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Site plan joined to Ghent OMB appeal

OMB hearing Nov. 26, 10am, Rm 247, City Hall

100 trees on Ghent coming down for Branthaven development.
100 trees on Ghent coming down for Branthaven development.

The site plan for Branthaven’s 58-unit townhouse development on Ghent Ave has been joined to the appeal by residents of the entire project.

Originally the site plan was “undelegated” from staff, which meant City Council would have been the approval authority, giving residents an opportunity to comment.

Now, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) will rule on the site plan, at the same time it rules on the development application.

A four-day hearing has been scheduled to start Nov. 26, 10am, City Hall, Rm 247.

Residents who objected to the project were told many of their concerns were site plan issues that could be resolved at that stage. Now that the site plan matters will be adjudicated by the OMB, residents are concerned about how to provide their input. They’re also questioning why they weren’t notified the site plan had been joined to the OMB appeal.

Next Steps: City staff will be preparing an information report to City Council prior to the hearing, outlining the proposed site plan and their comments. Residents will have an opportunity to attend that meeting and provide input to council and planning staff. Staff’s report, and any changes as a result of council and resident input, will subsequently be shared at the OMB hearing.

My Take: I did not support the original rezoning to accommodate the back-to-back and standard townhouses (but did support a modified project of semi-detached with some standard townhouses that would still have met intensification requirements). As a result of council’s support for this project, residents must spend their own time and money to uphold the city’s zoning at the OMB. I also share the concern about lack of notification regarding the site plan not coming back to council. Though there was no legal requirement for notification, out of courtesy to the neighbourhood, providing this information to residents and their elected representative would have helped build trust and good will.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?