A lot of people living in High Park showed up for the community Consultation meeting that took place Monday May 6, 2013 at Humberside Collegiate.
Condominium owners, house owners and renters expressed serious concerns about this development: population density, crowded subway, sewage system, amenities, blocked view, construction side effects (dust, jackhammering noise), increased traffic, insufficient parking space, loss of enjoyment, safety for children, eviction of tenants (townhouses), non-replacement of rental housing, neighbourhood schools at full capacity, to name a few.
The role of the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) was also discussed and questioned. Why is the OMB not chaired by an elected officer? Why is the OMB entitled to by-pass the decision of City councillors, elected officers?
There was a consensus. By a show of hand, people overwhelmingly told City Staff that they were against the re-zoning application by High Park Bayview Inc. to build these two 30 story towers and the two story amenity building, and against the application to demolish the rental townhouses. (Go to another posting below for all documents pertaining to this development.)
People clearly gave directions to the Council by rejecting this proposal. The Senior Planner, Etobicoke York District, was asked “Why is the City not developing guidelines on housing density and on the height of buildings?”
Despite the clearly expressed opposition to these applications, a working group of ten people or so will be put in place to “work and improve” the proposal. This was seen as undemocratic since people clearly rejected the Grenadier development proposal.
Some concerns were also raised as to the criteria retained to be “allowed” to participate in this committee (to be the representative of a group).
With the non-elected OMB, this working group and its screening process, the issue of eroding democracy was raised.
Some left with the impression these towers will be built despite the opposition of the community.
People living in High Park are getting organized. The High Park Tenants’ Association (HPTA), High Park People, 70highparkave, The High Park Residents’ Association and home owners are coordinating efforts to let their voice heard.
Here is a plan of action presented at the meeting by Mac, a lawyer:
1) Write a letter to Gregory Byrne, Senior Planner, Etobicoke York District. firstname.lastname@example.org
Explain clearly your opposition to the development with supporting details. Sign the letter. If possible, use the same terminology as in the documents.
2) Attend the Community Council meeting in the fall.
3) Donate. This money will go towards hiring professional help (a planning consultant)
The HPTA adds to that:
4) Share information with fellow High Park tenants and property owners. Convince them to do the same.
5) If you have not done so yet, sign the petition:
6) Stay informed. Visit our or other websites discussing this topic.
7) Get involved! Volunteer to help.