OMB Decision – 250 Lawrence Ave W
A Community update prepared by the Lytton Park Residents’ Organization
The long-awaited decision of the OMB/LPAT has arrived. Below you will find a copy of Member Gerald Swinkin’s Decision regarding the Appeal by 2418832 Ontario Inc., and 2419732 Ontario Inc. (PL161134) – Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Applications – 250 Lawrence Avenue West and 219 Glengarry Avenue
In spite of all our efforts, Mr. Swinkin has allowed the Appeal to amend the Official Plan which had been appealed due to the “Failure of City of Toronto to adopt the requested amendment.”
We are very disappointed in the outcome.
As you know, we were concerned that if the residents’ associations didn’t get “Party Status”, the issues would get negotiated and settled between City Planning, the Councillor and the Developer without our input.
THANK YOU – Your generous donations allowed us to be “Parties” and retain both a lawyer and planner to represent the community at the Hearing. In addition, our standing as resident groups was bolstered by the number of our residents who made outstanding deputations as “Participants”. Special mention also goes out to those who gave of their time and expertise to prepare our case, and the many who attended the Hearing: some for one afternoon; others for the entire hearing. As a community we came together solidly and made certain that the Developer, our Councillor and City Planning and Legal had a complete, clear understanding of our position on the development.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT MADE A DIFFERENCE – Our involvement and strong opposition directly impacted the developers’ plans of building a 12-storey condominium. Instead, the building will now move forward as a 9-storey building with greater set back from the ravine, 159 units versus 264 and improvements to the publicly available parkland and pathways leading to the ravine.
These are not the results that we had hoped for, but without our efforts we are certain that the City would have settled for a more robust building. We can all be proud of our contribution. We certainly did all we could to achieve a different outcome, and be assured that we will continue to be engaged as the development phases go forward.
MOVING FORWARD – As a result of the Hearing, the City has promised to strike a Site Plan Working Group comprised of local residents to be involved in the next stages of planning. To that end, we have been in contact with our current Councillor, and the other major Ward 8 Candidates, to safeguard this commitment.
We are also pleased to announce that residents in the area of the long-dormant Bedford Park Residents Organization, who contributed to the 250 Lawrence West opposition, have come together and are in the process of re-establishing it.
In closing, on behalf of the Lytton Park Residents’ Organization, Old Orchard Grove Residents’ Association, South Armour Heights Residents’ Association, the Bedford Park Residents’ Organization, SCOKE (Saguenay/Caribou/Otter/Kimbark/Edgecombe), residents of Rosewell Gardens, and Bedford Glen we want to thank you most sincerely for your support and let you know that we will continue to work relentlessly on behalf of the community.
Together we a stronger.
Update May 29, 2018
A packed courtroom greeted the OMB/LPAT Adjudicator Gerald Swinkin when he arrived on Tues, May 22, 2018. Over 70 members of the community were present showing our great interest in this proposed development. Over the next five days, 8-12 people attended daily.
Three of our Participants presented their Statements on Tues and the remaining five Participants were heard on Thursday. Thanks to the Participants for their great efforts!
The developer’s lawyer took Tues, Wed, Thurs and part of Friday with the testimony of their planner, Michael Goldberg and urban designer, Mr. Glover. The City’s Planner and Urban Designer witnesses testified on Friday and Monday. Our Expert Witness Planner, Terry Mills, testified on Tuesday followed by closing statements by the City’s lawyer, our lawyer and the developer’s lawyer. The Hearing finished after 6 days on May 29th. We now await the Adjudicator’s Decision.
Thank you to everyone who made a donation, posted a lawn sign and/or came to the Hearing. The three resident associations (South Armour Heights, Old Orchard Grove and Lytton Park) want to thank you all most sincerely for your part in ensuring our community continues to be a great place to live!
We will publish information on the Decision as soon as it is published – could be anywhere from one to four months.
A proposal was submitted in March, 2015 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 for 225 spaces. A pair of 3-storey semi-detached dwellings and three 3-storey townhouse dwellings were also proposed fronting on the west end of Glengarry Ave.
The Preliminary Staff Report dated April 22, 2015 listed a number of Issues To Be Resolved:
- The appropriateness of re-designating the lands from Neighbourhoods to Apartment Neighbourhoods under the Official Plan;
- Evaluation of the proposal with respect to the Lawrence Avenue West Streetscape and its impacts on future potential development along Lawrence Avenue West adjacent to the site;
- Potential changes to the scale and density of this portion of Lawrence Avenue particularly the lands to the west.
- Appropriateness of the proposed number of proposed dwelling units, the housing type and the overall density to be located in this development;
- Appropriateness of the proposed height, density and massing;
- Relationship to lands within the Avenue Road Avenue overlay which permits a maximum height of 7 storeys;
- Loss of commercial gross floor area and employment;
- Organization of the site and the relationship of the buildings to public streets, location of front entrances and open spaces;
- Evaluation of the application by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority;
- Compatibility and fit with neighbouring residential uses, including building type, setbacks, built form and streetscape;
- Evaluation of tree replacement and site remediation;
- Location and design of servicing, overland flow route and trunk sewer modification, garbage pick-up and access to underground garage;
- The number of parking spaces and the design of the parking area;
- The amount of indoor and outdoor amenity space located on site and the need for shared amenity space;
- The adjacency of the development to the Douglas Greenbelt;
- Assessing potential traffic impacts generated by the proposed building;
- The adequate provision of vehicular and bicycle parking spaces; and
- The applicability of Section 37 of the Planning Act to secure appropriate community benefits should the application be recommended for approval.
The Preliminary Staff Report of April 22, 2015: Preliminary Staff Report 250 Lawrence Ave West
SAHRA submitted a position letter on February 1, 2016 to Councillor Carmichael Greb, Planning and the North York Community Council as our opinion was 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 dated Feb 1, 2016: SAHRA 250 Lawrence Ave West letter
Planning advised on Feb 4, 2016 that the development was still undergoing review by Planning Staff who have similar concerns to SAHRA with regards to the proposed development. Planning staff were 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 could be publically accessed by all residents. The applicant had not submitted any new plans to Planning for this development since their first submission.
A Community Consultation Meeting was held on June 8, 2016.
Planning prepared their Final Report for presentation to the North York Community Council. SAHRA. OOGRA and local residents were concerned about this proposal, one of the prime concerns being the height/number of floors.
On June 30, 2016, the Developer submitted new plans. The proposal was now for a 12 storey (39.34 metre high) residential condominium containing 241 dwelling units with 3 levels of underground parking plus two 3-storey semi-detached dwellings fronting onto Glengarry Avenue.
Planning published a Staff Report Action Required as the Developer had submitted an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board due to Council’s failure to make a decision on the applications within the time prescribed by the Planning. Act.
All Reports related to this file are available via this Link:
On April 4, 2017, the North York Community Council approved the Staff Report recommendations to direct the City Solicitor, together with City Planning staff and other appropriate staff, to attend the OMB hearing to oppose the Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendment applications in their current form. It was approved by City Council on April 26, 2017.
An OMB Pre-Hearing date was scheduled for May 25, 2017. At the Pre-Hearing, SAHRA, OOGRA and LPRO were granted Party status. The two Bedford Glen condo boards and several Bedford Park residents were granted Participant status. The Hearing Date was set for 9 days commencing on May 22, 2018.
Revised Plans were submitted again on August 18, 2017. The proposal remained as 12-storeys (39.34 metres high but the units were decreased to 189 and the parking spaces were reduced to 187. The two 3-storey semi-detached houses fronting onto Glengarry Avenue were deleted.
SAHRA, OOGRA, LPRO held a Community Meeting on Feb 13, 2018 to review the proposed development with the community.
Flyer re Community Meeting: 250 Lawrence Community Meeting Flyer Colour
Revised Plans were submitted again on February 18, 2018. The height was reduced from 12 storeys to 9 storeys with an overall height of 29.9 metres to the top of the 9th storey. The number of dwelling units was reduced to 159.
The coalition of SAHRA. OOGRA and LPRO engaged a Lawyer and a Planner in March, 2018. The Expert Witness Statement by the Planner was submitted on April 30, 2018. Six Participant Statements were submitted by the required date of April 30th.
The OMB/LPAT Hearing was conducted over 6 days from May 22-29th.