Important Development Applications in King City

On May 13 appealed their Council agenda there are two very important reports  about development applications in the area east of Jane and north of King Road (Mansions of King and Bushland Heights) .  The critical nature of both applications is twofold.  i)  Density is much higher than it is in our official plans, including the new draft one.  ii) The land to be developed, although zoned for residential development, would be designated natural core in the Oak Ridges Moraine except that it is in the settlement area of King City.  The 2 proponents appealed their applications to the OMB (now LPAT) more than a year ago; the hearings have now been scheduled.  The intent of the reports is to provide an update on the applications.  In addition, as is customary for Staff reports, the public can make deputations.  After the latter Council will move into closed session to meet with our lawyer and to give Council direction. As it is direction for a LPAT hearing there will not be public disclosure of that direction

The Mansions of King (MOK) application includes both single detached and a medium density condominium type development to create 313 dwelling units.  As reviewed in report calculation of the density is complex and not agreed yet. The range is 18.8-13 units/ha. Our official plan cites 7 unit/ha.    Also concerning is the fact that the medium density block is only a concept at this stage.  The Bushland Heights (BH) application is to build 88 single detached units amounts to a density of  9 unit/ha.

Despite pressure from developers in the past approvals for development in King City have adhered to achieving 30 meter buffers (minimum vegetation protection zones) adjacent to environmental features with the exception of “pinch points” which are carefully defined and tested for necessity.  Initially MOK was not respectful of this but has almost come into compliance.  TRCA is paying close attention to this.  In contrast BH is still aggressively pursuing minimums of 12 meters.

A very complex issue is connections to the arterial roads of the two subdivisions i.e. King Road and Jane St.  Each of the subdivisions is large enough that each must have 2 ingress and egress options for safety.  IF both subdivisions were built simultaneously it would be simple:  MOK plans show a road north of King Rd; BH shows one road onto Jane; and the plan shows a good connection between MOK and BH.  But there is no certainty of approval of both nor of timing.

The MOK plan shows an option of accessing by Jane but using an easement which comes out onto Manitou from where a commuter could then access Kingscross Drive and then Jane.  The implications of this option are significant.  What is understood is that residents in Kingscross are opposed to this because of impact on their neighbourhood. And of course the two property owners on each side of the easement are concerned.  I don’t believe the Township has assessed the ongoing operational costs of this option:  as a road ending in a cul-de-sac Manitou is currently more like a rural road than a local road in an urban environment.  What are capital costs to upgrade it?  Will Kingscross need to be upgraded to deal with the new traffic?  What are the ongoing incremental maintenance costs?

Any development in a greenfield site raise concerns about impact on water supply of adjacent properties.  In this case the concerns are significant as the adjacent properties are on private wells, some shallow and private septics.  The reports for both projects identify need for well monitoring etc and ensuring there are resources to fund remediation.  Getting very specific about the latter  in conditions for approval will be required.

The environmental issues in both these proposals are very significant.  There is a very significant wetland complex which has its terminus right where MOK proposes to develop.  The East Humber and/or several streams run through the properties.  In the water courses there are species at risk.  TRCA still has big questions/concerns.  And ultimately the amount of cut & fill required by these developments threaten the acquifers below.  In the MOK plan there are actually plans to move a vernal pool which is an intermittent wetland.

The specific plans for lots still need to worked.  In MOK there is one situation of particular concern:  as is one established property in Kingscross will have 5 MOK lots backing onto them.  As reviewed in the report BH is still proposing reverse-frontage lots which is contrary to policy.

My concern about these two applications on a landscape which merits serious consideration of conservation (as opposed to development) because of its landform has only been heightened by daily news about our diminishing wetlands, species extinction and flooding.



One Response to “ “Important Development Applications in King City”

  1. Angela Rose says:

    If this battleground is lost, it will embolden other developers/developments to challenge the responsible constraints designed to protect our environment and natural beauty. The fact that someone is not or trying not to adhere to the careful studies and plans of the Municipality is deeply disturbing.

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