Developer withdraws application from OMB
Prime location could spark new proposals from more developers
Resident Frank Zeppieri said the development is uncharacteristic for the area
Richmond Hill residents are celebrating after a proposal for a high-density development was withdrawn, but planning staff and the local councillor said their victory could be short-lived. After the town’s councillors rejected their proposal, Intracorp Projects Acquisitions Ltd. appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), but withdrew their application during the mediation process before the full hearing.
The proposal originally sought official plan and zoning bylaw amendments to permit 780 residential units on Yongehurst Road and Weldrick Road, near Yonge Street, consisting of two nine-storey apartment buildings, two 15-storey buildings and a 15-storey seniors’ apartment building.
Because of its close proximity to Yonge Street, the area has high appeal with developers, and it’s likely Intracorp could come back with a revised proposal or that a new developer will put forward another proposal, said Coun. Nick Papa.
But neighbours, such as Frank Zeppieri, president of the Yongehurst-Weldrick West Residents Association, said 700 households are against developers who do not respect the official plan.
“It was totally out of character for the neighbourhood. It would have destabilized the whole area,” Zeppieri said. “They wanted to breach the official plan, which is the result of hours upon hours of public and professional input. [Ours] was a grassroots initiative from pretty well 700 households in direct opposition. But we had to fight against our own local councillor, which is disgusting.”
Coun. Papa, who was in favour of the developer’s proposal, said that, whereas the current status of the development is confidential, he is open to hearing future proposals from Intracorp or any other potential developers. However, planning staff has closed Intracorp’s file, and it is now considered “abandoned.” According to Zeppieri, Intracorp also offered to buy out 10 residential properties currently on the land, but it’s unclear if those offers still stand. Intracorp declined opportunities for comment.