A fuller blog post one day will be needed to discuss the strange world of ‘minor variances’ in the City of Toronto, but for now here is a letter I just wrote. I figured since it was written, and it’s public record for those that dig, I might as well include it here in case it’s of use to others to get an idea of what might be helpful to include.
City Planning Division
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M2N 5V7
Fax to: 416-395-7200
RE: File Number: A530/12NY to be heard at Public Hearing Wed September 12, 2012 10:00am
City Planners & Comittee of Adjustment Members,
I’m writing as a resident of Ellerslie Ave to express my views regarding the Minor Variances requested for 183 Ellerslie Ave under File Number A530/12NY. The request to exceed the permitted building length is, in my view, excessive, unpleasant, and grotesque. My original objects to A907/11NY from April still stand, and I include them below. I want to point out that the only two variances (A287/11NY July 2011, and UDCA-92-712 Jan 1993) for our street that were approved for a length longer than the requested length, where never built. If you allow this variance, and it is built, it will be the longest house on the street, on the narrowest lot size.
I do not believe any houses on the block are anywhere near as long as this proposal, and at over 42% (23.82m vs 16.8m) greater than the permitted length I think you’ll be setting a bad precedent for the neighbourhood if you allow it in its current design.
That section of the block, in the back, is serene. The generously deep lots allow for an experiencethat is rarely found in the city today giving views and sight lines that are pleasant and green. Allowing this house to extend to the purposed depth would obstruct and reduce this quality. I’d also be concerned with the effects on drainage in the space with that much more of the ground being covered.
Aesthetically, the proportions of the structure would be unsightly. It is one of the skinnier lots on the street, and having such a long depth, with a narrow width would be far from the ‘golden ratio’ that architects for thousands of years have found to instill beauty in our surroundings.
Thank you for considering my objections in your ruling,
Mr. Chris Nolan
P.S. please send me a copy of the Decision to the above address.
Chris, where do you get data on other variances approved on your street?
You have to ask for it from the ‘planner’ assigned to the variance, or their clerk. It is cumbersome. Sometimes they have already given it to your councillor’s office, and if you find the constituency assistance that is assigned to the committee of adjustments in their office, they can provide it as well. They have to prepare a report for the committee anyway, and part of that report prep is collecting the list.