Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines
Is anything being done to protect the Beach from over-development?
Yes. This past summer, a Vision Study for Queen Street was commissioned by the City at the request of Councillor McMahon to address concerns that the area was becoming over-developed. The results of the Vision Study are the new Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines.
Did local Beachers help create the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines?
Yes. The Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines were created by local residents and urban designers and planners who work for the City of Toronto. There were six public meetings and approximately 250 local residents gave their opinions. The events were advertised in the local newspapers, service groups’ listserves and through the councillor’s website, Facebook, Twitter and electronic newsletter.
Do the proposed Urban Design Guidelines allow for 7, 8, 9 or 10 storey buildings along Queen Street?
No. The proposed Guidelines set a maximum height of 6 stories. This height will only be permitted in a handful of places along Queen Street. Most sites along Queen Street could only be developed to a maximum of 4 or 5 storeys, and the many heritage buildings along Queen Street will never be redeveloped.
Shouldn’t we keep the current planning rules which capped development at 12 metres?
No. The current planning rules are no longer being followed. Developers have appealed or ignored these rules, and gotten away with it. That’s why we needed a new set of rules which will stand up to legal appeals. That is why the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines are so important.
Could an Interim Control By-Law (ICBL) stop Development along Queen Street?
No. An interim control by-law stops certain land uses for one year. Councillor McMahon investigated an ICBL last fall, but legal advice indicated it would be difficult to defend at the OMB, leaving the Beach vulnerable to inappropriately large buildings. Councillor McMahon did the next best thing; she put a hold on new development while the community helped create the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines.
Is anything being done about the traffic, flooding and streetscaping in our neighbourhood?
Yes. Councillor McMahon is organizing meetings to discuss a variety of concerns that residents have with the current state of infrastructure. The first meeting dealing with water and sewage issues is scheduled for late November.
Should we delay passing the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines and do more studies?
No. Developments along Queen Street were put on hold while the Guidelines were created. But that hold won’t last much longer! If the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines are delayed developers could appeal the hold and get approval for buildings which only meet the less stringent older planning rules.
Who Supports the Queen Street East Urban Design Guidelines?
The Beach BIA, the Greater Beach Neighbourhood Association and many residents are supportive of the new Guidelines.