A neighbour from up the street dropped by the other day with a lawn sign and asked if I’d like to have one on my front lawn. I’ve never had a lawn sign for anything, not for or against anything, not in support of a politician, none of that. This time I agreed to put up the sign. It says STOP THE LOT SPLITTING – Preserve the character of Long Branch.
When we moved to Long Branch, I believed that Toronto’s Official Plan, The Committee of Adjustment and the Ontario Municipal Board would protect our neighbourhood from the lot-splitting which has been increasingly occurring around here. This was naive. I didn’t think there would be such a radical spike in severance applications, and I was very disappointed to see so many Ontario Municipal Board decisions supporting these applications.
Our neighbours are getting good at fighting, and have become increasingly educated and experienced. Some neighbours have got together to form a neighbourhood association. I don’t know, maybe that will help. It seems as if the deck is stacked against those in the community who would like to see some kind of planning around the future of our neighbourhood.
Will the lawn signs help? At the very least they are a constant reminder that many people in our community are opposed to lot splitting. There is little recourse once the OMB has made a decision. At least the signs publicly express dissatifaction. A post on another blog suggests the lawn signs will have minimal impact. This blogger expresses concern for the brand image of the neighbourhood association should people think the new neighbourhood association is behind the lawn sign initiative (apparently it isn’t). For my part I have no concern over where the initiative comes from. I like the message. It’s direct and to the point, and from the heart. I may not be able to affect OMB decisions (I’ve twice spoken at the OMB on severance issues without success) but at least I can shout out my opinion. The developers and the OMB and the Committee of Adjustment and the politicians and so on will just have to live with that.