City to fight five homes proposed on York Mills
Agent shocked anyone would take issue with ‘conservative’ plan
Cindy Weiner, president of the St. Andrew’s Ratepayers Association
Residents remain firmly opposed to a development proposed on York Mills Road that they feel mimics the look of townhouses. But they have decided not to enlist independent professional representation for the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing.
The plans in question set out severances that would create five lots where there are currently only four, on which five new homes would be built. An application for minor variances was previously denied by the City of Toronto: Committee of Adjustment, North York Panel. In its report, city planning staff identified 0.61-metre side yard setbacks and 1.8-metre first floor heights as out of character for the neighbourhood.
Cindy Weiner, president of the St. Andrew’s Ratepayers Association, said that her group, in concert with the York Mills Ratepayers Association, was prepared to enlist independent professional re-presentation. However, when the city decided to retain an outside planner for the hearing, it was determined that enlisting their own would simply duplicate this testimony.
“It [the proposal] really does impact the people who live behind it and across the road, and they see the chance of it having a domino effect down York Mills, between Bayview and Old Yonge,” Weiner said. “It’s an extremely residential area, and people want to keep it that way.”
Reza Akbari, an agent of the property owner, was in disbelief that anyone would take issue with the proposal. He said the owner was originally contemplating 11, three-storey townhouses for the site, but instead decided to go with an extremely conservative option. Akbari felt the owner could have succeeded with a townhouse application.
“This is a few single houses,” he said. “I really oppose big change myself, but the gradual change — if we don’t do that, then we get frozen in time.”
An OMB hearing was slated for Oct. 25, but there was talk it may be pushed back because the city solicitor has a scheduling conflict.