Council considered Official Plan Amendment Application OPA23/012/W/CD, Zoning By-law Amendment Application ZBA23/022/W/CD, 83-87 Weber Street East, Brigade Holdings Corporation, DSD-2023-322, listed as item 7.2.c. on the agenda this date. Council was also in receipt of a written submission from S. Litt, Vive Development. G. Stevenson, Manager, Development Review, and R. Bustamante, Director, Planning, were in attendance to respond to questions from Council.
Pierre Chauvin, MHBC Planning and Stephen Litt, Vive Development were in attendance in support of the subject applications and address the discussions had with staff since initial consideration of the applications at the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Committee meeting on October 2, 2023. P. Chauvin advised since that time a revised application was submitted now proposing an increased building height from 25 to 32 storeys, increased unit count from 336 to 443, increased the floor space ratio (FSR) from 14 to 18, and, and to increase the number of 1 bedroom units from 241 to 346, the number of two bedroom units from 68 to 97, and to remove the proposed 27 three bedroom units. The increased density would also allow for the following proposed community benefits; 40% energy savings over building code, using heating of the building primarily through air source heat pumps, 24 units will be affordable for a 20-year period which are a 20% discount from market rent and 2 adaptable units and 2 universal design units, in addition to the minimum requirements under the Ontario Building Code. P. Chauvin further advised correspondence to existing tenants has been circulated and existing tenants have been offered accommodations at other properties owned by Vive; and, that discussions have started with a third-party housing operator for future administration/management of these affordable housing units to ensure long-term affordability.
S. Litt addressed the written submission circulated earlier this date, noting the submission included further amendments to the application specifically related to the size of the building podium and a reduction to the side yard setbacks. S. Litt stated to accommodate the increased building height a larger podium would be required. S. Litt indicated the written submission also included a revised Zoning By-law that would reflect the proposed setbacks as being requested this date. In response to questions, S. Litt clarified the removal of the three bedroom units as noted was incorrect, there is no intention to remove any three bedroom units.
G. Stevenson addressed the revised application provisions and noted staff's recommendation to proceed with the application as originally provided, citing concerns with the increased tower revised development is less compliant to the tower separation guidelines (Design for Tall Building Guidelines), which has impacts to the development potential of adjacent lands. G. Stevenson further advised the written submission was circulated by the applicant only a few hours prior to the meeting, staff have not had the opportunity to undertake a formal review and are not in a position to make any recommendation related to the revisions proposed this date.
Members of Council asked questions regarding accommodation of the Stray Cats business on site, setback requirements on the side yard on west-side Scott Street of 5.9m, application review timelines and impacts of a potential delay, potential partnership with Kitchener Housing Incorporated, circulation of revised materials, and received responses from the delegates and G. Stevenson.
Paul Raun addressed the proposed development, noting as a resident of the area, they are opposed to the development, including any potential density increases beyond what is included in the staff recommendation citing the environmental and climate impacts of tall towers compared to low rise developments. Members of Council asked questions regarding affordability of the proposed units, benefits of the proposed affordable units and received responses from the delegate.
In response to questions, G. Stevenson stated to ensure the City is not required to refund any of the application fees, as outlined in Provincial Legislation, Council would be required to render a decision on the applications no later than October 30, 2023.