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Submit comments by Dec. 8 on request for two more floors on Saxony at Locust & Elgin

The city has received an application to amend the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law regulations for the property at the northwest corner of Locust Street and Elgin Street in downtown Burlington, known as the Saxony development. Residents will recall this project previously receive Draft Site Plan Approval for a 4 storey, 37 unit mixed use condominium development on this site.

The proponent is seeking a site specific amendment to the current DC-348 zoning of the subject property to increase maximum building height from 4 storeys, 37 units to 6 storeys, 61 units.

The project is proposed as a six (6) storey mixed-use building with commercial uses on the groundfloor and 61 residential units above on floors 2 to 6. The subject site is an assembly of three separate parcels including 452 to 454 Locust Street, 1437 Elgin Street and 1445 Elgin Street. The assembled property is 0.25 ha in area.

A notification was mailed to residents within the immediate area: 452 to 454 Locust St 1437 Elgin St 1445 Elgin St NotofPlngAppPrel

You are invited to submit written comments about the proposed development to the City of Burlington by Dec. 8. Please send them to Mark Hefferton at mark.hefferton@burlington.ca. Please also copy me on your input, as this will help inform my own position on this matter Marianne.meedward@burlington.ca

You can also mail comments to Burlington Planning and Building Department, PO Box 5013, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Z6.

Your comments will be considered by the Planning Department when staff make a recommendation to the Planning & Development Committee of Council to approve or refuse the application. Your comments will form an appendix to a staff report about the proposed applications which will be posted on the City’s web site. Notice of the Planning & Development Committee public meeting to consider these applications will be sent to you later on.

The date for a neighbourhood meeting has not yet been set.

For more information visit the webpage for this project, where you can also view supporting documents submitted by the applicant, also provided below. Saxony 452 Locust

Supporting Documents

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.

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  1. I live downtown Burlington and work at Queens Quay in Toronto. I
    Queens Quay is a cultural concrete desert. lets not turn Burlington into the same nasty windy emptiness!

    People make Niagara on the Lake a destination as it has character and charm. Burlington has that potential. The way its moving with these high rises, that for sure will be lost forever!.

    Keep Burlington a destination by making it a place that’s different and unique and NOT queens quay!

  2. The approval of this project is so disappointing. There will no doubt be many more downtown high rises to come – the Waterfront Hotel site and Martha Street to name a couple – the flood gates are open. We need more affordable places for people to live but not at this height. The city is driving small business out of the downtown not encouraging it. Our Planning Department doesn’t acknowledge that we have a ‘highway’ running thru our downtown – the traffic is already a nightmare especially in rush hour……these ‘five’ councillors obviously need to spend more time downtown.

  3. “You are invited to submit written comments… …Your comments will be considered by the Planning Department when staff make a recommendation to the Planning & Development Committee of Council to approve or refuse the application…”
    Thanks Marianne for being the Residences’ last hope in that hopeless battle but please don’t make an introduction to the next pointless discussion with the wording above.
    It makes all that, even more frustrating.

    And to make it clear: the frustration is not about highrises, the frustration is about their location.
    Monday’s voting was a final killer to the last identity of Burlington which is (sorry: was) historic Brant Street.

    It is the Councillors, who just don’t get it!!

  4. The outpouring of emotion over the building height issue by many of these posts although well meaning, is misdirected. Council and staff are doing nothing more than implementing a policy initiated by the provincial government. This policy draws a hard boundary around our city that constrains development to existing boarders.

    The city develops Office Plans for future growth but it is ultimately the developers who build the buildings and as available land becomes more scarce and regulatory costs skyrocket there is a strong incentive to go vertical. There is a big advantage for the city to allow this. Vertical buildings usually go where city services are already in place making them less costly to the city. Tax revenue per square foot is also much higher.

    I don’t know the details of this particular building but it’s not hard to guess. The developer dug the hole over a year ago and discovered there were serious ground conditions that need to be addressed. This plus the delays and extra regulatory requirements were going to drive up the cost of the whole project. I suppose the city could compel him to stay at four stories but then kiss affordability good-bye. Do we really need more million dollar + condos in Burlington?

    So rather than berate city staff and politicians for doing what they are mandated to do, why don’t you call our MPP. She has an office in the ground floor of a tall apartment. I’m sure she can fill your ear with some interesting insight.

    Oh and by the way, it’s called Batophobia. The good news is that there is an effective treatment.

    • Bob: Many of us who have expressed legitimate concerns with the overbuilding of the downtown core, as well as apparent disregard for zoning and constituent input, are well aware of the provincial government’s mandate for intensification. What we oppose is the placement of these projects in established neighbourhoods, and the lack of traffic infrastructure to handle. There are plenty of characterless intersections and strip plaza sprawls across Burlington on wide arteries close to the QEW, which could be transformed into multi-use tall building developments without casting a shadowy blight on a charming neighbourhood – e.g. Harvester and Guelph.

      I personally don’t have batophobia; I love the Empire State Building.

      • Shelly: If it were only that easy! We like to think that city planners can wave a magic wand and development will go exactly where they want it to go. It doesn’t happen that way. If the locations you suggested are so much more desirable would you not think that developers would already be building there? Land assembly sometimes takes years and costs continue to escalate. Pushing tall buildings out to mobility hubs sounds nice in principle but already we hear rumblings from Aldershot residents about current and future plans for growth along Plains Rd.

        I still contend the root cause is Queen’s Park policy. It boils down to supply and demand. Some question why we even need growth but city costs continue to go up even without new spending initiatives (mostly due to escalating labour costs). The tax base needs to grow unless we are all prepared to accept massive tax increases or draconian service cuts. Constraining land supply pits neighbour against neighbour over where development should go meanwhile costs continue to sky rocket.

        I also love the small town feel of downtown Burlington but the pressure to develop all available land is relentless.

        • Not disagreeing at all about Queen’s Park policy being the root cause and I understand the relentless pressure to develop, given the constraints on extending north of the 407. I’m still not prepared to throw up my hands and say “oh well – wait until the next election” when Burlington council doesn’t display integrity and transparency in its actions.

          This is just the latest of several initiatives, not restricted to tall building proposals, where the calls for citizen feedback and participation in meetings and workshops are starting to ring as pretty cynically disingenuous. Tick the box that there was consultation and move on.

  5. Here we go again! Council is truly not bound by the will of its constituents. While we’re at it, why not turn Elgin and Brant into bike-only thoroughfares. The core is frankly becoming unlivable. Try telling Kelly and Paul, among other thriving business owners, soon to be evicted for construction of the hulking and shadowy tower, how “vibrant” downtown is. Marianne is becoming a cry in the wilderness. Git-Over-it-Sky’s-the-Limit Craven and Get-on-Yer-Bike-Dammit bully Dennison, especially need to get a reality check at next election.

  6. Well, those of us living near Brock & Ontario Streets would love to have a 6 storey building going up instead of a 22 – 24 storey one. However, allowing the builders to keep raising up the heights of their buildings is never going to stop until ALL of the councillors get on board. They have a responsibility that they seem to take lightly, except for Marion, and if these buildings were being put up beside their homes there would be ____ to pay. I am pretty sure Ward 3 would be up in arms if these super tall, super modern (Star Trek like) buildings were being put up in their area. Most residents seem to be giving up the fight and I am sure that is what the builders and certain councillors would just love. Their legacy will be the destroying of what was once a very beautiful downtown Burlington.

  7. And so it begins. The sky is the limit. 5 councillors have no interest in Burlington and have to go in the next election. Even the mayor wanted 17 stories so I wonder what he would have done with a 3 to 3 vote he knew it would pass so now he looks like a good guy

  8. Marianne. I heard you on Bill Kelly’s show yesterday. Well spoken and well done. You did our ward very proud with valid points. A line appears to be drawn between our ward and the other councillors. Shame on them. Regardless keep up the great fight.

  9. Agree. Seems the tax payers no longer have a voice regarding these decisions, and our opinions no longer matter. Especially when our Mayor and Councilor vote against monstrous buildings in our core, yet councillors who are outside the area push the vote.

  10. Go for 30-40-50 stories!! who cares – council will approve – why not go for a revolving roof top restaurant and strobe search lights (as long as they are LED of course) while they are at it.

  11. I completely understand the disillusionment residents are experiencing after Monday’s vote. I still need and want to hear your voices on each new project so that I can represent your voice at the council table. I will keep advocating for your best interests till the last shovels are in the ground – and even after.

  12. Ditto, ditto.., have no issue with 6 stories,I am still sick that 23 stories have been approved for Brant street. It is especially infuriating to hear councillors saying the residents just don’t get it!!

  13. Why only 2 more floors – go for 50 – council will approve – throw in a revolving rooftop restaurant with a searchlight while your at it

  14. it does come to the point that residents feel that it is pointless to speak up or out about…since in most (if not in all cases)city staff and council votes the way they want and not what the majority of residents want.

    • Completely agree. It seems with each issue and each ask from a money maker the city vision and guidelines on neighbourhoods and height no longer apply. I stand wondering about the power that has been entrusted and also wonder where the accountability lies to taxpayers.

  15. This is exactly the domino effect citizens predicted and council denied would happen or ignored on Monday night. I’ve been criticised by council in the past for saying “We told you so” but what else can we say. ” We told you so, again and you are still not listening to the citizens.” Shame on Burlington’s gang of five.

  16. When council made it decision on the 13th to allow the construction of a 23 story building at 421 Brant–a building that not only didn’t comply with the existing OP/zoning but didn’t comply with the new proposed OP,
    did it not realize the precedent that was being set. Planning in Burlington has become a “wild-west show”. Are we really surprised?

  17. I am utterly disgusted by the way our Council is destroying our ‘core’ one storey at a time! I am especially disgusted with how Councillors who serve residents outside of the ‘core’ are supporting its planned destruction. Craven has already supported the ruin of Plains Road. Roll on elections 2018 before this nonsense continues!!!

What's your take?