YMLRA helps in successful opposition to York Mills Gallery expansion proposal

Recently , the YMLRA executive was approached by a concerned resident to make a representation to City Planning regarding a proposal by York Mills Gallery (YMG), a banquet hall on the east side of Leslie Street between Bannatyne Drive and Kirkwood Road, to create an outdoor patio on the boulevard between their building and Leslie Street. This project was a concern for many reasons which are enumerated in the YMLRA response below.

Jaye Robinson strongly opposed this proposal and a number of individual email protests were sent by YMLRA Executives and members. In addition to the email below, members of the YMLRA executive were present at the North York Committee of Adjustment to make our views known to the committee and, we believe, we had an influencing factor in the unanimous rejection by the committee members.

June 27, 2018
To: Chair and Committee Members of the Committee of Adjustment, North York District
Reference: File #: A0372/18NY –Okario Holdings Ltd.
Address: 1885-1933 Leslie St.
Hearing: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 9:30 am.

Dear Chair and Committee members:

We are writing in opposition to the above application on behalf of the York Mills Leslie Residents Association and our members.

We have several concerns and comments about this application and the effect it will have on our community.

1-We question the logic of only advising residents within a sixty meter of such zoning changes as the inherent issues and problems created by such changes will have an effect on a much larger area. Although this hearing does not address this, we would like to have this issue reviewed and we are asking for a response.

2-We oppose the removal of mature trees to make way for the construction and the paving over of grassy area as proposed. Our opposition is in keeping with the past decisions by Community Council to maintain green space and protect mature trees from destruction.

3-We are concerned about the increased noise production which will invariably be produced by an outdoor venue, even if the owners of the property claim that there is no plan to have outdoor speakers/events as there would be no recourse once the facility is approved.

Even as it currently exists, significant noise is audible in the adjacent community when events are held indoors at this venue disturbing the tranquility of the neighbourhood and preventing sleep when the partying continues into the night.

4-The significant increase in attendance capacity of the facility will increase traffic congestion and traffic noise in the neighbourhood. The invariable increase in traffic noise as patrons leave late at night will disturb an otherwise quiet residential area.

5-As it exists, there is insufficient parking in the surrounding designated industrial area. This will result in patrons parking on the residential streets and leaving late at night, again disturbing the neighbourhood. Significant increase in vehicular traffic in the residential area may make it unsafe for residents, especially if some patrons consume alcohol to the extent that it would cause them to be impaired.

6-There are safety issues for patrons crossing a busy four lane major thoroughfare (Leslie St.) if they are unable to find parking close to the venue and park in the residential area.

7-Since in one of the applications a 1400 capacity is mentioned, what type of security (personnel) will be maintained to keep order and control such a large crowd?

8-A noisy neighbourhood will have negative impact on the property values of the adjacent homes.

9-This application is in no way a “minor variance”. Currently, our understanding is that only restaurants are allowed to have patios. If this application is approved it will set a precedent for other “banquet halls” to have addition of patios to the venues. Is it the intent of Council to allow this precedent?

10-Currently this venue is designated as a “banquet hall”. Is there a differentiation between a “banquet hall” and a “night club/event venue”. If not, what is to prevent the facility from hosting night clubs and/or “events” at this facility causing further difficulties for the neighbourhood?

11-There have been various descriptions of the intent of the construction as an outdoor patio with patrons using the same, increased capacity of the venue to claims that it will just change the frontage of the property. What is the real purpose and if there is a claim that no outdoor activity will occur, how would a deviation of such be enforced?

We look forward to your refusing this application for the above reasons.

Sincerely
Dr. Tom Weinberger-On behalf of the executive of York Mills Leslie Residents Association

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