North York District

713 - 723 Lawrence Avenue West - Zoning By-law Amendment

On July 26, 2016 the City received a second submission for an application to amend the former City of North York Zoning By-law No. 7625 and the new City-wide By-law 569-2013 for the properties at 713-723 Lawrence Avenue West. 

The application is to permit the development of 5 blocks of three storey back to back stacked townhouse buildings.  The revised application proposes buildings with a height of 10.6m (excluding the mechanical penthouse); 84 units and one level of underground parking.  The proposed Floor Space Index (FSI) is 1.58.  Pedestrian entrances are facing an internal walkway which is accessed from the sidewalk on Lawrence Avenue West. 

Original Submission

On June 18, 2015 the City received an application to amend the former City of North York Zoning By-law No. 7625 and the new City-wide By-law 569-2013 for the properties at 713-723 Lawrence Avenue West to permit the development of two, three storey back to back stacked townhouse buildings with 93 units and one level of underground parking.  The proposed buildings would have a height of 11.7m (excluding mechanical penthouse) and a FSI of 2.11 times the area of the lot.  A total of 97 vehicle parking spaces and 40 bicycle parking spaces are proposed.  

The planning context as it relates to the Official Plan, the Zoning By-law and the Infill Townhouse Guidelines.

Official Plan

The Official Plan designates the site Mixed Use Areas which provides for a wide range of uses to accommodate growth in population and jobs along transit routes to provide opportunities to reduce automobile dependency.  

The Official Plan establishes criteria for development in Mixed Use Areas including policies for buildings to be located and massed to provide a transition between areas of development intensity and scale: to provide good site access and circulation and an adequate supply of parking for residents and visitors; to locate and screen service areas, ramps and garbage storage to minimize the impact on adjacent streets and residences and to provide indoor and outdoor recreation space for building residents in every significant multi-unit residential development. 

Lawrence Avenue West is identified as an Avenue at this section on Map 2 – Urban Structure of the Official Plan.  The Avenues are important corridors along major streets where re-urbanization is anticipated and encouraged to create new housing and job opportunities while improving the pedestrian environment, the appearance of the street, shopping opportunities and transit service for residents.  The Official Plan identifies that development along the Avenues will generally be at a much lower scale than in the Downtown and generally at a lower scale than in the Centres

Development in Mixed UseAreas on Avenues, prior to the City undertaking an Avenue Study has the potential to set a precedent for the form and scale of re-urbanization along the Avenue.  As such proponents of such proposals are required to provide an Avenue Segment Study which addresses the larger context and examines the implications for the segment of the Avenue in which the development is located.

Section 3.1.2 of the Official Plan contains policies relating to the built form of new development.  For the most part, future development will be built on infill and redevelopment sites and will need to fit in, respecting and improving the character of the surrounding area.  Policy directions in the section include direction that new development:

  • Be located and organized to fit with its existing and/or planned context;
  • Locate and organize vehicle parking, vehicular access, service areas and utilities to minimize their impact on the property and on surrounding properties;
  • Will provide amenity for adjacent streets and open spaces to make these areas attractive, interesting, comfortable and functional for pedestrians;
  • Will be massed and designed to fit harmoniously into its existing and/or planned context and will limit its impact on neighbouring properties in part by creating appropriate transitions in scale to neighbourhood existing and/or planned buildings; 
  • Every significant new multi-use residential development will provide indoor and outdoor amenity space for the residents of the new development.

Section 3.2.1 of the Official Plan includes policies that encourage the provision of a full range of housing, in terms of form, tenure and affordability, and the protection of rental housing units. 

Zoning By-law

The site is subject to the former North York Zoning By-law 7625 and the new City-wide By-law 569-2013.

Under the former North York Zoning By-law 7625 the site is split zoned.  The property at 723 Lawrence Avenue West is zoned C1.  The C1 General Commercial Zone permits a wide range of commercial uses as well as the residential uses permitted in an R5 and RM5 zone.  The R5 zone permits one-family detached dwellings and incidental accessory buildings in addition to a range of Home Occupation, Recreational and Institutional Uses. 

The RM5 zones permits a range of residential building types including multiple attached dwellings and apartment house dwellings.

The properties at 713-721 Lawrence Avenue West are zoned R5, which as noted above permits one-family detached dwellings and incidental accessory buildings in addition to a range of Home Occupation, Recreational and Institutional Uses.

Under the City wide Zoning By-law 596-2013 the site is split zoned.  The properties at 713, 717, 719 and 721 Lawrence Avenue West are zoned RD (f15.0; a550) (x5).  This RD (Residential Detached) zone permits detached residential dwelling units and a limited number of institutional and recreation uses as well as home occupations.  The minimum frontage for a lot is 15m with a minimum lot area of 550m.  A site specific provision permits a minimum side yard setback of 1.8 metres.

The property at 715 Lawrence Avenue west is zoned RD (f15.0; a550) (x982).  A site specific provision stipulates that in addition to the uses permitted in the RD zone the lot may be used for a business office and professional office, if: 

The property at 723 Lawrence Avenue West is zoned CR 1.0 (c1.0; r1.0) SS3 (x13).  This CR (Commercial Residential) zone permits a wide range of commercial and residential uses.  The maximum allowable density on the site is one times the area of the lot.  A site specific provision stipulates that in addition to the uses permitted in the CR zone, business offices and professional offices are also permitted if:

(i) the gross floor area does not exceed 364 square metres;
(ii) the minimum building setback from:

(a) the east side lot line is 4.52 metres;
(b) the west side lot line is 1.86 metres:

(iii) the minimum rear yard setback is 14.9 metres;
(iv) the minimum front yard setback is 4.52 metres; and
(v) parking spaces on the lot must be located in the rear yard.


Building heights in the RD zone are limited to 10m or two-storeys with a maximum coverage of 35%.  Building heights in the CR zone are limited to 10.5m or three-storeys with a maximum coverage of 33%.

The entire site is subject to the Downsview Airport Hazard Map Schedule 'D' to the Former City of North York By-law 7625 which sets a maximum structure height of 45.72.

Infill Townhouse Guidelines

In January 2003, City Council adopted the Infill Townhouse Guidelines to address the development impacts of infill townhouses with a focus on "protecting streetscapes and seamlessly integrating new development within the existing housing patterns" in addition to enhancing the pedestrian environment. The City-wide guidelines are available here.

The following Guidelines, amongst others, will be reviewed in light of this proposal:

  • 1.1 Streets: new townhome development should be accessible from existing public street; locate the fronts of units along existing or newly created street.  Avoid back to front facing relationships such as front doors facing rear yards or service areas;
  • 1.3 Walkways: provide publicly accessible pedestrian networks which encourage comfortable and safe pedestrian use by providing windows along building face; ensuring walkways are barrier free and embellished with landscaping and lighting;
  • 2.1 Setbacks from the Street: locate the main façade parallel to the street and set it in line with adjacent buildings;
  • 2.3 Servicing and Utilities: Organize buildings and site plans so that the impact of servicing functions on streets and accessible open spaces is minimal.
  • 4.1 Provide streetscape improvements in the public boulevard and adjacent setbacks that include planting, decorative paving and lighting.

 

The Guidelines were developed to guide development with respect to townhouse units, and not all of the standards in the Infill Townhouse Guidelines are appropriate for stacked townhouses.  

Second Submission - July 29, 2016

Please follow the following link to City Planning Application Information Centre:

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=691552cc66061410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Click the Application Information Centre (AIC) search link and then enter the application # 15 175970 NNY 15 and press search to retrieve the supporting documentation for this file.

Initial Submission - June 2015