The annual general meeting of the Concerned Citizens for Quarry Land Development (CCQLD) was held at Birchcliff Bluffs Church on Jan. 23. About 75 local people braved the Arctic chill to attend. They were provided with an update on the recent actions at the quarry land site, and to elect the 2013 CCQLD Board of Directors.
The existing board of directors was reaffirmed with the addition of one new member, Wayne McDonald, of Clonmore Avenue.
Mark Brender, chair of CCQLD, provided an update on the past few months, including the decision of the Ontario Municipal Board on Nov. 12. That decision granted the Conservatory Group the right to sever a block towards the east end of their property, fronting on Gerrard Street East, allowing the construction of two 24-storey buildings comprising 369 units. Although this decision was not entirely unexpected it was a disappointment to the group, which originally formed to fight high rise development on the site. Brender stated that the OMB has proven not to be the best avenue for future courses of action.
Ward 36 Councillor Gary Crawford said, “I will fight tooth and nail for this community.” Crawford said he suspects the Conservatory Group is going through the motions to implement site planning conditions for future considerations as the site is not marketable as a development at the present time. A representative of MPP Lorenzo Berindinetti’s office agreed with that assessment.
Last October Build Toronto, an arm’s-length city agency, introduced to the public its plans for development of the western end of the site. That plan includes townhouses, some park land and commercial development. CCQLD has had significant influence in moderating the height and density of this site as it was originally proposed as a high rise development. Build Toronto is expected to bring an updated plan to the community by spring of this year. The project then would proceed to a full Environmental Assessment, which would probably take a further 18 months.
The CCQLD board had distributed a survey questionnaire among its membership asking for input. The survey results highlighted several objectives, including making sure whatever happens is of benefit to the community, with ample park and natural space, and that the plan must be economically viable and must be safe and livable. There was a strong resistance to any ‘big box’ store.
The CCQLD is asking for a broader response to its questionnaire and requested that more residents of the community go to the CCQLD website and complete the questionnaire. They particularly want to hear from those who live in the area most closely affected – the Birch Cliff community. Visit CCQLD.blogspot.ca and scroll down to find the link to the survey.