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Meeting shocked as developer reveals condo proposal already going to OMB

\ By Tony Wright \

Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis and attendees of a January 10 community consultation for a 30-story tower proposed at Main and Danforth were shocked to learn that the developer had already appealed the application to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

“Why would you not work with the community?” an incredulous Ms. Davis asked Steve Deveaux, vice president of land development at Tribute Communities, the developer proposing the mixed-use condo tower at 286-294 Main St.

Mr. Deveaux replied that Tribute Communities was “prepared to work with the community” and that the appeal was filed due to changes to the process in which land development disputes are resolved.

Depiction of the proposed tower at 286-294 Main. St. from Danforth looking southwest. Photo courtesy of Tribute Communities.

Depiction of the proposed tower at 286-294 Main. St. from Danforth looking southwest. Photo courtesy of Tribute Communities.

The provincial government has already passed legislation that will mothball the OMB, which rules on development disputes in Ontario and is generally regarded as being pro-developer.  It is to be replaced with so-called Local Planning Appeal Tribunals, but the legislation has yet to be proclaimed into law by the Lieutenant Governor.  In the meantime any applications being appealed will still be heard by the OMB, which is expected to continue to exist for a long time even after the PATs are established, since hearings and further appeals often drag on for years. [See also East York Advocate column “Decisions made at City Hall and by the Province aren’t truly local” in November 2017 issue # 035.]

Tribute Communities —which is working with Greywood Realty on the project— already filed an appeal, Deveaux revealed, on the grounds that city council had not made a decision on the application within the timeline prescribed by the province.  As of press time a hearing date had not yet been scheduled.

Attendees at the meeting, held at Hope United Church across the street from the corner where the proposed development would be erected, expressed concerns about the absence of three-bedroom suites in the proposed tower, an increased strain on public transit and the potential impact on traffic and parking.  The 301-unit tower would have three levels of underground parking with a maximum capacity of 114 spaces, prompting concerns where residents of the remaining 187 units would park.

[See also article in September, 2017 Issue #033: “Residents can air views on proposed 30-floor condo Sept. 14”]

Councillor Davis stated that the residents’ concerns reflect a need for further review of Tribute’s proposal.

“I believe there needs to be a significant amount of discussion and change in the proposal before it’s going to be able to fit in with this neighbourhood,” she said.

For updates and more information about the proposal, visit www.toronto.ca/danforthstudy.

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