gaseous Fuels!  Their furnaces have been or have been threatened to be ‘red-tagged’ as their chimney is used for venting of gas furnaces/boilers or gas fireplace logs/inserts…because a new house is going to be built/or has been built on their chimney side.  They have learned that they have no recourse but to proceed with extending their chimney or replacing their gas-fueled systems at their own cost!

The Code says “Natural (gravity) and motor induced draft type gas burning appliance chimney installed closer than 8’ from the vertical wall, must extend a minimum of 2’ above the roof placed over that wall.” The City’s minimum required side yard setback is 1.2m (3.94’) so the 8’ requirement would never be met.The City’s maximum building height is 8.8m and variances are now being granted in Ward 16 for over 9.3m.  In a common bungalow or storey-and-a half and in some cases even an old two-storey situation, this would call for extending the chimney height from the roofline to a height which is not feasible unless bracing was installed.  Some homes in our area have actually done this.  The alternative is that the furnace/boiler must be replaced with a new unit that can be direct vented through the outside wall; gas fireplace units also need to be replaced (if feasible) with direct vented models.  The cost for doing this can range between $6,000 to $10,000….an unforeseen expense for the ‘small house’ owner (is now also impacting two-storey homes).
There are many more small home owners that may not even be aware that they are facing potential problems and major costs due to this issue…..they won’t be aware of the problem likely until the situation is noticed by a gas provider or servicer.  Enbridge or the service provider will then be obligated by virtue of their license requirements to ‘red-tag’.  This means that the homeowner has to ‘correct’ the situation within 45 days or their gas supply will be cut off.

Back in 2009, Bob Aaron (Aaron & Aaron, Barristers and Solicitors) reported on the ‘Benjamin problem’ and the results of the City of York appeal to the Ontario Court of Justice back in 1995.  He has questioned whether Justice Dennis Lane’s ruling was correct in law.  If so, he has suggested that Queen’s Park should amend the Building Code Act.  See the December 26, 2009 article titled
“Aaron:  Amend code to protect innocent neighbours” (extracted/see below).This has already affected a number of homes in Ward 16 and 15 but any ‘small house’ owner in this situation across the city could be ‘red-tagged’ at any time.  For this reason, we have presented this issue to both FoNTRA (the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Association) and CORRA (the Confederation of Resident and Ratepayer Associations).  They have agreed that this is an important issue and are now organizing Ontario Building Code Change Request submissions to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Building Branch) (MMAH) by all of their member associations and residents within their respective areas.
A template for an Ontario Building Code Change Request form has been prepared (click below for a MS version of the document) with all the required information for the MMAH.  We need all concerned citizens to submit a Request so the MMAH realizes that this is an important issue that needs to be dealt with under the Ontario Building Code.  Modify the Contact Information on Page 1 of the Request Form and then email the modified Request to Alek Antoniuk at the MMAH (alek.antoniuk@ontario.ca). Please contact sahratoronto@rogers.com if you have questions or need further instructions.
The MS Word document that you can download for your contact updates: Ontario Building Code Change Request
Please help in highlighting the issue to the MMAH so that an appropriate Building Code change is put in place that will make the developer responsible for funding the necessary work that an adjacent property would be forced to do to comply to Code and TSSA safety regulations.Aaron: Amend code to protect innocent neighbours
Last week’s column told the story of the illegal chimney on a north Toronto bungalow owned by Ruta Benjamin and her husband.When the house next door to the Benjamins’ was torn down in 2007 and a monster home erected in its place, the couple discovered that their chimney was now lower than the roofline of the new house next door and too close to it.   Suddenly their chimney became illegal.   The column brought some interesting email responses.
Bernadette Celis, communications advisor with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), explained why the Benjamin chimney became illegal: as a result of the construction of the new house, the chimney on their bungalow was in violation of the Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code and Ontario regulation 212/0 – Gaseous Fuels.   The code requires a fuel distributor to report to the TSSA when it finds a contravention or hazard. In this case, since the Benjamin chimney was less than two feet higher than the roof next door and less than 10 feet closer to the new house, it became a code contravention.   The code required the Benjamins to make their chimney comply at their own expense.
Was the city of Toronto wrong in issuing a permit, which resulted in a code violation against the house next door? Ray Hewlett, a retired chief building official, emailed to say that the Ontario Building Code applies to this situation.
He directed my attention to Section 8(2) of the Ontario Building Code Act, which states that if an application is properly submitted, a chief building official shall issue a permit to construct a building unless the proposed building…will contravene this Act, the building code or any other applicable law.   To my dismay, I discovered that the city of Toronto acted according to legal precedent when it issued a permit for the new house. That was the permit that caused the Benjamin chimney to be in breach of the fuel installation code.
Prior to his retirement some years ago, Pille Hansen was the chief building official of the former city of York. He emailed me to say that it was his policy to inspect properties for problems relating to chimney clearance in connection with building permit applications.   He referred me to a court case in 1995 about a property on Snider Ave. owned by Peter Alaimo. As chief building official in the city of York, Hansen had refused Alaimo a building permit due to the proximity of the chimney on an adjacent property.   Alaimo appealed to the Building Code Commission, which ruled that the building code requirement that a new permit cannot create a contravention of the act only applies to a contravention on the site under consideration, and not a property next door.   The city of York appealed the Commission decision to the Ontario Court of Justice, and lost. Justice Dennis Lane ruled that Hansen, as chief building official, could not refuse to issue a permit simply because it would create a hazard or violation with respect to the functioning of the neighbour’s chimney.   The judge wrote that the provisions of the Building Code do not regulate adjacent buildings and ordered York to issue Alaimo a building permit.
If Lane’s decision is correct in law (and I have my doubts), then there is an urgent need for Queen’s Park to amend the Building Code Act to prevent innocent neighbours like the Benjamins from being placed in an unsafe and dangerous condition a result of construction on neighbouring properties.   
Email: bob@aaron.ca.  


OMB Information

This article written by William H. Roberts on “You and the OMB” has been published by the the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario.  It outlines some key points to consider in preparing for an OMB hearing.     
OMB-Page-1-pdf[1]

OMB-Page-2-pdf[1]


FoNTRA’s position on Council Request to remove Toronto from OMB
See the  letter FoNTRA sent to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, MPP, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, with copies to City Council, and the Chief Planner.The letter is also posted on the FoNTRA web sitewww.FoNTRA.com Letter-to-K-Wynne-on-Planning-Reform1-2012-02-291111[1]

The following was submitted by FoNTRA to  Hon Linda Jeffrey, MPP, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 29, 2013.
The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) submitted the attached position statement to Hon. Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing  on April 29, 2013. “While FoNTRA shares many of the key concerns regarding the current role and operation of the OMB put forward by the initiators (to amend the Planning Act, the Heritage Act and the City of Toronto Act to abolish the Ontario Municipal Board’s jurisdiction over Zoning By-law Amendments, Site Plan, Subdivision and Condominium Plan Approvals and Community Improvement Plans and appears under the Heritage Act with respect to the City of Toronto)  and supporters of this action, it does not support removing Toronto from the jurisdiction of the OMB since the broader need for significant provincial planning reform is not being addressed by this move.  Furthermore,   FoNTRA sees the right to appeal City Council decisions to an independent body as being of paramount importance in a public process that is to respect procedural fairness of all participants.  Experience has shown that residents are regularly called upon to defend the intent and purpose of City policies (including its Official Plan) and regulations in situations where City Council and/or planning staff fail to do so.”FoNTRA’s key recommendations for a more comprehensive planning reform are detailed in the attached. FoNTRA letter re OMB

“Your Guide to Ontario Municipal Board Hearings”  and “OMB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure” are available at www.omb.gov.on.ca or by calling 416-326-6800 or toll free 1-866-887-8820.


Development applications refused by the Committee of Adjustments for Toronto that have been appealed to the OMB:
200 Yonge Blvd – Application was approved by the OMB
98 Esgore Drive  – Application was approved by the OMB 2 Dunblaine Ave – Application was approved by the OMB with height revision and separation of garage
180 Joicey Blvd – Application was approved by the OMB with increased length to that granted by the CofA.
118 Brooke Ave – Appealed by 116 and 118 Brooke homeowners.  OMB hearing scheduled for April 29, 2014.
Variances granted to developer.
7 Dunblaine Ave – Refused by CofA. Appealed by Developer. OMB Hearing Date scheduled for Thursday, November 27, 2014; neighbours cancelled the appeal after some modifications were negotiated.
214 Yonge Blvd – Severance of lot Refused by CofA on Aug 7, 2014.  OMB Appeal submitted by Owner/Developer; appeal withdrawn by Owner.
200 Ridley Blvd – Re-zoning appealed to OMB by S. Gladstone; Hearing held on Feb 18, 2015; Decision allowed the re-zoning.
243 Yonge Blvd – Refused by CofA for the third time on Sep 4, 2014.  OMB Appeal submitted by Owner Frank Leone; Hearing held on Feb 25, 2015; Decision published on July 13, 2015; PL141116. The Order was that “(1) The variances to By-law No, 7625 in respect to south side yard setback (Variance 4), front porch projection, as modified (Variance 5) and rear canopy projection (Variance 6), are authorized.  (2) The variance to By-law No. 7625 in respect to building length (Variance 7) is not authorized. (3) The variance to By-law No. 569-2013 in respect to south side yard setback (Variance 3) is authorized. (4) The variances to By-law No. 569-2013 in respect to building depth (Variance 1) and building length (Variance 2) are not authorized.”
54 Esgore Rd – Refused by CofA on Apr 23, 2015.
157 Ridley Blvd – Refused by CofA on Apr 21, 2015.
122 Ridley Blvd – Approved by CofA on Jun 9, 2016 but OMB Appeal submitted.
276 Yonge Blvd – Refused by CofA on Aug 25, 2016.
444 Elm Road – Refused by CofA on Sep 8, 2016.

Avenue Road Avenue Study

avenue_final_report
This report summarizes and contains recommendations to implement the Avenue Study for the portion of Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson Avenues. Since 2007, City staff, consultants, the Ward Councillor and members of the local community have worked together to study this area and put forward a framework for new development and the improvement of the public realm on this portion of Avenue Road. The implementation of this study includes an amendment to the North York Zoning By-law to create a new zoning regime suited to this Avenue segment, an amendment to the Official Plan and former Toronto Zoning By-law to recognize an existing ravine park and urban design guidelines to guide development onthis portion of Avenue Road. Read this report to review the 21 Recommenmdations and to review the ten larger and deeper development sites with a proposed height limit of 7 storeys  or 22.5 metres.  The following document is a summary of the ten possible development sites.     Possible Development Sites 30-Aug-11
SAHRA article on Development Under the Avenue Road Study
SAHRA Director, John Ilkiw, has prepared a summary on the Avenue Road Study and their conclusions:
In 2009, the City completed a two-year study for the gradual improvement of the two kilometer stretch of Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson.  The study was undertaken in consultation of the community, including a kick-off public open house held a Lawrence Park on May 1, 2007.  A Local Area Advisory Committee (LAC) was established comprised of five local resident associations, including SAHRA.  Because there is no local Business Improvement Association, business owners expressed their views individually. The study was conducted using five guiding principles based on input from open houses and the LAC:
1.     Maintain the village atmosphere by ensuring that redevelopment and public realm improvements contribute to a more walk-able Avenue Road.
2.     Encourage vibrancy through mix of uses, with retail-orientated uses at grade and a mix of retail, commercial and residential throughout the Avenue.
3.     Maximize opportunities for greening the street through private and public investment including “green” buildings, new parks, and opens spaces
4.     Build on the corridor identity through branding “The Upper Avenue”, creating gateways, public art, signage, new street furniture etc.
5.     Encourage revitalization with high quality development of a modest scale.In accordance with principle five, building developments facing Avenue Road have been categorized under two categories depending on lot depth.  Each category is subject to a 45-degree angular plane restriction. This ensures sunlight on at least one sidewalk until late afternoon, maintains sky view from sidewalks, provides a comfortable pedestrian scale environment and assures a modest mid-rise built form. The majority of lot depths on Avenue Road range between 27 and 37 meters.  The angular restriction means these lots are restricted to a height of five stories (16.5 m). There are ten potential development sites with property depths of at least 40 meters, known as larger opportunity development sites.  The angular restriction effectively limits these developments to seven floors (22.5 m). The recently completed seven-floor development at 1717 Avenue Road, which was approved before the commencement of the Avenue Road Study, provides a concrete example of the angular plane restriction.  This was the first significant development on Avenue Road in almost 30 years. The ten opportunity sites obviously attract most developer attention.  The ten sites with frontage and depths dimensions are summarized in the following table.
Ten Larger Opportunity Sites and Avenue Road
The Beer Store, SW corner of Bedford Park: F: 37 m; D: 58 m.
KFC/Toggery, SW corner Cranbrooke: F: 29 m; D: 58 m.
1648-1660 Avenue Road, NW corner Cranbrooke: F: 33 m; D: 46 m.
1678-1688 Avenue Road, 412 Brookdate, NW corner Brookdale: F: 30 m; D: 46 m.
McDonalds, NW corner Roe: F: 30 m; D: 66 m (variable)
Bruno’s/Drug Store, between Dumblaine and Joicey: F: 76 m; D: 40-44 m
No Frills/Adjacent Retail, from St. Germaine and Melrose: F: 101 m; D: 51-73 m.
TD Bank Site, NE corner off Brookdale: F: 34 m; D: 44 m.
Nissan Dealership, between Cranbrooke and Brookdale: F: 67 m; S: 44 m.
RBC Site: between Woburn and Brookdale: F: 67 m; D: 44 m.

See: http://www.toronto.ca/planning/avenue_road.htm for more information on the Avenue Road Plan.A PDF version of this article:  Development Under the Avenue Road Study.

 

Review of CofA Appeals by Approval and OMB Disposition Type (2009 to 2011)
We found this spreadsheet on the City website.  Some very interesting statistics!

– only 9% of applications were refused by the CofA during 2009-2011
– for these, 72% of the time the OMB upheld the CofA decisions re these applications
– of the under 10% that were refused by the CofA, just over half were referred to the OMB
only 9% of the time the OMB overturned the CofA decision.

C of A Appeals by Approval and OMB Disposition Type

 

Committee of Adjustment Applications

Tracker of CofA Notices and Decisions 2017 Committee of Adjustment 2017 Schedule Calculator

Tracker of CofA Notices and Decisions 2016 Committee of Adjustment 2016 Schedule Calculator Current

2017 CofA Hearings Committee of Adjustment Applications 2017

2016 CofA Hearings  Committee of Adjustment Applications 2016

2015 CofA Hearings Committee of Adjustment Applications 2015

2015 Committee of Adjustment Applications
Dec 10, 2015  1952 Avenue Rd
 51 Belgrave
Nov 26, 2015  111 Brooke
Nov 12, 2015  151 Brooke
Oct 29, 2015  None
Oct 15, 2015  35 Haddington
 111 Brooke
Oct 1, 2015  None
Sep 17, 2015  17 Dunblaine
Sep 3, 2015  None
Aug 20, 2015  16 Haddington (modified application)  Modified; new driveway width of 5.15m (vs 3.35) and only 60.3% front yard soft landscaping (vs 75%)
Aug 6, 2015  1912-1914 Avenue Road  CofA Refused
Jul 23, 2015  None
Jul 9, 2015  151 Brooke (deferred again)  Application modified, eliminating earlier objection point
Jun 25, 2015  None
Jun 11, 2015 395 Elm Rd (Bedford) Severance – Approved
May 21, 2015 None
May 7, 2015 16 Haddington SAHRA submitted objection to Height, Three Storeys, Main Wall Heights, Length, East sideyard setback, front yard landscaping only 52%, double sized decks at both front and back. CofA Refused. Has until May 27 to appeal to OMB; not appealed; rather modifying application and will resubmit.
2078 Avenue Rd Major Objection outline plus residents’ letters. WITHDRAWN.
Apr 23, 2015 151 Brooke Ave SAHRA objection to Height, Three Storeys, Soft Landscaping and Large, High Deck. Have not received Decision; cannot find on webSite; asked Linda to follow-up.  DEFERRED.
54 Esgore Road SAHRA objection to Height, Front Yard Setback, Front Yard Soft Landscaping, First Floor Height, North Side Yard and deck greater than half the dwelling width. REFUSED by CofA.  OMB Appeal Date was May 13/15.  Appealed to OMB.
Apr 22, 2015 2078 Avenue Road Deferred as Building and CofA recognized that the developer as not submitted all the required variances. New hearing scheduled on May 7, 2015.
Apr 9, 2015 None
Mar 25, 2015 427 Elm Road SAHRA objection to First Floor Height (and deck), Length and Height.   CofA only modified the Length allowing 16.37 vs the request of 17.37 (15.3 max).
Mar 5, 2015 131 Felbrigg Driveway extension; non-compliant for front yard soft landscaping (requires 75% vs now only 64%). Allowed but owner to pay for a street tree and permeable materials are to be used for the proposed driveway (already exists).
Feb 19, 2015 148 Joicey Objection submitted re Main Wall Height in support of Staff Report. All approved by CofA.
379 Greer Road No Objection. Linda pursuing why this variance has appeared now and also the over-the-max deck size.
Feb 5, 2015 127 Ridley Blvd Side yard setbacks modified to 1.5m (vs 1.8m) compared to requests for 1.37 and 1.22.  WAIVER
9 Haddington All variances allowed but property is to be developed in accordance with east and west elevation drawings dated Feb 5, 2015.  WAIVER
Jan 22, 2015 127 Ridley (postponed) See Feb 5, 2015.
Jan 8, 2015 None

  2014 CofA Hearings

2014 Committee of Adjustment Applications

Dec 10, 2014  9 Haddington  Builder deferred; SAHRA submitted Objection letter.
 86 Brooke Ave  SAHRA objected to height, lot coverage, front yard setback and first floor height.
Nov 26, 2014  None
Nov 5, 2014  68 Belgrave Ave  No objection letter submitted.
Oct 22, 2014  None
Oct 1, 2014  None
Sep 17, 2014  379 Greer Rd SAHRA objected to first floor height and rear deck width. CofA reduced first floor height to 1.6m (asked for 1.84 vs 1.5 max); the request for the large rear deck variance was removed.
 7 Dunblaine  Owner submitted a modified plan to CofA again (OMB Appeal scheduled for Nov 27, 2014); CofA approved all requested variances including the length. OMB Appeal by Neighbours for Nov 27, 2014; withdrawn with some changes.
Sep 4, 2014  243 Yonge Blvd. Refused by CofA for third time; OMB Appeal submitted by Frank Leone; scheduled for Feb 18, 2015.
Aug 21, 2014  None
Aug 7, 2014

214 Yonge Blvd

Re-Zoning – SAHRA objected to lot severance. REFUSED by CofA.  OMB Appeal submitted by Owner; withdrawn after legal follow-up by SAHRA.
Jul 23, 2014

425 Elm Road

9 variance requests; SAHRA objected to first floor height (1.7), the deck, north yard setback (.91).  All variances approved but first floor height reduced to 1.6m.
Jul 9, 2014

None

Jun 25, 2014

67 Joicey

12 variance requests
Jun 11, 2014

50 Felbrigg Ave

12 variance requests; SAHRA objected to height (9.54), length (19.08)and first floor height (1.95). Reductions height to 9.3 and length to 17.9.
May 28, 2014

145 Joicey Blvd

12 variance requests; SAHRA objected to 6 variances (length, height, front yard setback, front yard landscaping, first floor height); all variances allowed by CofA.

7 Dunblane Ave

9 variance request; SAHRA objected to length (22.09); east yard setback (.61) and front yard setback (8.28); Application REFUSED. APPEALED TO OMB. Hearing scheduled for Nov 29, 2014 at 10 a.m. for 1 day.

165 Ridley Blvd

4 variance requests

115 Ridley Blvd

10 variance requests; SAHRA objected to height (11.6); first floor height (1.81) and balcony area (4.7); all variances allowed by CofA
May 14, 2014

29 Felbrigg Ave

All 8 variances approved
Apr 30, 2014

115 Joicey Blvd

6 variances approved, 2 reduced (lst floor and wall height)
April 29, 2014

118 Brooke

OMB – appeals denied
Apr 16, 2014

None

Apr 3, 2014

8 Heddon Ave

Deck built without a building permit
Mar 19, 2014

None

Mar 5, 2014

None

Feb 19, 2014

260 Yonge Blvd

Front yard setback of 9.56 refused. East side yard setback allowed of 1.5m. 17.82 length (vs 16.8)
Feb 5, 2014

43 Esgore Dr

Additions and detached garage
Jan 22, 2014

None

Jan 8, 2014

None

2012 Committee of Adjustment Applications
Dec 13, 2012 160 Yonge Blvd
131 Joicey Blvd
Dec 5, 2012 416 Elm Rd
Nov 7, 2012 83 Haddington Ave Approved with revisions
Oct 10, 2012 21 Esgore Drive Approved
Sept 20, 2012 21 Esgore Drive Refused; resubmitted on Oct 10
2 Dunblaine Refused; appealed to OMB; Jan 28, 2013 hearing; height revised and garage separated; approved by OMB as revised
Sept 12, 2012 17 Haddington Ave
Aug 29, 2012 74 Felbrigg Ave
June 7, 2012 131 Felbrigg Ave
May 23, 2012 167 Joicey Blvd
May 9, 2012 21 Esgore Drive Deferred; resubmitted on Sept 20, 2012
May 7 & 8, 2013  98 Esgore Drive OMB Hearing; approved
April 28, 2012 170 Ridley Blvd
April 11, 2012 1 Esgore Drive
55 Felbrigg Ave
Mar, 2012 200 Yonge Blvd Refused; appealed to OMB; approved by OMB
418 Elm Rd
Feb, 2012 164 Joicey Blvd
102 Joicey Blvd
117 Ridley Blvd
101 Esgore Drive