The following quotes originally appeared in this thread.
Residents' group rejects condo bid
Converting existing parking lot 'no real impact': councillor
BY TAMARA SHEPHARD
FEBRUARY 7, 2008 02:45 PM
A 10-storey condominium proposed to be built on a portion of The Old Mill's parking lot could threaten the integrity of the city's new Official Plan, as well as parkland across Toronto, says an area residents' group.
The critical issue is the requirement of an Official Plan (OP) amendment to change the nearly 12,000-square metre site's designation from "Parks and Open Space Areas - Natural Areas" to "Apartment Neighbourhood," say opponents.
But the local councillor disagrees, and says developing the parking lot has no real impact.
"If we continue to make exceptions to the Official Plan... at the end of the day, the Official Plan will stand for nothing," said John Boudreau of Old Millside Residents' Association, an area located just across the Humber River.
"It makes it open season on every ravine in the city of Toronto. It sets a bad precedent, whereby a developer could build a condo in other protected areas in the city."
Santek Investments Inc., which represents the owners of The Old Mill, need an OP and zoning amendment to complete its plans to build an 84-unit condo with four-storey underground garage with 218 parking spaces.
City staff recommend approval of the development, proposed for the upper parking lot on Old Mill Road across the street from The Old Mill, just west of the Humber River.
A public meeting on the proposal is scheduled to come before Etobicoke York Community Council at the Etobicoke Civic Centre on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The Old Millsiders have urged members of residents' groups in neighbouring Kingsway, Bloor West Village, Swansea, Baby Point and Warren Park to attend and to speak at Tuesday night's meeting.
Removal of a total of 322 trees - 58 of them wider than 10 centimetres at 'breast height' - is considered "only a slight impact" to environmental features of the property, the report states.
Boudreau disagrees, and called it 'thin information': "I'd like to see the corresponding evidence from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and (city) urban forestry saying that this is acceptable."
Local Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) Councillor Peter Milczyn called it "a good project," this week.
"On the surface if you read the report, it sounds dastardly, like parkland is being converted into a condo," Milczyn said. "But in reality, it's a parking lot. It doesn't really have an impact.
"If it was a woodlot or green space, I wouldn't support it. But it's a parking lot."
The relatively small size of the project is not likely to generate excessive traffic, Milczyn said, a concern of neighbouring residents.
Residential intensification is appropriate for the site, located perhaps 60 metres from Old Mill Subway station, say Milczyn and city planners.
Boudreau doesn't see it. "Why do people go to The Old Mill? To see a condo, or to see The Old Mill as it was, the Humber River valley and salmon going upstream?"
Community benefits from the proposal recommended by city staff include $500,000 for park improvements in the area, and $100,000 for heritage improvements along the Humber River valley, the final report indicates.