News   Sep 25, 2020
 1.3K     5 
News   Sep 25, 2020
 438     1 
News   Sep 25, 2020
 2.5K     7 

Zoning Reform Ideas

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7,480
Reaction score
8,668
Location
Toronto/EY
He’s not very complementary on the planners’ attitude towards the report. And in fact, the summary doesn’t make strong recommendations for change: it asks for more studies around options for increasing the missing middle:

I'm inclined to agree with him.

There are somethings that require some measure of planning/phasing (for instance, if one wanted missing middle on major roads where subdivisions currently turn their back on the main road, lot depth often precludes viable redevelopment.

So there is a need for a larger re-think.

****

That said, Council could at least waive minimum parking requirements for smaller buildings city-wide; and all buildings in the old City of Toronto effective immediately.

Even one, up-front, grand gesture would be useful and welcome.

The report is too vague/wishy-washy..
 
Last edited:

allengeorge

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
Also, more studies is simply a way of kicking the can down the road and avoiding change. I really want to understand why Toronto’s planners refuse to challenge the status quo. It’s not like slow rolling this is actually going to get these changes accepted, is it?
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
28,137
Reaction score
16,464
Location
Toronto
He’s not very complementary on the planners’ attitude towards the report. And in fact, the summary doesn’t make strong recommendations for change: it asks for more studies around options for increasing the missing middle:

A report about increasing the missing middle ask for more reports about it. :rolleyes: So many weasel-words in that summary.

AoD
 

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7,480
Reaction score
8,668
Location
Toronto/EY
A report about increasing the missing middle ask for more reports about it. :rolleyes: So many weasel-words in that summary.

AoD
I see this sort of nonsense out of Parks, Forestry and Recreation all the time.

A councillor asks what it would cost to reduce user fees or directs to make a new/expanded park a priority.............and you get back an 80 page glossy report that has wasted months (or longer) of staff and consultant time and in the end doesn't actually achieve what was asked or even come close.

It ends up with an action plan that involves more delay, deflection and reports and no actual, action.
 

Towered

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
2,881
I’m surprised that parking minimums still remain. Heck - Edmonton just removed minimums.
It's mind boggling. Why does this even exist here? Why are no councillors trying to change this? I thought the city was trying to discourage car use rather than encourage it - isn't that the thinking behind the Official Plan, Places to Grow, Avenues, Vision Zero, blah blah blah?
 

ADRM

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
4,973
Reaction score
12,301
It's mind boggling. Why does this even exist here? Why are no councillors trying to change this? I thought the city was trying to discourage car use rather than encourage it - isn't that the thinking behind the Official Plan, Places to Grow, Avenues, Vision Zero, blah blah blah?
The reason, in short, is the downtown-suburban divide on Council (and within the Planning Department), and the associated dearth of rapid transit across the city. Basically, downtown councillors (and, to some extent, planners) are generally in favour of waiving or significantly reducing parking requirements in new developments (of many scales), while it's something close to anathema for suburban councillors (and, to some extent, planners), at least in the areas that aren't on one of the two subway lines.

If you talk to a non-downtown councillor about a site that's not on a subway line, one of the first and most consistently significant concerns you typically hear is about parking, and this comes more or less directly from constituents; it's actually sort of astonishing, the degree to which local planning decisions (and a good deal of NIMBYism) revolve around vehicular parking. My personal opinion is that you'd get a whole lot less of this if mode share was more equally distributed across the city, but we have decades of shitty land use and transit planning to thank for that non-reality.

(This is of course a bit of a generalization, and the commentary is somewhat more true of how the discussion typically unfolds around larger-scale buildings, as opposed to missing middle types, to the extent that they currently exist.)
 

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
7,480
Reaction score
8,668
Location
Toronto/EY
The reason, in short, is the downtown-suburban divide on Council (and within the Planning Department), and the associated dearth of rapid transit across the city. Basically, downtown councillors (and, to some extent, planners) are generally in favour of waiving or significantly reducing parking requirements in new developments (of many scales), while it's something close to anathema for suburban councillors (and, to some extent, planners), at least in the areas that aren't on one of the two subway lines.

If you talk to a non-downtown councillor about a site that's not on a subway line, one of the first and most consistently significant concerns you typically hear is about parking, and this comes more or less directly from constituents; it's actually sort of astonishing, the degree to which local planning decisions (and a good deal of NIMBYism) revolve around vehicular parking. My personal opinion is that you'd get a whole lot less of this if mode share was more equally distributed across the city, but we have decades of shitty land use and transit planning to thank for that non-reality.

(This is of course a bit of a generalization, and the commentary is somewhat more true of how the discussion typically unfolds around larger-scale buildings, as opposed to missing middle types, to the extent that they currently exist.)
Edmonton is not a particularly urban city, nor particularly lefty as Canadian or European standards go............

I think if the idea is sellable there, its sellable here.

Part of that is surely using the right rhetoric.

ie. Developer-choice, business-friendly, lower cost, and to remind councillors and communicates alike, no minimum parking doesn't mean 'no parking'.

It just means the developer is free to assess the market for their property and propose (up to existing maximums) the parking they feel is appropriate.

I'd then add, there is nothing stopping City Planning from amending the parking standards as they apply in the old City of Toronto and portions of East York, for now; and get to the burbs later.
 

allengeorge

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
111
I think if the idea is sellable there, its sellable here.

Part of that is surely using the right rhetoric.

ie. Developer-choice, business-friendly, lower cost, and to remind councillors and communicates alike, no minimum parking doesn't mean 'no parking'.

It just means the developer is free to assess the market for their property and propose (up to existing maximums) the parking they feel is appropriate.
Agreed. I'm surprised that this isn't pushed for underneath the auspices of "let the market decide".
 

Towered

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
2,881
The reason, in short, is the downtown-suburban divide on Council (and within the Planning Department), and the associated dearth of rapid transit across the city. Basically, downtown councillors (and, to some extent, planners) are generally in favour of waiving or significantly reducing parking requirements in new developments (of many scales), while it's something close to anathema for suburban councillors (and, to some extent, planners), at least in the areas that aren't on one of the two subway lines.

If you talk to a non-downtown councillor about a site that's not on a subway line, one of the first and most consistently significant concerns you typically hear is about parking, and this comes more or less directly from constituents; it's actually sort of astonishing, the degree to which local planning decisions (and a good deal of NIMBYism) revolve around vehicular parking. My personal opinion is that you'd get a whole lot less of this if mode share was more equally distributed across the city, but we have decades of shitty land use and transit planning to thank for that non-reality.

(This is of course a bit of a generalization, and the commentary is somewhat more true of how the discussion typically unfolds around larger-scale buildings, as opposed to missing middle types, to the extent that they currently exist.)
As several UT members have proposed in other threads, the suburban areas of the city are awash with conveniently wide roads to which transit BRT ROW's and cycle tracks could be added easily and cheaply in order to rapidly create safe, grade-separated transportation options in all those areas that don't currently have them.

There is no excuse as to why Toronto can't or shouldn't implement such an initiative immediately.
 

WislaHD

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
8,822
Reaction score
6,619
Location
Midtown Toronto
Large swathes of the city could become easily accessible to downtown employment within a 45-minute commute if we implemented a BRT network on all arterial roads.

This would boost the attractiveness of corridors and neighbourhoods across the city for development and intensification of uses.
 

Towered

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
2,881
Large swathes of the city could become easily accessible to downtown employment within a 45-minute commute if we implemented a BRT network on all arterial roads.

This would boost the attractiveness of corridors and neighbourhoods across the city for development and intensification of uses.
Exactly, it's an absolute no-brainer, but this city obsesses over arguing and revising every subway or LRT proposal, so other, simple-yet-transformative ideas such as a BRT network get completely overlooked. I mean I get that recently 5 "bus priority" (whatever that means - if they're not in exclusive ROW's then it's a waste of time) corridors have been identified as a priority, but the plan is not nearly bold enough.
 

Top