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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Queen Condo - Community Consultation Meeting

By John Ellis

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The Community Consultation Meeting at the Beaches Library on March 23 was specifically with regard to "Application to Demolish Rental Housing", related to the proposed condo development at 1862 to 1876 Queen East. Facilitators were Tine Major of City Planning and Noreen Dunphy of City Housing.

The city has policies and by-laws to protect rental housing and tenants. However, all of the rental properties in this project are in a "High End" category (the other two are "Mid-Range" and "Affordable") at 1.5 times average market rent, under which the city doesn't ordinarily demand that the developer take steps to provide replacement of rental units, tenant relocation or assistance. (The city can take steps to assist tenants at any time up to approval of the Building Permit.)

City Planning has tentatively approved all but two aspects of the builder's application for the six-storey building (and the city wasn't discussing which two were still under review). Assuming resolution of the two issues, the goal is to have a draft by-law before a daytime meeting of Community Council, where citizens can make presentations, by the end of June. If approved there, the application would go to city council (where citizens will not be able to make presentations) hopefully by the end of July.

Notice of the Community Council meeting will be distributed within 120m of the site and to anyone who attended earlier meetings (i.e., several BTRA Board members and other Triangle residents). The developer would then file for a Building Permit and all of the details in the Site Plan would probably take four to six months to be approved (e.g., November).

Bottom line? A shovel wouldn't go into the ground until spring 2010 at the earliest. If the economy doesn't improve, development may be further delayed or, the developer's agent stated, "We may divest ourselves of the property".

Footnote: The owner of a nearby home was there primarily because of concern about the shadow impact (e.g., slower melting of snow off the roof, decreased light for a skylight and the yard), discomfort during construction (vibration, noise and dust), and irritation with traffic in the alley. If the development is approved, this resident of many years will seriously consider moving.

A local resident believes the developer badly wants six stories so the elite penthouses can have a lake view - over the roofs of the buildings across Queen and the houses beyond - perhaps helping to justify the million dollar price mentioned earlier.