Public open house Nov. 14 for proposed development at 441 Maple Ave. (Maple Villa)

Better Life Retirement Residence Inc, the owners of the retirement residence Maple Villa, are planning to submit a development application to the City of Burlington for a proposed new facility at 441 Maple Ave, the current location of Maple Villa.

Before the application is submitted, Better Life is looking to gather feedback from the public about the proposed development concept at an open house on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.

The current development concept proposes the redevelopment of the Maple Villa site to have an 11-storey residential building with 163 units. The residents of Maple Villa would be located to a new accessible facility.

For more information, please contact Kelly Martel, Planner at MHBC Planning. at tel. 905-639-8686.

Date and Time of Open House:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

06:30 PM – 08:30 PM

Location:

Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Rd.

Public open house Nov 13 for revised development at Blue Water Pl and Avondale Crt

The development corporation UrbanSolutions is planning to submit a development application to the City of Burlington for a proposed development at 143 Blue Water Pl and 105 Avondale Crt.

Before UrbanSolutions submits its application, it is looking to gather feedback from the public about the proposed development concept at an open house;

DATE: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018

TIME: 7-9pm

LOCATION: Pineland Baptist Church, 5100 New St

The development of 10 single-detached homes is currently proposed.

For more information, please contact Matt Johnston or Mark Condello at UrbanSolutions, tel. 905-546-1087.

NOTE: The previous application for townhomes in this area was rejected by staff, council and ultimately refused by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Read more: LPAT sides with citizens, city

 

Public open house Nov. 19 for proposed development 401-417 Martha St

You are invited to a public open house to review and comment on proposed plans for an 11-storey, 132 unit development on assembled land from 401-417 Martha St. in downtown Burlington:

DATE:     Mon. Nov. 19
TIME:     6:30-8:30 pm
PLACE:   Burlington Lions Club, 471 Pearl St.

This is a first step in the development application process. The developers, Landform Development Group, are meeting with the community before filing an application. Once an application is filed, additional public meetings will be held and a dedicated city webpage will be opened with links to all supporting documents and studies.

Loose-leaf collection starts Mon. Nov. 5

Burlington, Ont.—Oct. 29, 2018— The City of Burlington’s loose-leaf collection program starts on Monday, Nov. 5. Residents are encouraged check the leaf collection schedule and rake leaves to the curb as close as possible to their pickup date.

To ensure the safety of collection crews and avoid damaging equipment, please keep the loose-leaf piles free of debris and sticks. Leaves mixed with debris and waste will not be collected. Please help prevent flooding, by keeping catch basins and ditches clear of leaves.

To ensure a successful pick-up, residents can:

  • Rake leaves to the edge of the curb or roadway in a loose pile. Do not pile leaves on the road
  • Remove basketball nets, cars and other obstructions from the road during pick-up dates
  • Clear leaves from sidewalks and walkways
  • Avoid placing garbage bags, bins, Blue Boxes or GreenCarts on top of loose-leaf piles
  • Give crews distance to remove the leaves when driving

After the collection program is complete, any remaining leaves should be placed in yard-waste bags for curb side collection by Halton Region.

Links and Resources

Leaf Collection webpage

Isn’t the province to blame for growth? Nope. We’re meeting our forecasts – 13 years early

You will have heard in this election that there’s nothing the city council can do on growth; it’s the province forcing us to grow. Here are the facts.

The province sets growth forecasts that are divided up by Halton Region to the four municipalities: Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills. Burlington’s share of growth is 185,000 by 2031. As of the 2016 Census, we were at 183,000.

So we have met (and likely exceeded) our growth forecasts already – 13 years early.

And yet, the current mayor and council recently approved an 18 storey building in an area downtown that is 4-8 storeys in our current Official Plan. That is 2 to 4 times what’s required. And that’s just one project. Approvals beyond the Official Plan have occurred in neighbourhoods across Burlington, including in Aldershot (Ward 1), Alton (Ward 6), and on Dynes Road (Ward 4) and Georgina Court (Ward 5), where residents are appealing these two decisions on their own dime.

Our Current Official plan was updated in 2008-9 to include our growth forecasts. Our plan was approved by the province when approved by the Region (Halton Region is tasked with implementing provincial policy; regional approval is essentially provincial approval). If we follow our own approved plan we will satisfy provincial population growth. (See analysis done in staff report PB-62-17 for the 23 storey building at Brant and James, approved by council in November, which I didn’t support. It shows we’re on track to meet or exceed our growth forecasts downtown).

There’s no need to go up to four times more than the Plan. Though the growth forecasts are minimums, prudent planning requires that we stick as closely as possible to the Plan. The risk of going well beyond the Plan is that our infrastructure is tied to our Official Plan; go past the Plan the infrastructure won’t be in place. Our development charges are also tied to our Official Plan and growth forecasts. If we go past the plan we are under charging for development charges, and ultimately tax payers will pick up the difference.

So, we don’t have to vote for overdevelopment beyond the Official Plan and it’s not a good idea to do so.

And no one can blame the province for their own votes to overdevelop.

I’m the only council member who has consistently supported projects closely tied to the Official Plan – and consistently voted against projects in any neighbourhood that are well beyond the Official Plan.

Voting track record means more than promises made in an election.

We’ll get new growth forecasts from Halton Region to 2041 in the next term of council. You want a mayor and council who will advocate to take only what growth our infrastructure can handle – and our citizens support. That’s my commitment – and my track record.

 

Are up to 30 more highrises planned for downtown? Yes. Get the facts here.

The biggest issue in this election is overdevelopment across our city: from Aldershot to Alton, Dynes Road to downtown, Brant Street to BlueWater Place, Orchard to Lakeside Plaza.

Ask every candidate: what’s your platform on development? For incumbents, is their platform matched by their voting record?

Everything in our platform, brochure and online forums are verifiable by evidence. We back our statements up with facts. (Don’t believe the personal attacks out there, including in a recent video by the current mayor.)

So let’s get started.

A key question I hear from residents across Burlington is: “are there really up to 30 more highrises planned for downtown?”

Yes.

Here are the facts.

Council recently approved a new Official Plan for the city, 6-1. I did not support it.

The new plan would allow up to 30 highrises downtown (anything 12 storeys and higher).

The map is below, with a link to the staff generated plan, along with a background explanation.

Map

Appendix F of the staff report presented to the Jan. 23, 2018 Planning & Development Committee on the new Official Plan provides a site plan layout of what the downtown would look like at full “build out” under this new plan. You can find the map here, labelled “Plan of primary downtown redevelopment sites at build out”:

Appendix F: 2D Plan of primary downtown redevelopment sites at  build out

Count the number of buildings in the plan 12 storeys and over. There are 30. This includes a 17 storey building in the middle of Village Square (so long as the buildings along the street are preserved).

The new downtown plan increases height permissions by 2, 3, 4 times what is permitted now, particularly on Brant St, and east of Brant St. What was permitted for 4 storeys, up to 8 with provision of community benefits, is now 12-17.

In some areas the heights are up to 25 storeys.

What’s Changed?

You can see a breakdown of the plan here, showing changes in heights for different areas of downtown, from the current plan, to the new plan.

Appendix G: Block by Block current vs proposed precincts and maximum building heights

The block diagram notes only the maximum heights available (8 storeys, but only with community benefits) not the range of 4-8 noted in the existing plan. (See the asterix on the block diagram below for further explanation of this.)

I didn’t support this plan as I think it’s overdevelopment.

Doesn’t the province make us do this?

You will have heard throughout the campaign that the province “forced our community to grow” in ways that don’t reflect our values.

In fact, local city councils determine how to implement provincial policy, and the Official Plan is the most important tool for how to do that.

The staff report (page 12) for the 23 storey building approved at Brant and James states that “Comprehensive, integrated and long-term planning is best achieved through official plans. Official plans shall identify provincial interests and set out appropriate land use designations and policies. Official plans shall provide clear, reasonable and attainable policies to protect provincial interests and direct development to suitable areas.”

So, we have the tools to manage our growth and direct it to suitable areas, by majority vote on council. Also we’re meeting our growth targets, so no need for overdevelopment downtown. More on that below.

So our own Official Plan sets the stage for what can be built. It indicates to developers what’s possible. They submit applications based on the plan. Often, based on recent history, the applications are well beyond the plan. If a development application conforms to city permissions as outlined in the Official Plan, we would have difficulty turning it down or winning an appeal.

In fact there have been no recent applications or developments in downtown Burlington for less than what is permitted. As former Burlington mayor Mary Munro noted when she endorsed me for mayor: “City Council treats our Official Plan and Zoning By-Law’s as merely a starting point for negotiations with developers.”

Also, there’s pressure to protect “development rights” when approving applications. We saw that recently with the approval of a 23 storey building across from City Hall (I did not support). The Official Plan here allowed 12 storeys on one of the five assembled properties, 4-8 storeys on the balance. One of the arguments offered for supporting 23 storeys was to have a taller, more slender building that provided the same amount of square footage (development rights) as a 12 storey building over the site.

So the approval in part was to protect the “development rights” as spelled out in the Official Plan permissions.

The new plan contains a lot of potential development rights that we’d be under pressure to protect with submitted future applications.

Meeting and exceeding growth targets

So, the bottom line is this: the new Official Plan sets the stage for the future of downtown Burlington, and that future translates into unnecessary overdevelopment – unnecessary because we are already meeting or exceeding growth forecasts set by the province for downtown, and the whole city. This has been verified in staff analysis of development applications, and by the Census. Our forecast for city growth is 185,000 by 2031; as of the 2016 Census, we were at 183,000.

Our growth forecast for downtown Burlington is 200 people or jobs per hectare by 2031; we are currently at 174 people or jobs.

A detailed analysis of the population forecasts and our progress toward meeting them was provided in the staff report for the 23 storey building (page 23).

The conclusion from staff: “The City only needs roughly 60% of the people and jobs proposed through development applications and development pre-consultations to achieve the minimum density target in the UGC. Further, additional development proposals and applications may come forward in the next 14 years to further contribute to the City’s growth projections. As such, it is staff’s opinion that the City of Burlington is well positioned to achieve a total of 200 residents and jobs per hectares by 2031.”

Conclusions: we are well positioned to meet or exceed population forecasts under the existing plan.

The report notes that the targets are “minimums.” The Official Plan is tied to infrastructure, so if there are significant deviations from the Plan (2, 3, 4, times what’s required), we don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the growth.

Development charges collected on each new unit of housing are also closely tied to population forecasts and are also based on planned infrastructure needed to support growth, which includes community amenities as well as roads and sewers. If we significantly deviate from those population forecasts, we are not collecting enough development charges, and the current taxpayers will get the bill for the difference.

So it’s critical to stick closely to our population forecasts.

Finally, elected officials can’t blame the province for their own decisions related to the Official Plan, or for their own votes in favour of overdevelopment that takes us beyond provincial growth requirements.

So, what can we do?

One of my first priorities as your new mayor is to work with the new council to get the four votes needed to amend the new Official Plan to restore a mid-rise character downtown (4-8 storeys). We have a chance to make this change, with a new mayor and three new members of council: Ward 1 and 3 councillors retiring, my seat vacant. With a new mayor, that’s a potential majority of four out of seven.

There are candidates running in each of the ward races (including against incumbents running for reelection) who have said in their own platform they are also concerned about overdevelopment in the city and downtown, with some pledging to amend the Official Plan.

I am the only candidate for mayor who has said I will work with the new council to try to amend Official Plan.

Choose well this election.

And, always check the facts. Got a question about any part of our platform? Let me know and we’ll send the source material.

 

 

Statement from mayoral candidate Marianne Meed Ward: Negative tactics have no place in this election or any election, as smear campaign ramps up in last seven days

For immediate release, Oct. 15, 2018: Statement by Marianne Meed Ward, Burlington mayoral candidate, regarding smear campaign

“Our campaign, and only our campaign, continues to be the target of numerous, sustained personal attacks, lies and defamation, which are ramping up in the last week of Burlington’s mayoral race. The latest is a flyer slandering me while promoting the current mayor, and a series of Facebook and Instagram ads and videos which use the same slanderous content as the Campaign Research push poll in August/September.
“Negative personal attacks and smear campaigns have no place in this election, or any election, anywhere, against any candidate. These tactics divide our community. Every candidate should be condemning this appalling behaviour, especially where it is used to promote their own candidacy.
“The public are not fooled, and have told us they are in fact disgusted by this. We’ve been overwhelmed with support from the community, with residents contacting us to say there is no place for these tactics, regardless of how they are voting.
“I want to thank the decent people of Burlington for calling for this to stop, and for rising above. Residents will cast their votes based on platform and track record, not lies and slander hiding behind numbered companies and anonymous polls.
“The smear campaign will not intimidate or silence us from continuing to speak out for reasonable growth, not overdevelopment, which has emerged as the key issue in this election. We will continue to advocate for our community and for better decisions on development with a new mayor and council who will work with residents.

Background:

FLYER:
The flyer contains personal attacks and defamatory statements against me while promoting the current mayor. It is paid for by a candidate running for the Ward 3 council seat who is using this platform to attack our campaign. The flyer has been distributed to residents outside Ward 3; there are confirmed reports so far from residents in Wards 1, 2 and 4 who have received it.
The information in the flyer is also contained in webpages that are being promoted with sponsored (paid) ads on Facebook. A print ad in the Burlington Post pointed people to the webpages. When the Post learned the content of the webpages (which were not live before press time) they apoloized and removed the online links to the webpages.
FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM ADS/VIDEOS:
The Facebook ads and videos which have recently launched use the same slanderous material as the Campaign Research push poll conducted in August/September. The push poll contained personal attacks under the guise of an election survey, while collecting voter preference information from residents for undisclosed purposes. Campaign Research did not disclose who had paid for poll, nor were there any Third Party Advertisers registered with the city at the time. The recent Facebook/Instagram ads, which use the Campaign Research content, are paid for by a numbered company, recently registered as a Third Party advertiser with the city.
Contact:
Marianne Meed Ward
@mariannmeedward

Continue reading “Statement from mayoral candidate Marianne Meed Ward: Negative tactics have no place in this election or any election, as smear campaign ramps up in last seven days”

Public meeting Oct. 29 for proposed 6 storey at top of Clearview & St. Matthews in Aldershot

An open house has been scheduled for Oct. 29 for a proposed 6-storey development at the top of Clearview Ave, over to St. Matthews Ave. in Aldershot.

Open House:

Mon. Oct. 29
6:30-8:30 pm
Aldershot Arena, Community Room, 494 Townsend Ave

  • Note: this meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 26

The developer is proposing to redevelop 1085 Clearview, and 1082, 1086 and 1090 St. Matthews with a six storey building with 169 units. Access will be from Masonry Court. The proposal will require amendments to the city’s Official Plan and Zoning.

No applications have been filed; the developer is meeting with the community in advance of filing.

Read the public notice here: Public Open House Notice – Final

City celebrates National Seniors’ Day Oct. 1 with free drop-in programs

Press Release: The City of Burlington is celebrating National Seniors’ Day on Monday, Oct. 1 to honour older adults who make a difference in our families, workplaces and communities. On this day, all City of Burlington drop-in programs are free for participants aged 55 years and older.
At Tyandaga Golf Course, two can play for the price of one for the day.
Special thanks to community partners, including: Bayshore Home Health, Burloak Senior Support, La Salle Park Retirement Community, Revera Retirement Living and the Lions Club of Burlington. The community partners will be at the various facilities with information on services, free refreshments and giveaways.
Older adults are encouraged to visit any of the locations listed below between 9 a.m. and noon to meet community partners and be entered for the chance to win one of two Burlington Seniors’ memberships and one of two Parks and Recreation $25 gift cards.
Locations:
  • Aldershot Pool
  • Tyandaga Golf Course
  • Burlington Seniors’ Centre
  • Tansley Woods Community Centre
For more information about National Seniors’ Day and Adults 55+ programs in Burlington, visit burlington.ca/adult55. To view a complete listing of free drop-in programs, please visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.
National Seniors’ Day is an initiative of the Government of Canada, founded to appreciate and celebrate older adults.
Ensuring Burlington is an age-friendly city is a commitment Burlington City Council made in the city’s 25-year Strategic Plan. Under the A City that Grows direction, the city committed to developing an age-friendly strategy that supports aging in place. Ensuring sufficient Adults 55+ space for recreation and social activities is provided throughout the city is part of the plan. Read Burlington’s Active Aging Plan.
 
Links and Resources:

Mosque on Palladium Way recommended with reduced office space, increased parking; to council Sept. 24

Approval for a new mosque at 4721 Palladium Way has cleared the Planning & Development Committee (Sept. 17) and heads to council Sept. 24 for a final vote.

Residents can attend council, watch online, or Register as a Delegation to speak.

The application from the Halton Islamic Association seeks to rezone the lands at 4721 Palladium Way to permit a two storey place of worship.

The original application was for a two-storey, 3,817 m2 place of worship (mosque), comprising a prayer hall, gymnasium, classrooms, board rooms, banquet room, administrative offices, and library/computer lab. The applicant also proposed a second two-storey building with a floor area of 1,909 m2 that would contain a mix of office, retail, and medical office uses.

The facility would be available for rental by anyone in the community, on a first-come, first-served basis, when not in use by the mosque.

On parking, 261 surface vehicle parking spaces were provided, along with 16 bicycle parking spaces.

In light of public and staff feedback, the application was revised to increase parking, reduce the size of the proposed mosque building and remove the office component. The city’s parking bylaw requires 6 spaces per 100msq but the observed need for parking at the mosque on Fairview Street is 18 spaces per 100msq. As such, the applicant is providing 18 spaces per 100msq.

At a future date, staff will also consider a pedestrian crossing across Palladium Way to access the site.

My Take: I support the revised application which addresses the parking concerns and will provide for a much-needed new mosque (the Fairview mosque is at capacity). Prayers are currently being held at Haber Recreation Centre, with a number of residents from Alton walking over. When complete, they will be able to use a purpose-built mosque. The facility will also be available for community use.

Staff recommend approval of a 414-unit residential development at 4880 Valera Rd; to council Sept. 24

Staff have recommended approval of a rezoning application for 4880 Valera Road  in Alton to permit 414 residential units in the form of a 9 and 10 storey apartment building with commercial uses at grade, townhouses and back-to-back townhouses.

The Planning & Development Committee discussed the application Sept. 17 and referred it to Council Sept. 24 (6:30 pm) for a final vote. Residents can attend, watch the meeting online, or Register as a Delegation to speak.

The application seeks to rezone the site from Neighbourhood Commercial to Residential with one 9 storey and one 10 storey tower with one commercial unit on the ground floor, along with residential at grade and above; and 70 townhouse units, both standard and back to back; including 14 freehold units facing Valera Road. The density is 184.3 units per hectare.

In light of public and council feedback, the applicant revised the application:

  • to provide additional terracing on the westerly apartment building to provide compatibility with surrounding development, the height of the westerly apartment building was also increased from 8 storeys to 9 storeys;
  • redesigned and expanded the commercial space proposed to provide increased visibility and enhanced connections to the site;
  • reconfigured the site to provide improved pedestrian connections and a consolidated amenity space; and
  • to provide additional parking for the apartment uses and visitor parking for the street townhouses.

Full vehicular access is provided off Valera Road, as a well as right-in-right out access to Appleby Line. The development is anticipated to generate 127 new trips during the morning peak hour and 169 new vehicular trips in the evening peak hour.

Several roadway improvements are recommended by the applicant and supported by staff. These include:

  • An additional westbound left turn lane on Thomas Alton Blvd to Valera Road;
  • Extension of the left turn lane at the intersection of Thomas Alton and Appleby Line.

My Take: Generally, the application fits with the site, given it’s on a main road not in the interior of a neighbourhood. The modifications to the plan for parking, turning lanes, and terracing of the apartment buildings improve the project. However, residents remain concerned about added density in an already congested area, and strain on parking. Parking is reduced by 20%, with 788 required under the existing bylaw, but 640 provided (note: the new parking standards used in the report are draft only and have not been approved by council). The amenity/park space is about 20% of what the city is entitled to under the Planning Act. I brought a motion to increase the parking, and the project was referred to the council meeting (referral takes precedence over motions). I will support the application with increases to parking and amenity space (which would reduce units).

Request to remove 176 Rennick Road from Heritage Register withdrawn

The request to remove 176 Rennick Road from the Heritage Register of Burlington historical properties has been withdrawn. The Sept. 11 Planning & Development Committee heard that the property has recently sold, and the new owners wish to keep the property on the register.

Staff had recommended retaining the property on the register because of its heritage value.

To learn more about this property read the staff report and attachments:

My Take: I’m delighted the new owners will retain the property on the register. I hope they will consider formal designation of the property as heritage under the Ontario Heritage Act. Among other benefits, owners of designated properties can apply for a property tax rebate, and for renovation grants. These programs are offered in recognition of the extra costs of maintaining older properties, and the shared community benefit of preserving historic properties.

Bylaw prevents feeding wild animals, allows milkweed for butterflies; to council Sept. 24

The city’s lot maintenance bylaw has been updated, and among new and existing provisions provides tools to deal with wildlife feeding on private property, graffiti, garbage, milkweed, and other matters.

Under the old bylaw, milkweed was considered a weed, and had to be cut below 8 inches. This eliminated the flowers that attract butterflies. A resident spoke up several months ago to advocate for a change to the bylaw, and the Planning & Development Committee approved the change Sept. 11. The entire bylaw heads to council Sept. 24 for a final vote.

The bylaw has also been updated under “pest prevention” to prevent property owners from accumulating dirt or refuse to the extent that it negatively impacts or spreads to neighboring properties. The bylaw requires that “Every property shall be kept free of rodents, vermin, insects and other pests.”

The bylaw also prevents feeding wild animals on private property, as well as public property.

All compost, pet food and animal food stored on a property must stored so that it doesn’t allow offensive odours to affect the surrounding neighbourhood or attract rodents, vermin, insects or other pests to the property.

The bylaw further stats that “No person shall feed any wildlife on private property or public property.

Under the updated bylaw, “feed or feeding” means leaving food on a property or permitting food to be left on a property. It does not include compost (with some restrictions) or birdseed kept in a well-maintained bird feeder.

An exception for feeding on public property is granted to “licensed members of the Trumpeter Swan Coalition for the purpose of banding and tagging trumpeter swans for research.”

Resources:

 

My Take: I support these changes, which take steps to reduce behavior that attracts wildlife and rats to an area, or puts residents with allergies at risk. I’ve heard from a number of residents concerns about neighbours who intentionally leave food out for squirrels or other animals. This attracts rats and sometimes coyotes to the area.

I’ve also heard serious concerns from residents about neighbours feeding or leaving out peanuts, which wild animals then take and scatter to area properties. In one case, a neighbor was doing this beside a home with a child with severe peanut allergies, and the shells and peanuts were dropped on their property by the wild animals, putting their child at risk.

The lot maintenance bylaw allows bylaw officers to stop this practice.

Several residents have contacted me about neighbours allowing garbage and debris to accumulate on their property, which provides a haven for rats and other wild animals. The bylaw will address this too.

I also support allowing milkweed. As we learn more about plants, butterflies and other insects that we want to protect, it’s important to reflect that in our bylaws.

Update on 2100 Brant St townhouse development proposal; residents request further modifications

Committee of the Whole Sept. 10 received a Confidential Update on National Homes (Brant Inc) appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT, formerly Ontario Municipal Board) regarding their proposed townhouse development at 2100 Brant St.

The recommendation that will head to council Sept. 24 is to “proceed in accordance with the instructions sought in confidential Legal department report L-29-18.” I do not support that recommendation.

In terms of next steps, the application is currently scheduled for a pre-hearing conference with the LPAT on Dec. 18. You can check the status of this application on the LPAT website with the case number: PL180331

The Havendale Advisory Committee of residents in the vicinity of the proposed development intend to seek Party status at the appeal, which allows them to bring evidence, ask questions and make statements during the hearing. The Committee does not support the original proposal, or the revised proposal, and is seeking a scaled back project.  See earlier article: 2100 Brant St revisions

According to information provided by the LPAT, the committee can only seek Party status to the hearing on the day of the prehearing conference.

Others groups or individuals can similarly seek Party or Participant status (Participant status gives the ability only to make a statement at the end of the hearing).

According to the LPAT, the primary purpose of the prehearing is to:
  • identify the issues being raised by the parties involved
  • identify who these parties are and also who the participants will be
  • identify concerns parties/participants they have
  • narrow these issues where possible, and
  • establish a procedural order for the hearing to be scheduled.

For further information, the LPAT Case Coordinator for this file is:

Shane Taylor
Case Coordinator – Planner
Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
Tel: (416) 326-6794
Toll: (866) 448-2248
Case Number: PL180331
File Number: PL 180331
Related File Numbers: PL 180332,PL 180333
City of Burlington
OP Number: 505-03/17
Property Location: 2100 Brant Street
Applicant/Appellant: National Homes

Committee approves 6 single family homes at 2130/2136 New St; to council Sept. 24

The Planning & Development Committee on Sept. 11 approved a development of six, single detached homes at 2130 and 2136 New St., with three parking spaces each (no additional on-site visitor parking).

The units are proposed to be 4 bedrooms, with a $1.4 to $1.5 million price tag.

Changes to the project include elimination of site elevation, which brings the back decks down to one step above existing grade.

The applicant intends to replant trees lost due to redevelopment. Permission from neighbouring residents is required to damage or remove co-owned or neighbouring trees (trees on a defined shared boundary line) because they are protected by the Forestry Act of Ontario (Section 10).

Below is a table of the existing and proposed regulations:

Table 2 – Overview of Existing and Proposed R5 Zoning

R5 Regulations Proposed R5-490 Staff Comment.
Lot width 12 m 49.5 m Meets regulation.
Lot area 2000 m2 2647.2 m2 Meets regulation.
Maximum density 25 units/ha 22.7 units/ha Meets regulation.
Maximum height 2 storeys to

10 m

2 storeys to

9.11 m

Meets regulation.
Yard abutting a street (New Street) 7.5 m Unit 1: 3 m

Unit 6: 4.7 m

Support. The proposed reduced yard abutting New Street would allow the proposed buildings to be aligned to the neighbouring property to the east at 440 Swanson Court and create a consistent street edge on this section of New Street.
Maximum projection of roofed over unenclosed 1-storey porch into a required yard 65 cm Porches for Unit 1 and Unit 6 are shown to be 1.9 m and 2.8 m from front lot line (encroaching approximately 1.7 m into required yard abutting New Street). Support. The increased porch encroachment will add visual interest and contribute to a pedestrian oriented streetscape.
Yard abutting a rear building elevation 9 m abutting R3 zone 6 m Support. The requested yard will be able to accommodate the required 3 m landscape buffer and will be compatible with the existing neighbourhood.
Yard abutting a side building elevation 4.5 m abutting R3 zone

(Unit 3: 3 m;

Unit 4: 4.5 m)

3 m Support. The reduced side yard for Unit 4 will provide sufficient space for the required landscape buffer. Access to the amenity space for Unit 4 is proposed on the other side of the building.
Landscape area abutting a street 4.5 m 1.9 m Support. The proposed reduction in landscape area abutting street is a result of the proposed reduced the yard abutting New Street and increased porch encroachment.
Landscape buffer abutting R1, R2, R3 zones 3 m 3 m, but:

 Snow storage is shown to be 2 m from rear lot line;

 Chimney for Unit 4 is 2.6 m from rear lot line; and

 Privacy fences separating the amenity areas of each unit are shown to be 1.2 m from side lot lines.

Support. The Zoning By-law does not allow chimneys, snow storage areas, or privacy fences to encroach into landscape buffers. Staff support the reduced buffer along the rear lot line because no amenity area is proposed along that side of the property, and a double board fence will be required at the end of the private road to mitigate light trespass. Staff support the encroachment of the individual privacy fences, because they will help establish the amenity areas for each unit.
Off-street parking

for cluster homes

2 occupant spaces and 0.5 visitor spaces per unit 3 occupant spaces and 0 visitor spaces Support with 3 occupant spaces per unit. Staff are satisfied that visitor parking can be adequately accommodated because the proposed number of occupant spaces and total spaces per unit exceed requirements.
Separation between dwellings No regulations 2.4 m Support and include as a regulation in the by-law.

The proposed separation is adequate for drainage, privacy and access to the rear amenity space for each dwelling.

The recommendation heads to City Council Sept. 24 for a decision. Residents can attend, watch the webcast of the meeting online (also carried on Cogeco TV), or Register as a Delegation to speak to the item.

Resources:

1.PB-50-18 2130, 2136 New Street.pdf

2.PB-50-18 – Appendix A – Sketches.pdf

3.PB-50-18 – Appendix B – Proposed Zoning Regulations.pdf

4.PB-50-18 – Appendix C – Public Comments.pdf

 

My Take:  I’m generally supportive of the project given the compatibility with the neighbourhood in built form, the change in plans so the height of the property isn’t elevated, and the fact the back decks are now only one step off the ground. I’m concerned about the loss of 5 rental units in the home, but new information provided by staff is that the Municipal Act doesn’t allow a municipality to prevent demolition/conversion of less than six units. The relevant information from the act is below:

Municipal Act 2001
“Section 99.1   Demolition and conversion of residential rental properties
(1) A local municipality may prohibit and regulate the demolition of residential rental properties and may prohibit and regulate the conversion of residential rental properties to a purpose other than the purpose of a residential rental property.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 40.
 
(2) The power to pass a by-law respecting a matter described in subsection (1) includes the power,
(a) to prohibit the demolition of residential rental properties without a permit;
(b) to prohibit the conversion of residential rental properties to a purpose other than the purpose of a residential rental property without a permit; and
(c) to impose conditions as a requirement of obtaining a permit.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 40.
 
(2.1) If a condition referred to in clause (2) (c) requires an owner of land to which a by-law passed under this section applies to enter into an agreement with the municipality, the municipality may,
(a) register the agreement against the title to the land to which it applies; and
(b) enforce the agreement against the owner and any subsequent owners of the land. 2017, c. 10, Sched. 1, s. 7.
 
(3) The municipality cannot prohibit or regulate the demolition or conversion of a residential rental property that contains less than six dwelling units.  2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 40.

 

I also plan to bring a motion to council to “undelegate” the site plan application, so residents can have input on fencing, perimeter tree planting and other matters. Undelegation brings the decision back to council (rather than staff) and provides for public input.

Contribution to Freeman Station, affordable housing, park improvements among Community Benefits proposed for 22 storey at Brock

Staff are recommending the follow Community Benefits be approved, arising from extra height and density granted by council (6-1) for the 22-storey building at Brock and Ontario. Community benefits may be in the form of a financial contribution (direct benefit) or indirect benefits (facilities, services, or installations built or provided by the developer, at their expense, which are accessible by and/or beneficial to the general community):

  • $600,000: financial contribution to the Region of Halton for use against purchasing up to 6 dwelling units in the subject building. Alternatively, should the Region opt not to purchase units in the subject building, or should the building tenure change to a corporate ownership (i.e. for rental purposes) the applicant would provide the Region with a $600,000 financial contribution to be held in trust until such time the Region attributes it towards affordable, assisted, and/or supportive housing opportunities within the Urban Growth Centre.

 

  • $140,000: financial contribution to be held in reserve funds and allocated to: downtown Transit Terminal improvements ($25,000), active transportation, cycling and pedestrian improvements at the Elgin promenade or hydro corridor ($20,000), Brock Park or Spencer Smith Park improvements ($45,000); park facility improvements, including fitness stations, pedestrian furniture, etc. for the future bicycle walking path along the hydro corridor  ($50,000).

 

  • $10,000: financial contribution to be gifted to the Friends of the Freeman Station;

 

  • $300,000: indirect community benefits in which the developer agrees to implement green technology and sustainable architecture elements in accordance with either LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development guidelines.

The combined total of the proposed community benefits as outlined above is $1,050,000.00.

The proposal heads to committee Sept. 11, with a final recommendation heading to council Sept. 24.

About Section 37 Community Benefits

Section 2.3.2 of the in-effect existing Official Plan sets out that “community benefit provisions pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act may be used by the City in the Zoning By-law to allow increases in height and density of development beyond those permitted by the Zoning By-law in exchange for facilities, services, or matters of public benefit as are set out in the Community Benefits section of the implementing Zoning By-law.” The city follows a protocol for securing benefits, outlined below.

Protocol for securing Section 37 Community Benefits under the Planning Act

On April 10, 2012, Council approved a Protocol for the Provision of Community Benefits in association with approvals for developments that seek to increase height and/or density as permitted by section 37 of the Planning Act. The Protocol contains the following policies, among others:

  1. The City will consider the provision of community benefits associated with increases in height and/or density pursuant to Section 37 in the urban area with special regard for areas that are deemed to be suitable candidates for intensification (1.1).
  2. The normal tests of good planning practice must be met in all applications approved by Council for Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, including those involving the provision of community benefits (2.1).
  3. The community benefits are to be secured in an agreement registered on title pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act (2.2).
  4. There is a location or functional connection between the development proposed and the facilities, services, or other benefit being required under the Section 37 Agreement (2.3).
  5. Under no circumstances will a community benefits provision be considered where an application or any particular elements of an application has not been determined to be acceptable in terms of good planning practice (2.4).
  6. In accordance with Section 37, eligible community benefits will be identified in the Official Plan (2.5).
  7. The increased value of the land resulting from the height and/or density increase will be determined through the appraisal of increased value, prepared by the City or on the City’s behalf and to its satisfaction (4.3).
  8. Prior to the approval of the Official Plan and/or Zoning By-law amendment, the owner shall execute the Section 37 Agreement securing the community benefits in consultation with City staff. The Agreement shall be registered against the title of the subject lands (5.1).
  9. The Ward Councillor be consulted by staff prior to any negotiations with the applicant (5.9).

Resources:

 

My Take: I did not support the mayor’s motion for extra height and density granted for the Brock/Ontario building  Regarding the specific items negotiated as Section 37, I support the affordable housing components and the contributions to area parks, trails, transit and Freeman Station. I would convert the $300,000 indirect contribution for LEED certification into a direct benefit toward additional affordable housing. We should not have to negotiate for sustainable building measures; they should be a given, based on our sustainable building guidelines in the Official Plan.

Proposal to replace three paper billboards at Fairview/Guelph Line with one digital sign heads to council Sept. 24

Pattison Signs has requested to remove three paper billboards at Guelph Line and Fairview, and replace them with one digital sign board.

The proposal includes:

  1. Replace three paper posted billboards as per Appendix “A” with one static digital billboard;
  2. Static messages only with the digital display of a minimum of 10 seconds;
  3. No motion or flashing effect;
  4. Sign illumination levels within appropriate levels in relation to ambient light levels; and
  5. Owner authorization from CN Railway and Metrolinx as per Appendix “C”.

Staff are recommending approval of the digital sign. Committee will vote Sept. 11, with a final recommendation voted on by council Sept. 24.

There are currently two site specific electronic billboards installed in Burlington: at the north side of Fairview Street, west of Walkers Line; and at Upper Middle Road west of Huron Way.

In 2016, there were 75 billboards in the City of Burlington. In response to a growing concern from the public and members of Council, it became necessary to address the proliferation of billboards. Staff recommended a cap of 50 billboards, but allowed existing billboards to remain until they were altered or removed altogether. Over time, the number of billboards has dropped to 47 billboards. This proposal would reduce that further to 45.

Resources:

 

My Take: I support the replacement of the three paper boards with a digital sign board.

Staff recommend approval of place of worship in employment area at 1160 Blair Rd; to council Sept. 24

A rezoning to permit a place of worship at 1160 Blair Road is on the agenda for the Sept. 11 Planning & Development Committee, with any recommendation from that committee heading to council Sept. 24 for final approval.

Staff support the application, with limits on size and future expansion.

The zoning by-law amendment application was submitted by Archangel Raphael & Saint Maria Coptic Orthodox Church to rezone the 1.7 hectare property at 1160 Blair Road, at the intersection of Blair Road and Landmark Road, south of Mainway,.to allow a place of worship within an existing two-storey multi-unit industrial building, with a maximum permitted floor area for the place of worship use.

The building currently contains a mix of office, service commercial, warehousing, and recreational uses (dance studio). 

The applicant has undertaken studies that found soil contamination on the site. The contamination has since been removed and a Record of Site Condition, along with supporting studies, has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The proposed place of worship will occupy approximately 305 m2 on the ground floor and 93 m2 on the second floor. The ground floor space will be used as a worship area, and was formerly used as a banquet hall. The second floor space is proposed to be used as office and meeting room space for the church.

Transportation staff are concerned that the site will not have sufficient parking capacity should the church grow in the future, or during special events. Thus, staff recommend that a limit be placed on the size of the place of worship, and that the applicant seek shared parking agreements with neighbouring sites in order to accommodate any overflow parking on days where there may be an exceptional level of attendance for special services.

According to the submitted site plan, 175 parking spaces will be provided; given the current uses in the building, 142 parking spaces are required.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) does not support the introduction of non-employment/sensitive uses in an interior general employment area. BEDC seeks to protect employment generating activities in employment areas and recognizes that the employment nature of Blair Rd and Landmark Rd is primarily characterized by manufacturers including chemical producers.

Resources:

My Take: I’m supportive of the intent of bringing a new place of worship to Burlington, and recognize the difficulty finding affordable land outside of employment areas. The applicant has also cleaned up a contaminated site. However, I’m concerned about the impact of the place of worship on other industrial businesses in the area and whether that would limit their ability to expand in future. I note the BEDC does not support the application because of the potential negative impact on employment uses in the area.

Committee & council calendar approved by committee; heads to council Sept. 24

The calendar of monthly committee and council meetings for 2019 has been approved by committee and heads to council Sept. 24 for a final vote. Decisions at City Hall flow first to a standing committee (Committee of the Whole, Audit, Planning & Development). Recommendations from standing committees then go to council for ratification. All seven members of council sit on all standing committees (except audit, which has three council members and the mayor).

Standing committees meet monthly except in August, and in October of an election year. The last committee meetings of this term of council are the week of November 5, with the new city council sworn in Dec. 3.

City councillors are also Regional Councillors; Halton Region  also has monthly standing committee and council meetings. The last Regional Council meeting of this term is Nov. 21, with the new regional council sworn in Dec. 5.