The Hintonburg Community Association says it is prepared to show up at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing that promises to have future implications for developers who hope to sidestep community design plans for neighbourhoods in the city.
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Tega Homes had hoped to build an 18-storey condo tower on a L-shaped property near the corner of Parkdale Avenue and Spencer Street.
The group is opposed to the new development proposed for 233 Armstrong St. because it believes it’s too tall for the area.
Tega Homes’ proposal for the property was rejected by the city’s planning committee in June on the grounds that the 18-storey high-rise did not fit in with the community design plan, which called for a maximum height of eight storeys in that area.
“The question became, is the city serious about community design plan?” said Linda Hoad, co-chair of the community association’s zoning committee, in an OBJ interview.
“As we understood it, it is a kind of a contract between the city and the community and the development industry would be required to honour” it.
The eight-storey limit was selected to provide a transition between the six-storey height zone along Wellington Street West and the much higher buildings in the Tunney’s Pasture and Scott Street areas, Ms. Hoad added.
The OMB’s website currently has a listing for the site on its hearing website, although no date has been scheduled yet.
While an OMB decision on the case would have implications for what will happen with future applications that circumvent community design plans, Ms. Hoad said her association could not speculate on what the outcome would be.
“It was so shocking to us, in a sense, that [Tega] would ask for such a difference between what had just been approved by council, and they wouldn’t try to find something that was more reasonable and closer to what the community design plan had called for.”
The city has since received at least one other application that, if approved, would allow for a building taller than what the CDP allows.
Toronto-based Main and Main Developments Inc. wants to construct a building at 236 Richmond Rd. of nine storeys – roughly twice as tall as what the CDP calls for.
Wellington West’s community design plan was actually approved after the original request for Tega was submitted in 2011. In documents presented to the planning committee, city staff recommended honouring the original zoning for the area.
Councillors, who usually side with developers in their decisions, took the unusual move of rejecting that plan. In turning it down, chair Peter Hume said he would like OMB clarity on the situation.
As of June, Tega had already filed an appeal with the organization.