A project for a two-storey retail complex at Bayview and Broadway avenues is heading to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The developer MJB Corporation is appealing both the North York Committee of Adjustment’s refusal of the project last July, and city council’s lack of a decision in a timely fashion on rezoning the former car dealership site.
The proposal is to replace the dealership with: ground-level retail, underground parking, loading area for trucks plus second-level retail for a possible grocery store.
An April 7 neighbourhood meeting to update the community drew a standing room-only crowd, said local councillor Jaye Robinson.
“The residents are really concerned about this development,” she said April 19. “Broadway Avenue is (one of) the most congested local streets in the city and part of the proposal on the south end of the building is an entrance-egress onto Broadway.”
Local resident Wayne Silberman said since the committee of adjustment rejection, the developer has made “minor changes” to the proposal.
“I would say the community is prepared to find a compromise,” said Silberman with the Broadway Area Residents Association. “(The developer) has not been able to compromise at all.
“We are at two ends of the spectrum.”
He said the community would like to see a scaled down project with residential above and retail below.
“If they were proposing something a lot smaller, there’d be less traffic. We aren’t opposed to a drug store or some offices — something that won’t bring 200 to 400 (delivery) trucks a week,” Silberman said April 19.
He said retail of about 1486.4 sq. metres would be more appropriate than the 5,137 sq. metres the developer is proposing for the site.
The developer’s lawyer Robert Kligerman said the proposal is not far off from what’s allowed as of right now.
“It’s zoned commercial. Our traffic study shows there is room on the roads,” said Kligerman of Kligerman Law Firm. “Retail means stores, which means inventory and trucks (on site). The residents don’t want any trucks.”
At this stage, the Broadway residents’ group is looking to raise $20,000 to hire a planner and an expert traffic consultant to fight the proposal at the Ontario Municipal Board.
Robinson plans to meet at the end of April with the project’s residential working group, and representatives from the Broadway and Sherwood Park residents associations.
Once their key concerns are defined the plan is to meet again with the developer.
If the outstanding issues can’t be resolved, Robinson’s plan is to ask city council to send a solicitor and planner to the board to defend the Committee of Adjustment’s refusal of the project.
The ratepayers’ group has a history of the project and documentation on its website.
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