The proponent of the 124 unit-mixed-use development spanning 114-120 Cary Street Toronto, next to McDonald’s, has applied to increase the building height to 6 storeys citing one of several reasons, that Council is planning an adjacent 6-storey development on Bath St.

“This DA variation shows up on Lake Macquarie Council’s tracking website. If the variation is approved, the building itself will exceed the maximum height of the Local Environment Plan (LEP) by 58% and with roof garden by 81.5%.” Howard Dick, Toronto Foreshore Protection Group spokesperson said.

As its justification, the consultant cites Council’s own proposed foreshore development next to the Royal Motor Yacht Club:

In its meeting of 23 April 2018 Council sought to progress concept development of a six level scheme on Council owned Operational Land located at 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row, Toronto. That concept is similar to the current proposed development with both sites within 20 metres of each other.” [TFPG underlining]

Council’s decision on 23 April 2018 to approve the Property & Investment Committee’s recommendation for a mixed use block of up to 6 storeys overrode its own 4-storey height limit and went against the tabled advice of its own officers, for reasons that have never been properly explained.

“Council will not yet confirm that its building will be as high as 6 storeys but private developers are already claiming 6 storeys as the new planning guideline!” said Howard Dick

“Councillors are elected to represent their ward communities and abide by planning instruments. There is no evidence of any community push in West Ward for building heights above the current LEP and it’s certainly not the role of councillors to redefine urban design ”, spokesperson Howard Dick said.

The Toronto Foreshore Protection Group (TFPG) is concerned that Council is quietly subverting its own planning code. 

“The Toronto community has been vociferous in its opposition to Council’s Bath Street development with a public meeting of around 450 people and a petition submitted to Council with over 5,000 signatures. The TFPF are looking for retention of the unique public foreshore land with modern amenities for community recreation”, he added.

So who are West Ward councillors representing? Only Cr Wendy Harrison opposed the 6-storey foreshore development on 23 April 2018 and she has continued to do so. Councillor Pauling advocates for the project. Councillors Cubis and Belcher have not provided feedback.

TFPG asks whether Lake Macquarie Council’s planning processes can any longer be relied upon and why councillors have so little respect for community views.

Article by:
Toronto Foreshore Protection Group