Mike went to the Community Working Group last week, hosted by Councillor Davis, where residents from the neighbourhood gathered to discuss the project and the community’s reaction to it in anticipation of the City’s Community Council Meeting tomorrow. The Community Working Group has met a few times over the last few months to talk about the issue and provide feedback to the City’s Urban Planners and representatives from the developer.
Here is a run down from Mike of how things went at the meeting last week:
City planning is not a very clear process and the general preference among local residents, especially those who live in the 2 Secord and 90 Eastdale buildings, is for no new development at all. However, since the land owner/developer has been clear that they are going to pursue their proposed development, and are going to use all of their legal rights to do so, I think the community should be really pleased and congratulated for holding steady in its opposition while also participating in conversations with the City and developer to arrive at a compromise (while holding our noses!).
The compromise means that the City, and through our public participation, we as a community, will be able to keep some measure of control over what gets built here. Because the developer has gone ahead and appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the City is no longer in control of this process (remember in our previous post: the OMB can override the City’s plans and often rules with the developer in planning matters!). Even the compromise solution, which we’ve summarized below, will be permitted only if the OMB says so (yes, the Province’s planning regime is truly that outdated and paternal).
So, the staff report that is going to be discussed at tomorrow’s Community Council Meeting (at the City) is recommending that City staff go to the OMB and support ‘Option 2’, which is, in a nutshell, a compromise plan which the developer is willing to support. Option 2 would mean the following things happen: a new public park at the corner of Secord and Eastdale, a 24-storey (260 unit) condominium tower at the corner of Lumsden and Eastdale (where the existing parkette is), and the demolition of 21 rental townhouses to be replaced by the construction of 22 new townhouses behind the existing 90 Eastdale building. A new swimming pool for residents of 90 Eastdale is also proposed as part of the development, along with upgraded landscaping and other improvements that have not yet been hammered out.