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70+ folks attend discussion of 2267 Lakeshore Road; prefer scaled back development

Architectural rendering of proposed homes at 2267 Lakeshore Rd.
Architectural rendering of proposed homes at 2267 Lakeshore Rd.
Site layout of 2267 Lakeshore Rd. Red X's show trees removed to make way for driveways/buildings.
Site layout of 2267 Lakeshore Rd. Red X’s show trees removed to make way for driveways/buildings.

Many thanks to the more than 70 residents who attended the recent meeting at the seniors centre to discuss the proposed rezoning application from Rosedale Properties to redevelop 2267 Lakeshore Road from one single family home to five, 1.5 storey stone -and-siding single family homes around a shared condo road.

You can view the powerpoint from the meeting here April 29 2014 Presentation which details the proposal and the decision-making process. City planning staff are reviewing the proposal and will bring first an information report, then a recommendation report (either to accept, reject or modify the proposal) to the Development & Infrastructure Committee of council, then to City Council for a final decision. Residents can attend and speak at those meetings. Those dates have not been set, but I will post them here when available, and email anyone who contacted me via email to be added to the distribution list regarding news about this development.

The rezoning request is to go from an R3 zone to an R5 Standard, with modifications. Below is a preliminary comparison of the different zoning:

 

View from Lakeshore Road.
View from Lakeshore Road.

R3Zone Lot Width: 15m

R5Zone Lot Width: 12m

R5Zone Proposed Lot Width: 34m (for the entire site, not per home)

 

R3Zone Lot Area: 452m2

R5Zone Lot Area: 2000m2 (for entire site, not per home)

R5Zone Proposed Lot Area: 3488m2 (for entire site, not per home)

 

R3Zone Front Yard: 6m

R5Zone Front Yard: 7.5m

R5Zone Proposed Front Yard: 6.3m

 

R3Zone Rear Yard: 9m

R5Zone Rear Yard: 9m

 R5Zone Proposed Rear Yard: 7.5m

 

R3Zone Height Maximum: 2 storey

R5Zone Height Maximum: 2 storey

Proposed Height: 1.5 storey

 

At the meeting , residents heard there will be an on-site holding tank to capture and hold storm water and slowly release it into the ground. They also heard that the distance between three homes along the back of the property would be 4 feet. The initial selling price is expected to be around $1.2m. The applicant also advised residents that they are not the same company as DTZ, a numbered company which has been contacting residents with offers to buy. Roseland Properties only owns the 2267 Lakeshore Rd. site and is not offering to buy any other properties.

Planning staff advised that this proposal may be subject to Section 37 Community Benefits, which can be negotiated in exchange for increased height or density. Staff do not yet know whether this will be a candidate for Section 37, but one resident suggested that if approved, and if Section 37 is invoked, they would like a lighted crosswalk at nearby Lakeshore Public School for children crossing Lakeshore Road.

Residents raised concerns about potential increased traffic next to Lakeshore Public School,  where snow would be piled, impacts of stormwater runoff onto adjacent properties which already flood, and the lack of a tree bylaw to prevent the clear-cutting of trees that occurred on this site prior to filing the application.

If this site were developed as a single family home, or severed into two, perhaps three lots, and then developed, the maximum lot coverage would be 35% (that only counts buildings, not asphalt driveways). The impervious cover on this site with the proposed five buildings is 22%, according to the powerpoint presentation, but that only counts buildings, not the driveways and visitor parking. According to the applicant’s FUNCTIONAL SERVICING REPORT (available here, pg. 8) the total impervious area post-development would be 58%, significantly more than simply the building calculation.

A primary concern of residents was the impact of the rezoning on the overall character of the neighbourhood along Lakeshore, and that approving this project would encourage more projects of this type, rather than the single family homes with ample greenspace that currently exist along much of Lakeshore Road, especially on the North side.

Though there was some support from area residents for a scaled back version of the development with fewer units, To read the studies submitted in support of the application, visit the city’s webpage dedicated to this development here.

My Take: There are some commendable aspects to what is being proposed, but overall I believe the proposal attempts too much for the site. I could support a smaller project (2 or 3 homes) which would reflect the character of the area and preserve much needed greenspace for natural stormwater absorption and tree planting. The buildings themselves look very nice, and will architecturally blend into the neighbourhood. Several homes on this site is preferable to one 18,000 sq ft monster home (which would be allowed under current rules because of the large lot size). But jamming five homes, four feet apart, with double garages and four on-site visitor parking takes too much impermeable area and replaces it with asphalt and buildings. And there has already been significant loss of tree cover prior to filing the application in anticipation of where buildings and driveways would go and before site plan control came into effect (which does regulate tree cutting, but only after an application is received).  The tree cutting prior to applying for a building permit highlights the need for a tree bylaw which I supported, but ultimately failed at council last fall (on 4-3 and 5-2 votes).

I also share the residents’ concerns about the impact of the rezoning on future redevelopment along Lakeshore. The Official Plan and Zoning reflect the community’s vision for the redevelopment of their neighbourhoods, and takes into account the need for intensification. When we vary from this plan we replace the community’s vision with a private vision, influenced at least in part (and sometimes quite significantly) by private profit and economic drivers.

Your Take: What’s your view of this development? Leave a comment below, or email me at marianne.meedward@burlington.ca to provide feedback and/or be added to the distribution list to receive notices about this project.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

4 Comments

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  1. I would most definitely oppose a single family monster home on this lot and am at least happy that in redeveloping this site some effort has been made to make sure that the new homes reflect the character of the existing neighbourhood. 5 homes is too many. Too cramped, not enough green space which is a key element of the existing homes in the neighbourhood.
    It is also imperative that the tree canopy be preserved at all costs. The tree lined streets in this neighbourhood contribute greatly to the charm of the area.Please lets make sure that we take care of what we value most in this neighbourhood while fulfilling the need for intensification and of course we need also to be mindful of the issues relating to storm water drainage which must be properly addressed.

  2. Thanks Marianne. Are you stating then that no matter the quality of the site plan for cluster homes, you would not support any change from an R3 to an R5 zone in areas not already identified in the current zoning and official plan especially given the OP is under review and the intensification zones could change within the next year?

    It seems a main contention is the non-permeable surface impact on increased storm water, so could not the developer be asked to limit to single driveways, or use permeable pavers/surfaces for the road and drives, or incorporate more LEED sustainable features?

    In order to save the large evergreen city tree and ally of trees where the road is planned for could the developer consider decreasing the size of the two houses on the east pushing them to the east and moving the condo road over to the east and incorporating an angled entry at Lakeshore to avoid taking down these trees?

    It seems to me if the DTZ company is actively trying to assemble land in the neighbourhood, they apparently seem confident they’d have no problem receiving the zoning change that may be required to build a clustered homes development. Do you know what their intentions are?

    One advantage to the R3 zone change is it does allow more families/couples a more cost accessible opportunity to live near the downtown core and have close proximity to the waterfront amenities (withing a walkable distance) that would help to support downtown businesses. Although granted were not talking affordable housing, the reality is there are people who are down scaling that want to live near downtown that are able to buy in at $800K – $1.2M but not at the $2-3M price tag of a newly built mansion that the larger lot sizes could adapt. I think it appropriate for the north side of Lakeshore to allow an R5 cluster home zoning which can be balanced with the south side of Lakeshore retaining the R3 zone across wards 2-5. The north side of Lakeshore already has lots of variance in the housing mix. What is imperative is to ensure sufficient natural area vs. hard surface balance in the site development and the preservation of mature trees and permeable surfaces.

    Also suggested as a potential Sec. 37 community benefit is that the drainage system at Lakeshore School be cleared of roots and debris and generally improved to avoid the current ponding that occurs as it would directly benefit the hundreds of neighbourhood kids that attend the school, and that the invasive vines be removed from both sides of the fence along this boundary line

    Please confirm this input will be relayed to the city planner, thanks.

  3. This proposal shows no imagination. A curving crescent layout could easily allow for three attractive homes on spacious properties, all with a view of Lakeshore Rd. No unsightly sound barrier would be needed. The houses would command higher prices while adding value to the existing neighborhood, rather than becoming a detracting eyesore.

  4. Although I have not seen this development, what distresses me for any housing is that one would have neighbours on either side 4ft. apart. No way. Especially for those prices, I would never pay that for such confined space.

What's your take?