development

Guide to the Committee of Adjustment

Renovations and new builds are a common feature on the streets of Ward 15. Many of these developments require the approval of the Committee of Adjustment, the citizen member board which holds public hearings on minor variance and consent applications in the City of Toronto.

Over my tenure as a City Councillor, I've worked closely with the Ward 15 community to improve accessibility and transparency for residents participating in the Committee of Adjustment process. Though we have made significant progress on this issue, we have a long way to go. I am continuing to advocate for much-needed improvements to the CoA and would welcome additional community feedback.

Last month, Ward 15 set a new record for Committee of Adjustment applications, with a total of 28 separate applications on the June agenda. You can view all of Ward 15's recent and upcoming Committee of Adjustment applications in map format, available on my website, here.

The City of Toronto's general guide to the Committee of Adjustment, available here, is a great resource for neighbours looking to get involved. As a result of motions I put forward this year in consultation with local ratepayers associations, City Planning now has a webpage with further information about Committee of Adjustment processes and participation, available here.

A useful starting point for anyone interested in development is the Application Information Centre (AIC). The AIC is the database for all areas of development projects in the City, including Committee of Adjustment applications, and is availablehere.

The AIC includes all materials that will be considered by the Committee, including the Zoning Notice, architectural plans, and land surveys. Any additional materials, including letters from the community or reports from City Staff, are uploaded periodically in advance of the scheduled hearing date.

In addition to attending and speaking at the hearing, submitting a letter to the Committee is an effective way to share your thoughts on an application. Should you wish to provide feedback to the Committee, letters or memos can be addressed to the Committee of Adjustment, or, if you'd prefer to use a formal letterhead format, to:

Daniel Antonacci
Manager & Deputy Secretary Treasurer
North York Committee of Adjustment
5100 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 5V7

Letters and materials should also be submitted to the Application Technician assigned to the file. The Application Technician's name and contact information can be found on the Application Information Centre Page for the property. Letters can also include visual materials, such as photos of your property, the neighbourhood, drawings or diagrams. In the event you submit a letter to the CoA, please copy councillor_robinson@toronto.ca so I can stay informed. As a general guideline, I would recommend submitting the materials 5 business days in advance of the hearing date.

As the number and scope of Committee of Adjustment applications continue to increase in Ward 15, community engagement in the development review process is becoming more important than ever.

Opposing Bill 108

On May 2, 2019, the Province tabled Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act in the legislature. Bill 108 includes major amendments to the planning processes used to review development applications in the City of Toronto. These changes are incredibly discouraging and, if passed, will have a significant impact on the future of our neighbourhoods.
 
After years of hard work fighting to protect our neighbourhoods and improve the accountability of the planning process for local residents, the proposed changes are extremely disheartening.
 
Over the past eight years, I've moved countless motions to improve the local planning process for residents. As you know, I've been a vocal opponent of the OMB, a quasi-judicial Provincial body that makes the final decision on development applications appealed in Toronto. From the townhouses on Bayview to the high-rises along Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 15 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body.
 
In spring 2017, after significant advocacy from residents across Toronto – including many groups in Ward 15 – the province announced sweeping changes to the development appeal process through Bill 139. This legislation replaced the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions, and enacted new policies to give communities a stronger voice in the planning process.

If passed, the new provincial legislation, Bill 108, will walk back many of the neighbourhood-planning based reforms we fought for as a community. Significantly, this includes a return to the former OMB rules and procedures. Instead of reviewing appeals based on the existing, rigorously researched municipal and provincial planning policies, the revised LPAT would be able to issue a decision on a development independent of the municipalities and neighbourhoods affected.

Bill 108 proposes to reinstitute “de novo” hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to the City’s decision on an application. This change will limit the City’s ability to deny development applications and instead will expand the authority of the province to make decisions that impact our local neighbourhoods, without any consultation. The proposed legislation is essentially a reversion to the format of the former OMB hearings under the new LPAT name.
 
Bill 108 also proposes a major reduction in planning decision timelines. The proposed legislation would reduce timelines for consideration of Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) applications from 150 to 90 days and Official Plan Amendment (OPA) applications from 210 to 120 days. Reducing the time planners have to review applications and report to City Council will ultimately allow applicants the ability to appeal to the more developer-friendly LPAT system much earlier in the process, thereby circumventing the City’s rigorous development review process.
 
Additionally, Bill 108 proposes significant changes to the development charge process. Currently, under Sections 37 and 42 of the Planning Act, developers are required to contribute to neighbourhoods being affected by new development through financial provisions for community benefits such as parks, streetscape improvements, and neighbourhood services. Bill 108 proposes a provincially-determined cap on all parkland and community-related development charges.
 
At the May meeting of City Council, I introduced a series of successful motions:

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While the Province closed the official comment period on June 1, allowing less than a month for the public to respond to Bill 108, the City has requested the Province to provide more time for feedback. The City has also released a comprehensive report detailing the implications of Bill 108. You can access the full report here. In response to my Council motion, an online website and public guide is now available here.
 
I would encourage you to continue to share your thoughts on this concerning legislation with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at minister.mah@ontario.ca.

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Along with my colleagues on City Council, I hosted a Planning Town Hall to discuss the impacts that Bill 108 will have on the City's development review process.  There was a fantastic turn-out at the meeting and Chief Planner Gregg Lintern kicked off the evening with a presentation on how the proposed legislation will affect Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Along with my colleagues on City Council, I hosted a Planning Town Hall to discuss the impacts that Bill 108 will have on the City's development review process.

There was a fantastic turn-out at the meeting and Chief Planner Gregg Lintern kicked off the evening with a presentation on how the proposed legislation will affect Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Update on the Province's Bill 108: More Homes, More Choices Act

After years of hard work and advocacy fighting to protect our local neighbourhoods and abolish the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), I'm extremely disheartened to be writing with an update on the Province's Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act, tabled in the legislature late yesterday afternoon.
 
Bill 108 includes major amendments to the planning processes used to review development applications in the City of Toronto. These changes are incredibly discouraging and, if passed, will have a significant impact on the future of our neighbourhoods.
 
Over the past eight years, I've moved countless motions to make our local planning processes more accessible and transparent for residents. As you know, I've been a vocal opponent of the OMB, a quasi-judicial Provincial body that makes the final decision on development applications appealed in Toronto. From the townhouses on Bayview to the towers at Yonge and Eglinton, most of the development applications in Ward 15 have been appealed to and approved by this unelected, unaccountable body.
 
In spring 2017, after significant advocacy from residents across Toronto – including many groups in Ward 15 – the Province announced sweeping changes to the development appeal process through Bill 139. This legislation replaced the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), a true appeal body with limited power to overrule municipal decisions, and enacted new policies to give communities a stronger voice in the planning process.
 
If passed, the new provincial legislation, Bill 108, will walk back many of the reforms we fought for as a community, including:
 
A return to the former OMB rules and procedures. While the LPAT would continue to function as the provincial development appeal body, the Province is proposing changes in line with the former OMB structure. This legislation would reinstitute "de novo" hearings, or hearings started anew without reference to the City's decision on an application. The Bill would also allow parties to introduce new evidence and to call and examine witnesses. The LPAT will issue a decision independent of the municipalities and neighbourhoods affected instead of reviewing appeals in the context of existing municipal plans and provincial planning policies. 
 
This change would reduce the weight of planning decisions made by City Council and expand the authority of provincial LPAT appointees to make decisions that impact our local neighbourhoods, without any consultation. The proposed changes are essentially a reversion back to the format of the former OMB hearings under the new LPAT name.
 
Changes to development charges. Under the current structure, Section 37 of the Planning Act, known as Community Benefits, requires developers to contribute to the neighbourhoods affected by new developments through provisions for community benefits such as park and streetscape improvements.
 
This system has been used to fund community projects and services across Toronto. Bill 108 proposes to make the costs more predictable for developers at the outset of the process by instituting a new authority that would combine and cap all community-related development charges. Parkland Dedication requirements, known as Section 42 funds, and funds to enhance local infrastructure would also be included in the total capped amount. This change would severely limit the City's ability to negotiate community benefits before approving an application.
 
Streamlining development approvals. The proposed planning decision timelines would reduce consideration of Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA) applications from 150 to 90 days, and Official Plan Amendment (OPA) applications from 210 to 120 days.
 
Reducing the time Planners have to review applications and report to City Council will ultimately allow applicants the ability to appeal to the more developer-friendly LPAT system much earlier in the process, thereby circumventing the City's rigorous development review process.
 
Over the coming weeks, I will be working closely with senior staff as we develop the City's formal response to the Province's proposed legislation.
 
If you are interested, I would encourage you to review Bill 108 and the associated Action Plan and share any concerns with your Member of Provincial Parliament.
 
You can submit your comments on Bill 108 through the Environmental Registry of Ontario, here. I've been advised that the Province will only be accepting comments until June 1, 2019, so we must act quickly.
 
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Provincial OMB Reform - Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC)

After many long years fighting against the Ontario Municipal Board, I am pleased to report that, as of April 3, 2018, all new planning appeals will be directed to the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.

My overriding concern with the prior OMB process was the lack of accessibility and transparency for residents. While developers can assemble large teams of qualified experts, the costs of participating in an OMB mediation or hearing were prohibitive for concerned neighbours and residents' associations. 
 
The planning reform legislation passed by the Province in December 2017 implemented new Local Planning Appeal Support Centres (LPASC) to provide free advice and support to residents on local planning matters.
 
In April, the Toronto LPASC opened its doors to the public for the first time. The LPASC is an independent agency of the Province of Ontario, accountable to a board of directors. The stated purpose of the organization is to help "people understand and navigate the land use planning and appeal process in Ontario." Chapter 4 of the LPSCA Act (2017) outlines the following support services:
 
1. Information on land use planning.
2. Guidance on Tribunal procedures.
3. Advice or representation.
4. Any other services prescribed by the regulations. 

I would encourage all residents concerned about a development application in their neighbourhood to contact the LPASC for more information about the appeal process. If applicable, the LPASC will also provide planning and legal support in certain cases.
 
Hours: Monday – Friday
            8:30am – 5:00pm
 
Address: 700 Bay Street, 12th Floor
 
Telephone: 647-499-1646 or Toll-free: 1-800-993-8410
 
Email: info@lpasc.ca
 
Web: www.lpasc.ca
 
If you are interested, you can read more about improvements to the land use planning and appeals system, here.

A New Plan to Regulate Construction Dust

Dust from residential construction is not only a major source of disruption, it can also have significant environmental and health impacts on our communities. With input from residents across Don Valley West, I moved a motion in May 2014 directing Toronto Building staff to develop a comprehensive strategy and enforcement plan to regulate the production of construction-related dust.
 
As a result of these efforts, I'm pleased to report that the City's first Dust By-law came into effect on September 4, 2018. Previously, construction dust was completely unregulated in the City of Toronto. Residents who contacted their political representatives were bounced between municipal and provincial offices with no tangible results or enforcement.
 
The new bylaw requires builders to take specific, preventative measures to minimize the generation and distribution of construction dust, including:

  • Wetting the construction material;

  • Using a wet saw or dustless saw technology;

  • Tarping or otherwise containing the source of dust;

  • Installing wind fencing or a fence filter; or

  • Using a vacuum attachment when cutting.

Failure to comply can lead to fines up to $100,000, with special fines where it is determined that the conduct could have resulted in economic advantage for the offender, to the detriment of the surrounding neighbourhood.
 
At the July meeting of City Council, I moved a series of motions to build on and strengthen the newly-established by-law. I directed Toronto Building to unite this strategy with the new residential infill construction strategy, and ensure that notice of the new bylaw is communicated to residents through on-site signage. As you may know, residential construction is regulated and enforced by Toronto Building inspectors. Dust suppression, however, will be enforced by Municipal Licensing & Standards by-law officers. My motion is intended to link the two departments to prevent overlap and encourage efficiency.
 
I also directed City staff to expand the scope of the City's dust regulation efforts by creating a strategy to regulate dust from large-scale construction projects including multi-residential buildings, subdivisions, and mixed-use developments. Finally, I requested a report back on the implementation and enforcement of the new bylaw. I'm expecting a staff report to be presented for consideration at City Council later this year. 

Community Consultation Meeting - 2908 Yonge Street

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Dear Friends and Neighbours,

As you may be aware, the City recently received an application to construct a 13-storey mixed-use building at 2908 Yonge Street, at the corner of Yonge and Chatsworth, currently occupied by a gas station. The proposed development contains 85 residential units, 421m2 of at-grade retail, and 87 underground parking spaces with access from Chatsworth Drive. The total proposed floor area will be 8,559m2, with a proposed floor space index of 7.8.

A community meeting will be held on February 28, 2018 at Glenview Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 1 Glenview Avenue, from 6:30-8:30pm. Although this development technically falls within the boundaries of Ward 16, the proposed building would be precedent-setting on this stretch of Yonge Street and would impact the Old Lawrence Park neighbourhood.

For more information on this application, please see the City's Application Information Centre page.

I would encourage you to share your comments and concerns directly with Cathie Ferguson, the City Planner with carriage of this file. You can reach Cathie by email at Cathie.Ferguson@toronto.ca, or by phone at (416) 395-7117.

To recap:

Date: February 28, 2018

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Location: Glenview Presbyterian Church Sanctuary,1 Glenview Avenue

I will be attending next week's meeting in support of the community. I hope to see you there.

Warm regards,

Jaye

Community Consultation Meeting - 4155 Yonge Street

City Planning is hosting a community consultation meeting to discuss the proposed development at 4155 Yonge Street.

About the Proposal

Goldberg Group is proposing a 14-storey residential building on the western portion of the subject site, constructed over the existing TTC subway tunnel. You can find out more about this application here.

City Planning presented a Preliminary Report at the January meeting of North York Community Council (NYCC). I moved a motion to extend the notice area for the meeting. You can read the complete recommendations here.

Contact Information

Valeria Maurizio, City Planner

416-395-7052

Valeria.Maurizio@toronto.ca

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Midtown in Focus - Public Open House

The proposed Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan will set in place a road map for Midtown's evolution over the next 25 years. The Plan provides detailed direction for the physical development of Midtown and sets priorities for investing in and sustaining a complete, liveable
community.

The Plan is supported by infrastructure assessments focused on parks and public realm, transportation, community services and facilities, and water – together they will ensure that infrastructure capacity keeps pace with development and supports quality of life for all
Midtown stakeholders.

 

This open house is your opportunity to see how the proposed Secondary Plan and infrastructure assessments will shape the future of Midtown. Please drop by to learn
more about the plan, attend workshops and share your thoughts!

For more information, please contact:
Paul Farish, Senior Planner
City Planning Division
416-392-3529
Paul.Farish@toronto.ca
www.toronto.ca/planning/yongeeglinton

Visit the Midtown in Focus website to read the proposed Secondary Plan and take the online survey (starting February 10, 2018).