Council briefs: committee rejects Wellington West project

City council’s planning committee on Tuesday rejected a rezoning request by Mizrahi Developments to increase the allowable height of a Wellington Street West property from nine storeys to 12.

Mizrahi has said the mixed-use condo tower at 1445 Wellington St. W. won’t be profitable at less than 12 storeys, due to industrial contamination and underlying bedrock.

“It’s impossible,” Sam Mizrahi, the company’s president, told the committee.

The development drew widespread support from the local community, with neighbours complaining that the current site, home to a restaurant and an abandoned carwash, is a nuisance that is attracting drug users and graffiti.

Neighbours also praised Mizrahi’s extensive consultation process and efforts to please nearby residents.

But it was not enough. Councillors backed city staff’s recommendation that 12 storeys was too high by a vote of six to three, saying that that the community design plan should be followed to ensure consistency.

If council upholds the committee vote when it considers the matter on May 28, Mizrahi says it will appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Old Montreal Road development OK’d

The committee approved the rezoning of a 121-hectare site along Old Montreal Road and Regional Road 174 in Orleans to allow for the construction of 1,030 residential units.

The majority of the land is currently zoned for rural uses. If the rezoning is approved, the site could be used for residential, commercial and other purposes in the first stage of the proposed Cardinal Creek Village subdivision.

Plans call for "435 single detached, 132 semi-detached and 463 multiple attached dwellings," according to a report from city staff filed with the city’s planning department.

There would also be several blocks of high-density mixed-use and commercial development.

Stirling Avenue application deferred

A rezoning application for 12 Stirling Ave. in Kitchissippi was deferred to a future meeting.

The site is home to a former school that was used as the Odawa Native Friendship Centre. If approved, the rezoning application would allow for the construction of a 17-storey residential tower, four townhouses and the conversion of the former school into lofts.

“Sometimes you need someone with a vision to make a change for the better,” Mr. Karakasis said. “We’re suggesting that there needs to be flexibility to review projects on their own merits.”

The group also has concerns about secondary plans, which Mr. Karakasis said “have never been able to keep pace with the market.”

Despite the filing, BOMA isn’t taking issue with the way the plan was developed. Mr. Karakasis said the group has been invited to meet with the city and has had experts present during consultations.

“They’re really good about the process,” Mr. Karakasis said. “It’s a difference of opinion.”

With the appeal still in the early stages, the city isn’t saying much.

“The city has not yet received copies of the appeals and therefore will not be making any comment at this time on the appeals to the official plan, which has recently been approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing without amendment,” John Moser, the city’s general manager for planning and growth management, said in an e-mail. “The city will work with any appellants and the Ontario Municipal Board to address appeals.”

Mr. Karakasis said he’s not exactly sure what the end result of the appeal will be, though he hopes BOMA’s issue will be resolved before it goes to a hearing.

“It’s hard to know where the compromise will be,” he said.