As I am driving down Elgin Street towards Leslie I notice this mega-structure under construction, sticking out like a sore thumb in a street full of neat, well-ordered bungalows and low rise buildings.  

It is in Jane Twinney's Ward 3.

When I get home I consult the Town's Zoning By-Law (as one does) and discover the area is designated RC-1 (which I presume is the same as R1-C) which is shorthand for Residential Detached Dwellings.

The maximum lot coverage is supposed to be 35% though this monster home at 1011 Elgin Street seems to be shoehorned into a tight space.

Detached dwellings come in zones with many permutations.


The ones in this part of Elgin Street seem to be governed by a  zoning by-law specifing a maximum height of 10.7 metres or 35 feet even though neighbouring buildings all appear Lilliputian by comparison.  

Of course, the Town's consolidated Zoning By-law 2010-40 allows exceptions to the general rule. Where would we be without them, the exceptions? 

If a developer doesn't want to conform with a particular zoning by-law, it seems to me it is much simpler to put in for a "site-specific" exemption. The Town's Zoning By-Law has trillions of these exemptions which explains why it is a big fat tome running to 197 pages.

Space Invaders

These monster homes seem to be sprouting up everywhere. They are the new space invaders. 

If they tower over neighbouring properties then, perhaps, the area zoning was wrong in the first place.  Is the object to protect and preserve existing stable residential neighbourhoods or is it to promote "intensification" and the efficient use of land?

Different agendas  

If it is the latter we all need to get real. If you think zoning is designed to protect the public you better wise up fast. It is something for the developers and planning professionals to worry about. And they have their own agendas.

I am sure the new monster home in Elgin Street got all the necessary permissions.

I have absolutely no reason to doubt all the relevant boxes were ticked and everything was properly signed off.

And that is precisely what is so worrying.

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