Eesti Maja at the OMB (9)
Eestlased Kanadas 28 Apr 2017  EWR
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Allan Meiusi, EWR Contributor
On the morning after the shareholders of Estonian House in Toronto Limited gave their Board a mandate to begin a due diligence process, a secondary, but important, process began which could have implications on the sale and eventual value of 958 Broadview Ave. At a pre-hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) three applicants started the long and complex process of seeking relief from the constraints of the City of Toronto's Broadview Avenue Plan. Currently, that plan would confine any potential development on the lands of Estonian House, Gordian Foods and the Salvation Army to six floors (20m).

Local stakeholders participating in the OMB process and supporting the City's Broadview Development Plan include: Helliwell Place, Chester Hill Residents Association (soon to be incorporated), Playter Area Rate Payers Association, as well as residents of Mortimer and Nealon Avenues. Estonian House was represented by Jonathan Cheng an attorney with the firm Stikeman Elliott.

When the formal part of the pre-hearing began, the City's attorney, Jessica Braun, briefly outlined the City's general position in defending the Broadview Development Plan. Ms. Braun also noted that as of Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, there were no formal development proposals on any of the 3 sites that are applying for relief from the Broadview Plan. Without specific design plans, Gordian Foods (Sobeys), Salvation Army and Estonian House are essentially applying for future rights to extend beyond the 20m height restriction. If any of the three applicants are successful, that would give them the flexibility to build their own projects higher than 20m or, at least, make each of the properties more valuable for sale to future developers who would desire to build higher than 20m.

After short consultation with the OMB hearing Chair, attorneys for all parties came to an agreement that they would have a combined hearing on all properties that would take 2 weeks (10 business days). That formal hearing is scheduled to take place in mid April 2018. Another procedural hearing would be in the 3rd week of November 2017.
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