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EMERGENCY MEETING

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EMERGENCY MEETING

STOP the approval of four 32+ storey apartment buildings on Langstaff and Hwy400 (gas station plaza)

WHEN

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 5:30 to 9:00pm Drop-in

5:30 – 6:30pm MPP Tibollo will be here to listen to your comments

6:30 – 9:00pm Information, sample objection letters, sign petition

WHERE

Vellore Community Centre

Community Room

1 Villa Royale Ave, west of Weston Road and north of Rutherford Road

Why:

  • MPP Tibollo and the Housing Minister Calandra want individual residents’ input re this MZO.

  • The Mayor is trying to use a provincial Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) which will allow the approval of the apartments without any planning, transportation studies, or public input.

  • MZOs are supposed to be used only for urgent decisions. This is not an urgent proposal.

  • Mayor Del Duca and Councillor Jackson both keep repeating that our community supports

We need to work as community to stop this:

  • MOST IMPORTANT Go to MZO ERO site https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-8617

    Submit a comment using your email or comment without registering by Sunday, June 9th.

  • Have everyone in your family sign the petition: https://chng.it/kcKJ8PnfvN

    MPP Tibollo will present the petition to Housing Minister Calandra.

  • Send this information to everyone you know and ask for their support

Here are some ideas of comments you can make, in addition to the ones you have already thought of:

The proposal to use a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) for a high-density residential development near Langstaff and the
Highway 400 onramp raises several serious concerns, both in terms of urban planning and community well-being. Here’s
a detailed breakdown of the key points against this proposal:

1. Existing Traffic Congestion

The area around Langstaff and the Highway 400 onramp is already heavily congested. Introducing a high-density
residential development without conducting a thorough transportation study would exacerbate this gridlock, leading to
severe traffic issues and affecting the daily commute of residents and workers in the region.

2. Isolation of Residential Community

The Region of York rightly opposes this proposal, highlighting that placing high-density residential units amid employment
zones creates an isolated community. This area lacks essential residential amenities such as schools, community facilities,
and walkable destinations. The absence of these facilities would significantly impact the quality of life for future residents.

3. Destabilization of Employment Uses

Establishing a high-density residential area in an employment zone can destabilize existing businesses. There could be
compatibility issues, such as noise complaints or operational restrictions, leading to potential conflicts between residential
and employment uses. This can undermine the long-term viability of surrounding businesses.

4. Upward Pressure on Land Values

High-density residential development can drive up land values, which may deter new businesses from setting up in the
area. This could hinder economic growth and job creation, counteracting the intended benefits of employment zones.

5. Inappropriate Use of MZO

Vaughan has designated areas for intensification that are more suitable for mixed-use projects. Utilizing an MZO for this
specific site bypasses the established planning framework, undermining strategic urban development plans. A mixed-use
project in a planned intensification area would better align with the city’s growth strategy.

6. Interference with Highway 400 Onramp

The proposed development abuts the Highway 400 onramp, potentially interfering with this critical infrastructure.
Ensuring safe and efficient access to the highway is paramount, and any development that threatens this should be
carefully scrutinized.

7. Lack of Servicing Allocation

The site has not been allocated servicing capacity under York Region’s 2022 Water and Wastewater Master Plan.
Developing the site at a higher density without proper servicing studies risks overwhelming existing infrastructure, leading
to potential failures in water supply and wastewater management.

8. Municipal Servicing Concerns

The city’s Urban Water Plan has not accounted for the servicing needs of this high-density proposal. Proceeding without
necessary studies and plans could result in inadequate municipal services, impacting both new and existing residents.

9. Geotechnical Concerns

The Region of York has identified this site as an area of concern due to high water table conditions and confined artesian
aquifer conditions. These geotechnical issues could affect foundation and building stability. Approving development
without proper planning studies poses significant risks to construction safety and long-term structural integrity.
Given these points, the use of an MZO to bypass comprehensive planning and studies is highly problematic. It is
essential to adhere to established urban planning processes to ensure sustainable, safe, and community-focused
development

We need your voice!

City of Vaughan Town Hall Meeting!

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Town Hall Meeting – Mayor Steven Del Duca wants to hear from you!

The City of Vaughan is inviting all residents to join the Mayor for a 2023 townhall meeting.

Share your thoughts about what’s happening in your community.

 

Ward 3:  Vellor Village Community Centre
Monday, Sept. 18, 2023
1 Villa Royale Ave., Woodbridge
6:30PM to 8:00PM

Four 32+ Story Buildings at Langstaff and Weston Road

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Four 32+Story buildings at Langstaff and Weston Road

A developer has applied to build four residential apartment buildings on the lands bounded by Langstaff, Silmar Drive and Chrislea Road. (see the area outlined in red in the diagram below). The proposal is for two 35 storey towers and two 32 storey towers, for a total of 1,488 residential units.

The developer has submitted an application for a Community Infrastructure And Housing Accelerator (CHIA) with the Ontario government, which essentially will limit the ability for the public to provide adequate input on the application.

battcorp

OWNER: Battcorp Holdings (Vaughan) Ltd. and Battcorp II Holdings (Vaughan) Ltd.

LOCATION: 661 and 681 Chrislea Road

FILE: CIHA.23.002 RELATED FILES: OP.23.011, Z.23.020 and PAC.23.030

Notice of Development Application.  Click here to view

WDRA General Meeting Announcement

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WDRA General Meeting Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 7 pm.

What:

WDRA General Meeting to elect executives and discuss current issues facing our community.

When:

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 7 pm

Where:     

Ansley Grove Library,
350 Ansley Grove Rd, Vaughan, ON L4L 5C9

Why:         

We need your input to address issues now facing Weston Downs:

  • Election of WDRA Executive Members
  • Update on 4101 Velmar Condominium Project
  • Employment land conversion to allow high density residential condominiums between Weston Road and Highway 400
  • Traffic cutting through Weston Downs
  • Vaughan Mills Secondary Plan
  • Proposed high density development in the Colossus area
  • Airplane traffic above Weston Downs

OLT Ruling – 4101 Rutherford Road

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On November 14, 2022, The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) provided its ruling on the Velmar Centre Property, located at 4101 Rutherford Road.  As you are aware, the City of Vaughan and the Weston Downs community objected to the Developer’s proposal to redesignate this property from a 4-storey mixed-use building with a FSI of 1.5, to a 7-storey mixed-use building with a FSI of 3.14.

The OLT ruled in favor of the Developer, granting him the right to redevelop the property with a 3-storey building along Velmar and a 6-storey building along Rutherford and abutting the park. The following link will take you to the OLT report:

The OLT report indicates that the City argued that this proposed redevelopment was not needed to meet provincial housing objectives and that the developer’s proposal does not fit with the character of the Weston Downs community. The City argued that granting a low-rise classification to a 6-storey building was precedent setting and should not be allowed.

Unfortunately, with the current provincial government’s mandate to streamline the approval process for developers, it is not a surprise that the OLT rejected the City’s and community’s arguments and instead accepted all of the developer’s arguments for higher density and higher built-form.

The Weston Downs community did not receive the results we wanted; however, the Weston Downs residents should be proud of how they worked together as one voice to better our community. The City of Vaughan Council rarely rejects its planning department’s recommendations, however in this case the community worked effectively as one strong voice to communicate to the City  why they needed to turn down this application. Unfortunately, the Ontario government’s housing mandate has created an environment in which the OLT dismissed the City’s and the community’s concerns in favour of the More Homes, Built Faster mandate.

Ontario Land Tribunal Hearing Status Update

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4101 Rutherford Road Development (Velmar Plaza)

On September 19, 2022, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearing for the 4101 Rutherford Road Development (Velmar Plaza) began.

As you may remember, after much community input, the City of Vaughan (City) council rejected the City Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the application and referred the Developer, the community, and the City to OLT-led mediation. The Developer, however, decided to bypass mediation and took the case directly to the OLT. The City hired a lawyer and planner to represent City council’s decision to reject the proposed development.

The hearing had evidence presented by both the Developer’s and the City’s lawyers and experts. The hearing lasted a week and ended on September 23, 2022. The final decision to approve the application in whole or in part, or to dismiss the application will be made by the OLT member and will be communicated in 30 to 60 days.

Background

The Vaughan Official Plan (VOP) designated this site for a 4-storey mixed-use low-rise building. In the application to the City, the Developer was seeking an amendment to allow a 7-storey mixed-use low-rise building. The Vaughan Official Plan permits a maximum 5-storey height under the low-rise designation, however, the Developer applied for a variance to allow a 7-storey “low-rise” building.

At the OLT, the Developer modified their application and was seeking approval for a tiered building which had a 3-storey condominium on the side fronting Velmar Drive and a 6-storey built form fronting Rutherford Road and the park. The amended application included commercial space on the first floor along Rutherford Road.

A 6-storey building is defined as a mid-rise building, not a low-rise building, in the Vaughan Official Plan. The Developer has proposed to maintain the low-rise mixed-use designation but increase the height to 6-storeys with a Floor Space Index of 2.72; both metrics are within the mid-rise classification in the Vaughan Official Plan. Essentially, the Developer has attempted to change the site designation from low-rise mixed-use to mid-rise mixed-use under the façade that the site is low-rise mixed-use with ‘marginal’ increases.

Hearing Summary

The Developer, through his lawyer and expert witnesses, presented a case arguing that the location was underutilized, and the development would provide significant improvement to the neighborhood. Here are some of the highlights of his argument:

  • The neighbourhood must experience a change from the “unrelenting conformity” of suburbia.
    • Urban designer Harold Madi gave testimony at length on the need for change and offering different types of housing. The City Lawyer respectfully disagreed principally with the height and density of the proposed development, as well as any change in character.
  • The proposed development site is unique and warrants special consideration and could not be viewed as precedent setting.
    • There is no reasonable justification for this claim as there are limited existing commercial or mixed-use sites within established neighbourhoods and the decision to amend Vaughan Official Plan limits on height and density will be used as justification by other developers for their sites.
  • The building height is consistent with other buildings in the area.
    • The only supporting reference made was the St Clare Bell Tower.
  • The building is buffered by the park and therefore does not have a height issue.
    • However, standing on the ground in the park residents would still be faced with a 6-storey building, it would be in direct view to all surrounding residents, and it only reduced the height to 3-storeys along Velmar Drive.
  • Reduced crime – the building height and number of balconies would reduce crime in the park by having more “eyes” on the park.
    • The community, however, does not currently have an issue with crime in the park and the City lawyer clarified this issue several times.
  • Our need for neighbourhood amenities would continue to be served by the proposed commercial space.
    • The proposed commercial space would, however, be inconveniently served by underground parking, and the size of the proposed commercial space is about half of the current commercial space.
  • Although traffic volume would be higher, the area would accommodate the increased traffic.
    • Regrettably, traffic modelling can be manipulated through various assumptions. Anyone who drives along Velmar Drive during the morning or evening rush hour knows that an additional 130 units will impact traffic.

The City lawyers made a very strong argument that the application itself was precedence setting because the Developer was trying to obtain approval for a mid-rise building on a site designated as low-rise in the Vaughan Official Plan. In addition to the issue of precedence, here are some other highlights of the City lawyer’s argument:

  • The height of the building in this development exceeds the maximum number of storeys permitted in low-rise designation of this site and the proposed 6-storey building is and has the built form character of a mid-rise building.
  • The development is not in character with the surrounding area.
  • The development is not required to meet the provincial and city growth plans.
  • There was not a single expert witness or the Developer’s lawyer who provided even remote justification for the need for a 6-storey building when a 3-storey or 4-storey building would provide the same ‘benefits’ their case was arguing.

Decision

We will now have to wait for the OLT member to decide and make a ruling. The timeline for the OLT decision is 1-2 months from the last day of the hearing which was September 23rd, 2022.

Working together we can make a difference… and we have!

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The 4101 Rutherford Road Development Proposal (Velmar Centre Property Limited condominium project) was rejected unanimously by Vaughan Council on October 20, 2021 at the Committee of the Whole meeting. Thank you to all of the Weston Downs residents for answering our call to action and flooding the Vaughan councillors’ offices with emails and phone calls. Thank you for working together by signing petitions, donating funds for legal fees, and showing up to public meetings.

This is a huge win for the community.  This was a difficult situation, since Vaughan Council had to vote against their own city planners who supported the developer’s plan. The developer’s plan proposes mid-rise mixed use, instead of the low-rise mixed use currently designated for this site in the Vaughan Official Plan 2010. Ultimately, Vaughan Council listened to the concerns of the Weston Downs community and rejected the developer’s application.

The City of Vaughan Council has directed the City to hire independent consultants (lawyer and planners) to support Council’s direction at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). Thank you to our Local Councillor Rosanna DeFrancesca for supporting and advocating for our community. Councillor DeFrancesca facilitated many meetings with our residents, the Weston Downs Ratepayers Association, City of Vaughan staff and the developer in an effort to try to address the community’s concerns and reach a compromise. Our hope had been to obtain a win-win situation through mediation for the community and the developer. The developer however has chosen to go directly to an OLT hearing, rather than participate in mediation. Working together as one community, we will continue to fight for a development that reflects good planning and respects the character of our established Weston Downs community.

Thank you Weston Downs!  You should  be proud of your efforts.

4101 Rutherford Road OLT appeal begins

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The 4101 Rutherford road appeal is going to begin on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021.  The Case management conference is open to anyone.  You can use the following information to get there.

The Case Management Conference is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at
10:00 am, and will take place by videoconference using the following details:
Meeting Link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/912494069
Access Code: 912-494-069

Attached here is the actual notice. Notice of Case Management Conference – 4101 Rutherford Rd (01809736xCDE1C)

Velmar Road and Rutherford Road Condo to be brought forward on April 13th, 2021 – We need your Help!

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Our local Councillor, Rosanna De Francesca, attended our March Weston Downs Ratepayers Association (WDRA) board meeting and informed us that the Velmar and Rutherford condo application will be brought forward on April 13, 2021. Besides our councillor’s verbal notice, we have not received any official correspondence/notice regarding the Wednesday, April 13, 2021 meeting where Vaughan Council will decide on this application.

This email is to inform you of this impending Wednesday, April 13, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting where the developer will be seeking approval of his proposed six-storey condominium with a density of 2.74 FSI and 135 condo units.

We have attached a link where you may find the documents regarding his re-submission up to December 2020. As of today, we have not received the comprehensive staff report that will be presented on April 13, 2021.

https://westondownsra.ca/westondowns-documents/

The WDRA will be opposing the approval of this six-storey condominium and will be urging Council to reject this application. We encourage you to send your comments to the City of Vaughan Council, Planning Department, and City Clerks Department at the email addresses listed below. If you have any information or comments that the WDRA can incorporate in our opposition, please email me directly at rsalerno@westondownsra.ca.

clerks@vaughan.ca

council@vaughan.ca

developmentplanning@vaughan.ca

mark.antoine@vaughan.ca

MAURO.PEVERINI@vaughan.ca

rosanna.defrancesca@vaughan.ca

mario.ferri@vaughan.ca

gino.rosati@vaughan.ca

linda.jackson@vaughan.ca

maurizio.bevilacqua@vaughan.ca

marilyn.iafrate@vaughan.ca

tony.carella@vaughan.ca

sandra.racco@vaughan.ca

alan.shefman@vaughan.ca

York Region Committee of the Whole Meeting – Planning for Employment and Employment Conversions

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WESTON DOWNS RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
81 Blackburn Blvd., Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 7J5
(905) 850-1767
www.westondownra.ca

March 12, 2020

Committee of the Whole
Region of York
c/o Regional Clerk
17250 Yonge Street
Newmarket, ON L3Y 6Z1

Attention: Regional Clerk and Members of the Commitee

RE:

Committee of the Whole Meeting – March 12, 2020
Item H.2.3 Planning for Employment and Employment Conversions
Report dated February 28, 2020
From the Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Planner

The Weston Downs Ratepayers Association (WDRA) represents a residential community of 1876 homes, bounded by Rutherford Road to the north, Langstaff Road to the south, Weston Road to the east and the National Estates to the west. On behalf of WDRA, we would like to express our support of the York Region Planning Staff recommendations with respect to the employment conversion requests V6, V9 and V10, located in the City of Vaughan.
The employment conversion request V6 is located in the Weston 400 employment area, adjacent to Highway 400, on the south side of Langstaff Road. We concur with staff’s assessment that these lands are part of a larger connected employment area and that the introduction of non-employment uses will affect the viability of future and existing surrounding employment. As well, we agree with staff’s position that this site, which is visible from and adjacent to Highway 400, will contribute to the goods movement corridor. Any conversion of this property will inhibit its economic development potential and it is contrary to the Regional and Provincial Planning objectives.

The employment conversion request V9 is located in the Weston 400 North prestige employment area north of Langstaff, between Weston Road and Highway 400. We oppose the request to change these lands from Prestige Employment to Employment Commercial – Mixed Use. Prestige Employment provides the opportunity for higher paying career jobs, rather than low paying commercial/retail jobs. We need to protect the future jobs of our children.
The employment conversion request V10 is located in the Vaughan Mills Centre Employment area, specifically located in the area north of Langstaff, east of Weston Road and west of Highway 400. We support staff’s position that this large sized employment site should be protected to support a diverse range, size and mix of employment opportunities. This large 39-hectare area is adjacent to the Highway 400 goods movement corridor.
The subject lands in V6, V9 and V10 are invaluable prestige employment lands considering:

  • All three are adjacent to Highway 400, which is a goods movement corridor.
  • All three are within walking distance of the Regional roads: Rutherford, Weston and Langstaff enabling the workforce living in Vaughan to easily travel to this employment area, using either private or public forms of transportation.
  • All three are within a short travel distance of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which will soon have a high density of potential workforce.
  • All three sites are within a larger contiguous employment area and the introduction of non-employment uses will negatively impact the viability of existing and future adjacent and surrounding employment uses and spur future conversions in these adjacent employment lands further depleting employment opportunities for the citizens of Vaughan.

In conclusion, all of the lands east of Weston Downs, between Weston Road and Hwy 400, are currently zoned employment lands. Employment lands are zoned for the type of companies that bring career type jobs to the citizens of Vaughan. Many Vaughan citizens are tired of long commutes to work, as we are becoming known as Vaughan, the Bedroom Community. Our Mayor in a recent publication, Celebrate Vaughan, Our City, Our Home sends a message to the citizens of Vaughan concluding that “With values rooted in hope, optimism and determination, we are leading with purpose, making Vaughan one of the best places to live, work and play.” The live and play is being achieved, but the work still requires a lot of work.

Do not deplete any of our employment lands. These changes will take away future career type jobs that result from the development of employment lands and instead replace them with no jobs (residential buildings) or lower pay retail type jobs (commercial buildings). Say NO to changing the prestige employment lands. The citizens of Vaughan need prestige employment lands to attract companies where our citizens and their children can have careers and not minimum wage jobs, in their own community.

The citizens of Vaughan want to Live, Play and WORK in Vaughan. Please do not give in to these developers, who have requested the conversion from employment to residential/mixed-use or commercial-mixed use. The developers want to capitalize on the high profits that are being generated on building condominiums at the expense of future employment for our children and the citizens of Vaughan. Protect our employment areas so that we can Live, Play and WORK in Vaughan.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

Weston Downs Ratepayers Association

Per:

Nadia Magarelli
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association
Victor Lacaria
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association
Rose Savage
Co-president, Weston Downs Ratepayers Association