Comment 121155

By RobF (registered) | Posted April 07, 2017 at 21:24:31

Judging by its size compared to the Stuart street property it probably could support more than a 100 units. Given that condos are generally one or two bedroom units, these will cost less than the average home, making them affordable for people commuting to Toronto from the Go Station.

We need a "planning" reality check. I've taken my lumps in the North End defending intensification. But it needs to be done in a way that is sensitive to the existing neighbourhood and surrounding properties. That site was designated low-density residential in the area's secondary plan for a reason: the adjacent properties are single-family homes and the property itself may not be large enough to support high-rise development without contravening the protections accorded to properties in the "stable areas" zone adjacent to areas designated for change (major or gradual).

Any increase above what is permitted by the secondary plan would require an OPA and rezoning, and would need to address the legitimate planning concerns that would arise from neighbouring land-uses in relation to what i've said. The OMB would certainly be receptive to arguments in favour of higher density and greater height, but not without a planning rationale to address other considerations including impact on adjacent properties, etc. These same considerations will apply for the development proposed across the tracks. I'm not saying that a higher-density development isn't appropriate or possible. More that you can't just straightforwardly translate it's within 100m of a GO station into it should be however big the developer wants to go because more density is in the public interest. Our planning framework is more complicated than that for good reason.

And as Shawn states in his article these lands went thru another planning exercise after the GO Station was announced in 2012: the James North Mobility Hub Study. That was specifically done to address where additional intensification resulting from the province's transit investment should go. Some of us attended and participated in the public consultation process for that and have supported the outcome, including the intensification it recommends. Council adopted the study's report in 2014. It didn't identify this as an "opportunity site" presumably for sound planning reasons and recommended it be included in the Strachan Street Green Corridor.

Why do we bother with these planning exercises I ask myself?

Comment edited by RobF on 2017-04-07 21:36:03

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