Sent: June 13, 2013
Toronto City Planning
Etobicoke York District
Bill Kiru, Manager, Central Section
Re: Wesley Mimico United Church (2 Station Road) Re-Zoning Application
Site Plan Approval: 13 143181 WET 06 SA Rezoning: 13 143167 WET 06 OZ
Dear Mr. Kiru,
The Mimico Residents Association (MRA) has been aware of Wesley Mimico United Church’s redevelopment plans for over a year. We have had board members attend the Church’s community forums and have also been on their distribution lists.
We recently hosted a Public Meeting (May 2013) where Harry Oussoren presented the Church’s plan for redevelopment and answered questions from residents.
The MRA had the opportunity to discuss the Public Meeting and the Church’s plans at our June 2013 board meeting. In summary, the MRA Board feels that, based on community comments over the year as well as the Public Meeting, the re-zoning application should not be passed in its current state.
We recognize that many misconceptions have been answered by the Church, including the ‘life lease’ and ‘affordable housing’ questions. Through the MRA Public Meeting, Harry on behalf of the church, assured us that this will be a residence specifically designed for seniors and will not become affordable rental housing if the units cannot be sold. The MRA recently conducted a community survey and the majority stated that they do not want to see an increase in affordable rental housing in Mimico (February 2013 Survey).
The two remaining issues that need to be addressed for the MRA to support the plan are:
1) Historical significance and appropriate preservation of the building
2) Request for adjustments beyond the permitted allowances (density and set-backs)
MRA previously put out a statement stating that we would not support the demolition of the Church. We are pleased that much of the building will remain. However, we believe the Church should adhere to the heritage standards set by the City, the Province and the Federal government. Toronto Heritage Preservation Services recently released comments on the Church’s proposal and stated that the proposal does not currently adhere to heritage guidelines. Residents have previously fought for preservation of Mimico Estates and the Mimico Fire Hall, and told us strongly in our June 2012 Survey that it is important to preserve and restore Mimico’s historic buildings. We understand and support the significance of heritage to our community.
The MRA also has concerns over the precedent that the requested setback and density allowances set for future developments in our area, particularly along Mimico Avenue and Station Road (Setback: reduced to 1.8m from the zoning allowable 7.5m; FSI: increased to 1.89 from 1). Although the project is for a noble cause it is hard to justify an allowance for one developer and not for the next. We believe more reasonable allowances should be considered.
We remain committed to promoting the quality of residential and economic life in and around the Mimico area.
Kyra Trainor, President
Mimico Residents Association
CC: Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes
CC: Harry Oussoren, Wesley Mimico United Church
CC: Etobicoke York Community Council, Re: Item EY25.14 Preliminary Report – 2 Station Road – Zoning By-law Amendment Application to be considered June 18, 2013.