Mirvish+Gehry Toronto | 308m | 82s | Great Gulf | Gehry Partners

greenleaf

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From Councillor Adam Vaughan's newsletter:


Community Planning Meeting:
Mirvish development proposal

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Time: 6:30 – 7:00 pm – open house to view plans, 7:00 – 9:00 pm – presentation and Q+A
Location: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 308/309

I would like to invite you to the second public meeting about the Mirvish/Gehry development proposal on King St W.

At the first meeting, held on December 11, 2012, we collected your feedback about the questions that must be reviewed as part of this development application, over and above the normal process for planning applications.

Thank you to those of you who attended and provided your feedback about the questions that must be asked regarding community services and amenities, height, density, shadow, heritage, traffic, transit, public realm, infrastructure, construction staging, etc. That feedback will help to inform the review and assessment of this application.

At this upcoming meeting, we plan to review the development proposal in greater detail with the applicant in attendance. Join me and City staff to hear about the details of the proposal and provide your feedback.

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend to Councillor_Vaughan@toronto.ca.
 

Mongo

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At the first meeting, held on December 11, 2012, we collected your feedback about the questions that must be reviewed as part of this development application, over and above the normal process for planning applications.

So in other words Vaughan is looking for anything at all that he can use against this project, even if it is not considered an issue with other development applications?
 

wolfewood

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So in other words Vaughan is looking for anything at all that he can use against this project, even if it is not considered an issue with other development applications?

Or maybe he's trying to exercise due diligence on a proposed development that is nearly twice the height limit of the area? And contains more than 2700 units which will be added to an area that already has tens of 45-50s projects under construction or recently finished, with several more proposals? What an anti-development, communist bastard eh? Trying to ensure that all concerns are met before three 80s towers are under construction.
 

greenleaf

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So in other words Vaughan is looking for anything at all that he can use against this project, even if it is not considered an issue with other development applications?

Mongo, I'm not sure if you fall in this camp, so sorry to pick on you, but the posters in the entirely pro-Mirvish/Gehry development camp have been saying that these proposed buildings are so amazing and extraordinary that they should be allowed to build as of right.

Thus on the flip side, since it is so extraordinary, it perhaps requires extraordinary ("over and above the normal process") scrutiny and feedback. I don't think Vaughan is doing anything out of bounds here.
 

fedplanner

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He said he's willing to work with the proposal. I don't think he's ever said that the current proposal meets his approval.

Vaughan is being fair with this one. I don't believe he has come out saying that the development is too tall or too dense and must be reduced. Instead, he's working with the developer and community trying to find common ground between best city planning, appropriate Section 37 benefits, etc.

Buildings of these heights and densities would normally be rejected outright by the planning department.
 

Mike in TO

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So in other words Vaughan is looking for anything at all that he can use against this project, even if it is not considered an issue with other development applications?

Vaughan typically conducts additional community consultation and open houses for most projects in his ward... this is no different. In fact there are several developers in the city that usually try to schedule an open house in the community prior to the normal required public meetings as part of the planning process... so there is no conspiracy here, this is a fairly regular type of community engagement and is a process that many developers welcome with open arms.
 

Mongo

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Vaughan typically conducts additional community consultation and open houses for most projects in his ward... this is no different. In fact there are several developers in the city that usually try to schedule an open house in the community prior to the normal required public meetings as part of the planning process... so there is no conspiracy here, this is a fairly regular type of community engagement and is a process that many developers welcome with open arms.

Fair enough. I myself am fairly neutral -- or better to say undecided -- on this project. However, I always get my back up if I see a person in a position of authority, who is supposed to take a fair and impartial stance towards whatever is under their domain of authority, decide beforehand their position, and then go beyond what they are supposed to do to build a one-sided case against whatever it is they dislike.

From Vaughan's newsletter, it had appeared to me that he had decided to oppose this project and was trolling for anything that he could use as a weapon against it in deliberations. If I was wrong in this assumption, then I have no objections to this meeting.

I agree that this project would be in violation of the existing height guidelines for this district, and if it were approved would likely be considered a precedent for additional very tall buildings in the area. On the other hand, those height guidelines were set before the current explosion of development in the area, and a case can be made that they are outdated and should be changed.
 

marcus_a_j

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From Vaughan's newsletter, it had appeared to me that he had decided to oppose this project and was trolling for anything that he could use as a weapon against it in deliberations. If I was wrong in this assumption, then I have no objections to this meeting.

Regardless of Councilor Vaughan's position, a development proposal of this scale and significance should have additional consultation and meetings. An incredible amount of density is proposed that will have major impacts on the existing infrastructure, services, and land uses across a larger area than the typcial single, 40-storey tower proposals within the Entertainment District. If anyone feels that the pros outweight the cons, then they should participate and express their views and outline the positive merits of the application.
 

Automation Gallery

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An incredible amount of density is proposed that will have major impacts on the existing infrastructure, services, and land uses across a larger area than the typcial single, 40-storey tower proposals within the Entertainment District. .

Uhh, density, existing infrastructure, and services,..... whats the difference in the ED between 3x80 storeys and 6x40 storeys, which Adam Vaughan has supported, and city planning have approved at an alarming rate.....
 

diminutive

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Uhh, density, existing infrastructure, and services,..... whats the difference in the ED between 3x80 storeys and 6x40 storeys, which Adam Vaughan has supported, and city planning have approved at an alarming rate.....

Does Toronto have explicit aggregate density targets for areas? 2,700 units out of the ~50-60,000 units currently under construction in the City is hardly significant.

What basis is there for anyone to claim that Mirvish-Gehry would add 'too much' density to an area? And if there actually are the boundary of what the area's infrastructure can support, wouldn't that suggest a *total* ban on new development, as opposed to simply targeting Mirvish-Gehry?

As much as supertall fanboys are guilty of obsessing about height this obsession with height is hardly limited to them. There is no reason for this 2,700 unit project to generate as much discussion and apprehension as it has when, cumulatively, the City is comfortable adding far more than that.

I get that 80 storeys is tall and this is a big project but it's not really significant compared against larger development trends.
 

gristle

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Uhh, density, existing infrastructure, and services,..... whats the difference in the ED between 3x80 storeys and 6x40 storeys, which Adam Vaughan has supported, and city planning have approved at an alarming rate.....

Exactly where are you getting the idea that Vaughan is supporting six 40-floor buildings as opposed to three 80-floor buildings on the proposed site?
 

marcus_a_j

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Uhh, density, existing infrastructure, and services,..... whats the difference in the ED between 3x80 storeys and 6x40 storeys, which Adam Vaughan has supported, and city planning have approved at an alarming rate.....

The majority of those 40-storey development applications were reviewed and processed as individual applications at specific locations for, let's say, 350 units per; whereas the M+G proposal has 6 times that many units on one and a half blocks. Let's consider servicing infrastructure for a moment. When some of those other applications were being reviewed, there may have been available water and sanitary capacity to service those proposals. Once the services are allocated to those sites, the amount available to service the M+G site, and other sites, is reduced. The other sites could also be connected to different water and sanitary mains of various sizes, each with their own capacity limitations. Of course there is the argument that development charges are paid for every unit approved that goes towards upgrades and expansions to the existing infrastructure. That is true, but I don't believe the City receives full cost-recovery from development charges. And servicing is also just one of many considerations.

I am not arguing against or for the M+G application as I try to be as objective as possible. There is a process involved with every application and comparing the M+G application to many of those in the ED is apples-to-oranges because the scale is so different. Maybe you could compare this to Oxford Place and/or One Yonge because of the scale, but even still they are all major proposals on their own and have different local contexts (moreso One Yonge) and are varied proposals.
 
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