Over 100 Duranders attended the information meeting last night Thursday, May 9th to tell New Horizon Homes and more specifically Mr Paikin that 17 storeys is not acceptable.  To NHH’s credit,  the presentation was brief as Duranders certainly knew what the original proposal  called for. For over 90 minutes, Duranders expressed their dismay, their anger, and outrage with the application to amend the zoning bylaw to allow for 17 storeys.  They questioned both the planner and Mr Paikin and it was obvious Duranders were not buying the song and dance.

Thank you to Nicholas Kevlahan, who presented an overview of what exactly this developer bought into when he partnered with Dundurn Edge to develop the former Thistle Site.  Mr Paikin continued to deny that he was aware of the “Minutes of Settlement” signed in 1996 which outlined height restrictions for this property and that was 7 storeys, 8 storeys and 4 storeys on Park Street South.  Would this not be  “due diligence” on the part of New Horizon Homes?

And for those of you who were not there last night, Duranders were informed that on previous occasions New Horizon Homes and Mr Paikin had come to the DNA to share his plans to request  2 additional storeys on each of the 2 Towers.  The DNA was supportive even though several Duranders were upset with our decision to not go to Committee of Adjustment to deny his request.  However, for whatever reason New Horizon Homes never bothered to contact us with the new application for 17 storeys and we did not become aware  until one of our Board members happened by the sign posted at Robinson and Park South and  an email from a resident who had received a notice to attend this very meeting last night.  Quite a change and certainly for the DNA and Duranders, disrespectful of our neighbourhood.

By the way, that letter only goes to residents that live within 120 metres of the proposed application. Had it not been for those Duranders who delivered over 500 flyers this past weekend and our DNA blogs, most of us would have had no idea of this meeting.  Not only that those that have already purchased in Tower 1 and Tower 2 have no idea what they will be looking at.  We had in attendance 3 new purchasers  that got wind of this meeting.  They were very vocal about how upset they are and would not have purchased had they known that they could be looking at a 17 storey tower.  Not only that, they  have a clause in their agreement saying that they can not oppose any zoning amendments!

Besides the 17 storeys, visitor parking that was originally to be located on the west side of the property has now been moved to what was to be lovely gardens and green space between the 2 towers.  So those residents now will be looking at vehicles in the centre of their space and a black hole of 17 storeys.

This is just beginning.  On the way out of the meeting,  Mr Paikin informed me that no one would WIN!  We must stay the course.  If you have not already submitted your letters to to the planning department and Councillor Farr, please do so.  The next step is for planning to review, accept, deny or make recommendations to the developer.  It will then go to the Council members of the Planning Committee, where we will again have the opportunity to present our objections and  then to Council.  Should the developer be denied.  He can then go to Committee of Adjustment and then to  the OMB.  We, too can go to the OMB.  It works both ways.  It is imperative that Councillor Farr be aware of your objections and to have our City support the best interests of our neighbourhood

This could be a very long process!

The DNA will keep you informed by way of this blog. Thank you once again for your passion, your commitment for continuing the battle to preserve this fabulous historic southwest neighbourhood ” DURAND”.  Lets not let developers destroy what we fought so hard for.  Good Urban Planning!  Not walls of towers that Torontonians are trying to escape from.