2. Height and Massing
The applicant proposes an “L” shaped building.
One side of the “L” is 15 storeys: the other is 11 storeys.
One part of the Forest Mansion condo is a 12 storey apartment building with end units facing west but the majority of Forest Mansion’s Brimley frontage is built with 3 – 31/2 storey townhomes.
The townhomes are ‘back-to-back’ units which
means the units on the west side have their only windows facing west over Brimley Road.
From the building face to the Forest Mansion Townhouses to the proposed east face of the 15 storey apartment is +\- 45m. Based on Plan A3.2 in the Architect’s submission it appears that the building across the street from the Forest Mansion townhomes will be 51.25m above the level of Brimley… about 4 times the height
Glen Andrew therefore asks Staff to very carefully assess the impact of the applicant’s proposal on views and sunlight available to the Forest Mansion townhomes. We think it is appropriate for Staff to challenge the architect to place more of the building mass along the Ellesmere side of the “L” and correspondingly less along the Brimley side to achieve a more appropriate relationship. Ellesmere is a wider thoroughfare and on the south side opposite this proposed development is the Petro Canada station which is not a sensitive land use.
Your Official Plan gives Staff all the authority it needs to assess relative building heights and request changes to achieve built form compatibility:
3. A SENSE OF PLACE
3.1 Urban Design
Built Form – Tall Buildings
Tall buildings must fit within their context and minimize impacts on surrounding properties. An analysis of appropriate building heights for new development within the Centre will be an important part of the planning review process.
We have to ask why a density of over 5 times lot area is appropriate for this site.
Your Official Plan policies encourages:
“Higher density residential uses adjacent to the SRT and the proposed Sheppard Subway stations…” [Policy 1.4 (c ) Principles for Success –Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan]
a) The highest density of new development will be encouraged to locate on sites that are adjacent to rapid transit stations, having consideration for the planning, urban design and built form policies and objectives of the Official Plan and this Secondary Plan. [Policy (c ) Precinct Policies, Section 4.6.]
So if density is supposed to go up in close proximity to rapid transit stations, and our SRT station is ‘moving’ east to become a subway station on McCowan Road… and to date there is no Sheppard Subway Station in our Centre…and if there were it would be in/under the McCowan Subway Station almost 900m away from Brimley-Ellesmere…and since development proposals east of McCowan much closer to the McCowan Subway Station, like Menkes-Kevrik, Simpsons, Fieldgate, are approved or in the process at 5.0, 5.79 and 5.9…why is 5.07 appropriate for Brimley-Ellesmere? How does that achieve a density transition from rapid transit stations?
What is the density of Forest Mansion? How does that compare with what is proposed even farther from the rapid transit stations?
4. Community Facilities
The property is in what City Planning calls the Brimley Precinct of the Scarborough Centre Plan. That means development is subject to the policies of the Brimley Precinct Plan.
Here’s what your Official Plan says about the importance of good quality community facilities:
4.6.3 The Brimley Precinct
Like other healthy communities, the Brimley Precinct will include land uses such as parks and open spaces, schools and community services and facilities that contribute to the health of the Precinct’s residential and employment focus.
The Brimley Precinct Policies:
(a) The Brimley Precinct will be a focus for residential and employment growth together with uses such as parks and open spaces, and community services and facilities, concentrated along the Brimley Corridor.
(b) Within the Brimley Precinct, the provision of community services and facilities including, but not limited to the following, are promoted:
i. a multi-purpose, community service space for a range of programs, including: a community health centre, youth drop-in centre, seniors centre and an employment training centre; and
ii. licensed non-profit child care facility(s).
(c ) A public connection to the Bendale Branch of Highland Creek, west of Brimley Road to provide a pedestrian walkway/pathway to the watercourse area and to link with the open space area and pathway system south of Ellesmere Road is encouraged.
4.9 Community Services and Facilities
A strong network of community services and facilities is essential to developing a highly functioning and livable Scarborough Centre. It is also essential for creating a sense of community.
The residential and employment growth and change expected in the Centre will need to be balanced with the timely provision of community services and facilities to support the current and future residents and workers.
The development of additional facilities will ensure community access to publicly-owned facilities for social, meeting, recreational, cultural and educational purposes.
(a) Community services and facilities will be:
i. delivered to support residential and employment growth;
ii. located in close proximity to the resident and worker population that they serve;
Community services and facilities priorities for the Centre include, but are not limited to:
i. child-care centre(s) for infants to school-age children;
ii. a neighbourhood library;
iii. a public elementary school;
iv. the expansion of the existing Catholic elementary school facilities;
v. a parent and child resource centre;
vi. the coordination of the delivery of services to Centre residents; and
vii. the identification of opportunities to establish partnerships with other levels of government, agencies, school and library boards and local service agencies to assist in the provision of community services.
6. A CONNECTED GREEN SPACE
Parks and Open Spaces
With a planned increase in residential and worker population over the next 30 years in the Centre, the existing supply of parks and open spaces will need to be improved and expanded to meet increased demand. Programmable park space for both passive and active uses is needed within the Centre.
More quotes from your Official Plan:
A strategy for the acquisition and improvement of public parkland, open spaces and recreational facilities within Centre will be developed.
6.1 New development in the Precincts will create the need for additional park(s) to be delivered to support growth.
6.2 New parkland will be created and/or existing parkland will be expanded or enhanced.
6.9 New public parks, capable of accommodating a variety of passive or active uses in each of the McCowan and Brimley Precincts, will be encouraged.
Lot of words. Lot of promises.
But none of these facilities which the Official Plan says are “ essential to developing a highly functioning and livable Scarborough Centre”…” essential for creating a sense of community.” …none of them exist in the Brimley Precinct.
There is no child care facility, profit or non-profit, in the Precinct. The applicant’s community facilities study says:
· All 123 spaces in Squirrel’s Nest, the nearest day care, are already taken: No Vacancy!
· The Scarborough YMCA Junior day care’s 64 spaces are fully occupied: NO Vacancy!
· Rosalie Hall Day care’s 63 spaces are fully occupied: No Vacancy!
· The Not Your Average Day Care centre on Centennial College Progress campus’s 37 space are fully occupied: No Vacancy!
There is no “multi-purpose, community service space” in the Precinct.
There isn’t a square inch of public parkland west of Brimley.
We are not aware of any “strategy” for acquiring new parkland.
In fact the one piece of property the city did own in our Centre which would have made an amazing public park and community recreation centre…5.3 acres right on McCowan Road between Bushby Drive and Progress Avenue…and now right across the street from the future subway station…WAS SOLD TO BUILD TORONTO FOR $10 IN 2011…in the hope that Build Toronto which sold it to a developer for $22.6Million would pay ‘dividends’ to the City. If there have been any ‘dividends’ they have not been used to buy new parkland in our Centre!
These policies were all recommended by Staff and approved by Council in 2005. Thirteen years later and none of these “essential” public services have been delivered.
The lack of ‘essential’ community facilities has been documented several times. City Planning retained consultants in 2009 to look at community facilities in central Scarborough when you were doing the Markham-Ellesmere Intensification Study. The two key recreation centres serving the area, Centennial and Mid Scarborough, were both described as having all programs either ‘well attended or at capacity’.
Has Council voted the monies required to deliver these essential facilities? Not as far as we can see.
The Recreation Parks and Culture Departments spending plans to the year 2027 show $3.1Billion in projects they want to deliver across the city. Of the ones that have definite locations, only 2.2% are located anywhere in Scarborough. Spending plans for central Scarborough which might help with these ‘essential’ services include $2.2Million for development of the city’s lands at 705 Progress. Bearing in mind that a modest sized community centre can cost +\-$9 – 10Million or more, then $2.2 isn’t going to get us much.
The developer’s Community Facilities Study quotes Lora Mazzoca, Planner at Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation as stating that there has been no funding identified in the approved 2017-2026 capital budget for improvements to facilities within these wards.
So our question to Staff in assessing this proposal is if these services are “essential to developing a highly functioning and livable Scarborough Centre”…and are” essential for creating a sense of community” …but none of them exist in the Brimley Precinct and there is no funding available in capital budgets stretching out to 2027…how can you approve construction of another 262 residential units at Brimley and Ellesmere?