6 Noble Street Public Consultation

Posted on April 18, 2017

Please share with your neighbours

City Planning is holding a Public Consultation to review the 6 Noble Street Development Application.

This application proposes a 14-storey mixed-use building comprised of commercial space located on portions of the first and second floors, 174 residential units, and two levels of underground parking.

You will have an opportunity to learn more about this application, ask questions, and share your comments.

Date:   May 4, 2017
Time:   6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Place:  Parkdale Library Auditorium

The Preliminary Report will be available April 25th on-line through the 2017 Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) Meeting agenda at http://bit.ly/2oDilH4. The Report will also be available at the meeting.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please forward your comments to Kirk Hatcher, City Planner, Kirk.Hatcher@toronto.ca and/or Councillor Gord Perks, councillor_perks@toronto.ca .

Gord

1182 & 1221 King Street West King Street West Community Meeting

Posted on April 10, 2017

City Planning is holding a Public Consultation to review the 1182 & 1221 King Street West Rezoning Application. At this consultation, you will have an opportunity to learn more about this application, ask questions and share your comments.

Date: Tuesday April 18th, 2017
Time: 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.
Place: Holy Family Catholic School – Gymnasium (141 Close Avenue)

The proposed rezoning application is to permit the construction of a 17-storey mixed use building at 1182 King Street West and a 14-storey mixed use building at 1221 King Street West. Both buildings include commercial uses at grade with residential above and 3 levels of underground parking. A community consultation meeting was previously held for this application in October, 2015, when the proposal was for a 21-storey building at 1182 King Street West and a 19-storey building at 1221 King Street West.

You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information at: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-85118.pdf

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please forward your comments to Michelle Knieriem, City Planner, michelle.knieriem@toronto.ca and/or Councillor Gord Perks, councillor_perks@toronto.ca

421 Roncesvalles Avenue Community Meeting

Posted on February 21, 2017

Friends,

On Wednesday, February 22nd, a Request for Direction Report: 421 Roncesvalles Avenue, prepared by City Planning staff, will be introduced at Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC). Information on this request can be found here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.TE22.40

The rezoning application proposes to redevelop the site currently occupied by a two-storey bank building with a 7-storey office retail building that retains the original bank facade. The building has a proposed height of 26.1 metres (30.1 to the top of the mechanical penthouse).

Information on the application is available on-line at: http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=4077923&isCofASearch=false, Supporting Documentation.

The Staff Report recommends a community consultation meeting. City Planning and other city departments will have their comments on this application available at the community meeting.

City Planning will be holding the Community Meeting on Tuesday, March 21st at 7pm at St. Casimir’s Parish Hall at 156 Roncesvalles Ave.

Gord

57 Brock Avenue Staff Direction Report

Posted on February 21, 2017

Friends,

On Wednesday, February 22nd, a Request for Direction Report: 57 Brock Avenue, prepared by City Planning staff, will be introduced at Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC). Information on this request can be found here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.TE22.10

The rezoning application proposes to redevelop the site currently occupied by a Beer Store and parking lot with a 7-storey residential building containing 106 units. A total of 73 parking spaces will be provided in two levels at and above grade, including 16 visitor spaces, 108 bicycle spaces, and 22 short-term bicycle spaces. The building will have a height of 23.45 metres (28.9 to the top of the mechanical penthouse).

Information on the application is available on-line at: http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=3982741&isCofASearch=false, Supporting Documentation.

This report will recommend that City Council direct the City Solicitor to oppose the appeal of the 57 Brock Avenue Development application at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing but to also work with the owner to enter into a settlement should the opportunity arise. I will be supporting the Direction Report at TEYCC.

Community meetings have been held about this application. At both meetings, local residents shared concerns with the proposed development.

Remaining concerns raised by the community include:

  1. The overall height, mass, and density of the proposal
  2. Its ability to integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood visually and otherwise, including its proximity to the street
  3. Deficiency of outdoor amenity space and green space
  4. Interactions with pedestrians and the public realm and its effects on the street level
  5. Effects on nearby traffic and parking and servicing
  6. Amount and location of short term bicycle parking on streets
  7. Lack of linearity with front sight lines of adjacent housing

No hearing date has yet been scheduled for the OMB. My office will communicate any further information as it becomes available.

Gord

421 Roncesvalles Ave Heritage Designation

Posted on February 14, 2017

Toronto City Council intends to designate 421 Roncesvalles Avenue, often seen as one of the gateway buildings into Roncesvalles, as a heritage building.

Designation enables City Council to review alterations to the site and enforce heritage property standards and maintenance.

City Planning will be scheduling a meeting in late March, 2017 to review the application and hear from the community. My office will provide details of the meeting once they are secured.

For more information on the designation please click here.

57 Brock Avenue Public Meeting Recap

Posted on February 9, 2017

City Planning held a Community Consultation meeting on February 8th, 2017 to review the 57 Brock Avenue application for a rezoning and Official Plan amendment.

The community raised many of the same concerns that were raised at the pre-application in 2016: massing, height, privacy, impact on local traffic and parking, lack of green space, and the ability of this proposal to integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood visually and otherwise.

While City Planning review the amended application the applicant has filed for decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.
An OMB hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

City Planning will submit a Request for Direction to the February 22nd TEYCC meeting to request City staff attend the OMB hearing.

More information on 57 Brock Ave can be found on the Toronto Development Application website here and my office will send further information as it becomes available.

Update on 421 Roncesvalles Ave.

Posted on February 6, 2017

Friends,

Earlier this week, City Council approved an Intention to Designate 421 Roncesvalles Avenue.

421 Roncesvalles Avenue, at the south east corner of Roncesvalles and Howard Park, was originally constructed as a branch of the Dominion Bank by Toronto’s great architect and urban designer John Lyle in 1914.

The Toronto Preservation Board endorsed a City staff report recommending that the property at 421 Roncesvalles Avenue (including the address at 61 Howard Park Avenue) be included on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register.

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.PB20.9

As you may recall, on October 21, 2016, the owners of the property applied for a demolition permit which is currently under review.

Following research and evaluation by City staff in Heritage Preservation Services, it was determined that the property at 421 Roncesvalles Avenue meets provincial criteria prescribed for municipal designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its design, associative, and contextual value.

Under the Ontario Heritage Act, initiating a designation is one way of protecting a threatened heritage property to allow more time for considering alternatives. Properties on the Heritage Register will be conserved and maintained in accordance with Official Plan Heritage Policies.

Designation enables City Council to review alterations to the site, enforce heritage property standards and maintenance, and refuse demolition.

Some useful information on designating a heritage building is available on-line:

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=a5d20621f3161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/heritage/heritage_designation.shtml

City Planning staff are currently reviewing a Development Application for this site.

http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/associatedApplicationsList.do?action=init&folderRsn=4077923&isCofASearch=false

City Planning will be scheduling a meeting in late March, 2017 to review the application and hear from the community. My office will provide details of the meeting once they are secured.

Please feel free to contact my office if you require further information.

Gord

422 Roncesvalles & 76 Howard Park Ave Update

Posted on January 26, 2017

Friends,

The development proposal for 422-436 Roncesvalles and 76 Howard Park Avenue was scheduled to be heard at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) yesterday.

The developer and City Planning have settled the matter without a hearing. The settlement, approved by the OMB, results in an 8 storey building with a height of 25.45 m. The building will meet the angular plane guidelines.

The Townhouses located on Howard Park Avenue will now be located on the west side of the laneway rather than the east side. The townhouses have been reduced in height from 4 storeys to 3 storeys and reduced in number from 6 to 4 units. The integral garages have been removed. Parking will be under the mail building.

Both parties have been requested to submit a terms of settlement to the OMB. My office will share this information once available.

The final order from the OMB is withheld until revised plans are resubmitted by the developer and site serving is addressed.

City staff will use the revised plans to draft zoning bylaws. The OMB will then approve the bylaw.

The Community Working Group was very engaged in the process to find an acceptable proposal at this site. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our community. I would also like to acknowledge the community members who came to the OMB for the day.

Gord

422 Roncesvalles & 76 Howard Park Ave Update

Posted on January 26, 2017

Friends,

The development proposal for 422-436 Roncesvalles and 76 Howard Park Avenue was scheduled to be heard at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) yesterday.

The developer and City Planning have settled the matter without a hearing. The settlement, approved by the OMB, results in an 8 storey building with a height of 25.45 m. The building will meet the angular plane guidelines.

The Townhouses located on Howard Park Avenue will now be located on the west side of the laneway rather than the east side. The townhouses have been reduced in height from 4 storeys to 3 storeys and reduced in number from 6 to 4 units. The integral garages have been removed. Parking will be under the mail building.

Both parties have been requested to submit a terms of settlement to the OMB. My office will share this information once available.

The final order from the OMB is withheld until revised plans are resubmitted by the developer and site serving is addressed.

City staff will use the revised plans to draft zoning bylaws. The OMB will then approve the bylaw.

The Community Working Group was very engaged in the process to find an acceptable proposal at this site. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our community. I would also like to acknowledge the community members who came to the OMB for the day.

Gord

Road Tolls Are Not the Issue

Posted on November 25, 2016

Everyone’s talking road tolls. Mayor Tory raised the idea in a speech on Thursday and opinion is already sharply divided. The problem is that his speech wasn’t about road tolls, nor were the bundle of City reports that came out around the time he gave the speech.

The speech and the reports were both efforts to address the City’s over-all financial problems. Reading through the speech and the reports it becomes very clear that the issue of road tolls is a sideshow. There are two really big questions. What’s the plan for managing the City’s services and finances? Will the plan work?

The Mayor’s plan is quite different from the plan staff recommend. His plan has no chance of working. The staff plan just might.

The Mayor and City staff agree on the nature of the four challenges we face.

First, we don’t have the right tax mix to pay for the day-to-day services we operate. This year we will come up a few hundred million dollars short. Even if we cobble something together this year, next year we will have an additional few hundred million to figure out.

The second problem we face is we have no way at all to fund the one-time big ticket items: rebuilding the Gardiner, buying new buses, fixing rundown public housing buildings, etc. City staff and the Mayor put the cost of these big ticket items that have no funding at $33 billion.

Third, we don’t have enough transit service and road space to move people and goods around the City. We need more and better transit, and we need it now.

Fourth, we have far too much poverty in Toronto, more people per-capita live in poverty in our City than in any other in the country. Additionally, as housing costs sky-rocket, a generation of Torontonians are being priced out of the City.

Here’s the Mayor’s plan with some comments.

  1. Ask the Province to permit us to toll the DVP and the Gardiner. Although he didn’t declare how much the toll would be, the most likely scenario is $2.00 per trip. This would net us about $166 million per year. Over 30 years that would be worth $5 billion. That sounds big, but one of the many staff reports that came out Thursday says that maintaining the Gardiner and DVP over that period will cost $3.65 Billion. That number is bigger than we expected. In yet another staff report they informed us that we will need $1 billion more than we thought to pay for the Mayor’s plan to keep the Gardiner and slightly realign it.

  So the net value of the tolls over 30 years will be $1.3 billion. It’s time to take a second look at whether we can afford the Mayor’s plan to keep the eastern section of the Gardiner.

  1. Already introduced is an infrastructure fund using a property tax increase that starts a 0.5% and will apparently rise to 2.5%. This will allow us to pay for $900 million worth of capital projects. On a worrisome side-note the Mayor wants this and the toll money administered by an “independent body”.

  Americans call this taxation without representation. I’ll just say that it’s a basic rule of democracy that we elect the people who manage public money.

  1. The federal government has committed to paying $850 million toward repairs and equipment replacement for the TTC. However, we must match it dollar for dollar. The capital funding the Mayor has committed to adds up to $2.2 billion over the next two or three decades. Take away this commitment and we have $1.35 billion left.
  1. Ask the Province to allow us to institute a tax on hotels that will yield $20 million/year. This would support day to day operating costs.
  1. Eliminate an existing tax rebate for vacant commercial properties. This would yield $22 million for our operating budget.
  1. Next is a proposal to contract out the remaining publicly collected garbage services. (Everything east of Yonge St.) It is important to note that this has nothing to do with the City’s main budget. Garbage service is (mostly) paid for separately by bin fees. Further, in still another staff report they warn us against contracting out services if it creates precarious work. Right now public employees who collect garbage have reasonably good pay and job security. Employees of private collectors have relatively low wages and benefits and no meaningful job security. This is the very definition of precarious work.
  1. Although not mentioned in his speech, I have reason to believe that the Mayor will support some changes to how we collect the Land Transfer Tax. If we harmonize our LTT to match the amounts collected by the Province we could increase our annual take by about $100 million/year. While this money may be best allocated to our capital budget, I’m assuming it will go to our operating budget where the crisis is more urgent.
  1. A plan to sell Toronto Hydro and/or the Toronto Parking Authority has been shelved. The Mayor and staff agree that this would be bad financial policy. This is by far the best news in the speech. BUT! the new plan is to have the City lend Toronto Hydro $200 million at a high interest rates. Some of this would come back immediately as dividends used to cut our operating budget deficit. Hydro would have to repay the loan at those high interest rates.

  This would mean that for years some of your Hydro bill will be used to keep property taxes down. Hydro bills are very regressive. Property tax is progressive. This means shifting costs down more heavily toward low income people. Inability to pay energy utility bills (Hydro, heat, gas) is the second most common cause of eviction after inability to pay rent.

  1. Thursday’s speech went to great lengths to rule out property tax increases and reinstating the Vehicles Registration Tax. A careful reading of staff advice shows that we desperately need both if we are going to avoid deep service cuts.

The Mayor said also that he will not support a new tax on parking lots. Staff agree here, showing that similar schemes in Montreal and Vancouver have failed.

  1. Not discussed were the two big ticket funding sources that many major cities rely on: a share of the sales tax and/or a municipal income tax. Given that the Thursday speech was billed as the Mayor’s plan for the future I have to assume that the silence was deliberate and he doesn’t support either. I would be shocked (in a good way) if he came forward to support them.
  1. There are assorted bits and pieces about efficiency. It’s all stuff we were planning to do anyway, and will require some up-front spending before yielding some minor savings down the road.
  1. Finally, when asked after his speech what he intended to do about the fact that his plan won’t meet the City’s overall budget needs, the Mayor replied that he would fight for additional funding from the provincial and federal governments. Staff have made it clear that any funding ask will fall on deaf ears if we keep our property taxes well below every other municipality in the Province. The Province believes that whenever they help us to fund something we take the money and use it to cut property taxes. It’s a fairly accurate conclusion

That’s the plan. A few overall points.

First, the plan leaves us well over $20 billion short on our capital budget. It means we could (almost) afford to fund one of SmartTrack, Rail Deck Park, or the Scarborough Subway, but only one of them. And, if we do one of those we will have next to nothing for the huge and urgent repair needs at TCHC. Nothing toward the $250 million we need for our homes the aged. We can’t build new daycare spaces. The $330 million we need for flood protection for the Lower Don River remains unfunded. As the Mayor said: “No flood proofing means no development, jobs and investment and that would be a massive lost opportunity.”

I could go on. Let’s just say that every public service you can think of has some long term capital need that we can’t meet.

Turning to the operating budget, the Mayor’s plan will eventually be worth about $140 million/year. First, let’s allocate $65 million to the TTC. That’s how much the TTC says they need to avoid deep service cuts even after they put in a fare increase. Next, we’ll give TCHC the remaining $75 million. That’s about how much they say they need just to avoid closing units and housing fewer people. (This is a separate issue from the capital repairs. Because so many TCHC residents are on disability or other social assistance programs, and the Provincial allowance is so low, we don’t get enough rent to cover the daily operation of the building they live in.)

What’s missing? The much-vaunted anti-poverty plan for one. Still another of Thursday’s staff reports states that we would need $48 million to provide the low income transit pass that the anti-poverty plan imagines. Also, TTC service will never improve. Despite the tens of thousands of people moving into Toronto every year, the Mayor’s plan makes no room for increased service. In fact, when the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line opens, we won’t have money to run it. Same with Finch, the Eglinton East and West extensions and the Waterfront LRT.

We won’t add any new daycare spots or daycare subsidies for low income families. No new housing for the tens of thousands on the affordable housing waiting list.

In a couple of weeks, we will see the cuts various departments are proposing to meet the Mayor’s property tax freeze-at-inflation. We won’t have the money to sustainably avoid those cuts. Nothing will get better and many things will get worse.

One last thing before turning to the staff plan. Staff have diligently reviewed all the possible tax and funding options. One thing they looked at was which of the measures are broadly progressive. There are three: property tax, sales tax and income tax. The Mayor’s plan doesn’t recommend any of them. That means that if it’s adopted, lower income people will pay more as percentage of their income than they currently do. Wealthy people will pay proportionately less.

As bad as all this sounds, there’s another wrinkle. In reviewing the Mayor’s plan I’ve treated his proposals as if the money arrives right away. With the exception of the changes to the Land Transfer Tax, each of his proposals will take considerable time to approve and establish. The toll proposal could take as much as seven years to get legislative approval, put out to tender, and construct. All that time we will be using temporary funding that will have to be paid back. More worrisome is there will be two municipal and two provincial elections in that time. Almost certainly there will be a new Mayor and Premier. In other words it will be someone else who had to take the heat.

As I said at the top, the tolls debate is a sideshow, a distraction. If we get mired in a debate about tolls we will miss the real issue. The Mayor’s plan won’t fix any of our underlying problems: better transit, getting people out of poverty, funding our huge capital backlog, or arriving at a sustainable funding model for the services we provide.

What to do? Five brief points.

  1. We follow our staff advice and ask the Province to consider giving us the legal right to implement the sales tax or the municipal income tax.
  1. We also follow our staff advice to immediately reinstate the vehicle registration tax.
  1. We take a cold hard look at the fact that our staff have told us we can either implement a multi-year plan to bring our property tax in line with the GTA average or we can make deep painful cuts to our public services. I know which side I’m on.
  1. We stop wasting time debating the merits of road tolls. We may need to come to a compromise that includes road tolls, but we must first have a real plan that makes Toronto a better place to live for everyone. The one the Mayor put in front of Toronto means a worse future.
  1. We get to work. Convincing people that we actually have to pay for a better City won’t be easy. It will be very difficult and will only happen if we speak out and organize.

Gord

Categories

April 2017
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Archives