I wanted to provide you with an important update on the status of the June Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing for 3130 Dufferin Street (Yorkdale Ford site) and how we, as a community, can work together ahead of the hearing.
I do NOT support this application and stand behind City Council's vote to have the City Planning and Legal departments attend the OMB to oppose the applicant's appeal.
As you know, back in March of 2012, a development application was made seeking to permit a building containing retail space and 374 residential units. The application proposed a 12-storey building on Dufferin, a 6-storey building on Apex Road, and a 24-storey tower in the southwest corner. I was opposed to this application along with most members of the community. City Planning Staff also had significant concerns with this application.
In response to development proposals like this, the City developed a Planning Study for Dufferin in order to limit the height and density of proposals like this one.
In May, 2014, while the City was completing the Dufferin Study, this developer went to the OMB, knowing that the Dufferin Study would suggest much lower heights and densities for this stretch of Dufferin. Given that the developer's proposal was not in conformity with either the Official Plan or the Dufferin Study, City Council directed the City Legal and Planning to attend the OMB to oppose this proposal.
At the current time, the direction from City Council authorizing the City Solicitor and City Planning Staff to attend the OMB in opposition to the application still stands. Ahead of the June hearing, the item will return to the May 3-4 meeting of City Council, where Council will be asked to confirm this direction.
Thank you to everyone who sent their comments and deputations to the City Clerk. Ahead of the May 3-4 City Council Meeting and the scheduled June OMB hearing, I will be holding an OMB Strategy Session with residents who have expressed concern over this application so that we can review the application and strategize around next steps.
I am continuing to work with City Planning on an important official “Secondary Plan” for the Dufferin St. corridor, which will guide policies along Dufferin Street between Lawrence Ave and the 401 with respect to future growth, development, and transportation. The idea is to transform the Dufferin corridor into an even more livable, walkable and mixed-use community.
Recently, City Planning hosted held two well-attended PIPs (Planners and Public Spaces) events at the Marleeville Festival and the Columbus Centre to answer questions and explain all the work City Planning has been doing on the Dufferin Secondary Plan.
Any future proposals for redevelopment on Dufferin will and should be judged against the Dufferin Secondary Plan that was developed over several years.
The Dufferin Street Secondary Plan Official Plan Amendment and Urban Design Guidelines, and the city staff report with recommendations will be considered at the November 10th, 2015 North York Community Council meeting.
City Planning has maintained a website on the Dufferin Study.