|OMB hearing tests
city's Official Plan
Hearing starts Monday on
Kingsway condo proposal
November 22, 2007 05:23 PM
An Ontario Municipal Board hearing that starts
Monday over a proposed seven-storey condominium in The Kingsway
could threaten the integrity of the city's new Official Plan, says
the local councillor.
"If the Official Plan is not upheld in this
instance, it could be a problem city-wide," Ward 5 Councillor Peter
Milczyn (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) told a Kingsway Residents Against Poor
Planning (KRAPP) public information rally Wednesday night. "City
staff sees this as a fundamental battle that needs to be fought."
The fight is fundamental, Milczyn said, because
the OMB hearing marks the first time a developer has fought the
city's new Official Plan since its adoption in 2002.
Dunpar Developments Inc. is
taking the matter to the OMB after Toronto Council in April
overturned an Etobicoke York Community Council decision to settle
the contentious proposed development on the southeast corner of
Dundas Street West and Prince Edward Drive.
The OMB hearing begins Monday at 10 a.m. at the
OMB offices, 655 Bay St. on the 16th floor. A decision is expected
Monday on a request to hold a night session of the scheduled 10-day
hearing in Etobicoke.
Both the city and KRAPP are parties to the
Also at issue is the Dundas West Avenue Study,
approved by Toronto Council last year. The $200,000 study sets
strict height limits of five storeys along Dundas, six storeys if
the developer funds community benefits.
Dunpar is proposing to build
"Yes, it's just a storey, but it's a line in the
sand," KRAPP spokesperson Craig Smith said, referring to the
precedent that would be set if Dunpar wins at the OMB.
Smith said KRAPP is also concerned about
encroachment into the community. Dunpar owns residential properties
in the community.
But Dunpar vice-president Tom Giancos said
yesterday in an interview the company does not intend any further
development of the investment properties it owns in the
"Frankly, I don't get the opposition. I just don't
get it," Giancos said. "The building has been designed so there will
be no negative impacts on neighbouring properties. The storeys have
been terraced down."
KRAPP held a rally Wednesday
night to update the community on the fight, and to seek donations of
an additional $20,000 to cover OMB-related costs. KRAPP has hired a
lawyer, as well as former Etobicoke Commissioner of Planning Warren
Some $40,000 previously raised has been spent on
the Dundas West Avenue study, as well as pre-OMB hearing
preparations, said KRAPP member Dean French.
"The last $20,000 will be raised the hard way:
door to door and neighbour to neighbour," French told approximately
150 Kingsway residents who attended the rally at Lambton Kingsway
Junior Middle School. "We're trying to raise the 10 per cent
contribution to 20 per cent."
Approximately 1,600 Kingsway residents previously
signed a petition asking the city to fight the proposal at the OMB.
That number represents 90 per cent of Kingsway residents, yet to
date, only 10 per cent have contributed financially, French said.
Kingsway resident Peter Golding pledged Wednesday
night to match donations up to a total of $10,000.
"My wife, Barb, and I admire the time, energy and
time away from family to do this," Golding said in a post-meeting
interview. "It's the 90/10 syndrome. Sometimes, you have to step
The site of the proposed development is comprised
of four contiguous properties that includes an L-shaped vacant lot
and three residential lots.
"We don't have a problem with Dunpar; we don't
have a problem with developers. We have a problem with the rules not
being followed," KRAPP's Smith said in an interview.
"We'll keep up the fight," Milczyn vowed. "We're
right, so hopefully, we will win."