Council Finally Approves Jaffari Community Centre Development Project


The JCC Finally Cuts Through The Red Tape

A controversial Thornhill development long opposed by local residents got unanimous approval at Vaughan city council on Wednesday afternoon.

Now it will go to the Ontario Municipal Board for a final decision — likely next year.

All seven members of council who voted on the issue — Ward 3 Coun. Rosanna DeFrancesca was absent, while Deputy Mayor and Regional Coun. Mario Ferri did not vote in declaring a conflict of interest — followed city staff’s recommendation to approve the radically altered development proposal.

When it was first proposed, the plan was for two 17-storey towers and 61 three-storey townhouses on its property at 9000 Bathurst St. in Thornhill.

Now, the proposal is for a six-storey and eight-storey tower which will have a total of 209 units, plus 42 street townhouse units in one block and 18 townhouse units in another block totalling less than 280 units, down from over 500 in the initial proposal.

There are numerous conditions attached to the Islamic Shia-Ithna-Asheri-Jamaat (ISIJ) proposal at 9000 Bathurst St. near Rutherford Road.

It was first introduced nearly five years ago and was the focus of a rowdy public meeting in February 2014 that drew over 1,000 people. In fact, just last week, another full house turned up to express their opposition to or support for the application.

Jordan Kalpin, vice-chair of the Preserve Thornhill Woods Association, which has opposed the development for a number of years, said, “Today’s decision by council was to take a position on an amendment on the upcoming OMB hearings.”

“We’re happy that this is moving forward. We recognize that the applicant has come down from the initial proposal which was completely unacceptable. It doesn’t get rid of the fact there is still a parking problem, a traffic problem, that they want to rip out a woodlot with 3,000 trees to put 15 townhomes and all kinds of Indigenous species.

“These are all real and valid concerns the residents have,” Kalpin said.

Shafiq Ebrahim, spokesperson for the ISIJ, said, “We are very pleased with council’s decision that they approved staff’s recommendation with amendments. We’re now looking forward to working through to implementation.”

Source: Tim Kelly With The Thornhill Liberal

Mase Dhirani