January 20, 2021
Last night, the Springfarm Ratepayers Association (SFRA) made three deputations to Vaughan Council’s Committee of the Whole on the proposal by Chestnut Hill Developments to redevelop the Acura dealership’s overflow parking lot into 2 residential condominium towers of 20 and 40 storeys at 7080 Yonge Street, beyond the 30 storeys allowed by the Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan. This is the fourth proposal for this area submitted to the City of Vaughan, 19 towers combined.
SFRA President Jordan Max provided an overview of our concerns about this proposal, including the following points:
- selectively applies parts of the Secondary Plan requirements while ignoring other parts;
- miscalculates the allowed building heights by misusing the 45-degree angular plane from 75 metres west of the site;
- would have the second highest population density in the entire GTA;
- builds over a 10 metre parkland strip designated in the Secondary Plan,
- covers 90-95% of the lot, with minimal setbacks; and
- has virtually no non-residential use to justify building parking underneath Royal Palm Drive.
This proposal shares many problems similar to what we saw from Gupta, Salz, and Mizrahi projects: too many buildings, too much height, density, and shadowing, adding 18 times the local population load on traffic and infrastructure, no provision of onsite public green space or community amenities, insufficient traffic and transit data to justify extra density, deferred construction of the Royal Palm extension, and the lack of integration to adjacent properties and neighbourhood.
The SFRA asked Council to direct Chestnut Hill to go back to the drawing board to rectify these problems, and to only consider the revised proposal once the LPAT appeal of the Secondary Plan is resolved and the subway station at Steeles is under construction. It also welcomed Chestnut Hill’s joining the Vaughan-Yonge Centre Working Group, led by Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman and made up of landowners, developers, residents, and local government officials, to collaboratively create an integrated neighbourhood at Yonge & Steeles. (The first meeting of the Working Group is planned for January 28th.)
Victor Manoharan, who lives next door to the proposed 20-storey tower, spoke about the complete loss of home privacy and morning sunlight from the proposed building less than 12 feet away.
Martin Rosen provided analysis of the Transportation study done for Chestnut Hill by the BA Group, the same consultant used by Mizrahi and Salz. He pointed out that it contained the same flawed and incomplete traffic data and assumptions more relevant to the VMC. The consultants wish to pretend that new residents of these towers will all use public transit (via the subway), bikes and walking to reduce their required parking spaces, when the current intersection is over-capacity and there are no bike paths or lanes anywhere near, and no employment. He also recommended that approvals of this development wait for the subway to actually be built, so that the local area isn’t overwhelmed with additional load and no transit improvements.
Video of our presentation starts at the 40:55 mark, using the link below.
In response to our presentations and written submissions by 9 local residents, Councillors, led by Councillor Shefman, unanimously expressed appreciation for our detailed analysis and feedback, while urging Chestnut Hill to rework their proposal to address the community’s and neighbours’ concerns through the Working Group.