The property owner has complied with an order from the City not to use the footprint of the recently-demolished office building as a surface parking lot.
By Ryan McGreal
Published January 08, 2014
Wilson-Blanchard, the property management company that owns the vacant lot at 20 Jackson Street West, has complied with an order from the City not to use the footprint of the recently-demolished office building as a surface parking lot.
Curb stops around the footprint of the building at 20 Jackson Street West
According to Bill Young, director of municipal law enforcement for the City:
Staff revisited this location on January 6th and noted that curb stops had been installed to prevent motorists from parking on the un-licensed portion at this location. Also staff did not observe any vehicles parking contrary to the by-law.
The owner has now complied with the order issued in December, and this matter is now considered closed.
Staff investigated the site in December after RTH reported that it was being used as an illegal parking lot in violation of a municipal by-law banning property owners from turning demolished downtown lots into new surface parking lots.
Staff visited the site, determined that it violated the bylaw and gave the property owner until January 6 to stop allowing parking on the site of the building, which was demolished in November.
Pile of rubble at 20 Jackson Street West in November (RTH file photo)
The three-storey office was occupied with commercial tenants and a main-floor coffee shop until the summer, when Wilson-Blanchard evacuated the building. Asbestos was removed from the building in September.
According to a Spectator article, company president David Blanchard said the building's elevator and electrical system was "shot". Since the building is not residential and has not been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, the City had no recourse but to approve the demolition permit.
The company has submitted no redevelopment plans to the City, and Council learned in December that the site went from paying $77,667 a year in property tax as an occupied office to just $7,000 as a lot.
Ironically, the moratorium on new parking lots was added to the Zoning By-Law after the same property owner demolished the old Canada Permanent building across from the Pigott on James Street and turned it into parking.
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