The Bluebird Montessori at 905 Broadview has applied for a variance at the committee of adjustment. Full details of the submission are here along with time/place of city hall meeting.
Right now they have day care on the ground floor and residential upstairs. They want to convert the upstairs to day care as well.
Seems like a good thing to me!
Please join me in objecting to this proposal. It is critical that a traffic and road safety study is completed and documented by a qualified professional before approval is granted. Its plainly obvious that there is potential for traffic blockage at the intersection of Browning/Browning and even worse its a serious hazard for parents and their children that use the area as a drop off zone. We have been witnessing this problem for years and it will obviously get worse if the daycare is allowed to expand.
Below is part of my letter to the committee of adjustments:
“The magnitude of this variance is in EXCESS OF 250%. Therefore by virtue of its size alone this variance is too large to be considered minor. Also the very large negative impact on the adjacent residential community with respect to increased noise, traffic on Browning, potential traffic blockage at the intersection of Browning and Broadview is too large to be considered within the realm of minor. The appropriate procedure for this request is an application for a Zoning amendment and/or an Official plan amendment and not a minor variance application.
Furthermore, the area close to 905 Broadview is primarily residential. There are some stores at the intersection of Broadview and Browning but only on the first floor. Almost half of the property on its east side faces single family homes on Browning Avenue. The commercial intensification and the resulting increase in noise at 905 Broadview will significantly impact the residents of Browning and the residents on Broadview.
Most importantly the location of this daycare poses a very serious danger to children and parents that are and will be forced to stop and park their vehicles on Browning close to Broadview to drop off and pick up their children. The four parking spots at the rear of the property are not enough to accommodate peak demand so parents are forced to stop on Browning . Myself and other neighbours have often witnesses traffic chaos next to the Bluebird daycare during the peak hours of drop off and pick up. We have made numerous complaints to the police and city officials about this problem. This problem will become exponentially worse if the daycare is allowed to expand.
Cars should not be stopping on Browning and close to the intersection to drop off kids. Its unsafe because it is close to where cars are turning from Broadview which is a 50km an hour zone to Browning. At the time parents are opening the passengers side rear door to unbuckle their preschooler from its car seat they are in the standing in the middle of the road and at the time the child and the parent walk in the middle of the street as they exit their vehicle with their child they are in a very vulnerable position. The risk of the parents and children being hurt from a car accident in these circumstances is too high and unacceptable.
Currently there are about 20 children that attend this daycare and you can see from the attached picture the parking issues and dangerous conditions for children that are dropped off at the Bluebird daycare. There is no stopping allowed on Broadview Avenue so parents are forced to use Browning Avenue as drop off zone. I have often witnessed times where there is traffic blockage on Browning as many cars belonging to parents have been parked on both sides of Browning and even double parked and all very close to Broadview Avenue. Traffic blockage also occurs at times when traffic has to stop to wait for a parent to parallel park their vehicle. During the winter months, the traffic chaos and danger to kids becomes even more intensified as more parents chose to drive their kids to school instead of walking and as the road conditions due to the snow and ice become unsafe. All this chaotic and unsafe action takes place only steps away from Broadview Avenue where the speed limit is 50 km/hr and from where cars sometimes turn at a very fast speed onto Browning Avenue.
This stretch of Browning where parents stop to drop off their children at the Bluebird daycare accommodates only 4 cars, but Bluebird daycare and the parents do not have exclusive use of this stretch. It is a public street and most often there are at least two cars that belong to other residents that are parked on the north side, and often there are delivery, construction trucks and customers visiting the retail stores at the intersection that often park on both sides of Browning Avenue near the relevant intersection because it is a convenient place to stop since stopping on Broadview near this intersection is not permitted.
The demand for parking and stopping on Browning Avenue near Broadview is going to increase significantly in the near future as Broadview is designated for intensification. The city’s official plan and the zoning by law designates Broadview for growth with vibrant commercial places on the ground floor and residential dwellings above the ground floor. This is why the Zoning By Law permits a density of 2.5 for residential and only 0.5 for commercial. The potentially large and negative impact of large commercial establishments on the residential community and the residential flanking street, (Browning), is not contemplated in the city’s official plan nor the Broadview Avenue Planning Study. With respect to traffic, noise, and many other factors the impact of intensification on residential communities must be minimized because it is mandated through the official plan that residential communities must remain stable.
Many children are driven to this daycare especially during the winter. It is likely that with the requested increase in commercial density that the number of children at this daycare will double and that the traffic chaos will become completely unmanageable and very very dangerous. It is very important that the applicant retain a road traffic and safety expert to assess the impact. Some of the relevant features of the intersection that must be considered include:
Last year city council approved a speed reduction on all side streets to 30 km/hr in order to make them safer even though transportation officials recommended that 40 km/hr was safe enough. This year it has been reported in the news that the police is closely monitoring road traffic close to schools because the practices of drivers are not safe. In 2014 Georgia Walsh was killed at a very unsafe intersection in Leaside. Many residents had complained about the unsafe road conditions at that intersection. In light of these developments lets take action to ensure that there is due process in this matter and road safety is fairly considered.
Without an intelligent and well documented assessment of the traffic and road safety condition that is available to the public this application should not even be heard.”
Interesting problem! Although expanded daycare seems desirable, obviously, there is a very real traffic and safety concern at this location.
This makes me ask about likely parking problems for all of the new developments that are likely coming to Broadview in the near future. The Broadview Avenue Plan is recommending that the height for new building be raised to 25 meters (8 storeys) form the current bylaw height of 14 meters (4 storeys). Although It may be 25 years before Broadview becomes a canyon of 8 to 12 storey buildings I wonder were are all these people going to park? (12 storeys due to variances) Parking in the area is pretty much at maximum now.
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