The boutique-inspired condo development at Gow’s has hit a roadblock.
The Gow family wants to build a 4-storey building where they used to run one of Bells Corners’ best-loved restaurants.
About a dozen residents showed up at the meeting to oppose the developer’s request for six minor variances (permission to not follow the existing by-laws): reducing the number of required parking spots in the underground parking garage and outside for visitors, reducing the setbacks (the required distance between the building and the property line) on all four sides, and narrowing the ramp down to the parking garage.
The residents who are not happy with the project had a spokesperson signed up to speak against the granting of the variances.
One of the 12,000 employees from Stantec was there to represent the Gow family and explain why the variances were reasonable and should be granted.
And then came the first surprise – a third person was going to appear before the committee – Alex Lewis from the BIA! I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Rick there – but Alex? Was he sent by Rick or by his hero Mike-the-slasher?
Before he took his place at the table to address the committee Alex was tight-lipped about what he was going to say, but he told me that he wasn’t sent there by Rick or the bigwigs on the BIA board – he was flying solo on this file.
The second shocker followed – the City planners requested that the hearing for 42 Northside be adjourned, explaining that one or two minor variances might be okay, but six at the same time was too much, and the committee of adjustment agreed.
So ultimately nothing was decided and we never did get to hear why Alex was there. He spoke to the residents as they left, but he didn’t tip his hand to them – he was probably just hoping to gather some intelligence.
The next step is a public hearing on the site plan, and the developers will try to get their variances approved at that time. The residents and Alex will be back, and perhaps even the councillor himself, probably bearing doughnuts.