Ward 4 Development Applications – Update 

There are a number of development applications active in Ward 4 that continue to generate significant interest from residents.  This newsletter section is intended to keep everyone informed and updated about the status of these applications. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all active development applications in the ward, but a brief synopsis of select applications. Information that is new since the last newsletter is marked as “**NEW**” Please feel free to contact me at david.west@richmondhill.ca if you have questions about applications described below or questions about an application that is not included here. 
 
1. 44, 48,54 and 60 Arnold Cres. 
This development application was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by the applicant. The hearing wrapped up in March and a decision from the OMB will be expected soon. 
2. 129, 133, 141 Arnold Cres and 230 Major Mackenzie Dr. W. 
This property is owned by The Acorn Development Corporation.  At this time the developer is in the later stages of completing an application for redevelopment of this site.  I will host a meeting for the neighbourhood residents as soon as any plans by the developer have been finalized and an application has been submitted to our Planning Staff. I have been informed that this meeting may happen as early as this fall. Please stay tuned to this e newsletter for more information as it becomes available.
 
3. Canyon Hill and Yonge St 10922, 10944 and 10956 Yonge St. & 47 and 59 Brookside Road and 12 and 24 Naughton Drive
**New** Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan Passed by Council

The Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area (Yonge/Bernard KDA) is an intensification area for future development located on Yonge Street, north of Elgin Mills. Key Development Areas as identified in the Official Plan are existing major nodes of retail and/or commercial development with access to rapid transit, where opportunities for redevelopment of large land parcels exist. Richmond Hill’s Official Plan requires that a Secondary Plan be prepared for areas designated as Key Development Areas. The Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan will help guide the transformation of the area from an auto-oriented commercial area to a more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly mixed-use destination. 
The area is envisioned to become a mixed-use area with a range of building types, including various forms of townhouses, mid-rise and high-rise street related buildings. The highest and most dense buildings are directed along Yonge Street. Heights and densities will transition down from Yonge Street to respect the adjacent lower-rise neighbourhood. There will also be opportunities for expanded commercial and retail space and office development.
Council adopted the KDA Plan at a well attended Council meeting on November 27th. At this meeting, a motion to adopt the plan was passed by Council with an additional amendment put forward by myself to allow Council and our Planning Staff to monitor the growth of the area relative to the addition of transportation infrastructure improvements. This amendment’s purpose is to provide assurances that the improvements to transportation and transit infrastructure will keep pace with building in the KDA area. Throughout the KDA development process, the concern that was most frequently voiced by many engaged residents was that traffic volumes, as they increase with building, needs to be accommodated.
 
The Town of Richmond Hill has already received notification of a number of OMB appeals to the KDA Secondary Plan by area landowners, but the KDA plan as passed by Council will be defended at the OMB as needed, when the time comes. I would like to thank many Ward 4 residents who patiently offered their time and input, in order to guide the formation of this plan. 
 
A plan that will guide the area to the north of the KDA and to the south of Brookside, known as the Tertiary Plan area, is currently being developed by our Planning Staff. I will continue to report news related to the development of this Tertiary Plan.
4. 100 Mill St.
At the Council Public Meeting held on October 25th, 2016 a zoning bylaw amendment application was considered by Council in order to provide relief from the current zoning bylaw governing building at 100 Mill St. The applicant applied to sever the existing lot and create two homes on the two proposed lots. A number of residents attended the meeting and/or expressed their concerns to me in writing primarily about the size and height of the proposed buildings. All comments from this meeting were referred back to planning staff. 
 
The applicant recently provided to our Planning Staff, a resubmission in response to comments made by staff and the public. The resubmission was received on August 1, 2017, and appears to address some of the concerns regarding the original submission. Staff is currently in the process of reviewing the new submission material and will continue working with the applicant, providing any further input as required.
 
5. 35 Wright St.
The proposed application at 35 Wright St. seeks to amend the Zoning By-Law to permit a 6 storey office building to be constructed on the subject lands. 
 
I hosted a Residents’ Meeting in February, where public input was gathered. The next step in this process was a Council Public Meeting held in March. Several residents expressed their views related to the proposal. I am particularly concerned about the lack of parking in the plan and the height of the proposed building. Our Planning staff will take away all of these comments and continue the planning process. In the future a staff report will come to Council with a recommendation regarding the application.
 
One of the notable features of this property is the listed heritage building that exists on the property. Before any development permissions that would include the removal of a heritage listed building would be granted, it is a requirement that the heritage listed property be assessed by our Heritage Planning Staff. This assessment would then include a recommendation by staff to either allow the building to be demolished, or a recommendation to designate the building under the Planning Act as a Heritage building. Designation under the Planning Act would negate any possibility of demolishing the building. 
 
On September 12th, 2017 the Heritage Richmond Hill Committee (HRH) considered a staff report, and endorsed a recommendation from our Heritage Planning staff that the house be designated and not allowed to be removed. This recommendation will need to be passed by Council at a future Council Meeting. This is a significant step, because if the existing Heritage building is designated, the original proposal submitted by the applicant will not be possible. However, a proposal that works to incorporate the existing building into a redevelopment may be possible. 
 
I will keep residents informed of next steps and the date for a future Council meeting related to this application when it becomes available. Click here for a link to the HRH staff report.