January 8 meeting with Planning

Just got back from an excellent meeting with City Planning (Tom Rees, Deanne Mighton, Lynda Macdonald); Chris Walker, Benj Hellie, and Rob Corkhum also in attendance. Tom went over the Visioning Process Principles one by one, discussing how these are, to the best of Planning’s ability, to be incorporated into the Ossington Official Plan Amendment.

The main issue still under deliberation concerns the Area 2 mid-rise block. We discussed a variety of concerns with such a block, including that it would undermine built form coherence, disrupt the character of the business district, bring large and small chain stores in its wake, bring shadow/blocking of sky/overlook to dozens of residential properties, bring increased traffic and associated decrease in safety to pedestrians and bicyclists, encourage loss of industrial uses and associated employment, etc. We also talked about why the community has taken there to be a real difference between 4 storeys and higher.

Lynda Macdonald expressed that the community’s communications had raised to salience the distinctive character of Ossington, impacting Planning’s decision to (in the draft OPA principles) keep 7/8 of Ossington low-rise, and again in response to community communications they are now carefully revisiting the Area 2 principles.

All this was very encouraging, and Planning’s letting us know that our voices have and are being heard is empowering news indeed. This should really light a fire under anyone who has not yet weighed in about the Area 2 principles: IF YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN YET, PLEASE DO SO ASAP. HELP US HELP THE COMMUNITY—WRITE PLANNING NOW AT https://ossingtoncommunity.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/spam-the-city/.

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