Revised application received for retirement residence at 2170 Ghent

Previous approvals lapse Aug. 28

ghentCity planning staff has received a site plan application for a 4-storey retirement residence with 60 units and 31 parking spaces. This is a reduction in both the number of units and number of parking spaces from what was previously proposed, and approved on Aug. 8, 2011 by the Committee of Adjustment.

The Committee of Adjustment approved several minor variances to parking and setbacks for the previous proposal, which included 80 units, and a reduction in parking from the required 67 spaces to 39 spaces.

The conditions in that approval stated that a building permit must be obtained “within two years from the last date of appeal”. It is unlikely that a building permit could be issued by the deadline of Aug. 28, 2013, in which case the previous Committee of Adjustment approvals would lapse unless an extension is granted.

City zoning and planning staff have advised me that Committee of Adjustment approvals apply to a specific project, and can’t be carried forward to new or revised projects. As such, this proposal would be treated as a new application, and any variances to existing zoning would trigger a new Committee of Adjustment application. That is a public process and requires notice to area residents with an opportunity for public participation.

Based on a preliminary zoning review, the revised proposal does not meet the required side yard setback on the south side of the property (required is 4.5m and proposed is 3.05m), floor area ratio (required is 1.25:1 max and proposed is 1.26:1) or the required parking (50 are required and 31 are proposed).

City zoning staff are undertaking a full review of the proposal and may identify additional areasof non-compliance with zoning that would need to be addressed.

The applicant has offered to meet with residents to discuss site plan issues, such as landscaping, trees and other vegetation, lighting, outdoor amenities, site layout and building design. I have offered to host the meeting, once the variance matters are determined via a separate public process.

I will keep residents informed as this project goes through the various stages to ensure you are given an opportunity to provide input.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me, or the planner on the file Kyle Plas at  or 905-335-7600, ext. 7555.

My Take: Though a reduced project with fewer units will be welcome news to residents, the reduction in parking remains a concern, as it was with the previous proposal.  The other potential variances will  need to be reviewed to assess their impact on the neighbourhood when the zoning review is complete. I’m pleased city staff are treating this as a new application, which provides for additional public input on the revised project.

Your Take: Do you support the revised proposal, and corresponding parking reduction? Leave a comment below or email me at <>.

  • Chris Ariens

    We shouldn’t force residents to pay for parking spaces they don’t need. While I don’t know enough about the other variances and how they might affect the community, I support doing away with the idea that we know better than the property owner how many parking spaces are required. If the developer thinks they can sell units without parking (these are retirement residences in a walkable area near downtown), let them. Large parking lots detract from value of nearby properties, so the smaller the better.

  • Chris Ariens

    I support the reduction in parking requirements. In fact, I don’t think the city should require developers to have a minimum number of parking spots at all, ever.

    If the developer’s clients require a certain amount of parking to meet their needs, why should we arbitrarily force them to provide more than that? Surface parking lots make the community less walkable, create runoff and detract from nearby property values. Better to have more units and/or more green space which benefit the community.