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OMB rules against 8-storey condo in downtown Richmond Hill

'Big win for historic downtown core'
May 26, 2015
By Marney Beck

The OMB has listened to residents and Richmond Hill council concerns, and ruled in the town’s favour against a proposed eight-story condo proposed for the historic downtown.

In February at a public meeting, residents and councillors spoke out against a zoning application request by Robert Salna Holdings Inc. for a Yonge Street condo just north of Major Mackenzie with 81 apartments and four street-level stores, stating the project was too tall, too high-density and, as Mayor Dave Barrow described it, “an insult to the community”.

The Ontario Municipal Board recently ruled against the developer’s request to have that section of downtown designed a key development area and backed the town’s new official plan, which caps new buildings in the downtown to a maximum of five storeys in height.

“This is a very big win for our historic, downtown core, with the OMB ruling that the building heights will not exceed two to five storeys,” said Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg.

She said the OMB decision also supports the town’s “village district” plan for pedestrian linkages, courtyards and walkways “for a people friendly downtown”.

Hogg had warned back in February at the public meeting that if the town and OMB approved the Salna condo project, it would set a “dangerous precedent” for the downtown core.

Residents living in the area and councillors expressed concerns about a lack of parking for the proposed condo and the fact the plan showed only one exit and entrance to the condo off congested Yonge Street.