Toronto Land Appeal Board decision

Dear HVVRA members:
The Board of Directors announces the decision of a recent Toronto Land Appeal Board (TLAB) hearing where HVVRA had Party status and which ran for 6 days over the last 10 months.

In early 2017, a developer applied to Etobicoke Planning to sever his Humber Valley Village property into three lots, rendering two of them substantially smaller than zoning permits, and to build two houses on the newly created lots. His property is one of 163 lots protected under Site Specific by-law 3314, enacted in 1974, to preserve significantly larger lots nearby St. George’s Golf Club.
Planning had approved the application one month before it received the Urban Forestry report which recommended the application be denied. Forestry noted that 10, century old oak trees would be destroyed, 5 others injured, and that the rear portion of the lot has Natural Heritage zoning to prohibit unnecessarily disturbing the land.
In May 2017, the Committee of Adjustment approved the application without a Natural Heritage Impact Study mandatory under the Official Plan.
Ward 4 Councillor John Campbell quickly obtained approval for a City Solicitor to challenge the application at TLAB. Both HVVRA and the next door neighbour had Party status and presented evidence opposing the application.

Applicant: two new lot are justifiable intensification; the environmental integrity and area character would be preserved.
City and HVVRA: challenged reliability of environmental assessment; application fails to adhere to policy direction; the proposed intensification will adversely affect trees, environment and character of the area.
Neighbour: variances applied for are excessive; her century-old tree would be injured; her privacy will be compromised with a large, second floor platform overlooking her property.

TLAB Chair, Ian James Lord ruled the applicant can only sever the property into two conforming lots, must maintain the existing house including cedar shingles and that the new house be located to minimize damage to trees.
We are happy with this ruling. By approving two conforming lots, the protective site-specific by-law is upheld, and there will be limited damage/destruction of oak trees.

The Board is grateful for the on-going support of Councillor John Campbell who arranged for a city solicitor. Otherwise, the application for three lots could have been approved.

HVVRA Board of Directors
November 4, 2018