Planned retail complex draws ire

[attach]1406[/attach]Starbank Development Corp is planning to build a new retail complex at Bayview and Broadway Avenues and is raising the ante by taking the proposal directly to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The project would require demolishing the old Brennan Pontiac Buick GMC dealership at 1860 Bayview Ave. and constructing a two-storey retail building instead.

According to a city staff report the proposal includes:

• 9,863 square metres of retail where only 5,110 square metres are permitted.
• A total of 223 parking spots are proposed but 275 spots are required for a project this size.

This application went to the North York Committee of Adjustment Feb. 17 with strong objection from residents stating it is too dense for the site.

“The residents feel this property is in a significant area of the city,” said Keith D’Souza, who is a residential representative on a working group for this project.

Normally, the Committee of Adjustment decides on minor variance applications and this is not minor, D’Souza told the Town Crier.

“This is approximately three times the size of the Metro (grocery) store at Bayview and Eglinton,” he said.

The issue was indefinitely deferred Feb. 17 when city planners successfully argued a site plan was needed before a Committee of Adjustment decision is made. In early March, the developer appealed the project to OMB.

A lawyer for the developer, Robert Kligerman, said his client is looking for a minor variance or change to zoning to permit this type of project. He said normally that issue is decided first and a site plan is submitted afterwards, not before as requested by the city.

He also said the indefinite deferral at the Committee of Adjustment is the same as a refusal.

“We will ask the OMB to rule on if this was a refusal. If they agree, then we will we would ask the OMB to rule (on the application),” he Kligerman.

No hearing date has been set.