Update May, 2018
On Feb 21, 2018 the North York Community Council approved modifications to parking on Melrose Avenue to allow short term parking for the daycare centre.
On May 2, 2018 the North York Community Council approved modifications to parking on Avenue Road to allow 10 minute parking from 7:30-9:30 am and 4:00-6:00 pm for the daycare centre.
Update Nov 1, 2017
In June, 2017 an application was made to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) for parking variances to allow for the building to be leased out as a day nursery for a population of 134 infants to school-age children. SAHRA and OOGRA asked that Transportation Services review this proposal to bring forward recommendations on how best to deal with the drop-off/pick-up situation – this was not done. The CofA refused the application, due to the potential for traffic disruption and concern for public safety. The Owner and Operator appealed the decision to the Toronto Local Advisory Body (TLAB). The Hearing was held on Oct 19, 2017. Councillor Carmichael Greb supported the owner/operator in their application and the appeal, without a defined/approved traffic management plan. The TLAB Decision (attached) was released on Oct 30, 2017.
The parking space variances refused by the CofA are being granted but we are pleased that TLAB has made this approval subject to two conditions:
- The approval only applies for so long as it is used as a day nursery
- Before occupancy, a traffic management plan has to be provided for the handling of arrivals and departures by vehicle of children (including the use of available parking on and off-site) to the satisfaction of the Director of Transportation Planning Services, sufficient to address the safety of pedestrians and the movement of vehicles with a minimum of disruption to traffic flow on the adjacent road network.
Back at the CofA stage, what we were asking for was that Transportation Services be involved before the day nursery opened to develop a plan/sort out logistics as to how they were going to deal with drop-off and pick-up in this location on a major arterial road without causing a dangerous situation and/or impacting traffic flow. TLAB also recognized the problem. TLAB has made clear/strong statements about the need to avoid “crises management” by imposing a condition that the operational management issues are to be addressed NOW, before occupancy.
We see this Decision as supporting SAHRA’s and OOGRA’s original position. This application seems to have taken the ‘long way around’ with expensive-handling for both the City and the owner/operator – all for the sake of not properly addressing the safety/traffic concerns at the time of the original application.
Now we have to hope that Transportation Services will do a good job to ensure that a solid traffic management plan is put into effect for this location.
Update Oct, 2016
To our knowledge, Cresford Developments did NOT submit an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for the CofA ruling on June 9th. It was 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 did not receive a response. The building was then advertised for lease for a 10-15 year period. The Planning Department stated that they had NOT received any Revised Plans.
Update 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 showed 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 showed 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.
Five new variances were added. The new variances related to the length and size of the loading spaces, to the fact that zero step-back was 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.
SAHRA submitted a second letter opposing this application on June 8, 2016 focused on four MAJOR (not Minor) variance requests:
- The outdoor patio not set back at least 30m from the Residential Zone.
- The outdoor patio above the first storey of the building not set back at least 40m from the Residential Zone.
- 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.
- 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.
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 did not understand what impact the refusal of the ground floor patio and third storey patio would have on the project. Cresford Developments had 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 had to wait and see which way they would proceed.
We did not understand ‘why’ the CofA did NOT make Payment-in-Lieu of Parking a condition of the Approvals. We 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 was 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).
Update 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 did not know who the new owner was. Banners were then put up on the building ““flagship retail for lease” under Sutton Realty. 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.
Update 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.