Proposal calls for five storeys on Chatsworth

Residents group outraged by a second developer’s plan to build on the site


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Peter Brennan of DART in front of the controversial development site

The land at 41 Chatsworth Dr. has been a battleground dating back to 2016 when local residents raised $130,000 to oppose a six-storey building proposed for the site at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and won. Now, a new developer has thrown its hat into the ring with a proposal for a four- to five-storey building, and residents aren’t happy.

Peter Brennan, local resident and director of Develop Areas Respectfully in Toronto (DART), said there has been a groundswell of opposition and outrage over the new proposal. 

“The new proposal is slightly less than what had been proposed before," said Brennan. "Frankly, their approach bewilders me because the city has denied what was asked for before. The OMB also denied it, and the OMB ruling is very direct that it's completely inappropriate for this neighbourhood.”

The new proposal by the Times Group calls for 51 condo units and is designed by Michael Spaziani Architect Inc. 

Spaziani had initially provided expert testimony against the previous development on behalf of the City of Toronto at the OMB. 

This time, Spaziani said the new proposal has various stepbacks of two and three storeys to minimize the height fronting onto Chatsworth Drive. He also noted the city’s official plan allows for apartments up to four storeys for the site. 

“Where’s the war? Why the call to arms? We’re doing what’s permitted.”

“I gave evidence at the OMB that a four-storey building, correctly shaped in terms of proportion and depth, would be appropriate,” said Spaziani.

Hessam Ghadaki, corporate counsel with the Times Group, said the company became involved with the project in April 2017 and plans to work with the community. 

“In what way are we scoffing at the OMB decision? That was for a six- to seven-storey building. We’re not proposing to do that again. Where’s the war? Why the call to arms? We’re doing what’s permitted,” he said. 

Brennan disagreed and said residents are adamant that a mid-rise building is not suitable for the area made up of single detached homes. 

“Maybe the agenda is to wear down the community and see what happens. Keep coming back and asking the same question and maybe people will give up and capitulate,” said Brennan. “[But] the resolve of the community if anything is stronger than it was before.” 

According to Ghadaki, the previous applicant, Arsalan Mohajer of Parkset Development, has remained on the project as a silent partner. 

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