Cranbrooke home to be demolished

OMB overturns committee of adjustment’s refusal decision

335 Cranbrooke Ave. is headed for the wrecking ball.

The property is located north of Lawrence Ave. and Yonge St. and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has approved the demolition of the one-storey bungalow, which would be replaced with a two-storey home.

This is not the first time an owner in the area has sought to build a larger home, and it won’t be the last. The area is full of larger lots with smaller homes, so owners are seeking more coverage.

Last June, Midtown committee of adjustment unanimously denied variances to the zoning bylaws, which were sought by the property’s owner, Coco Bear Developments Ltd. The owner was seeking an additional 350 square feet to facilitate the demolition and construct the two-storey replacement. A 21-signature petition signed by residents in opposition to the variances was presented to the committee.

Neighbouring residents were mainly concerned that any windows on the west side of the house, a raised deck and increased height would mean loss of privacy (looking into neighbouring properties) and loss of sunlight.

The owner then appealed the committee’s decision to the OMB.

Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Anne Johnston (Ward 16) requested that city council send a city solicitor to the board hearing to support the committee of adjustment’s refusal of this application. It would also be customary to send other staff, such as city planners, to back the city’s position. But no planner was in attendance before the board.

"As city planning staff were unable to support council’s position, I canvassed a total of seven outside planners, but was unable to find a planner who would support council’s position," stated the latest staff report by city solicitor Stephen M. Bradley.

Residents had asked Johnston if a planner would represent their interests at the OMB hearing. This was not possible, explained Johnston’s office, because the city did not object to the application at the committee of adjustment, so the city planners were not able to take a position at the OMB. Instead, the city sought to pay an outside planner to testify against the demolition. However, no one agreed.

Only one couple, who lives on Cranbrooke Ave., gave evidence in opposition against the application at the OMB. Subsequently, on Nov. 15 the OMB approved the variance. The issue came back to Midtown community council at its meeting on April 1. Bradley, advised council not to take any further action. Midtown received this report without offering further recommendations.

It will go before city council later on in the month.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: May 15 2003 4:00 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto