Public Meeting re: Proposed redevelopment of 890/900 Bank Street

Summary of Issues/questions raised and clarifications provided

 1) Will there be electrical lighting on the western side of the building, rooftop lighting that might impact on residents

– a lighting plan will be provided.  Amica indicated that appropriate lighting important so as not to disturb their own residents as well as neighbouring residents.  Amica indicated that the primary focus for the lighting plan is the Bank Street side of the project and that appropriate lighting is important so as not to disturb their own residents as well as neighbouring residents

2) How will (rooftop) A/C noise be controlled given experience with Lord Lansdowne building?

– plan for AC system mitigation will be provided with application documents, including mitigation measures.  This is also an important consideration for Amica and its residents

3) How many units will be in development?  How many in top two floors?

– 160 units in total.  Roughly 20 units in top two floors.  Amica will confirm proposed # of units by floor.

4) Where will vehicular access be located?  Was entrance off Thornton considered, as entrance to Beer Store off Monk Street will be more difficult to locate?

– Proposed vehicular access off Monk Street.  Thornton Avenue was considered but not deemed optimal given priority to Amica residents, but this will be reviewed.

5) Would a dedicated bike lane on west side of Bank Street pose a problem for this development?

– Proposed retail at grade would need convenience parking in front of storefront.  So yes, a dedicated bike lane would be problematic if parking is lost to a cycle lane.  The BIA is also likely to have concerns about dedicated bike lanes on Bank Street.

6) Parking Issues:  How many parking spots?  Insufficient parking will be very problematic given existing street parking at capacity and transit not sufficient.  Also noted that the area will be losing current parking spaces in the Beer Store allocated to permitted parking.  Comment made that memory care and assisted care residents likely to attract more visitors with cars, more frequently.  Comment also made that as compared to Amica’s Westboro location, the parking situation in the Glebe is much more problematic, so relying on street parking for staff will be very problematic.  Parking for construction workers also a concern.

– 54 parking spots are proposed.  Amica staff are expected to take transit. They will confirm the proposed parking arrangement.  By way of example, they identified that Westboro Amica has three spaces set aside for staff, the rest for residents and visitors

7)  Will there still be returns at the Beer Store?

– The Beer Store has indicated that they will discontinue return program at this location.

8) Comment made that there is already significant “premium” seniors housing available in the area.  What is needed is more affordable seniors housing.

9) What are the typical demographics of a similar Amica facility (three programs at one facility)?  How many units are to be dedicated to each of the three programs?  What is the average size of the units?  What is the monthly inclusive cost per unit?

– Amica to provide clarification.

10) Can more description of the atrium space be provided?  Seniors need appropriate outdoor/natural greenspace.

– Hobin provided additional detail regarding the outdoor atrium space, as well as the patio space, etc. fronting Monk Street.  Areas will largely be protected from wind and direct sunlight.

11) Given comparisons provided to Westboro Station development (also designed by Hobin), could details be provided of that site, including setbacks?

Hobin to provide relevant drawings/site plan/sections.

12) Appreciate modular design of building along Bank Street (rather than single plane that has limited visual interest).  Could different exterior materials be used within the building modules to provide further variation/interest, to further “break” up the massing of the building, ie. so that it reads as several buildings from the street?

– Hobin:  Good suggestion, that will be considered by development team.

13) There is a significant use of glass in the building – what type of glass is being considered to mitigate the likelihood of bird strikes/deaths?

– Hobin will consult glass specialists in consideration of this issue.

14) Mr. Muffler will be a loss to the neighbourhood.

– Recognition that Mr. Muffler has been a longstanding business in the neighbourhood, but that City policy, including Traditional Mainstreet policies, do not allow for this type of land use so it is not possible to include in redevelopment.

15) Lord Lansdowne/Lansdowne Park tall buildings are being pointed to as rationale for additional height permissions requested at this location beyond 15 M height bylaw exception and “Up to 6 storeys” Traditional Mainstreet policy (8 storeys proposed at Canderel/Amica site on Bank Street). How does the City view this, and are those buildings to the south considered as relevant context?  If this development goes ahead, why will it not be used as precedent/rationale for future approval of additional height down Bank Street?

– City staff indicated that yes, existing buildings form part of the context, but that all relevant policies would be considered in a wholistic manner when the City conducts its planning application review.  FOTENN added that the proposed building intentionally steps down to four storeys along Thornton Avenue to transition to Traditional Mainstreet 15 m height exception on Bank Street.

16) What is the likely timeline for this project?

– The intention is to make formal application to the City by mid May.  Once the application is deemed complete by the City, a 28 day circulation (official comment period) will be in effect.  Depending on the nature of comments received/issues raised, the proposal may proceed to Planning Committee in December of this year.  An OMB appeal would normally add a year to the project timeline.  Once approved, construction likely to take 18 – 24 months.

17)  Have water table studies been completed in relation to underground parking garage?

– Engineering studies have been completed as part of formal submission that address this issue.

18) Will analysis of wind effects be undertaken?  Concern regarding tunneling effect on Bank Street as well as downdrafts onto sidewalk, etc. from this building

– wind analysis will be undertaken and provided as part of application documents

20) Comments provided from representative of group of homeowners on Monk Street who will be most immediately impacted by this development.  Indication that they have had a positive meeting with the development team regarding their concerns and discussions are expected to continue regarding design modifications that could mitigate impacts.