July 7, 1998
To:North York Community Council
From:Bryan Tuckey, Acting Commissioner of Planning
ZONING AMENDMENT and SITE PLAN APPLICATION
SHAFTESBURY DEVELOPMENT LTD.
4935-4937 Yonge Street
Ward 10 - North York Centre
UD52-97-04 and UDSP-98-13
The purpose of this report is to recommend refusal of this application to amend the zoning
by-law and receive site plan approval. The applicant is requesting approval of a temporary
use by-law in order to permit the existing parking lot to remain until they are ready to
proceed with their approved development.
It is recommended that:
(1)The application be refused.
The application proposes an amendment to the zoning by-law and requests site plan
approval for a 3-year temporary use by-law to permit the existing parking lot to remain on
the site, as shown on attached Schedule C. The applicant advises that they are not ready to
proceed with the approved office tower development at this time, and as such in the
interim, wish to make use of the property in this way.
Pertinent site statistics are set out below:
||1.4 hectares (3.5 acres)|
|Number of Parking Spaces
|Proposed Surface Finish
2.0Location and Existing Site:
The site is located on the east side of Yonge Street, between Hollywood Avenue and
Spring Garden Avenue (Schedule B). The northwest and southwest corners of the block are
developed with one-storey retail establishments, including a Hertz car rental, 2 restaurants,
a clothing store, and a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, which abut the site.
Immediately east of the property is a site owned by the North York Board of Education,
containing the Claude Watson School for the Arts and its associated portables and playing
The site is operating as an unpaved, public parking lot. Approximately 30 parking spaces at
the northwest corner of the lot are leased by Hertz Car Rental. An additional number of
spaces at the southwest corner of the lot are used by the adjacent Royal Canadian Legion
Amendment 447 - North York Centre Secondary Plan, designates the Yonge
Street-fronting portion of the site as Downtown Mixed Use - One (DMU-1), and the
remainder of the site as Downtown Mixed Use - Three (DMU-3). Both of these
designations permit a mix of uses on the property, including commercial, institutional, park
and recreational uses, to a maximum density of 4.5 FSI (exclusive of transfers and
incentives). The DMU-3 designation also permits residential uses. Commercial parking lots
are not permitted by Amendment 447.
It is noted that at the time of submission of this application, the Downtown Secondary Plan
contained a provision permitting parking lots as a temporary use on sites where
development is approved but not yet constructed. Amendment 447 was approved by
Council approximately 3 months later, specifically prohibiting such uses. As such, no
Official Plan amendment application was required upon submission.
The site, subject of previous Official Plan and zoning amendment applications (OZ-86-84
and UDZ-94-15), is currently zoned C1(42) which permits a 28-storey office building
containing ground floor retail uses, a 2-storey community centre (Legion Hall), and a
3-storey live theatre. A public parking lot is not permitted.
Comments and Discussion:
4.0Other Department Comments:
The Transportation division of the Works and Emergency Services Department advises
that they cannot support the temporary private parking lot given that several policy
objectives in the Official Plan related to transit modal split and reduced auto use are
compromised. Further, Section 4.6.3 of Amendment 447 clearly prohibits commercial
parking lots within the North York Centre and encourages transit supportive development.
They also note that the surface of the lot must be finished with asphalt, concrete or
interlocking stone. The applicant proposes to maintain the existing crushed stone finish
The Public Works division of the Works and Emergency Services Department advises,
among other things, that they will require a grading and drainage plan to be submitted
The By-law Enforcement section of the Municipal Standards division recommends that
should the request be approved, that the property be graded and drained to prevent
excessive ponding of water, and that the lot be paved and marked. Past enforcement actions
are noted in Section 5.1 below.
5.1History of Use
Based on a review of By-law Enforcement section records for this site and earlier air
photos, it appears that the site has operated as a parking lot for a number of years. In 1988,
the buildings on site were demolished, and parking was operating on the former C1 portion
of the site (Yonge Street fronting lands). After 1992, when the applicant received approval
for a high density mixed use development, it appears that this parking lot expanded to
incorporate the entire site, notwithstanding that the new commercial zoning prohibited
public parking lots. Only the parking on the former C1 portion of the site, ie. the
Yonge-fronting lands (approximately 75 spaces), may have been a permitted use at some
A complaint was received by the City in 1995. The applicant, as well as Hertz and the
parking lot operator, were charged and convicted in September 1997 of permitting and
operating an illegal public parking lot. Around the time of the conviction, the applicant
agreed to submit the subject application in order to attempt to have the use legalized
The applicant has submitted a site plan indicating a total of 368 parking spaces on a surface
finish of crushed stone. As some of these parking spaces are shown in the place of existing
trees, the applicant has indicated that the supply could be reduced to preserve the trees on
site, thus reducing the parking spaces to a maximum of 364.
On the Yonge Street frontage, a 9.14 m (30 ft.) landscaped strip consisting of sodding and
benches is proposed. This strip exists presently. A 1.2 m (4 ft.) high wood fence is
proposed along the Hollywood and Spring Garden Avenue frontages. An existing chain
link fence is located along the east property line. The only access to the parking lot would
be from Hollywood Avenue where it is presently taken.
A commercial parking lot is not permitted under the existing C1(42) zoning or the
Downtown Mixed Use designations of the property. The C1(42) zone was approved by
Council to specifically permit a mixed use development on the site. There are numerous
policies in the Official Plan which provide support for increased transit usage and
discourage excess parking in inappropriate locations. For example, the North York Centre
Secondary Plan (Amendment 447) contains a number of policies which focus specifically
on the issue of parking supply. As a general objective, Section 1.13 - Transit Modal Split
and Capacity of Infrastructure, notes that: "It is an objective of this Secondary Plan to work
towards reducing the reliance on the use of the automobile and attaining a high transit
modal split, and to ensure that development levels do not exceed the capacity of the
infrastructure serving the North York Centre."
Under Section 4 - Transportation, Subsection 4.6.1 - Provisions for Parking Supply (a) and
that: "Council shall strictly regulate the supply of parking in the North York Centre so as
to attain an overall average auto driver modal split of no more than 33% (in the p.m. peak
hour) for all new development in the Centre... To achieve its goal, Council has established
a parking policy for the North York Centre which is included in Appendix 6 of the Official
Plan...". Appendix 6 sets out minimum and maximum parking standards for residential,
commercial and mixed use projects. The parking provisions in By-law C1(42) pertaining to
this site, conform to these standards.
In addition, Subsection 4.6.3 Other Parking Operators, makes clear the intent of the Plan:
"Council shall not permit private commercial parking lots for non-accessory parking,
either interim or temporary, within the North York Centre as such use is contrary to the
objectives of the plan to attain a high transit modal split associated with the development
of the Centre."
In summary, the short and long-term objectives of the Official Plan are to promote a high
transit modal split and discourage stand-alone parking within the North York Centre. These
objectives lend themselves to development levels which are supportable by existing
infrastructure capacity, to more efficient use of transit systems in place, and to
environmentally advantageous means of commuting generally.
The proposal to zone the existing parking lot by approving a temporary use by-law on the
site is not appropriate. A parking lot use is contrary to the land use principles and
objectives established in the Official Plan and specifically the North York Centre
Secondary Plan, which promote and encourage increased use of rapid transit and
discourage excess parking within this area.
Malini Rawal, Planner
Phone: 395-7100Fax: 395-7155
(Copies of Schedules AOfficial Plan Map, BZoning Map, CSite Plan, DTransportation
Division comments and EPublic Works Division comments, are on file in the office of the