On May 22 2020, the LPAT (Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) conducted a settlement hearing for the development proposal at 100 Wellesley St. East.
The city of Toronto and CAPREIT had reached an agreement about the development. The hearing was a formality that had to take place as the next step. The result of the hearing is that the development is approved.
I had registered as a participant so I could give a participant statement. Many of you helped with this by giving the Tenant Association comments through a form on our website. All the collected comments were included (anonymized) in an appendix in the statement. Thank you for your comments.
I said at the hearing that of the three stakeholders in this matter - the city of Toronto, CAPREIT, and the tenants - only two (the city and CAPREIT) were satisfied with this development.
I made a plea to the LPAT: can we satisfy all three stakeholders? The answer was NO.
The city got what it wanted. The initial development was scaled down to a smaller footprint. CAPREIT gave up some land to the city which it can call parkland.
CAPREIT got what it wanted. It will build the same number of rental units as originally proposed in a smaller space.
How could tenants have received some satisfaction from this development?
My participant statement noted that in the past the OMB (the Ontario Municipal Board, which is now the LPAT) had helped a landlord and a tenant association negotiate rental discounts at a similar development. Despite this fact, the LPAT Member presiding at the hearing said he would only deal with land planning matters.
Prohibition of Additional Commercial Parking
I requested that the LPAT prohibit the part of the plan for the addition of more commercial parking in the parking garage. It was interesting to learn that this aspect of the settlement was requested by the city of Toronto. At least this was stated by the lawyer representing CAPREIT. This indicates the city is comfortable having our building open to the public and having increased security risks.
Protection from Above Guideline Increases
I also wanted to get more protection from Above Guideline Increases as they relate to the development. There will be some AGI protection for tenants in the existing building from this development project. This only applies to the expenses for improvements that CAPREIT will undertake in the existing building to satisfy requirements the city placed on them. You can see more details about the protection I was seeking in my statement.
The LPAT rejected all of these requests. This is a great disappointment.