Today the LPAT (aka OMB) hearing related to this development application ended … in four SHORT days instead of ten LONG days. The Chair was Mr. Reid Rossi; the appellant Mr. Dani Cohen was represented by Ms. Eileen Costello and the City by Mr. Ray Kallio. The GDNA was represented by myself, Valerie Eggertson (GDNA Secretary) backed by a very strong team: Ann Marie Strapp (Chair of our Development Committee) and Participants Eris Ritcey (32 Camden), Doug van Fraassen (Fabrik), Kelly Nixon (Morgan) and Max Allen (Grange Community Association).
The hearing itself was a whirlwind … the Chair cut off witnesses and counsel alike when they didn’t stay focused. No reciting of official plans or bylaws here, no reiterating issues, no augmenting explanations once the Chair had grasped the point! The Chair also asked that the witnesses be called not in the usual “appellant first, City next” order but by subject … hence heritage issues were addressed by both sides on day two and urban design issues on day three.
These scheduling changes did cause some degree of angst to the legal counsels but definitely added to my enjoyment of the proceedings. I found it much easier to hear arguments and counter-arguments within the same day rather than a week apart.
All the witnesses, for both City and appellant, were strong and effective. The Participants were particularly blessed that the City’s Urban Design witness, Joseph Luk, created some amazing visuals which only reinforced their particular issues (separation distances of the proposal from the Fabrik outdoor amenity space and the north facing balconies of 32 Camden; the sky views from the north facing balconies and the outdoor amenity space of 32 Camden). A special call-out to Richard Eriksson who, a few weeks earlier, had invited Joseph into his suite and the public spaces at 32 Camden to take photographs.
If you are interested in reviewing these particular visuals, click here ... it is a 21.5 MB file. Page 37 presents the City’s preferred built form which the GDNA endorsed in closing arguments, remaining neutral however on the issue of heritage retention. Pages 40, 43, 45, 47 and 48 illustrate the effect of the submitted proposal on nearby condos.
Chairman Rossi has promised a speedy resolution to this file … weeks rather than months. So now we wait.