LPOA letter re: 220 McRae Dr. & 327-329 Sutherland

Re: 220 McRae Drive and 327-329 Sutherland Drive: Zoning By-Law Amendment Application (Ward 26)

Dear Councillor Parker and Mr. Matthew,

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association offers the following comments on planning issues and community concerns that pertain to the above zoning bylaw amendment (ZBA) application. At the public meeting held on January 27, extensive concerns were expressed by residents over excessive massing, height, density and inappropriate built form.

The ZBA application consists of two distinct built form elements: an 8 unit condominium townhouse development on McRae Drive, with rear access from a private lane, and two semi-detached houses on Sutherland Drive. The two elements need to be discussed separately, and as a whole.

With respect to the townhouse complex, the proposal looks like a 4 storey apartment building rather than town houses. The LPOA recommends that the townhouses

  • should be designed in strict compliance with the City’s Infill Townhouses Design Guidelines (2003) which address such matters as streetscape, open space, building location, and building form.
  • should be brought into conformity with the Leaside Residential Character Preservation Guidelines (2003).
  • The size and number of town house units should be reduced.
  • The McRae Drive ROW side of the site should have a landscaped boulevard with trees instead of the existing angled parking with lay-by

With respect to the two semi-detached houses on Sutherland Drive:

  • Massing, density and height should be in keeping with the existing Leaside 1916 bylaw and the recently adopted new City zoning bylaw. The fsi (60%), height (8.5m), all setbacks, and open space should comply with the bylaw. Massive exceedances to the bylaw are proposed on lots where bungalows exist today.
  • The original lot plan on Sutherland should be maintained and the severances should be refused.
  • The building line (front yard setbacks) on the two lots on Sutherland Drive should be retained (not reduced) so that the Sutherland streetscape, and the line of sight around the corner at McRae, are not negatively impacted.

The overall density of the development (1.6 FSI) should be substantially reduced. The building line recommendation above will result in some density reductions with respect to the semi-detached houses and the townhouses, as well the townhouses and semidetached houses should be made smaller to conform to the current zoning bylaw.

Finally, any plans for this site need to take into account the historical context of the site in the heart of the Town of Leaside. McRae Drive was designed in 1912 by Frederick Todd, the Town’s planner as a curving cross-street linking the residential and industrial parts of the planned Town. The site is diagonally across the road from the Red Mulberry health store, which was originally Perrem and Knight, the first grocery store in Leaside (322 Sutherland Drive). The former Leaside Town Hall (165 McRae Drive) is diagonally across the road in the other direction. 322 Sutherland and 165 McRae set the tone for the area with the buildings set well back from the street and large treed boulevards in front.

In summary, the LPOA recommends that the City demand that the proposed development be substantially re-designed and down-sized, and be brought into conformity with the character of the area, and with City planning guidelines

The LPOA appreciates your consideration of our comments.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Vice President


Response from City Planner Guy Matthews:

Geoff,

Thank you for providing these comments. I will take these back to our team and use them in our evaluation of the proposal.

Regards,

Guy

Guy Matthew MCIP RPP

East Section, Community Planning
North York District
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 5V7

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