Subject: Amendment to the Community Improvement Plan for the Weston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement Project Areas. (File: 6/3/18)
(February 3, 1998) From the Commissioner, Development Services
To add the Eglinton Avenue West Community Improvement Plan Area to the above-noted Community Improvement Plan.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
A request for $300,000 to continue funding of the Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program (initiated by the former City of York Council in 1997) has been submitted for consideration in the 1998 City of Toronto Capital Budget. A portion of this funding would be dedicated for use on Eglinton Avenue West.
It is recommended that:
(1) Council adopt the Community Improvement Plan Amendment contained in this report.
i) The Community Improvement Plan
On May 28, 1997, the former City of York Council adopted a Community Improvement Plan for the Weston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement
Project Areas. The Plan, approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on July 31,1997, introduced details of a Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program offered by the City in 1997 to commercial property owners within the three subject areas. Municipalities may offer grants only to property owners within areas covered by an approved Community Improvement Plan.
The former City of York Council budgeted $120,000 towards the Facade Program in 1997. Applicants were eligible for a grant covering 50% of the cost of the proposed facade improvement work, to a maximum of $12,500.00. Application approval was based upon design and implementation criteria set out in the Community Improvement Plan. A total of 15 grants were distributed to commercial property owners in the three subject areas. The total Building Permit value of the facade improvement work approved was approximately $300,000.
(ii) Support to include Eglinton Avenue West
During the course of developing and receiving approval of the Community Improvement Plan, many commercial property owners on Eglinton expressed their desire to participate in the Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program. Although staff considered this matter, it was decided that, given the limited budget, the prudent option was to concentrate on the three target areas so the Program could have the greatest visual effect. Also, at the time of the adoption of the Community Improvement Plan, the former City of York portion of Eglinton Avenue West had only one Business Improvement Area, as opposed to the three which exist today.
In my May 20, 1997, supplementary report to City of York Council, I suggested that the Commercial Facade Program could be broadened in 1998 to include other commercial areas, such as Eglinton Avenue West. On June 25, 1997, Council adopted my recommendation that a comprehensive Community Improvement Plan be prepared for Eglinton Avenue West. It was my intention that the Community Improvement Plan would include, among other programs, provisions for a commercial facade improvement grant program.
On October 8 and 9, 1997, Metro Council adopted a motion identifying Eglinton Avenue West, from the Allen Road west to Dufferin Street and beyond, as Aa high priority area for attention by the appropriate committees and departments of the new City of Toronto Council.@ This motion
was based upon the recent creation of three new Business Improvement Areas, and the eagerness of the business community and local residents to enhance the vitality of Eglinton Avenue West. The motion also cited traffic management as an issue for the area.
(i) Proposed Community Plan Amendment
Further to City of York=s Council=s previous recommendation, a process has been engaged to develop a comprehensive Community Plan for that portion of Eglinton Avenue West, from Bathurst Street to Bicknell Avenue, located in the former City of York. The Plan, to be prepared over the next few months, will address issues such as streetscaping, parking, crime, pedestrian and vehicular movement, business support and lighting.
With respect to facade improvements, I feel this matter should be addressed now through an amendment which adds Eglinton Avenue West to the Community Improvement Plan for the Weston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement Areas. By pursuing the amendment now, and obtaining the required Provincial approval, the City can take advantage of several opportunities.
First, local property owners are demonstrating considerable eagerness to participate in the Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program this spring, especially now that the approved facade improvement projects in the Mount Dennis, Weston and Oakwood communities have been completed. By expediting the Facade Improvement Program, local support and enthusiasm will be created for the broader Eglinton Avenue West Community Plan. Second, Eglinton Avenue West, from Bathurst Street to Bicknell Avenue, is the home of three new Business Improvement Areas which will be valuable participants in the promotion and delivery of the Program.
Third, the former City of York recently adopted new Main Street Commercial/Residential policies and zoning for Eglinton Avenue West aimed at revitalizing the Street. The new zoning allows a broader range of commercial activities, thereby opening the street up to potential new businesses. It also permits retail, office or residential redevelopment, either in single use or any combination, as-of-right, subject to design regulations which encourage the creation of attractive, urbane pedestrian environments.
I, therefore, recommend that the Community Improvement Plan be amended, in accordance with the following draft amendment, to include that portion of Eglinton Avenue West, located in the former City of York, from Bathurst Street to Bicknell Avenue (just west of Keele Street). The Amendment consists largely of revisions to the existing text of the Plan, and an addition of one schedule map, to include Eglinton Avenue West as a subject area. Amendments have also been proposed to update the Plan to reflect the former City of York=s new Community Plan policies.
The following constitutes an amendment to the Community Improvement Plan for the Weston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement Project Areas.
DETAILS OF THE AMENDMENT
The Community Improvement Plan is amended as follows:
A. Amendments to add Eglinton Avenue West as a subject area of the Community Improvement Plan:
(i) wherever the Plan refers to AWeston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers,@ with the exception of the first sentence of Section 2.3, the Plan shall be amended to read AWeston, Mount Dennis, Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers and Eglinton Avenue West@;
(ii) Section 2.3 ARecent Secondary Plan Approvals and Implementation Committees@ is retitled as ARecent Secondary Plan Approvals, Implementation Committees and Business Improvement Areas@, and the following paragraph is added to the end of the Section:
Three new Business Improvement Areas have been established on Eglinton Avenue West, between Bathurst Street and Bicknell Avenue, over the past 18 months: the Upper Village B.I.A. (York); the York-Eglinton B.I.A.; and the Keele-Eglinton B.I.A.. All three B.I.A.=s are undertaking marketing and community improvement initiatives with the assistance of City of Toronto staff. The participation of the B.I.A. memberships will be integral to the success of the Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program;
(iii) Section 3.4 is added as follows:
3.4 The Eglinton Avenue West Community Plan Area
The Eglinton Avenue West Community Plan Area consists of those lands along Eglinton Avenue West, from Bathurst Street to Bicknell Avenue, with the exception of the lands on the north side of Eglinton Avenue West from Bathurst Street to Marlee Avenue. The lands on both sides of Dufferin Street, north of Eglinton Avenue West to the Belt Line Railway, are also included within the Community Improvement Area.
(iv) Section 4.2 ADetails of the Program@ be amended by replacing the text of the subsection entitled AEligible Areas for Grant@ with the following:
The Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program will apply to the following four areas (see Section 4.3):
Weston Community Improvement Plan Area
Mount Dennis Community Improvement Plan Area
Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement Plan Area
Eglinton Avenue West Community Improvement Plan Area
(v) Section 4.2 ADetails of the Program@ also be amended by replacing the words Asix members@ with the words Anine members@ within the subsection entitled AGrant Review Committee@, and by adding a fourth bullet point within this subsection which reads:
one member from each of the three Business Improvement Areas located on Eglinton Avenue West.
(vi) Section 4.3 ACommunity Improvement Project Areas@ is retitled ACommunity Improvement Plan Areas@, and further amended by adding the location map, attached as Schedule 1 to this Amendment, entitled AEglinton Avenue West Community Plan Area.@
B. Amendments to reflect recently adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments
(i) Section 1.0 APurpose@ is amended by deleting the second paragraph containing repealled Official Plan Sections 20.1 and 20.2(b).
(ii) Section 2.1 AOfficial Plan Designation@ is replaced by the following new Section 2.1 also entitled AOfficial Plan Designation@:
The Official Plan for the former City of York seeks A to enhance its physical, social and economic environment for the benefit of its resident citizens and businesses.@ Accordingly, the lands formerly known as the City of York are designated by the Official Plan as a Community Improvement Area. Additional policies encourage the maintenance and revitalization of all residential, commercial and employment areas, and permits Council to develop and fund programs regarding such matters as building renovation and street improvement.
The Official Plan allows for the preparation of Community Improvement Plans for areas and neighbourhoods in need of a comprehensive approach to the improvement of public and private lands and buildings. Such plans may include provisions for commercial facade improvement programs.
(iii) Section 3.0 AArea Descriptions@ is amended by replacing the first sentence of the third paragraph with the following:
For the most part, the subject areas are zoned either Main Street Commercial/Residential Zone (MCR) or Local Commercial/Residential Zone (LCR), which permit residential, office and retail developments, either alone or in any combination, Aas-of-right.@; and
by replacing the word Athree@ with the word Afour@ in the second sentence of the third paragraph.
C. Technical Amendments to reflect City of Toronto Amalgamation
(i) Section 2.0 ASelection of Subject Areas@ is revised by deleting the words Aof the City=s@ from the first sentence of so as to read:
In order to maximize the visual impact of the Program, considering the available budget, not all commercial areas can be included in the Program at this time.;
D. Technical Amendments to reflect the designation of the lands formerly known as the City of York as a Community Improvement Project Area
(i) The title of the Plan is amended to be: AThe York Community Improvement Plan@
(ii) Wherever the Plan refers to a ACommunity Improvement Project Area@ or AAreas,@ the Plan shall be amended to read ACommunity Improvement Plan Area@ or AAreas@;
(iii) Section 2.2 ACommunity Improvement Project Area Designation@ is amended by replacing the existing text with the following sentence:
On March 4, 1998, City of Toronto Council adopted a By-law designating the lands formerly known as the City of York as a Community Improvement Project Area.
(iv) Amended Section 4.3 ACommunity Improvement Plan Areas@ is further amended by replacing the location maps for the Weston, Mount Dennis and Oakwood-Vaughan/Oakwood-Rogers Community Improvement Project Areas, with the ACommunity Improvement Plan Area@ maps attached as Schedule 2 to this Amendment.
Including Eglinton Avenue West within the existing Community Plan, and thereby making the area eligible for the Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Program, will contribute to an on-going, co-ordinated approach to revitalizing this important main street. To date, this approach has included new policies and zoning, the creation of three Business Improvement Areas, a street banner program, and continued staff involvement with local businesses and residents regarding issues such as marketing and crime. These efforts and initiatives will culminate in the development, later this year, of an action-oriented Community Improvement Plan specifically developed for Eglinton Avenue West.
Therefore, I recommend that Council adopt the Community Improvement Plan Amendment contained in this report.
Contact Name: Henry Byres, Senior Planner
Tel: (416) 394-2618 Fax: (416) 394-2782
E-Mail: City of York.EglintonAve.HByre
(All relevant information is on file in the Clerk=s Office.)