Dear community association presidents,
I am pleased to write with some surprise good news. After a flurry of discussion between me, Councillor Fleury, Planning Committee Chair Peter Hume and various city staff on the growing impacts of “conversion” projects, an emergency motion was brought forward and approved at today’s Planning Committee which effectively freezes conversions of a certain type in most of Capital Ward and in Sandy Hill for approx- 4-6 months.
The Interim Control Bylaw will go to Council tomorrow, where I expect it will receive quick passage. It has become clear that we needed to act as quickly and strongly as possible to restrict conversions during the period when the city is updating its zoning bylaws and completing its Mature Neighbourhoods Infill Study, otherwise most of the horses will have left the barn. This approach allows us to methodically do the necessary groundwork without the added pressure of seeing the loss column grow even more, before we can create a win column.
Alas, those projects which have already received building permits will not be affected. At this time, I can only hope that developers who wish to do more work in the neighbourhoods where they have permission to build, will see the value of consultation, responding to community concerns and making a range of design and site improvements.
I look forward to further discussion on this and other topics at our May 9 Ward Council meeting.
Councillor, Capital Ward / Conseiller, Quartier Capitale