NEWS July 2nd, 2015

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Row sent retirement centre project to OMB

Both sides claim 'lack of willingness' stalled Leaside development

A spokesperson for the developer says “a lack of willingness to negotiate a resolution” by nearby residents, city staff and the local councillor was behind an application for a proposed retirement centre in Leaside going to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The application to build an eight-storey retirement centre at 146–150 Laird Dr. was submitted to the OMB on April 27 by V!VA Retirement Communities.

The proposal, which would incorporate the existing two-storey heritage building at 150 Laird Dr., had been the subject of a community consultation meeting on Feb. 9. A subsequent design review panel meeting scheduled for Feb. 23 was cancelled.

Marketing and sales director Danny Joseph told the Town Crier in late June that V!VA had made “numerous attempts” to collaborate with nearby residents, city staff and Ward 26 councillor Jon Burnside on an “optimal design” for the site, but had “found a lack of willingness to negotiate a resolution in spite of our repeated requests.”

“Obviously we have a different understanding of ‘working with the community’,” Burnside countered, arguing that the developer “didn’t ask to work with us at all,” and that he had seen only saw one set of plans.

“It would appear they have a business model, they want to execute it and nobody else matters,” Burnside said.

A hearing date has not been scheduled yet.