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Sunnybrook Plaza, 660 Eglinton Ave. E. UPDATE

July 26 OMB PHC#4

About 25 community members attended a one day Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) on July 26th. This session was held to sort out the procedural aspects of which cases would be heard, which can be settled without a hearing, and who would have status to be part of the proceedings which are already scheduled for November 21 to  December 9, 2016. It was Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) #4 for the RioCan appeal of the City of Toronto’s Official Plan Amendment (OPA) for the Bayview Focus Area and PHC #1 for RioCan’s Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) for their proposed development at 660 Eglinton East (Sunnybrook Plaza).

The results of the July 26 PHC were:

  • The LPOA requested and was granted Party status by the Chair.  This means that the LPOA will be able to call witnesses and cross-examine the City and the other side’s witnesses.  RioCan and the City already had Party status.
  • Five individuals requested and were granted Participant status, which means they can make a formal submission to the Board.  The five were: Adam Brueckner, Linda Martin, both residents of Bessborough Drive, Marney Charles, resident of the condominium building at 1801 Bayview,  David Sprague, resident of Hanna Road, and Heather Mitchell, resident of Cleveland Street.
  • The Chair refused to allow a request from RioCan and the City for a mediation, as the Board procedures for establishing mediation had not been followed. From our perspective this was a relief as this might have occurred without the LPOA and residents being part  of the discussion. Now that the LPOA is a Party, in future we will be part of whatever goes on.
  • A date was set for another Pre-Hearing Conference (October 12) when the Issues List (i.e. the topics for which evidence will be brought forward) and the procedures for the Hearing will be decided by the Chair.
  • The next step for the LPOA and the residents is to prepare for the November-December hearing, including submitting what we see to be the key issues for the Issues List, and working with our lawyer and our planner on our case.
  • The other thing that happened was with respect to the OP for townhouses west of Hanna on the south side of Eglinton where the LPOA has appealed the OPA, and a property owner has come out in support of the City. The owner (Lindsay Lorimer) claimed they already had Party status and the Chair did not agree and deferred a decision to the Oct. 12 PHC.


New – Committee of Adjustment Guidelines

Many Leaside residents have experienced receiving a notice from the North York Committee of Adjustment informing them that a neighbouring house is being renovated or torn down, with new construction proposed that doesn’t quite meet the by-law requirements, and the owners are asking for “minor variances.” As we’ve all seen, some of those variances are not minor – and have significant effect, often negative, on immediate neighbours and the streetscape.

So…what can you, as a neighbour, do? We’ve prepared some Committee of Adjustment Guidelines to help you figure that out. Please have a look – and if there are things we’ve left out, let us know, as we’re happy to add more information.


OMB hearing to decide fate of Thomas G. Elgie House

We need your help!

The Thomas G. Elgie House has a distinguished past. But does it have a future? Right now this is a live question.

The Elgie farmhouse and its large landscaped lot is threatened with major change. A developer has purchased the property and intends to subdivide the lot (the largest in Leaside) into three, demolish the back part of the original house, move the front part forward on the lot, add a major addition behind, demolish the north and south side later additions, and construct two new houses, one on each side of the moved heritage house. The proposed re-development would require severance of the existing lot into three; and numerous zoning bylaw variances involving massing, coverage and setbacks. The City has rejected the proposals at each stage, but now the developer has appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. And that’s where we need your help.

The case involves a designated heritage property, the Thomas G. Elgie House and the City has agreed to have a heritage staff person there to defend their decision to reject the development on heritage grounds. However there are also planning issues. The neighbours together with the Leaside Property Owners’ Association (LPOA), have opposed the development, on the grounds that this proposal represents over-development of the lot and loss of the cultural heritage character, both buildings and landscape. The LPOA has agreed to be represented as a Party and to hire a Planner to be an expert witness. The City has agreed to share the costs of hiring a Planner, but that is where you come in.

We need your support to attend the hearing beginning on July 23, 2014 and to assist with the costs of hiring a planning expert. Please consider attending the hearing on Wednesday, July 23 at 10 a.m., 655 Bay St. Suite 1600, and making a donation to the LPOA to support the costs of hiring a planner.