The application to sever 96 John Street has been rejected by the Ontario Municipal Board on the grounds that it wouldn’t be in character with the neighbourhood. This may set a good precedent for the village.
The owners had asked to sever the lot and for permission to build a second home. The lots would have been 7.5m wide—unusually small for the community.
The decision is very encouraging if you believe, as I do, that Weston has a unique character that shouldn’t be fiddled with. The OMB based its decision on the size and character of the village’s lots, and said that approving a division would be “destabilizing”.
[The] Weston neighbourhood is currently a very stable neighbourhood that is not undergoing any change in its lot fabric and pattern of lot sizes… In the Board’s view, to allow this consent would thus represent a significant departure from the lot fabric of lot sizing and lot configuration that exists as part of the physical character of the Weston neighbourhood….
Although cases must be decided on their own merit, and although the possibility of establishing a precedent should not interfere with the examination of the merits of any application, in a neighbourhood such as the Weston village, the consequential impact of approving the first severance of this nature cannot be overlooked, nor the potential destabilizing effect that such a precedent might then cause.
The OMB also appeared baffled by the planning department staff, who initially submitted a single-line email saying “Planning has no concerns” without, it seems, having actually reviewed the facts in the lot study.