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May 6 update: Community input

May 6, 2012

On Monday May 4, we met with Councillor Parker and City Staff (Steve Forrester and Susan Smallwood) to raise our concerns about the new Smart Centre proposal so that we could avoid a situation in which the proposal simply moves forward without meaningful comment from those opposed to it.

One of the primary takeaway points from the meeting is that the city staff review is limited to the criteria set out in the Official Plan and that there was therefore the need for local community input on the traffic and economic/retail impact studies setting out specific objections, concerns, etc.

We are in the process setting a meeting date with our representatives to meet with the City’s traffic review team to raise all our concerns. We believe the density of this proposal is excessive and there will be a permanent and detrimental impact on our local streets and business community.

However, it would be very effective if everyone could send an email to Steve Forrester (sforrest@toronto.ca), Guy Mathews (gmatthe2@toronto.ca) and John Parker (councillor_parker@toronto.ca) to raise your individual concerns.

In addition to the traffic study, market impact is the second of two tests, we need to be just as strong in reviewing and providing impact. We are very concerned about the hollowing of our main streets and even undermining the existing Laird and EYTC mall retail.

The traffic and market impact study can be found at www.smartcentres.com and all material is located on the bottom right side of the page under the heading “70 Wicksteed”.

We have also discovered that the Design Review Panel is meeting May 14th to review the Smart Centres proposal, something about which we were not notified during our meeting with Councillor Parker and City Staff. We find this to be extremely premature. Please see our response to Councillor Parker requesting the DRP meeting be postponed until the fall when issues like the zoning and density of the project have been fully addressed.

Finally, we also have set up a facebook group for Leaside Unite. Please “like” us as soon as possible. We¬†love the new logo…in the words of one member, “it really sends the message we are an active and unified community with kindred legacy.” We shall keep you updated on further ways to help support our opposition to this unacceptable development proposal.

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