Early this afternoon, the OMB sided with the City of Toronto and against the big box proposals in Leslieville. The City sent out the following press release at 3:45:
The City of Toronto successfully defended its Official Plan policies today as the Ontario Municipal Board upheld the City’s right to maintain the area South of Eastern Avenue as an Employment District without large format, stand alone retail outlets.
“Preserving and protecting employment lands is an important part of Toronto’s Official Plan,” said Mayor David Miller. “This decision recognizes that position and strengthens our ability to ensure Toronto can prosper now and in the future.”
“The OMB decision has found that the test to add large format stand-alone retail to employment districts is a difficult one to meet,” said Brendan O’Callaghan of the City’s legal division.
The OMB found that the functioning of other economic activities within this district would have been undermined if the Smart Centres application had been approved.
And from an article by Dave Nickle at InsideToronto.com:
Last year the developer, SmartCentres, squared off with the city and the community at the Ontario Municipal Board. The marathon hearing carried on through spring, summer and fall of 2008. The decision, originally expected before Christmas, arrived just Wednesday afternoon.
The 56-page decision lambasted city planners and local councillor Paula Fletcher for politically-motivated planning decisions. But in the end, board vice-chair James McKenzie ruled the retail complex would contaminate the east-end employment district, opening the door for other viable employment uses to convert their properties into retail, and that existing city plans for the area effectively blocked the redevelopment.
Also check out the Toronto Star’s article.
photo by Lone Primate