Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'amendment'.
Bylaw tweak could allow more drive-throughs Patty Winsa Urban Affairs Reporter Ads by Google A battle to restrict fast-food and coffee drive-throughs in the city’s residential areas may be brewing yet again. An amendment in Toronto’s new zoning bylaws, which go to council for approval this week, counteracts a 2002 city-wide ban that says drive-through lanes can’t be within 30 metres of homes and, instead, applies the standard to the order box only. The amendment could make it easier to put drive-throughs in some locations. The change comes six years after a residents group and the city successfully defended the original ban at the OMB, following a challenge by the Canadian Bankers Association, the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association along with other business interests, including the OMERS pension fund. “If in fact (the amendment) does undo the intent of the bylaw that we fought three years for and won at the OMB, I’m shocked and outraged,” said Susan Speigel, president of the Humewood Neighbourhood Ratepayers Inc., which raised $30,000 and hired a lawyer to make their case. “I will pursue this with the same dogged determination with which I fought for the original bylaw,” she said. Councillor Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore, Ward 5) pushed the amendment as part of Toronto’s new bylaws, a six-year project to harmonize regulations across 43 zoning areas brought together when North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, York and East York amalgamated with Toronto in 1998. The situation was complicated by the fact that some of the former cities had a web of bylaws, enacting new sets each time a new residential area was formed. Scarborough had more than 30. The harmonized bylaws went through the city’s planning and growth committee last week and go before city council at its meeting Wednesday and Thursday — the last before the election. Milczyn said he proposed the drive-through amendment after meeting with industry representatives and lobbyists for large companies such as Shell and Esso, who complained the current laneway restrictions were too onerous. “They’ve been attending every committee meeting and deputing and writing on this issue for months and months,” he said. Milczyn proposed a 30-metre distance between homes and the order box, which he says “is the point where there’s the most noise.” The original 30-metre setback was created after city staff did a Toronto-wide report on drive-throughs years ago. “We wanted the separation of the car, noise and fumes, including the order box,” said Joe D’Abramo, the city’s acting director for zoning bylaw and environmental planning, who wrote the original report. “We wanted them pulled away from residential zones. It was quite offensive when they put them right next to one,” he said. Milczyn said he intended the amendment to apply only to corner gas stations with drive-throughs in the outskirts of the city, but the language doesn’t specify that, say planning staff. And even then, it would still contravene the original bylaw. D’Abramo says the amendment put forth by Milczyn requires the order box to be 30 metres away from a residence, but the laneway could be right beside it. The new bylaws are online at http://www.toronto.ca/zoning and can be searched by entering an address or using the interactive maps. What’s new in the amalgamated bylaws Building heights: Say goodbye to stand-alone big-box or liquor stores on main streets in combined commercial-residential areas of the old city. Minimum heights will now be three storeys. Rooming houses: City staff proposed allowing rooming houses in high-density areas, including former boroughs where they were once banned, but the committee decided to defer a decision on the controversial subject until 2011. Group homes: Despite a human rights complaint, the new bylaw requires that group homes, including correctional homes and housing for people with mental health issues, be separated by at least 250 metres. The municipalities had various distance requirements, but mental health advocates such as the Dream Team want none. Restaurants and bars: South of Bloor St., and from the Humber River to Victoria Park, restaurants are restricted to the first floor of a building. Outdoor patios can be at the front or side, but not on the roof or in the back. Industry: The old bylaws had no provisions for propane facilities, but in response to the Sunrise explosion, they are now restricted to industrial zones and must be at least 300 metres from homes. Visitor parking: Council directed staff to include a city-wide ban on paid visitor parking at apartment buildings, which has been in effect for years in North York, but an amendment put forward by Milczyn on Thursday took that off the table. Schools and places of worship: There is no longer an automatic right to put a school or place of worship in a residential area, so as to restrain conversion or elimination of houses. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/851861--bylaw-tweak-could-allow-more-drive-throughs?bn=1
(COURTESY of The Governor of Texas) Bill