203 College Street - OMB Appeal
In August 2015, Parallax filed an application for an aggressive development at 203 College Street, for a 33 storey mixed-use residential tower at the southeast corner of College Street and Beverley Street. Like so many in our community, I agreed that the application was inappropriate and out of character for the area. Unlike most of the other development applications in Ward 20, this application was filed without any formal community consultation prior to the submission.
In response, I organized a public meeting in October 2015 for the community to raise concerns directly with the applicant and City Planning. At the meeting, our community demonstrated strong opposition to the proposal – opposition to the height and density of the building, the unit composition, and the potential for increased noise and traffic, among other concerns.
Since that initial meeting, there have been ongoing conversations between my office, residents (including the local Residents' Association), City Planning staff, and the developer regarding the proposal, in an attempt to work towards a more suitable application. Despite this, the developer has decided to circumvent community consultation and the City Planning process, and has appealed their application to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
I am committed to defending the interests of our community and vigorously opposing this application at the OMB. As many of you know, a fundamental flaw in our planning process is the existence of the OMB, which prevents our local communities and the City from guiding decisions on development. We must fight to keep this control in local hands and that starts with abolishing the OMB.
I remain committed to ensuring good planning principles and robust community consultation as a top priority when considering any proposed development in our ward.
I will continue working with City Planning and our local community to strengthen our collective vision for this area. One concrete piece of work currently underway is the College Street Study. This planning framework will help us protect this unique area from inappropriate development.
I will keep you updated on the OMB proceedings and thank you for staying engaged.