Bayview Broadway site headed to OMB

Former car dealership lot at 1860 Bayview could become retail complex
City’s Committee of Adjustment rejected plan, developer to appeal to OMB
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 21.)

Residents (L-R) Burt Rairamo, Gordon Deeks, Linda Deeks and Jesper Thoft among those opposed to current retail development plans at 1860 Bayview. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Community celebration over the rejection of an application to build a two-storey retail complex at Bayview and Broadway has been short-lived.
The developer, MJB Corporation, is now set to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board after the city’s committee of adjustment refused an application to redevelop the former Brennan’s Pontiac site at 1860 Bayview Ave.
On July 6, the committee ruled the proposal was not desirable for the area and didn’t meet the city’s official plan or zoning bylaws.
“We are disappointed with their decision (to appeal). The city and community’s concerns have been clearly articulated, and the committee of adjustment agrees that the development is not minor in nature,” wrote Wayne Sliberman in an email.  Sliberman, a local resident, is part of a working group dealing with the proposal.
MJB Corp applied to build a two-floor retail store covering almost 90 percent of the site, along with 220 parking spaces. Currently the site is zoned to allow a structure that would cover one third of the spot and have a minimum of 242 parking spaces.
The developer’s lawyer Robert Kligerman said now that he’s received the committee’s refusal in writing, he can proceed with an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.The deadline for filing the appeal is July 26.
Kligerman defended the proposal, saying the current zoning bylaw was developed in the 1950s or ’60s at a time when more people drove and retail was set back from the street to allow parking in front.
Now the city is entertaining retail that comes almost up to the sidewalk with parking that’s underground or less visible from the street, he said.
“You could build a four-storey skinny building with parking around it, but the city doesn’t want that,” said Kligerman. “Now the city wants stores close to the street. So where do you put cars? Underground.”
The developer has proposed a building with access to underground parking from the ground floor where shoppers and delivery vans will access the site and retail above.
While there’s been no site plan submitted, community members speculate the developer’s plan is to build a grocery store on the site.

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