Richmond Hill 8888 Yonge Condominiums | ?m | 15s | Metroview | Northgrave

Dandy Horse

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Feb 22, 2010
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west of bathurst

---- from the richmond hill liberal (newspaper):
They were mannerly, well-spoken and organized, but make no mistake, they are prepared to fight.
More than 200 residents who overflowed council chambers last week received praise from councillors for the orderly way they presented their case against a development planned for Yonge Street in Richvale.
But compliments aren’t what the ratepayers want. They want the proposed highrise development stopped and they vow to fight all the way to the Ontario Municipal Board, despite warnings from one councillor that their chances of success are slim.
“We are prepared and we are very passionate and are going to defend ourselves at any expense,†said Jon Priestly, spokesperson for the South Richvale Ratepayers Association.
Residents in the Ward 5 area bounded by Carrville Road, Yonge Street, Bathurst Street and Hwy. 7 are fighting a proposed development at the southwest corner of Yonge and Westwood Lane.
Two developers are proposing three zoning bylaw amendments to allow mixed-use, high-density residential/commercial buildings including a 24-storey residential building and seniors apartments on 5.12 acres at 8874 and 8890 Yonge St.
Local residents, however, say the height, density and design is inconsistent and incompatible with the neighbourhood. They are concerned about lack of parkland, traffic, safety, noise and shadowing over nearby homes.
A petition with more than 600 names voiced concern that the development would cause a significant drop in property value, overload schools and community services and create unbearable parking and driving conditions.
“It’s detrimental to the residents and it could set a precedent,†said chairperson Colin Dungy. “Frankly, it thumbs its nose at the official plan.
“We have to ask, who determines the future of Richmond Hill? ...Is it going to be driven by developers seeking, understandably, maximizing their profit? Or is it going to be based on the principles of sound planning?â€
“We understand there’s going to be growth,†resident George Lucas told councillors. “But you need to know how this is going to affect us — dramatically. I’m sure the developers don’t live somewhere under a highrise. And I think developers have a moral obligation to society and some vision to create something lasting, something good, something that will fit in a community ... I hope that the dollar isn’t the bottom line.â€
Ward 5 Councillor Nick Papa supported the residents’ statements, pointing to flaws in the design including lack of parkland, too-small units and buildings too close to the street.
“I’d like to see something well built with good-sized condominiums and respecting the neighbourhood ... How much money do you want to make? Be comfortable. Be respectable.â€
Councillor Lynn Foster emphasized the importance of preserving the “iconic vision†looking north up Yonge Street from Hwy. 7 to the old church steeples in centre of town.
Michael Goldberg, planning consultant for the applicants Great Land (Westwood) Inc. and Angelo, Louise and Josephine Cimetta, said the developers’ plans — for one and two-bedroom units with underground parking, 10,000 square feet of commercial use and an “upscale†seniors residence — presented the fundamental building blocks and “a very good starting point for discussionâ€.
He said his clients have heard residents’ comments and there is room for discussion.
However, in the meantime, the applicants have already appealed directly to the OMB. Notice of their move was filed with the town last Friday.
Mr. Priestly said his neighbours are prepared, if necessary, to go to bat for the community, are strongly united and have the social media to do so.
They may also have the finances and clout.
With multi-million dollar custom-built homes on large lots and property assessments ranging from $500,000 to $6 million, Richvale “has Canada’s who’s who of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, professionals and even politiciansâ€, Mr. Priestly said.
And residents are prepared to take their battle to the OMB if necessary.
“If you have a $3 or $4 million home, to spend $50,000 or $100,000 for a lawyer to prevent a $500,000 devaluation, it’s not rocket science. We’re going to do it and we’re going to put up a damn good argument.â€
But Councillor Greg Beros warned residents to be realistic about their chances.
While he agreed with residents’ concerns, he said “I want to speak to the reality of the situation... To think that just because we say ‘no’ fixes everything? That’s not the case at all.
“If the official plan was the Bible, we wouldn’t be here arguing this. Will this council really decide what building goes up in your community? Maybe. There may be an opportunity for a settlement offer. And that’s the card some of the developers play.â€
But he added, “we’re the lowest form of government in the whole hierarchy of government in Canada... We are but a child of the province. ...I only say this not to be negative but to put the point home that we don’t get to create our own destiny at times.â€
Mr. Beros appealed to the developer to listen to the community, “come with something that is reasonable they can say yes toâ€.
Councillor Godwin Chan agreed it may not be in anyone’s best interest to go to the OMB, “but at the end of the day, it is the southern gateway to the beautiful town of Richmond Hill. It has to be visually appealing.
“It’s good that we’re standing together with the community. This is something we’re not afraid to take to the OMB on the ground of principles, for respect for this community’s expectationsâ€
The next step in the planning process involves staff gathering technical information, working with the developer if representatives are willing, and when analysis is complete, presenting their report back to council.
As much as I hate NIMBYs, it is incredibly reckless of the city to allow development of highrises so far away from downtown. Even North York shouldn't exist. Instead, those areas should've been well integrated midrises, with all the high rises concentrated in the downtown area (with no height/shadow/wind/other-BS limits). We should instead focus on building those residential and commercial buildings in place of the crap that currently stands on Yonge from Queen to Bloor. Highrise suburban sprawl is still suburban sprawl, especially when the built form has no urban integration whatsoever as is typical of tower-in-the-parkinglot suburban highrises.

Never thought I'd say this, but good luck to those NIMBYs. Not for the merits of their objection, but for the outcome of it, which would help limit suburban sprawl.
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just a few thoughts:
- it should be considered infill, as its on a brownfield and surrounded by 80s sprawl
- it is really very big, but the developer probably did that so they can cut a few floors off the top and act like they did something
-the proposed Yonge subway extension terminus will be a 450m (6 min walk) south of this spot, and the site is currently serviced by VIVA blue N/S and VIVA purple E/W, the later of which is getting the new BRT line that will be open pretty soon.
-ridership of the current area is nowhere near high enough to support a subway, but a subway is coming anyways.
Two wrongs don't make a right. We can't say that we need to intensify the area, because a subway (which never should've even been considered) was foolishly built there. We've already made that stupid mistake a few times in the past. Like I said, North York shouldn't even exist, so we definitely shouldn't be supporting this kind of crap sprawl. I'd be willing to bet that the plan is a condo-in-the-parkinglot that adds nothing to the area but increased traffic anyways - no loss at all. I truly hope that these NIMBYs win this battle, even though I completely disagree with their reasoning.
DtTO: You know this is outside of Toronto's boundaries and therefore has nothing to do with the City, right? Beyond that, "Even North York shouldn't exist"? You mean the downtown area there?

Dandy Horse: The subway is may be coming up there, but I'd be surprised if it's anytime soon.

By Toronto, I was referring to the GTA, and by North York, I was referring to NYCC. That area should've been a well integrated midrise neighbourhood if anything, not a disjointed cluster of highrises that form a vertical suburb.
It could be as little as 6-7 years until the subway opens, but I have to agree that this is a case of nimby ism. What happens when the subway does open in a decade and these people are fighting every development that isn't a single family subdivision?
By Toronto, I was referring to the GTA, and by North York, I was referring to NYCC. That area should've been a well integrated midrise neighbourhood if anything, not a disjointed cluster of highrises that form a vertical suburb.

There is no GTA-wide planning taking place that would allow someone in Toronto to stop a high-rise in Richmond Hill.

Why should high-rises only occur in Downtown Toronto?

The Yonge line is most likely going to get extended, and although everyone in toronto knows we need a drl fast, there is so many weird deals with York Region and the province that something as dysfunctional as a Yonge extension is not only possible but very likely. just look at Vaughan getting a subway. that made even less sense than this!

Also, here is some photos of the plan, its coming from the Ratepayers website page:

If Richmond Hill construction projects were bell-curved, this baby would be getting a scholarship. thats not saying much as richmond hill's most iconic style is the puke beige styrofoam mansion.
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Having lived in Richmond Hill for most of my life I can definitly understand the concerns of the residents. The traffic along Yonge here is just rediculous. The recent condo developments near this stretch add to the problem as they are not very 'urban' in character and most residents stick to their cars. As for the subway going to Hwy 7, I am still against that. The ttc should worry about Toronto first and foremost. They should extend the subway to Steeles, make a big station there where there is a nearly seamless transition between yrt/viva routes (perhaps a viva LRT in the distant future) and the subway. Also extending the Richmond Hill GO Train line (which I think may already be in the works) and increasing its service ought to take some of the burden off.
I can see the subway (but only to Hi-way 7) going ahead without the DRL ... why ? Politics of course ...

Anyway this seems like a good place to concentrate such development, its just north of the last subway stop ...

The comment that all Hi-Rise development should be downtown is idealist (and many don't even share this view), the point is a lot of the commercial development that will take place in the GTA will be in the 905 (regardless of the mini-commerical boon that has taken place in the core). This implies there will be a need to accommodate the new residents ... or are you suggesting those who work in the 905 should live in condos downtown ... well if I was in this situation I sure as hell would ... but I'm sure many won't.

So again, what options does that leave ? More sprawl on the outer edges of the 905, or more concentrated development in areas that are / can be well served by transit.

Of course a big problem here is that for this model to work, most of the office development in the 905 should take place in such "centers / nodes" unfortunately, this has really hasn't taken off at all ... while areas like MCC, and downtown Markham are developing into these dense residential areas there has been very little commercial that has followed suite, as most new 905 development takes place in areas such as the airport corporate center. Downtown Markham has plans for a lot of commercial, but the demand side hasn't been validated yet. VCC has a better chance with the subway (and an office proposal already in the works).
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To go into detail with the yonge extension, funding is planned to come from the big move transit tax (which I'm sure you have heard of) in this tax, they plan for 3 "waves" of projects as the funding comes in. I trust that Metrolinx Is not completely insane and will place the yonge extension in a wave behind the DRL, or at least in the same phase so that they open at the same time.

As for ridership levels, the yonge extension will have enough to be justified. 120,000 people board every day at finch right now, and post extension around 100,000 of those boarders will move onto the extension. Plus new ridership growth, this will allow for it to have strong ridership, with levels actually similar to the projections for the DRL.
Im not sure if I can accept that the yonge extension in total will have the same ridership as the drl. sure, the terminal station will have all the feeder lines going into it like finch does now, but other than that, there are about 0 pedestrians north of Steeles on Yonge, and the VIVA numbers here seem to be consistant with the rest of the line, possibly even lower than central richmond hill.