In response to questions and comments from residents about a development application for a 4 storey apartment building at 65 Acacia, I wanted to outline the next steps and approval process.
There are two separate approvals required for the owner to proceed with the proposed development: an approved site plan from the City’s planning department and minor variance subject to the approval by the Committee of Adjustment. It is important to note, however, that the zoning for this address – Residential Fourth Density (R4) – permits the construction of an apartment of up to a maximum height of 14.5 metres (the proposed height is 12.48 m). Thus, the multi-residential and height aspects are not subject to approval but “as of right” for this application.
Acknowledging the potential impact development can have on surrounding communities, the City requires applications for buildings of this size to undergo a Site Plan Control application process. This process entails a City Planner reviewing the plans to determine if the building meets the Site Plan Control By-law Standards. Areas such as building location, landscape treatment, pedestrian access, drainage control and parking layout are a few of the areas reviewed by the City Planner. To demonstrate his or her ability to meet these standards an applicant much provide the City a series of studies and plans. You can read these for 65 Acacia here.
The public comment period for this application ended on April 19, 2018. The City Planner will now review that feedback along with the applicant’s plans before rendering a decision, or requiring any changes the applicant needs to make to gain approval. Final site plan approval is not granted until the minor variance process has been determined (see below).
The applicant is also seeking “minor variances” from the zoning provisions consisting of a decrease in front yard depth to 1.37 metres, whereas the by-law requires a minimum of 3 metres. In addition, the applicant is seeking permition for a rear yard depth of 4.62 metres and an area of 117.7 square metres when the minimum requirements for this size of lot are 5.38 metres and 126.76 square metres.
These variances are adjudicated by the Committee of Adjustment, a quasi judicial tribunal that has delegated authority to hear such applications under the Ontario Planning Act. A minor variance is only granted in cases when the applicant can demonstrate that they are consistent with the “four-part test” that has been established in the jurisprudence.
A date has not yet been set by the Committee of Adjustment to hear this application. I will inform all residents who reached out to me on this application of the date once scheduled. All members of the public have the ability to provide written or oral comments to the Committee of Adjustment as part of its hearing.
I hope this helps clarify the next steps in the application.