Development proposal exposes biased process

[attach]2157[/attach]The development proposal for a 17 storey apartment building at Orchard View Boulevard and Duplex Avenue took an unwanted twist at the [url=]North York Community Council on Aug. 17[/url]. The working group that had been established to negotiate a compromise on the development, community leaders and organizations had understood that their agreed upon amendments would be upheld by Councillor Karen Stintz. However, the group’s amendments were excluded, leaving many in the community extremely dissatisfied with the process.

The development application proceeded to city council meeting on Aug. 25. The community is hoping further amendments will be considered that will reduce the impact of the revised 20 storey building on the local neighbourhood and nearby two storey residences.
ARECA has joined with the Stanley Knowles Cooperative on Orchard View Boulevard in a complaint to the Toronto Ombudsperson. The complaint focuses on a process both organizations see as unfair, unbalanced and biased towards big property owners. The Ombudsperson has been asked to review how the planning department refused to provide timely and accurate information to the community regarding the Orchard View and Duplex development proposal. Here are two extracts from the complaint:

“It seems to us that the rush to meet council deadlines before the October municipal elections became more important than good planning” says Patrick Smyth of the Avenue Road Eglinton Community Association. “It’s always the concerns of the community for the community that get swept away when things are rushed in this way, and concerns of the developers suddenly magically find themselves pushed to the fore and are approved by staff and council in the rush to complete. Our community has been subjected to this kind of residual consideration before.

“The proposal and the way the public has been excluded from the process is an absolute disgrace”, said Katerina Fisher, a member of the Stanley Knowles Cooperative action group. “We will not allow the abuse of process by the city to pass unnoticed, and there will be consequences.”

ARECA will host an All Candidates Meeting at the community association’s Annual General Meeting on Oct. 18, 2010, in the North Toronto Memorial Centre.

ARECA is a volunteer community association representing the views of residents in matters that affect our community in North Toronto. ARECA represents the area bounded by Eglinton Avenue West, Yonge Street, Roselawn Avenue, Avenue Road, St Clements Avenue and Chaplin Road. If you live in the ARECA area please join your community association. To join send a cheque for $20 ($10 seniors) for your 2010 or 2011 membership, along with your name, address and phone number and email address to Avenue Road Eglinton Community Association, c/o Membership Secretary 23 Elwood Boulevard, Toronto M4R 1B8. Note if you wish to receive fax or email updates from ARECA please include these with your membership details or email us at [][/email].