News   Jul 15, 2024
 140     0 
News   Jul 12, 2024
 1.7K     0 
News   Jul 12, 2024
 1.3K     1 

Zoning Reform Ideas

The Supplementary Report from the City Planner is now available for EHON major streets.

They have revised the Unit Cap to 60 units.

Report Link:


From the above:

1716387644911.png

1716387729548.png


***

1716387754254.png


***

Staff are retaining the amenity requirement, I disagree and would love to hear a member of Council challenge them on what this amenity space would be in a small building and what value it would produce.

***

Finally, staff do not support removing any streets from the list.
 
This reform is coming just in time!


Except it won't result in significant new construction in the near term.

Look at all the reforms we've done already, and housing starts have slipped to a six year low.

That's because interest rates and incomes are far larger issues than zoning.
 
So would 60 units and relaxed angular plane requirements make for significant improvements over current yellowbelt development pro-formas?
 
So would 60 units and relaxed angular plane requirements make for significant improvements over current yellowbelt development pro-formas?

It certainly improves the viability of smaller scale, main street development.

However, its worth saying, the City's own analysis showed that under the 30 unit proposal, you couldn't actually build a rental building in Scarborough workably, at least with any consistency.

As structured, I don't expect it to generate hundreds of proposals in the first year.

Part of that is just the market being in the toilet right now; but part is also some of the remaining complexities and challenges.

If all goes well, I imagine you may see a couple of dozen sites move forward in the first 18 months. But in the current market, those may be at the expense of other proposals getting stale.

****

Others may have alternative thoughts.
 
@AlexBozikovic has a new column up at the Globe:


The long and short of it is that he takes his usual tack that the City is too timid and that EHON major streets doesn't go far enough.

Unfortunately, while he has some small bits right (and some of us are trying to fix those)...........( see 30 unit limit, which will actually be 60 today at Council, something he missed); he has more that's wrong.

***

Per my usual, if you abolished zoning entirely which seems to be what Alex wants, since it can never be liberal enough for him; you still wouldn't get any more housing than you're getting now, nor would it be more affordable.

There needs to be a clear statement made about the capacity of the industry to build, and about interest rates and population growth and how those are the drivers of the housing crisis, not restrictive zoning. Less restrictive zoning (to a point) makes great sense, I've been an advocate of it for longer than Alex. But you have to understand what it will achieve and will not achieve. It will promote some greater choice in form of housing and location, and tenure; it will not increase affordability or total supply.

***

There are also myriad reasons as-of-right 16 storey or 160 storey on every street corner is not remotely desirable. This would create unlivable streetscapes in perpetual darkness with high wind where no plants can survive and where no one would ever want to spend five minutes of their time voluntarily. That in turn would promote driving everywhere, since no one would want to walk or bike through that environment, and with the lack of greenery would promote ecological deteriroration and climate change.

The notion of nuance, some height in some places but not any height, anywhere, seems a step too far for some.
 
I generally agree with Alex, but given the city is unlocking 31,000 lots for experimentation, the tone should be "This is an important step, let's get it passed and look at how we can get people to build within these parameters, then look at what to unlock next." Even if you think it's totally fine for 6 storey apartment buildings to be less than 11 metres apart, who cares if dozens or hundreds or projects are built while that restriction is in place? You can think the city is being too timid *and* shout that this should be passed ASAP.
 
To the group: In the spirit of making the most of what we've got in front of us, and with staff having upped the unit cap from 30 to 60, if you could add one more amendment to the current proposal to improve the policy (outside of expanding the scope to more streets/lots), what would you propose? Reducing setback requirements?
 
To the group: In the spirit of making the most of what we've got in front of us, and with staff having upped the unit cap from 30 to 60, if you could add one more amendment to the current proposal to improve the policy (outside of expanding the scope to more streets/lots), what would you propose? Reducing setback requirements?

I'd ditch amenity requirements first.

They are dead space from a selling/renting point of view, and in small developments that's financially significant. The added bonus is that it doesn't make anything 'worse' from a neighbour's point of view.

I think the setbacks need work, but the problem there is that I don't think the solutions are uniform; that is to say, I don't think the setback rules should be the same on every street, every corner and every lot, and trying to make a worthwhile change,
at the City-wide level is more challenging.
 
Last edited:
Councillor Cheng the first to ask interesting questions..............

1) What prevails in a Secondary Plan vs the new As-of-Right.........

Answer - (slightly hedged) The Secondary Plan would prevail.

2) (Paraphrase) I want more retail on streets like Sheppard, Finch, Bathurst and Bayview, does this require that?

(Answer No);
Does it permit it (yes).......

Follow-up, is there something we can do to 'encourage' more retail?

Answer: Planning will be undertaking a review of our Avenues policy this fall with possible consideration of redesignating additional major street sections as Avenues.
 
Councillor Cheng the first to ask interesting questions..............

1) What prevails in a Secondary Plan vs the new As-of-Right.........

Answer - (slightly hedged) The Secondary Plan would prevail.

2) (Paraphrase) I want more retail on streets like Sheppard, Finch, Bathurst and Bayview, does this require that?

(Answer No);
Does it permit it (yes).......

Follow-up, is there something we can do to 'encourage' more retail?

Answer: Planning will be undertaking a review of our Avenues policy this fall with possible consideration of redesignating additional major street sections as Avenues.

Oh God, Holyday is speaking now.
 
EHON - Major Streets passes, ultimately 21-3

60 units passes as well.

****

You can therefore imagine that Councillor Holyday's motion to spike the whole thing failed 3-21

Holyday's other motion to nix through lots (lots that back onto a major street) also failed.

All but two motions to exclude specific streets failed though you can tell which Councillor's are better liked........... LOL

Crisanti's motion to exclude portions of Martin Grove, Steeles and Kipling fails 4-20

Burnside's motion to exclude Sloane Ave fails 7-17

Ainslie's motion to exclude Guildwood Parkway fails 10-14

But Councillor McKelvie did get an exclusion........one of which definitely seems meritorious, the other I need to look into.

1716503805244.png


Interesting tidbit there.............expansion of Rouge Park coming...


Also Councillor Saxe got this:

1716504093389.png


This one makes perfect sense as the houses in question are way above Bayview avenue at the top of forested slopes.
 
Last edited:

Back
Top