This isn’t Liberty Village.
The Etobicoke York Community Council unanimously sided with residents from the Humbertown community Tuesday night in deciding a big, controversial downtown-style condo development doesn’t belong in their suburban neighbourhood.
“If we let this go down, everything else is going to go down. It’s like a domino effect,” Mayor Rob Ford said at the podium, moments before he voted against the proposal.
More than 350 people attended the community council meeting Tuesday at Church on the Queensway in hopes of halting the proposed First Capital Realty project. The plan called for 604 residential units to be built in a five-building mixed-use complex in the existing Humbertown Mall, near Royal York Rd. and Dundas St.
“Councillors have approved Liberty Village and now it is a huge traffic mess,” said Santino Agueci, a condo salesman in the Liberty Village area who lives in Humbertown.
“We have to look forward and see what we’ll have to fight 10, 15 years down the road, if this project is approved.”
About 50 speakers vehemently objected to the proposal during a six-hour public meeting.
Three of the five buildings are were slated to be residential and the plan called for all buildings to range between six and 12 storeys in height. There were to be 28 townhomes and 21,000-square metres of commercial space and 1,652 parking spaces.
The city’s planning department recommended approval of the ambitious development.
But residents worried the buildings were too high and the development too dense for the neighbourhood. They feared it would lead to traffic congestion, a loss of trees, and overcrowded schools.
“I think it’s one of those cases where we have to agree to disagree,” Jodi
Shpigel, vice-president of development for First Capital, said after the vote. “We think it’s a great proposal that fits right in with the community, the
buildings are no taller than what’s existing. We’re building a community.”
The community council recommended that if the project does eventually receive approval from the Ontario Municipal Board, that the city should seek $2.5 million from the developer to go towards fixing up Humber Valley Park, its ice rink and public artwork, under Section 37 of the Planning Act.
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