70+ folks attend discussion of 2267 Lakeshore Road; prefer scaled back development
Many thanks to the more than 70 residents who attended the recent meeting at the seniors centre to discuss the proposed rezoning application from Rosedale Properties to redevelop 2267 Lakeshore Road from one single family home to five, 1.5 storey stone -and-siding single family homes around a shared condo road.
You can view the powerpoint from the meeting here April 29 2014 Presentation which details the proposal and the decision-making process. City planning staff are reviewing the proposal and will bring first an information report, then a recommendation report (either to accept, reject or modify the proposal) to the Development & Infrastructure Committee of council, then to City Council for a final decision. Residents can attend and speak at those meetings. Those dates have not been set, but I will post them here when available, and email anyone who contacted me via email to be added to the distribution list regarding news about this development.
The rezoning request is to go from an R3 zone to an R5 Standard, with modifications. Below is a preliminary comparison of the different zoning:
R3Zone Lot Width: 15m
R5Zone Lot Width: 12m
R5Zone Proposed Lot Width: 34m (for the entire site, not per home)
R3Zone Lot Area: 452m2
R5Zone Lot Area: 2000m2 (for entire site, not per home)
R5Zone Proposed Lot Area: 3488m2 (for entire site, not per home)
R3Zone Front Yard: 6m
R5Zone Front Yard: 7.5m
R5Zone Proposed Front Yard: 6.3m
R3Zone Rear Yard: 9m
R5Zone Rear Yard: 9m
R5Zone Proposed Rear Yard: 7.5m
R3Zone Height Maximum: 2 storey
R5Zone Height Maximum: 2 storey
Proposed Height: 1.5 storey
At the meeting , residents heard there will be an on-site holding tank to capture and hold storm water and slowly release it into the ground. They also heard that the distance between three homes along the back of the property would be 4 feet. The initial selling price is expected to be around $1.2m. The applicant also advised residents that they are not the same company as DTZ, a numbered company which has been contacting residents with offers to buy. Roseland Properties only owns the 2267 Lakeshore Rd. site and is not offering to buy any other properties.
Planning staff advised that this proposal may be subject to Section 37 Community Benefits, which can be negotiated in exchange for increased height or density. Staff do not yet know whether this will be a candidate for Section 37, but one resident suggested that if approved, and if Section 37 is invoked, they would like a lighted crosswalk at nearby Lakeshore Public School for children crossing Lakeshore Road.
Residents raised concerns about potential increased traffic next to Lakeshore Public School, where snow would be piled, impacts of stormwater runoff onto adjacent properties which already flood, and the lack of a tree bylaw to prevent the clear-cutting of trees that occurred on this site prior to filing the application.
If this site were developed as a single family home, or severed into two, perhaps three lots, and then developed, the maximum lot coverage would be 35% (that only counts buildings, not asphalt driveways). The impervious cover on this site with the proposed five buildings is 22%, according to the powerpoint presentation, but that only counts buildings, not the driveways and visitor parking. According to the applicant’s FUNCTIONAL SERVICING REPORT (available here, pg. 8) the total impervious area post-development would be 58%, significantly more than simply the building calculation.
A primary concern of residents was the impact of the rezoning on the overall character of the neighbourhood along Lakeshore, and that approving this project would encourage more projects of this type, rather than the single family homes with ample greenspace that currently exist along much of Lakeshore Road, especially on the North side.
Though there was some support from area residents for a scaled back version of the development with fewer units, To read the studies submitted in support of the application, visit the city’s webpage dedicated to this development here.
My Take: There are some commendable aspects to what is being proposed, but overall I believe the proposal attempts too much for the site. I could support a smaller project (2 or 3 homes) which would reflect the character of the area and preserve much needed greenspace for natural stormwater absorption and tree planting. The buildings themselves look very nice, and will architecturally blend into the neighbourhood. Several homes on this site is preferable to one 18,000 sq ft monster home (which would be allowed under current rules because of the large lot size). But jamming five homes, four feet apart, with double garages and four on-site visitor parking takes too much impermeable area and replaces it with asphalt and buildings. And there has already been significant loss of tree cover prior to filing the application in anticipation of where buildings and driveways would go and before site plan control came into effect (which does regulate tree cutting, but only after an application is received). The tree cutting prior to applying for a building permit highlights the need for a tree bylaw which I supported, but ultimately failed at council last fall (on 4-3 and 5-2 votes).
I also share the residents’ concerns about the impact of the rezoning on future redevelopment along Lakeshore. The Official Plan and Zoning reflect the community’s vision for the redevelopment of their neighbourhoods, and takes into account the need for intensification. When we vary from this plan we replace the community’s vision with a private vision, influenced at least in part (and sometimes quite significantly) by private profit and economic drivers.
Your Take: What’s your view of this development? Leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback and/or be added to the distribution list to receive notices about this project.