Mid-Rise Standards Monitoring

The science of urban planning. City councillors want clear and accessible language when it comes to Mid-Rise Standards Monitoring — something that planning staff may not be able to provide, at least in the terms certain politicians would like. At this week’s Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting, city councillors repeatedly called the newest language in the guidelines confusing, saying they don’t understand how they are meant to be applied, or what weight they will have in the development process. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, Urban Design Director Harold Madi and Civic Urban Designer Allison Reid circled over the changes that had been made since the last meeting, pointing to the exact sections of modified text (which they actually underlined in the document), trying to reassure councillors of the intention of the guidelines. “[They] don’t provide clarity or certainty with respect to what we will see on a specific site, but they provide a framework for massaging a proposal to be in keeping with a series of performance standards,” Keesmaat explained to the committee. Even after over two hours of discussion, the majority of councillors were unsatisfied, voting to defer officially receiving the guidelines until May 11 and requesting a structure map and height numbers be available at the next discussion.