15-storey St. Clair application heads to OMB

Opposed by city but developer holds out hope for agreement

Opposed by city but developer holds out hope for agreement

Fear of overdevelopment has sent an application for a 15-storey, 130-unit apartment building at 200 St. Clair Ave. W., near Avenue Road, to the Ontario Municipal Board.

In its present form, the proposal by applicants Gary and Jonathan Goldman, son and grandson of Goldman Group founder Murry Goldman, would replace the site’s current four-storey medical office and parking lot with a mix of one- and two-bedroom condominiums, including 10 townhome units on the ground floor, some of which would border Glenn Gould Park next door.

However, the application has been strongly opposed by city planning staff and Ward 22 Councillor Josh Matlow, who said it represents overdevelopment in an area that doesn’t need it.

“In every way, shape and form, it’s a bad plan, one that’s completely out of whack with any policy that anyone can find in any book,” Matlow said, noting residents have complained as well.

A prehearing, the first of three scheduled OMB meetings regarding the application, took place on Oct. 13, while a mediation is scheduled for Nov. 20 and the full hearing for next March.

City council authorized staff to defend the city’s position at the OMB on Sept. 30, while the Goldman family is relying on the Goldman Group.

To support their respective positions, both parties have compared the site to different areas: under city guidelines, 200 St. Clair Ave. W. is located in the northeast corner of a development node that begins on Walmer Road, west of Spadina, ends at Glenn Gould Park, and allows for a maximum height limit of nine storeys, with stepbacks after five.

A December 2014 planning report called the application “not acceptable in its current form,” citing concerns with the building’s height, shadow impacts on neighbouring houses and Glenn Gould Park, and lack of appropriate stepbacks.

But the Goldmans believe the property should be considered part of the Avenue Road and St. Clair node, and therefore held to the same standards as the 20-storey Avenue condominiums at 155 St. Clair Ave. W.

Guy D’Onofrio, the Goldman Group’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said he expects the Goldmans and city staff to reach an amicable solution.

“The Goldman Group has always had what I consider an excellent relationship with city staff,” he said. “They know we’re reasonable, I know they’re reasonable, and it’s just a matter of getting to a point where we can agree.”

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Posted: Oct 12 2015 4:45 pm
Filed in: NEWS