As part of his community involvement, Paul Terry wrote the following letter on the Lake Promenade Co-Tenancy Project.
July 10, 2023
7 Marina Ave.
Community Planning, Etobicoke York
2 Civic Centre Court
Re: 220, 230, 240 Lake Promenade and 21, 31 Park Boulevard
File # 23 134668 WET 03 OZ
File # 23 134682 WET 03 SB
I am writing to express my concerns regarding the proposed redevelopment for the properties listed above.
In terms of the Official Plan, this proposed development is an Apartment Neighbourhood that is completely located, like an island, within a Neighbourhood. It is not located on or adjacent to an Avenue as defined by the Official Plan. The site can ONLY be accessed through the low-rise neighbourhood and primarily only via 2 residential streets – Long Branch Avenue and Thirty Third Street.
Provincial Policy statements state that The Official Plan is the most important document when considering development proposals.
A cornerstone policy of the Official Plan is stability. That stability specifically requires that redevelopments respect and reinforce existing conditions.
The Official Plan also directs that (re)developments that create greater densities be located along Avenues such as Lake Shore Boulevard.
The Official Plan is supported by By-laws that create height and density limits. The existing buildings on the site in question are either at the maximums of 20 metres height that the By-laws allow or perhaps a little taller with close to or greater lot coverage than the 1 ratio of lot coverage that the By-law allows.
The proposed plan greatly exceeds the current By-laws for the site and even exceeds what is allowed for properties along nearby Lake Shore Boulevard – an Avenue, for planning purposes.
The context neighbourhood is about 250 lots. The existing apartment complex contains about 548 units. This sort of balances with the neighbourhood context although the existing apartments already have been allowed a far greater height and density than the neighbours are allowed.
The impacts of 12 to 30 storey tall buildings replacing 7 storey buildings are simply unacceptable.
These include greatly increased traffic along 2 residential streets. This traffic would be generated by 2021 new units compared to 558 existing apartments and includes motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrian, emergency services, garbage removal and other trucks. Said another way, there are about 4X the existing number of units and needs in the proposed plan compared to now.
Given the location and access routes for children going to or coming home from James S Bell School there are clear safety issues with increased traffic – especially trucks travelling within the neighbourhood. Please note that all students who live west of Thirty Third Street normally access the school grounds via Marina Avenue and simply must use the intersection of Marina Avenue and Thirty Third Street.
Please also note that Long Branch Avenue and Thirty Third Street are both signed, “NO HEAVY TRUCKS.” Even the present and comparatively few dump trucks, cement trucks and other heavy construction equipment are quickly and visibly are damaging the roads.
Given the scale and duration of the proposed project, heavy trucks will crumble our neighbourhood streets with likely disruptions to utilities and services.
Given the existing age of the existing buildings there may be asbestos fibres released in any demolition and material removal. We simply MUST be protected from this sort exposure with known risks. We live here!
The alignment of the proposed new internal street with Chapel Road is disingenuous. Chapel is really a single laneway with no sidewalks, no room for sidewalks and is a one-way street.
The proposed, WOONERF style internal streets are not proper in my opinion. Those streets are presented as leisurely, outdoor walking style patios BUT are the access routes for all residents entering or leaving parking garages, garbage and other trucks – many that will need to reverse at regular and frequent intervals. These are roads and need to be designed, built and maintained as regular roads for safety reasons and more. I think the WOONERF style internal streets are a disaster waiting to happen. These would be a very difficult item to remediate after the buildings are complete too!
The much larger number of residents will also require greater utilities supplies and support for water, sewage, electricity, communications, and more. These will likely increase more than simply four times as future units will have a washer, dryer, and air conditioning. The existing units do not have these amenities and consequently The future plan will require proportionately more utilities compared to now.
The City tries to plan water, sewage, sidewalk and paving maintenance to avoid repetitive disruptions and expenses. I believe the City tries to plan for at least a 35 year horizon. Within the neighbourhood, the water, sewage, access holes (manholes), storm sewer grates, sidewalks and road paving have all been repaired/replaced during the past 3 years with final elements still in process. We do not want or need to live through this again. The City should NOT need to absorb any costs for any premature repairs to work just recently completed.
Improvements, expansions and modifications for water, sewage, traffic lane alignments, TTC streetcar tracks and more have been recently completed along long sections of Lakeshore Boulevard.
The 1400 plus new units north of Lakeshore Boulevard which are along and adjacent to Lakeshore Boulevard are not fully complete and will need access to all services and utilities. This pair of developments had fewer impacts on neighbourhoods as they replaced industrial uses and border existing homes on one short side.
The Lakeview Development in Mississauga immediately west of Long Branch an under construction mega project will likely also be using some of the recently increased utility capacities.
The proposed 12-year construction period is simply too long to be considered acceptable or respectful for existing residents living between the site and Lakeshore Boulevard. In my case, if this project is approved, I will not likely live to see the end of the disruptions created by construction equipment, noise, dirt, infrastructure expansions. It is not reasonable that the quiet enjoyment of my home be negatively impacted by such a long construction schedule.
Even when fully completed there will be many ongoing negative impacts on the residents in the context neighbourhood. Traffic, access in and out of our streets and to Lakeshore Boulevard, many more emergency vehicles travelling to the extreme south end of our streets, shadowing for many, a Harbourfront style wall of condos along the waterfront, over use of neighbourhood amenities such as Long Branch Park, the waterfront trail, street parking for our occasional house guests, open skies along the waterfront, sufficient space in schools for students, ditto for daycare. This proposed development will take/use the lion’s share of our common shared spaces. That is NOT fair.
I recognize that the City does not require a parking space for each unit. The current buildings provide more spaces than units. There is still an illegal street parking problem. Given the location and value of the condos the owners will have vehicles. Long Branch at the extreme south-west corner of the city is not well served by mass transit – except for those working either nearby or in the downtown. Commutes by subway involve multiple transfers. The site is a long walk to the Go train. Streetcars have limited capacity and are slow. The streetcars have not run on a regular basis for about 3 years due to other construction projects. This project, if approved, may add to Lakeshore Boulevard projects during its 12-year projected schedule. One thing we know for certain, it will not get done faster than projected.
Continuing regarding the parking, the existing 548 units have about 700 parking spaces. The proposed 2021 units would have 1307 parking spaces – less than double the spaces for 4 times the number of units. The City does NOT need to require one space per unit but the city does NOT need to approve this project either.
In conclusion, I am clearly against this proposed development. The height, scale and mass of the proposed project, the project’s impacts to the existing residents in the neighbourhood and the schedule all fail to respect the exiting conditions as required by the Official Plan. The same Official Plan that Provincial Policy statements makes clear is the most important tool in considering development.
I recognize the need for housing – rental, affordable and even gently incremental densities. I have participated in projects that provide these, most notably the new development along the same stretch of Long Branch located on the North side of Lakeshore Boulevard, where the site is contiguous with the development avenue of Lakeshore Boulevard, and where negative impacts to adjacent residents were/are much more limited and acceptable than what would result if this project is approved.
The owner of the properties in question has already long enjoyed higher densities with consequent investment returns for many years.
We need him to be a good neighbour and landlord.
We also do NOT want to set precedents for such extreme heights in other locations in Long Branch where apartments currently exist and co-exist in harmony with the neighbourhood.
Thank-you for your attention.
7 Marina Avenue
M8W 1 J8