I watched the May 2 Consultation meeting on increasing the FSI in Old Hampstead online as I was in Europe and couldn’t attend. I was shocked by the repeated false statements made by Mayor Levi. The next council meeting is Wednesday June 8 at 8pm in the Community Centre and I will attend. I hope as many of you as possible will join me.

The May 2 Consultation meeting

Resident after resident came up and said they wanted the look of Old Hampstead to be preserved. Mayor Levi told every single one the same mantra, “A larger FSI only affects the inside of the house and has no effect on the outside of the house.” That is obviously absurd. How can you make a house larger on the inside without also making the outside bigger?
At the meeting Councillor Edery, gave an example where a house could double in size with the new FSI. How can Mayor Levi still maintain that a larger FSI has no impact on the size of a house? It is preposterous!
The greater FSI will allow for much larger houses. The character of Old Hampstead will be lost forever and our property values will drop dramatically.

Why hire an outside consultant when we have the PAC?

Mayor Levi admitted that no one on council understands Urban Planning so they would hire an outside consultant.
Hampstead’s by-law says that the Town’s Planning and Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of experts in the field, is supposed to make recommendations on any change to a Zoning by-law. Not only were they not asked for a recommendation, they were not even advised of the change.
Now Mayor Levi suggests wasting taxpayer money on an outside consultant when members of the PAC will tell council to NOT increase the FSI.

The Irony

The irony of Council’s desire to increase the FSI was not lost on several of you who wrote to me. Mayor Levi and the councillors who supported him did not want to up zone CSL Road so the Town would have more revenue because it would ruin the look of Old Hampstead. Now they want to have much larger houses all over Old Hampstead.

Next Step

By now it should be obvious to all members of council that residents do not want larger homes in Old Hampstead. However, now that the first two hurdles have passed (the draft by-law and the consultation meeting) without informing residents, the council can pass the final by-law at any time without flagging the issue for residents. Until council passes a resolution to reject the draft by-law 1001-10, the danger remains.

If you care about the look of Old Hampstead and your property values, please come out and join me 8pm on Wednesday June 8. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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Picture of Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Bill Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg has a BSc from McGill University, a PhD in Psychology from Northwestern University, and was a professor at Concordia University. He was Mayor of the Town of Hampstead for 16 years and led the demerger battle. He was was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and is currently President of the Cochlear Implant Recipients Association.

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