Resident L.H. asks: Should townhouses be classified as low density or medium density? I believe that townhouses should be classified as medium density as listed in the zoning by-law. However, the Official Plan allows townhouses to be classified as low density. The Zoning by-law allows cluster homes up to a density of 25 units per net hectare, but it does not permit townhouses until zone RM2.
Response: There is a discussion to be had about how the Zoning by-law and Official Plan (OP) work together; typically the OP provides broad permissions, and the specific site zoning provides further definitions and restrictions. As such, not every permission granted under an OP policy will be suitable/desirable or permitted on every single property. The Zoning By-law is to comply to the Official Plan as this is required by Ontario’s Planning Act. Zoning typically gets implemented through general permissions; however, because of what is going on around individual properties, not every zoning permission is appropriate on every site. So we look at general zone provisions plus the context around a site in determining appropriateness of the general zone provisions. This is a very brief and broad explanation, though, of a process that takes a great deal of time and analysis. We are seeing new and different forms of townhouse applications including, but not limited to, stacked townhouses and back to back townhouses. How we manage housing form, height and density will be part of the Official Plan Review currently underway and subsequent implementation through updates to our Zoning By-law. The sequencing is important because the Official Plan is the parent document. Official Plans get implemented through Zoning By-laws and other tools. For example, we are preparing urban design guidelines beginning with tower design guidelines and moving to other forms of development (mid-rise, low-rise).
Resident J.S. asks: We are wondering if you have any updates on the progress of the proposed retirement home at 2170 Ghent Avenue?
Response: The proposed 4-storey retirement home at 2170 Ghent Ave received final site plan approval on July 15, 2016. The site plan process was a technical review process that assessed items such as zoning compliance, site layout, lighting, landscaping, etc. As part of the site plan process, the developers were required to install the fencing around the perimeter of the property and around City trees. Now that site plan approval has been issued, the applicants are working towards obtaining a building permit. Our understanding is that once a building permit is issued, construction will begin shortly thereafter. The applicants have indicated to us that construction is anticipated to take approximately 18 months.
Resident M.C. asks: Just enquiring about the empty lot on the north side of Ghent Avenue, almost opposite the Branthaven development. The lot is now overgrown and totally unkempt, weeds and grass are at least two feet high and people are using it as a dump.
Response: A demolition permit was issued in September 2013and draft site plan approval was issued in August 2014 for a 6 unit townhouse development at 2071 Ghent Ave. Planning staff have had some recent dealings in last few months, as the owners have two items to clear in order to receive final site plan approval and be in a position to apply for a building permit.
Resident R.D. asks: I parked on Brant Street and wanted to pay using my Telepark account. I was unable to do so because I did not know what ‘zone’ I was in. Would you please let me know how I can find the zone number for each of the areas of street parking in downtown Burlington?