The proposed development at 250 Lawrence Avenue West was, in many ways, the catalyst for reactivation of the Bedford Park Residents Organization. Although BPRO was not official party status at the time of the OMB hearing in May 2018, Board members worked closely with neighbouring resident groups to ensure our voice was heard. Thank you to Lytton Park Residents’ Organization, Old Orchard Grove Ratepayers Association (now the Upper Avenue Community Association) and South Armour Heights Residents’ Association.
The OMB decision has now come in, and it is disappointing. The building will be higher than the Rosewell Avenue apartments, we see the setbacks from the sides of the property as insufficient, and we still have concerns about the water/sewage infrastructure and other aspects. However, the strong opposition we communicated had a direct impact on the developer’s plans. The building has been reduced from 12-storeys to 9, from 264 planned units to 159, it now includes a greater set back from the ravine, and there will be improvements to the publicly available parkland and pathways leading to the ravine. None of this would have happened without active lobbying.
Some Bedford Park residents supported these efforts financially, which helped retain both a lawyer and planner to represent our community. Others made outstanding deputations at the hearing. This is the kind of support we need to maintain the well-being of our neighbourhood, and we thank those residents for their contributions and participation.
Going forward: The City has committed to form a Site Plan Working Group to be involved in the next stages of planning. We have been in contact with them and received confirmation that BPRO will be part of this Group. It will likely not meet until sometime in 2019. Updates will be posted here.
In the meantime, if you would like to read the full Tribunal Decision, please click here: 250 Lawrence Tribunal Decision