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. Kingsway residents take on plans for nearby

          January 07, 2008, 9:24 PM
           National Post

    . Residents take early victory at OMB

     Kingsway condo proposal hearing expected to conclude today

December 6, 2007 04:33 PM

        The Guardian



. OMB Hearing Tests City's Official Plan

      Hearing starts Monday on Kingsway condo proposal

       November 22, 2007 05:23 PM

          The Guardian






OMB Hearing Tests City's Official Plan

OMB hearing tests city's Official Plan

Hearing starts Monday on Kingsway condo proposal

November 22, 2007 05:23 PM

The Guardian

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 hearing.

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 seven storeys.

"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 neighbourhood.

"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 Sorenson.

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 up."

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.

Milczyn agreed.

"We'll keep up the fight," Milczyn vowed. "We're right, so hopefully, we will win."