We received an email late in September that North Drive Investments had appealed their re-zoning application to the OMB.
Sarah Doucette told their lawyer at the Oct 1 meeting that it was a slap in the face to residents (we all agreed) and then agreed to listen to why they’d done it and to why they propose continuing with the Working Group process, should residents agree. Basically, they said that it was clear differences on massing and height were irreconcilable, and they wanted to get in the queue for an OMB hearing – likely in the early Spring. We agreed to listen.
They’re willing to think about a short list of items but not height, massing, design, and angular planes. That leaves window dressing.
After the meeting we spoke with Sarah Doucette and Phil, the planner.
They are able to opt for the OMB appeal because the process of applying for and getting a decision on their application has now taken more than 120-days. They have not done the same with their application for 2114 Bloor, but it’s been suggested 1990 was their first priority in terms of timing.
It was agreed last night that Sarah Doucette’s office will contact the Working Group members who were not there and fill them in. She will also contact North Drive and 1) get them to respond to some things that were added/re-iterated last night by us, and 2) tell us what concrete proposals for change they are willing to commit to so that we know whether we want to show for the scheduled next meeting of the W.G. on Oct 15th.
It may not be worth continuing with the Working Group. The things that matter most to those who live nearby and to the Village as a whole will not be touched. The smaller issues can/might be addressed by the OMB, or later by the City – when and if some kind of building goes ahead.
Residents wanting to participate in the OMB process can do so as participants or parties. These are legal terms to the OMB, but basically participant allows you to vent (minimal weight to the quasi-judicial OMB) while parties get to introduce their own planning evidence and question the evidence led by the applicant.
Parties have to be incorporated in some fashion. Fund raising is the issue. It would take several thousand dollars to hire an expert to report and attend. It would be a big step and would require extensive networking with other RAs and residents near the 2114 project.