East York neighbours worried about planned development
TORONTO – It’s the type of change that neighbours in East York say is just too much.
New plans for a small bungalow on Monarch Park Avenue near Springdale Boulevard could be replaced by two homes, three stories each with below-ground garages.
“These people are asking for seven major variances,” neighbour Margie Niedzwiecki said. “Not a minor, ‘We’d like to put a topper on’ or ‘Perhaps you’re going to lose some of your sunlight.'”
Developers bought the home after its 94-year-old owner passed away last spring with the intent of building something new.
Meetings with the local city councillor and members of the community took place last fall to discuss possibilities but a public notice with details last week took many by surprise.
“Make it part of the community,” Niedzwiecki said. “Don’t make it with its back up like a bully.”
The new structures would be built further back onto the property with balconies overlooking neighbouring yards.
“Privacy is a concern definitely,” nearby resident Noelle Dosramos said. “It’s an old neighbourhood. We knew there would be development but on such a big scale was a surprise to everybody.”
Councillor Mary Fragedakis said she’s been working with both sides to try and find a compromise but it’s still a matter of going through due process with the city’s zoning department.
“The people in my community, they’re not NIMBYs,” she said. “They are interested in smart development. Things that fit into the neighbourhood.”
Omid Arbabi from Bananarch Design + Build believes enough changes have been made to the original proposal, including a reduction in height and additional landscaping, that everyone should happy.
“We’ve revised the plans almost 3 to 4 times,” Arbabi said. “Made the plans smaller and more and more and more appropriate that keeps with the character of the area.”
The matter goes before the Committee of Adjustment at City Hall on Wednesday.
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