Neon condo fight heads to OMB

Multiple groups pursue decision at higher level, resolution expected in fall

A challenge launched against a 20-storey condominium development to be built at Orchard View Boulevard and Duplex Avenue is going before the Ontario Municipal Board later this month.

Some residents, including members of the Avenue Road and Eglinton Community Association and the Stanley Knowles Housing Cooperative who launched the OMB appeal, are unhappy with the scale of the Neon building and are concerned that the building will overshadow the residential neighbourhood nearby.

“I live in the community,” said Terry Mills, an independent urban planner who also ran against Karen Stintz in the last municipal election. “All I want is to see orderly growth in the area.”

According to Mills, the building doesn’t fit with the rest of the single-family homes in the area and surrounding infrastructure won’t be able to absorb the increase in population. He also says that the features that made the area attractive in the first place are at risk.

Stintz disagrees.

“The city expected higher density in that block,” said the Ward 16 councillor.

The site originally was restricted to a maximum height of 14 stories but the city tweaked the bylaw to allow for additional floors.

Earlier in the process, Stintz said Mills proposed that the condominium have 20 floors, but be made narrower to compensate for the original plan, which was to make the building wider at street-level but three stories shorter.

“He proposed to make the building taller and slimmer and it was adopted,” Stintz said.

Mills said his suggestion to build higher was adopted but that the site, at 30 meters wide, is still too big.

“That … was the conciliatory proposal. Rather than saying no, we were trying to say, ‘this is all we can bear,’ ” he said. “The city has an official plan for intensification, meanwhile they haven’t provided enough detail on how to implement it locally.”

Mills says he’s also worried that developers are utilizing land to build independent silos on postage stamps of land without considering the character of the neighbourhood.

“No one looks at how it all fits together,” he said.

But Stintz says that the North York Community Council actively sought input from residents and that the plan to develop the ward reflects that.

The OMB is expected to announce its decision by fall.


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Posted: Jul 27 2011 1:02 pm
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One thought on “Neon condo fight heads to OMB

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:23 pm
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    “He proposed to make the building taller and slimmer and it was adopted,” Stintz said.

    Stintz says what she likes, with no reference to what actually happened. The community proposed a conciliatory plan but according to the developer, and the developer’s lawyer, it wasn’t even presented to them. Stintz tried to cajole, scare and intimidate a small hand-picked group to force this plan through Council. ARECA, the 22 year old organisation that has worked with the community since 2002, and Terry Mills, tried to inject proper and unbiased local input, but all efforts were ignored by the local councillor. Even the tiny EPRA has been ignored! Worst of all, the immediate neighbours in the Stanley Knowles building have been treated very unfairly. The proposed density of 11 times coverage is greater than the Minto building and anything in the designated Growth Center where this type of intensification should be directed. It is painfully obvious that Stintz and her staff are incapable of understanding planning issues and disrespectful to hundreds of local residents. For as long as we have inconsiderate local representation, we will always need the OMB.

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