Speak up on Queensway overdevelopment

Public meeting & vote: April 18, 6:30pm, City Hall

Queensway proposal is too much - residents already contending with increased maximum densities that planning department proposed last summer
Queensway proposal is too much – residents already contending with increased maximum densities that planning department proposed last summer

The proposed Queensway/Glenwood School Dr. development of back-to-back, traditional townhouses, and semi-detached homes is set to come before the Community Development Committee of council for a vote April 18.

When I met with city staff about this project, I shared residents concerns that this was too intense. Though there have been some improvements to the project since originally proposed – including a reduction in units, more greenspace, and increased setbacks – the project is still more development than what is allowed.

Worse, while this project was working through the system, the Official Plan was changed last summer to allow back-to-back townhomes which increases permitted densities. Most residents had no idea the change had occurred.

The bottom half of the site, facing Glenwood School Dr., is zoned residential low density and permits up to 25 units per hectare. The top half of the site, facing Queensway Dr., permits a minimum of 25 units up to a maximum of 40 units (for townhouses) or 50 units (for back-to-back townhouses).

The total area is a little more than a hectare, so when the two sites are blended the maximum allowable unit count would be 48 units under the current zoning (and less than that if the back-to-back townhomes are eliminated).

What’s being proposed is 58 units, 10 more than the maximum allowed. To accommodate the project, staff are proposing rezoning the entire site to medium density. Read the report.

Residents have repeatedly said they welcome multi-unit development on this site that is reasonable and respects current zoning. This project still doesn’t. And residents rightly ask why the maximums are even being considered here, in an area surrounded by single family homes on large lots.

Residents are constantly being told they must accept this type of intensification because of provincial Places to Grow legislation. However, that plan, as well as our own Strategic Plan, in section 3.2.C call for intensification to
respect existing neighbourhoods.

This doesn’t. There are six homes on the site now. A redevelopment project with even 35 or 45 units would satisfy the need for intensification, while respecting existing zoning.

You can register to speak about this project at the CDC meeting with the clerks office until noon on April 18, by calling 905-335-7600 or filling out a form. You will have up to 10 minutes to express your concerns. I can assist in preparing remarks and organizing residents.

We need the support of three other members of council to seek a reduction in the number of units. Let me know what you think, and also contact them with your views:

Ward 1: Rick Craven cravenr@burlington.ca
Ward 2: Marianne Meed Ward meedwardm@burlington.ca
Ward 3: John Taylor taylorj@burlington.ca
Ward 4: Jack Dennison dennisonj@burlington.ca
Ward 5: Paul Sharman sharmanp@burlington.ca
Ward 6: Blair Lancaster lancasterb@burlington.ca

My take:Though there have been some improvements to the project since originally proposed, it is still too intense and does not respect the current zoning or character of the existing neighbourhood. I will not support it as proposed. Residents have said they would support a project that reduces the total unit count to conform to current zoning, increases greenspace, and eliminates the driveway onto Glenwood School Dr. (perhaps swapping it for a footpath).

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward
Please check out the articles covering issues that you’ve told me matter to you. I value your feedback on them because it informs the decisions I make. If you want to let me or others know about concerns or events in your neighbourhood, please get in touch.

My email is


Leave a Reply
  1. Hi Marianne, I think you’ve got this just about right. My husband and I have lived on Hazel Street for 26 years. This is a neigbourhood where many families stay for a long time. We were originally attracted by the country feel with quiet streets, no sidewalks, large lots. We know it’s unrealistic to expect that change won’t happen. We respect the need for well planned development and support same within the parameters you have laid out.

    • I’m constantly impressed by residents like you who are willing to accept reasonable change. I’m saddened at the outcome and hope we can still make some changes to the project to help lessen the impact on the neighbourhood.

  2. If the City allows a developer to overbuild this site, there is no doubt, they will regret this long term as it will turn the area into a low income ghetto; another Warwick Court. This will add greater costs to the City in the longer term; not to mention lower tax revenues. And it is unforgivable of the City to ruin the current home owner’s property values to this extent. When these people purchased their homes, they were aware of the current zoning. How can the City even think about changing the zoning? These are real people we’re talking about here. It’s fine to talk about “provincial mandates”, so some developer can have their way, but these are our neighbours, in our City. Ask any Councillor, if they were living in this neighbourhood, or had invested in property here, how would they view this change to zoning on the property next door? Let’s start thinking longer term here please!

What's your take?