When NIMBY goes awry, the street goes with it. Check out this article from the Star and the latest attack on the Ontario Municipal Board in North York:
It's street revenge on developer Furious councillors overruled on condo site name road OMB Folly
Oct 08, 2008 Paul Moloney City Hall Bureau
A street by any other name wouldn't be such sweet revenge.
North York councillors peeved at being overruled by the Ontario Municipal Board – on a condo complex they didn't want – exacted poetic justice yesterday by giving the project an address the developer won't soon forget: OMB Folly.
That's the name the North York community council, on a 7-2 vote, chose for the new street leading into the 36-unit complex.
Councillor John Filion, who has frequently knocked heads with developers, said he was flabbergasted the OMB would allow rezoning for townhouses on a site that lies outside the designated North York Centre development area.
"This one really stands out as the most ludicrous decision that I know of," Filion said. "It takes the cake. I could cite a lot of terrible OMB decisions, but it's the one that's just obviously absurd and ridiculous."
Filion had expected his colleagues to resist his suggestion to name the street OMB Folly. Not today, said Councillor Maria Augimeri, after Councillor Howard Moscoe urged Filion to put it to a vote.
Councillor David Shiner said the move may usher in a welcome precedent: "When we start having the OMB not only go against our council but our planning staff, we may be able to come up with some very creative names to help name these new developments that show up without city council or city staff support."
The municipal board, a quasi-judicial tribunal set up by the province, has routinely been blasted by Toronto councillors without firing back. Yesterday was no exception.
"I can tell you right now we have no comment on that," said Matthew Bryan, of the OMB's communications office. "We have no comment on what North York community council wishes to do."
But the developer, who plans to start construction soon, was not amused.
"Are they nuts?" said Stephen Maizels, CEO of Hallstone Group. "Where is the adulthood? When do they grow up?"
Maizels said the previous owner of the site, Churchill-Basswood Developments Inc., was the entity that went to the OMB. The tribunal ruled in 2005 that the proposed development was appropriate for the site, fit well into the neighbourhood and represented good planning.
Filion, however, said there are lots of available sites within the specified boundaries for intensification – on either side of Yonge St. from Highway 401 to north of Finch Ave. According to the master plan, development isn't supposed to encroach into neighbourhoods of single-family detached homes.
Filion is worried the Hallstone development sets a bad precedent.
"Other developers will follow the lead and say, `Let's just run off to the Ontario Municipal Board and see if we get a crazy decision, too.' It's worth it for them to gamble $50,000 on an OMB hearing and roll the dice."
A city staff report had suggested the street be named Connfield Lane, after John Conn, an early landowner in the area.
City council has given community councils authority to decide street names on their own, but officials are currently pondering whether OMB Folly contravenes the street-naming policy, which says derogatory names should be avoided.
So the issue may be reopened for a second look at the next meeting of city council, Oct. 29-30.