City to fight development too tall for airplanes

Proposed Dufferin and Lawrence complex up to 16 stories

Duflaw Realty Ltd. and the city will do battle at the Ontario Municipal Board over a 1,700-condo unit development proposal in North Toronto.

The developer envisions a four-block residential and retail complex on the northwest corner of Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue West consisting of buildings ranging from 8 to 31 storeys, 14 townhouses, a two-storey retail complex, a new public road connecting Dane and Lawrence Avenues and a park.

City planners and politicians say the project is too tall, has too many units in total but not enough three-bedroom condos for families and that it could interfere with airplanes.

“The proposed development is too tall and does not meet current airport height limits,” a staff report states.

An airport hazard map for the former city of North York establishes maximum heights permitted for buildings around the Downsview Airport. The city has already been renegotiating the agreement with the Bombardier Aerospace, which operates the airport, to update height requirements for nearby buildings. But in the meantime the current bylaw states at this site the maximum recommended heights are about 15 storeys.

The developer is also charging that the city took too long to make up its mind on its proposal. This summer’s strike by municipal workers strike caused a delay of two months in the planning process as planners were redeployed to other duties during the strike.

An OMB pre-hearing was held Nov. 5 and a full hearing will be scheduled for the new year.

When city council met in early December it voted to send a solicitor to the board hearing to fight against the proposal in its current form.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Dec 14 2009 10:33 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto