Back in October, the City hired George Dark to conduct a “charette” – a planning exercise for the Otrain corridor and neighborhood along Preston, south of the Queensway.
As related here previously, the
charette charade seemed little more than an exercise in bombarding the neighbourhood with high rises. Mr Dark presided over a large plan of the neighbourhood, chummily accompanied by the city’s leading developers and their agents, raining down Styrofoam cut-outs of high rise apartment buildings. (https://www.westsideaction.ca/charettes-or-is-it-charades-on-the-west-side/)
The local community association is holding a public meeting of upset residents in the area. The poster below pretty accurately captures their feelings.
Less obvious is the sense of betrayal, that the community went along with the first phases of the CDP (for seven long years !) agreeing to high rises on the vacant lands, former industrial lands, along the OTrain corridor. In return, there was a steep down gradient in the height zoning to the edge of the EXISTING low rise communities.
The main worry was how to ensure the City didn’t back out of the zoning agreement once developers said “if he can get 40 stories over there, why can’t I ??” That of course, was never answered.
But no one expected the City to step in before the CDP was finished, import an out-of-town “expert”, deus ex machina, to radically change the course of the CDP at the last minute.
The community association is still playing ball, though, trying to insist that the City stop ad hoc rezoning in favour of waiting until the CDP is done. But isn’t the writing on the wall? The City wants high rises. Lots of them. And it has promised to honour CDP’s.
Ergo, CDP’s will now be directed to permit lots of high rises.
In accord with the City’s previous slights-of-hand, such as on the new Centretown CDP, the area will remain zoned one thing ( low rise), and the big squares on the planning maps will continue to identify the area as “low rise”. Except the fine print will say low rise permits 20 story buildings. There, everybody happy?
This project fits the City’s new definition of low rise in the Bayview-Carling CDP. And remember, blocks and blocks of residential streets will have this zoning:
You can read more about this particular project in a previous post. (www.westsideaction.ca/95-101-norman-street-blockbusting-begins/)