UPDATE: 240 Markland Drive Proposed Development
On June 6th, the Council Chambers at Etobicoke Civic Center was overflowing with Markland residents concerned about the status of the 240 Markland Drive rezoning proposal. Since 2011, four building proposal iterations were submitted by the developer. The City Planning department seemed to be satisfied that the latest revision was close to being compliant to the Official City Plan for Apartment Neighbourhoods. The Planning department crafted a positive report that they presented to City Council. They recommended the proposal be accepted for the property to be rezoned. Since the developer appealed the project to the Ontario Municipal Board in December 2017, this was a request for guidance from the City Planning Department to the City Council. The agenda was tabled for June 6th, where 11 Etobicoke/York City Councillors would accept or reject the Planning report to recommend a rezoning change.
Your MWHA was following this rezoning application closely since its inception. A special MWHA Committee was formed to analyze and advocate for the interests of the neighbourhood. An urban planner was retained by the Association to provide important guidance. You have always been informed of the application status via the Marklander and the many email announcements, two City hosted meetings as well as two MWHA organized meetings. You also participated in two surveys in 2014 as well as 2017. In the weeks and days before the June 6th meeting, your MWHA either met personally with the eleven Etobicoke York councillors or discussed the rezoning application with their primary staff office members. The purpose of the meetings or discussions was to obtain the important support necessary for the MWHA residents’ requests.
That evening, on June 6th, present were Councillors Holyday, Grimes, Di Ciano, Campbell, Crisanti, Doucette and Di Giorgio. Quorum was met. Also present were City staff from the Planning, Traffic and Engineering Departments. The developer was in attendance in the audience. Eighteen Markland residents provided five-minute deputations to the Council. Each deputant had unique representations as to why the rezoning proposal should not be allowed or if allowed, to be modified. The modifications related to limiting the height of the new structure in such a way as to not exceed the existing apartment building height as well as to terrace the sides. Augmented traffic, site safety, fire safety, setbacks, quality of life, parking and construction management mattered importantly to the 18 residents who spoke. The two 2014 and 2017 surveys were referenced by one speaker and acknowledged by Councillor Holyday. To conclude, if this application would be approved, then it would set a precedent for the owners of the adjacent apartment properties to apply for infill building heights that would exceed the existing structures. After the presentations, the Councillors voted unanimously to reject the City Planning report and to implement the changes that the residents requested. The Councillors also required that the developer submit a construction plan as well as an engineering plan for approval by the City Engineer. Please refer to the link below for more information from the City.
(Google search term: “toronto.ca ey31.8 2018”)
Seventeen Markland resident deputants appear on the list. Most of you may know one or more individuals who spoke before the councillors and we would urge you to contact them to get a personal perspective from that evening. The process will continue on June 26th, where the entire City of Toronto Council will re-vote on this application. This is a City Council vote where no public input is allowed but can be observed from the public gallery at City Hall. The process continues further, where your MWHA will be present at the Ontario Municipal Board on August 13th to discuss hearing schedule matters for some time in 2019 or later.
Special Community Meeting:
Executive Summary Georgina Balascas, President of the Markland Wood Homeowners Association (MWHA), welcomed the over 300 residents who came to the St. Clement Catholic Church Parish Hall to be informed of the present development plans for the 240 Markland Drive location. She also welcomed Councillor Stephen Holyday, recently elected to represent Ward 3, who had been specifically invited. On hand as well was Peter Swinton of PMG Consultants, a planning expert retained by the MWHA Board.
After brief introductory remarks on the work of the MWHA, Georgina then invited the residents to look carefully at the scale model of the proposed constructed buildings on exhibit in the rear of the church hall. Georgina then introduced Patrick Clifford, a former president of the MWHA, who co-chairs the Committee of the Board dedicated to this 240 Markland development project. Patrick thanked the residents for coming and stressed in no uncertain terms that this proposed development is THE most important issue affecting Markland Wood since the construction of the McDonald’s restaurant and the building of a new runway at the airport in years past. The proposed construction of two extra condo towers along with a set of townhouses as well as a smaller low rise building along Sunplains on the 240 Markland site would likely set a chain reaction precedent to allow other tall building construction on the opposite corners of the apartment properties at 210, 265 & 287 Markland Drive. He went on to say the owner of the property at 240 Markland does have a right to build something on the property, but that the scale of what is allowable with new construction is defined by the policies set forth in the City’s Official Plan. He concluded by saying the community will want to continue to work through the MWHA Board to influence whatever might additionally go on the site.
Patrick then invited Councillor Holyday to address the audience and comment on this development. The Councillor expressed his wish to avoid going into an adversarial legal process at the Ontario Municipal Board. He invited all residents to come forward with valid concerns qualifying why they oppose it and not just expressions of not wanting the development.
Patrick then called upon Peter Swinton of PMG, an urban planning firm. Mr. Swinton had a 15 year tenure with the City of Toronto Planning Department before joining PMG and is very knowledgeable about the City’s Official Plan, as well as the criteria for possible developments in various parts of the GTA, divided into high growth, stable growth and industrial areas.
Mr. Swinton explained the fundamentals of the Official Plan and then outlined and compared the details of the developer’s three proposals put forward over the past four years. The first and second iterations were rejected by the City. The current third proposal is still under study by different City of Toronto departments. The resident density of the third proposal had a marginally smaller number than what was proposed in the first two. Peter concluded that the proposed plans did not meet the guidelines for Apartment Neighbourhoods, Medium Sized Buildings nor the Tall Buildings criteria as set forth in the City’s Official Plan. Following Mr. Swinton’s presentation, there was an open question-answer period for members of the audience.
Members of the Board of the MWHA received various positive comments about the meeting, including that it was well organized and very informative. Many commented that it is clear the proposed project will overwhelm the existing apartment building. Those in attendance were urged to stay tuned to the Marklander and the Markland Website throughout the summer for any further news on the matter. Patrick Clifford indicated there could likely be a meeting for the Members of the Association at some point in the future to formally vote on any serious proposal which might be brought to the attention of the Board.
Monday May 25, 2015 - Special Community Meeting - New Condo Bldgs on Bloor-Markland
240 MARKLAND DRIVE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
IT’S NOT OVER!!!
A revised development proposal has been submitted to city planning.
Your MWHA believes that approval of the current high rise proposal is precedent setting due to its size and density. It’s of major concern for our community since an approved unprecedented high rise development at 240 Markland Drive could also allow three or more additional high rise towers next to the existing apartment buildings at 210 (Fairview Towers), 265 (Mikado Apartments) and 287 (The Coach House) Markland Drive.
SPECIAL COMMUNITY MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 25 at 7:00 p.m.
ST. CLEMENT CATHOLIC CHURCH (Parish Hall)
Please join us and our invited guest Councillor Stephen Holyday for a special community meeting to hear more about this revised proposal and to let your Markland Wood Homeowners Association know what you as a community think of this development and what you would like the Association to do on your behalf with respect to this development, going forward.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND THIS MEETING YOU CAN STILL LET US AND OUR COUNCILLOR KNOW YOUR VIEW BY CONTACTING US AT:
See below, history of 240 Markland Drive plans from March 2011
The latest February 10, 2015 development proposal, shown above, now consists of two connected high rise condominium towers (53.05 m & 37.55m / 14 & 9 storeys) tall, Townhomes on Broadfield Drive (10.35 m/3 storeys tall) and a low rise building on Sunplains Crescent (9.15 m/2 storeys tall). The existing 27.7m tall Renaissance apartment tower at 240 Markland, seen between the two towers above, will remain.
240 Markland Update March 2015
The 240 Markland Condominium Development project is back after more than a year and back on this community’s agenda now, like it or not. As promised, your MWHA is staying on top of this application and will do all that it can in the best interests of our community. Stay tuned in the coming months to the Marklander and our website for news on this and what you can do to help your Board of Directors ensure the best outcome for our community. Here is what has recently transpired...
On February 25, three MWHA Directors attended the offices of the City of Toronto Urban Planning Department located at the Etobicoke Civic Center.
The purpose of the meeting was as a result of the MWHA being notified that the developer had submitted an updated architectural drawing set as well as other supporting documents on February 13, 2015. The meeting was hosted by the City urban planner assigned to this development proposal. The developer’s effort began in June 2011. Your Directors were there to review the new submissions and inquire on the next sequence of events by the City.
The new proposal submitted outlines the construction of a 14 storey (53.05 m tall) and a 9 storey (37.55 m tall) building fronting Bloor Street, 8 townhouse units fronting Broadfield Dr. and a 2 storey building fronting Sunplains Cres. The existing apartment building would be retained. For comparison, in terms of height, the Fairview Towers hi-rise (13 storey) apartment complex located across the street from the 240 Development is approximately 38 m tall.
The purpose of the developer’s new document set is to enable York-Etobicoke elected Councillors to vote on rezoning the 240 Markland Drive property from a low rise to a high rise, high density building project. If the zoning is approved by a City council vote, then the developer will proceed with filing for a building permit application. At that stage, issues such as engineering, machinery placement, staging, scheduling, public safety, traffic deviations, water supply, sewer capacity, electrical supply, surface finishes, landscaping, etc... are studied for best practices, commented and formalized.
The planner requested several City departments to review the new documents and to provide comments. These comments are expected to be submitted back to the planner within a 5 to 6 week time frame. MWHA will be allowed to review these anticipated comments after they are received by the planner.
Depending on the types of comments received, the planner may return the developer’s proposal back for corrections as requested by the City. If the comments conclude that the proposal is compliant with City zoning development guidelines, then the planner will write a report addressed to City Council, requesting a vote on the matter. The report will be placed on the City Council agenda voting schedule queue, estimated for the summer 2015 time frame.
The planner indicated that our Ward 3 Councillor, Stephen Holyday, may request a public meeting to be held on the matter. MWHA invited Councillor Holyday to attend its monthly board meeting convened on March 4th. Councillor Holyday was formally introduced to our board and was given a quick overview of the 240 Markland Drive development. Another meeting with the Councillor will be convened at a later date to discuss the 240 Development in greater detail.
Details of the new development proposal can be found on the City of Toronto’s “Development Application” site. The public can download the developer’s drawings and reports at this site. MWHA urges all residents to visit: http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentApplications/
Click on the link at the bottom of the page called “Supporting Documentation”. All the files pertaining to the new proposal are available for download.
Your Markland Wood Homes Association needs to get an accurate appreciation of the extent to which all Marklanders are:
(a) aware of the proposal for a new condominium development at 240 Markland Drive,
(b) opposed to the development, and
(c) will contribute to a dedicated legal fund to defend the community’s interests.
You should know that to continue a legal fight with the developers and arrive at a solution for 240 Markland Drive that is acceptable to the community, we will need to establish an ACTION TRUST FUND. We expect this will require a contribution of at least $100 per household. The fund will ONLY be used for costs related to 240 Markland Drive opposition. There are 1300 homes in Markland Wood. If your MWHA does not receive $100 per househo
Please also be aware that your MWHA will endeavor to defend the interests of our community the very best it can, but cannot guarantee what will be the final outcome regarding the 240 Markland Drive development proposal.ld from at least 51% of them, we will interpret that as insufficient community commitment to proceed and insufficient financial assistance, and we will NOT proceed. Because of the many other programs and obligations your MWHA funds each year on behalf of the community, your annual membership dues CANNOT fund this initiative.