OMB ap­peal un­folds over new court­yards

A de­vel­oper has ap­pealed to the OMB to chal­lenge Richmond Hill’s down­town plan

Richmond Hill Post - - News | Neighbourhood - by Jessica Wei

All the li­a­bil­i­ties are on the shoulders of the landown­ers.”

A new de­vel­op­ment at 10027 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill’s down­town core is cur­rently at the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB), af­ter a se­ries of re­sub­mis­sions to the Town of Richmond Hill that has lasted since 2014.

Over the years, the de­vel­op­ment has evolved into a six-storey com­mer­cial build­ing com­pris­ing re­tail, of­fice and restau­rant uses. The her­itage build­ing at the ad­dress was re­tained and var­i­ous amend­ments to the de­sign were made in ac­cor­dance to the of­fi­cial plan.

In Fe­bru­ary 2017, the town’s Down­town Lo­cal Cen­tre Sec­ondary Plan was passed, in­tro­duc­ing a new pro­vi­sion to cre­ate a linked sys­tem of court­yards through ex­ist­ing pri­vate property, which prompted the landowner, Mahdi Mo­radi, to ap­peal to the OMB.

“We put the new de­vel­op­ment be­hind the ex­ist­ing her­itage build­ing,” said Mo­radi. “We re­vised our de­sign based on the town’s feed­back. We didn’t get any, any com­ments about that linked sys­tem of court­yards.” Mo­radi said the mews and court­yards pol­icy was in­tro­duced sud­denly, thereby sidelin­ing his pro­pos­als. More­over, he dis­agrees with the pol­icy it­self.

“If the town wants the linked sys­tem of court­yards to act as a pub­lic road, the town has the abil­ity to ex­pro­pri­ate the land,” he said. “But all the li­a­bil­i­ties are on the shoulders of the landown­ers.”

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor David West be­lieves im­ple­ment­ing in­te­grated mews and court­yards be­hind the build­ings will cre­ate a more de­sir­able down­town core as well as max­i­mize park­ing po­ten­tial in the area. He said set­ting a plan for fu­ture de­vel­op­ments to con­form to is nec­es­sary to build a more vi­brant des­ti­na­tion, cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for unique pub­lic spa­ces and main­tain con­sis­tency through­out the area.

“I ac­tu­ally think that the con­cept of this plan is very ex­cit­ing,” he said. “There are a lot of re­ally pos­i­tive re­sults that this plan would likely yield for this com­mu­nity.”

How­ever, neigh­bour­ing lo­cal coun­cil­lor Tom Muench dis­agrees. He has ap­proached property own­ers in the area to hear their con­cern and is lob­by­ing against the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this pol­icy.

“I’m try­ing to make it a place where peo­ple can go, and some can say that these in­te­grated mews and court­yards might do that,” said Muench. “The ar­gu­ments by some are, ‘ Who wants to walk be­hind a build­ing where there’s trans­form­ers?’ There’s no con­sis­tency or in­te­gra­tion.”

An OMB de­ci­sion will be made in the next two months.

The property at 10027 Yonge St.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.