Community Update on Meeting with the City of Vaughan

Last Friday, Councillor Sandra Racco sponsored a meeting between PTWA and the City of Vaughan’s Planning department. The main goals of the meeting were to review the revised Jaffari development application, to discuss both the city and PTWA’s positions on the identified issues and to get an update on the process and timing for the ongoing review of this application.

We want to thank Councillor Racco for arranging this meeting and the City of Vaughan staff for meeting with us. This is just one of many 2-3 hour meetings that PTWA has had with the City of Vaughan over the last three years and we continue to be impressed with the amount of time and effort that Councillor Racco and city staff have dedicated to this ongoing file.

We would like to start off by making one point very clear as we have been asked this question by a number of residents: This or any previous Jaffari development application has not been approved in any form by the city. The application is still in the review process, and the city has indicated that they are still months away from being able to form a final opinion.

The city has done a preliminary review of the revised application and has sent the documents out to a number of agencies and departments for review (i.e Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, York Region, York Region District School Board, City of Vaughan Traffic, Heritage Vaughan Committee, etc). Each of these entities will review and provide (or already has provided) some feedback on the application and in some cases, has requested additional information from the applicant before a recommendation can be provided.

Here are some of the highlights from our meeting at the city:

 

General Comments

  • PTWA opened the discussions by saying that we were pleased with a number of changes that the applicant has made to address some of our minor concerns
  • We are still very concerned that the latest applicant has done very little to address the community’s main concerns. These include: Density, Traffic, Parking and the impact of the development on our schools and infrastructure

 

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

  • TRCA has requested more studies on the impact on the development on the adjacent conservation lands to be completed by the applicant
  • TRCA is concerned about storm water runoff
  • TRCA has requested revised slope and wildlife studies which include the proposed nature trail
  • The application cannot proceed without the full approval of the TRCA

 

Heritage Vaughan

  • Both the city and PTWA were pleased that the Vaughan Glen Hospital heritage building on the site will be moved and preserved
  • PTWA wants to better understand how the building will be used and if there will be public access to this historic piece of our community
  • The city indicated that the applicant will be required to put up a substantial security deposit to insure against damage during its move and preservation work

 

Traffic Department

  • The city fully understands the community’s anxiety regarding the potential traffic impact
  • The city has requested a full traffic study that includes current high traffic events at the applicant’s site
  • The study must include the impact of current and proposed high school drop off and residential traffic created by the development
  • The study must also examine the potential impact to pedestrians on the minor streets north west of the development (i.e. Hesperus, Fraserwood, Whisperwood, Starwood, etc). This is something very important to PTWA as our community has already been experiencing higher traffic volumes and excessive speeding on these residential side streets. Many of these side streets have no sidewalks we are concerned about the danger to our kids as they travel to and from school

 

Parking

  • The city is adamant that the parking problem must be solved as an initial phase of the construction
  • The city is insisting that a parking garage must be built during the initial construction
  • The construction must be phased to eliminate any parking impact on the community

 

Public Access

  • The city indicated that the public use of the sports fields will be arranged through the Vaughan Recreation department
  • Residents will have public access to the nature trail being constructed along the TRCA lands

 

Inclusive Community

  • The city has asked the applicant to revise their Justification Report to clearly indicate that the development will be inclusive and to confirm that the townhouses and condominiums will be open for sale to anyone in the community

 

The city concluded the meeting by saying that they don’t expect to receive all of the requested information for at least a couple of months, and the timing is completely dependent on how quickly the applicant provides the outstanding reports requested by the city and external agencies. The city doesn’t expect to be in a position to provide an opinion on this file until at least the fall of 2017 or later.

We left the meeting with a couple of overall impressions. First, the city is being extremely thorough with this application and they have placed the onus on the applicant to address both our concerns and the city’s concerns. Second, there is no rush to form an opinion or to make a decision on this application until every external agency request has been satisfied. The city understands that this application has been hanging over the community for 3 years now and wants to ensure that the proper process is followed.

We have begun to utilize our professional consultants again (i.e. planner, lawyer, traffic consultant etc.) and these experts come at a high cost. Please consider making a donation to PTWA to help fund these expenses. This will allow our volunteer board and community volunteers to continue to represent the community with the best professional representation.  Your past and future support is much appreciated!

We will continue to update the community as we receive additional information.

See our post about how we use your donations.

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