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City backs down on Main West condo project after 841 days

 

City backs down on Main West condo project after 841 days

John Best

City planning staff are recommending a modification to zoning regulations in order to allow construction of a nine-story condo tower and a number of townhouses on Main Street West near Osler Drive. The developer has an appeal in front of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) charging that the city had not rendered a decision on the re-zoning application within the mandatory 120-day limit for a decision. In the case of the Main Street West project, 841 days had elapsed from the developer’s first application. When the application was originally submitted, the project was to become student housing. A public consultation was conducted and neighbours raised several concerns including:

  • the height, density and shadow impact;
  • that the proposal is not in keeping with the neighbourhood and will cause increased traffic and noise;
  • lack of parking being proposed;
  • location of the proposed vehicular access on West Park Avenue;
  • lack of greenspace being proposed combined with the loss of mature trees and the impact this development may have on the environment; and,
  • higher densities bleeding into the lower density neighbourhood on the 69 Sanders Boulevard portion of the development.

The developer came back in 2019 with a new proposal with some modifications. Instead of student housing the complex would now be a market condominium project. But even with additional setback from the street concerns about the shadow impact of the nine-story building remained.

The developer filed an appeal last year to LPAT citing failure by the city to render a decision within the 120 day limit set by LPAT.

City planning staff are now recommending that the zoning be amended to allow the project to proceed. The affair underscores an ongoing tension between municipalities who seek  to control intensification within their boundaries and provincial legislation, like Places to Grow, that promote intensification. Increasingly municipalities find themselves being overruled by LPAT

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