Mayor and Members of Toronto City Council
Attention: City Clerk
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West,
Toronto Ontario M5H 2N2
City Council Meeting No.28 – 27 November 2012 – Agenda Item NY20.35
Zoning By-law Amendment Application: 100 Ranleigh Avenue – Bedford Park United Church
Dear Mayor and Councillors:
The North York Community Council recommends approval of the above-captioned Zoning By-law Amendment, ostensibly, based on planning advice that the application conforms to Section 4.1.9 of the Official Plan. I offer the following observations on the key actors in this fiasco:
1. Planners: The Code of Practice of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute requires Regis-tered Professional Planners to “provide full, clear and accurate information on planning matters to decision makers and members of the public.” The Final Staff Report of 20 September 2012 fails to provide full, clear and accurate information both on the City’s multiple commitments re-garding the interpretation of the new Official Plan and on this particular application’s lack of con-formity with the Official Plan, as outlined in detail in the attached letter from FoNTRA.
2. Politicians: Section 4.1.9 of the Official Plan says: “Infill development on properties that vary from the local pattern in terms of lot size, configuration and/or orientation in established Neighbour-hoods will … have heights, massing and scale appropriate for the site and compatible with that permitted by the zoning for adjacent and nearby residential properties.” [emphasis added] Since apartment buildings are, specifically, prohibited by the Zoning By-law in this area, by definition, an apartment building does not have heights, massing and scale compatible with that permitted by the zoning for adjacent and nearby residential properties. What defies belief is that Councillors acting in good faith would lack the wherewithal to spot the holes, both in substance and logic, in the flawed Staff Report but feel qualified to publicly flay FoNTRA for disclosing these defects.
3. Developer: The anxiolytic red herrings on the need for seniors housing and for residential intensi-fication offered by the church – while it succumbs to the seduction of cashing in by tripling the planning entitlements and imposing on its neighbours – mask the real issue it needs to confront: in a jurisdiction that respects the rule of law, neither City Council nor Bedford Park United Church is above the law. Pursuant to Section 24(1) of the Planning Act, City Council lacks the authority to pass any by-law that is not in conformity with its Official Plan, as is the case here.
These highly unethical moves combine to gut the neighbourhood protection policies of the Official Plan and to shaft ordinary citizens. Given the precedent it creates, the application has to be denied.
Sincerely yours,
Matthias Schlaepfer
Attachment: FoNTRA-Letter, dated 01 October 2012 Copies: J. Keesmaat – , A. Kinastowski – , FoNTRA

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