Originally Posted by yyzer
from insidetoronto.com, via urbanation's twitter feed.....the deal is settled, the developer gets an additional 6 storeys.....
Dec 07, 2010 - 2:18 PM
Condo battle settled with a handshake
Developer to contribute $750,000 to community
The battle to save St. Nick ended not with a bang, but with a handshake.
After council approved an application for 29 storeys on the low-rise downtown street, developer Nicholas Mary Property Inc. appealed to the Committee of Adjustment seeking six storeys more. That request was turned down, and the developer was looking to take the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board on Dec. 2 and 3.
While local residents were set to fight to limit the height, they managed to broker an agreement with the developer at the 11th hour.
Rather than leave the decision in the hands of the OMB, the two sides managed a compromise by which the developer would receive the six storeys in exchange for $750,000, which will be used for community benefits.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Ian Flett said the agreement helped mitigate the potential of the developer getting the additional height in exchange for nothing.
He added the group also looked at what could happen to other developments had the case been settled at the OMB and the board sided with Nicholas Mary Property.
"One of the risks was that, if we lost, it could set a precedent for developers to allow them to make major changes as minor variances," he said.
Flett added that, if the case had gone beyond the OMB to divisional court, two of the residents opposing the amendment could have been on the hook for thousands of dollars in additional costs.
Flett acknowledged that the decision to settle was less than ideal, given that people opposed not only the call for six additional storeys but the fact that the developer attempted to secure the additional height by calling it a "minor variance" at the Committee of Adjustment.
"There are people who were very committed to the legal point that we feel should have been made," he said. "(The settlement) was bittersweet because we still feel very strongly in that point."
The risk of going to the OMB, however, was deemed too great for the residents once Nicholas Mary Property offered the $750,000 and agreed to cover costs incurred by the residents leading up to the OMB case.
"Our group had to ask itself what our ultimate interests were, and those were what's best for the community," Flett said.
He added the developer, who was not available for comment as of Mirror deadline, was keen to settle with residents to deflate some of the animosity that had surfaced throughout the development process.