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Staff don’t support revised 26-storey ADI proposal; goes to committee Oct. 12

ADI revisedCity planning staff don’t support the revised 26-storey building proposal for Martha & Lakeshore Road, stating the changes made don’t resolve or address all of the concerns originally raised about the proposal.

In staff’s view, the revised proposal does not achieve compatible intensification, represents overdevelopment of the site and does not represent good planning.

Though the proposal has been defended in the name of intensification, staff point out that the city’s intensification strategy is well positioned to meet the minimum density targets in the Growth Plan “without significant changes to the existing Official Plan policies and permissions.”

Staff are seeking council endorsement of the staff recommendation to oppose the requested amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, and direct staff to communicate council’s opposition to the proposal to the Ontario Municipal Board. An OMB hearing on this application is scheduled for February 2017.

Committee meeting Oct. 12, Council vote Oct. 24

The staff report will be discussed  Wed. Oct. 12, 6:30 pm, at the Development & Infrastructure Committee. I encourage residents to attend. You can Register as a Delegation to share your views with staff and council.

The recommendation from D&I will go to a special council meeting Mon. Oct. 24, 10am, for final ratification, so council’s position can be communicated during a pre-hearing conference with the OMB scheduled for Oct. 27-28. Residents can also attend and speak at the council meeting. The OMB meetings are open to the public.

Read the staff report: pb-69-16-public-meeting-374-and-380-martha-st

Sept. 8 Neighbourhood Information Session

Over 40 residents attended a Neighbourhood Information Session on Sept. 8 to hear about the revisions to the development proposal and learn how they can get involved. View the presentation and notes below.



My Take:

This proposal is overdevelopment of a small site, and represents inappropriate intensification. Many of the deficiencies identified in the staff report could be addressed with a smaller building. I would support a development more in keeping with existing Official Plan and Zoning regulations on this site, which allow 4 storeys, with provision to go to 8 storeys if community benefits are provided.

Your Take:

Residents have already been making their views know about the project, and based on the communication I have received are overwhelmingly opposed. Between July and September 2016, staff received 40 emails, 22 letters and 1 phone call (63 total). The general themes of these comments are:

  • General opposition to the proposed development
  • Concern about the significant increase in density from the permissions set out in the Zoning By-law and Official Plan
  • Concern about the proposed number of units / density
  •  Poor location for additional density
  •  Proposed development constitutes over-intensification
  •  Concern about building height
  •  Building height is not compatible with adjacent buildings and land uses
  •  Proposed building height will cast significant shadows on adjacent properties
  •  Concern about the development industry establishing heights/densities rather than the Official Plan
  • Increased traffic volumes
  • Turning movements
  • Location and interaction of driveways on Martha Street
  • Ambulance access
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Concern that this application will be precedent setting
  • Inadequate parking spaces to accommodate residents and visitors
  • Concern about length of construction period
  • Concern about construction period overlapping with Bridgewater construction
  • Urban design / streetscape impacts
  • Concerns about impacts on views of the waterfront
  • Concerns about architectural quality
  • Privacy concerns

You can leave feedback by adding a comment below.

Participate at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing:

There are additional opportunities for residents to make your views known about this proposal through the Ontario Municipal Board hearing. Details and key dates are below. Anyone wishing to participate in the OMB hearing (no cost to you) must communicate your intent to the parties by Oct. 14. Details on how to do that are below.

For background on this project visit my earlier article: ADI revised proposal

Summary of Key Dates:

  • Sept. 30: Staff recommendation report posted online. Visit the city’s Calendar and select Oct. 12, filter your search for “city meetings.”
  • Oct. 12: Public meeting as part of  the Development & Infrastructure Committee meeting, 6:30pm, City Hall, 426 Brant Street, Council Chambers, 2nd floor.
  • Oct. 14: Deadline to seek Participant status at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing.
  • Oct 24: Special City Council, 10am, City Hall, 426 Brant Street, Council Chambers, 2nd floor. A special City Council meeting is being called to allow a vote prior to the OMB pre-conference hearing. The regularly scheduled council meeting is Oct. 31.
  • Oct. 27 & 28: Pre-hearing Conference, 10 am City Hall, 426 Brant Street, Rm 247, 2nd floor. Open to the public.
  • Jan. 23, 2017: Participant statements due to the Board, copy to each of the parties
  • Feb. 21-March 6: OMB Hearing, 10 am daily, City Hall, 426 Brant Street, Rm 247, 2nd floor: Scheduled for two weeks beginning Feb. 21. Open to the public.

How to become a participant at the hearing:

Oct. 14 is the deadline to seek Participant status at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing. Participants are allowed to provide comments to the Board about the proposed application. There is no cost to participate. Participant submissions are typically heard after all evidence is presented by the “parties” to the hearing. Those seeking participant status must advise the Board and all parties of their intent (including a written statement outlining the nature of their interest). The Ontario Municipal Board has a Citizen Liaison Office to assist residents to participate in hearings. Information about participating in a hearing is here: Participate in a Hearing

Send your statement and request to be added as a participant in the hearing to the following, quoting case #PL150274:

Ontario Municipal Board:

  1. SUSAN de AVELLAR SCHILLER, Vice-Chair, Ontario Municipal Board, Care of Environmental and Land Tribunals Ontario, 655 Bay Street, Suite 1500, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1E5,

Parties to the hearing:

  1. Adi Development Group Inc,  4190 South Service Road, Suite 200, Burlington, ON L7L 4X5
  2. City of Burlington, 426 Brant St., P.O. Box 5013, Burlington, ON L7R 3Z6, care of counsel: 
  3. 6965083 Canada Inc. (Subsidiary of Sunlife Financial Inc.), 1800 – 181 BAY STREET, BROOKFIELD PLACE, TORONTO ON M5J 2T9, care of Counsel P. Devine, Devine Park LLP, 250 Yonge Street, Suite 2302, P.O Box 65, Toronto, ON, M5B 2L7  
  4. 2145024 Ontario Ltd., care of Counsel S. Snider, Turkstra Mazza, 15 Bold St. Hamilton, Ontario L8P-1T3  


Written by Marianne Meed Ward

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. Honestly, this may look good to residents of Burlington now, but in 5-10 years our downtown is going to have other taller buildings, as it has been designated a provincial growth area. This is just delaying the inevitable.

    What residents should do instead is fight for smart tall building development. Fight for public parking paid for by the building developers. Tell developers their application will only be approved if they help pay for improvements to our city, and not just take residents money.

    With more people in the downtown there will be more for you to do on a Friday night, and more for you family to do on weekends. The tax base will increase, helping to pay for things in the rest of the city, which will remain the exact same as it is. Small portions of Burlington are increasing in density to improve transit options and livable communities. Transit only works with density. That quick access to Toronto via train, comes from the growth of Burlington and Hamilton. More shopping options, more nightlife, more activities all come from higher density. 80%+ of Burlington is remaining the same. Burlington will never be Toronto, but why not have a downtown that is lively and fun, similar to Toronto? If you want quiet streets move somewhere north, and cheaper in the city. Our downtown is luckily close to almost all of Burlington!

  2. From eight to 26 stories? Ridiculous. And it will lead all other developers to think they can squish these monster towers in any site they like. No.

  3. I live in downtown Burlington and have been a resident for almost 60 years! I have reviewed all concerns and agree with ALL of them, but mostly “this application will be precedent setting” for downtown Burlington.

    ADI, has the audacity to push this 26 storey development, from the maximum 8 stories, as the Official Plan states. It makes my blood boil. Their sole motive is profit. ENOUGH of the developers destroying the history, trees and beauty of downtown Burlington!

    Marianne, you are doing an amazing job of balancing Ward 2’s intensification while preserving all that we value.

    Councillors, it is crucial that you reject this development!. Last I heard,the City and its residents were running Burlington, not the developers!

    •Concern about the significant increase in density/height from the permissions set out in the Zoning By-law and Official Plan
    • Concern about the development industry establishing heights/densities rather than the Official Plan

    •Increased traffic volumes

    •Concern that this application will be precedent setting

    •Concerns about impacts on views of the waterfront

  4. Marianne. I agree with your thoughts and recommendations, however the real decision will be made by the bad guys at O.M.B. As I have said before, you are blowing in the wind but good luck.
    Cy Mills

  5. Like Mississauga we are starting to overdevelop cut off open space and narrow and crowd streets making driving and walking a nightmare in the southern part of Burlington Not to speak of noise pollution Trying to get anywhere from Guelph Line and Prospect means construction redirected traffic from all main thorough fares so that we can take out boulevards put in pipes add bike lanes and eliminate driving lanes ..add cofusion on painted road lanes ALL AT THE SAME TIME How about some planning? Angela De Beyer

  6. So crucial that this proposal be firmly rejected for all the above reasons. Quite apart from the fact that this company is running roughshod over the zoning provisions, I could not believe the suggested scope of the project when I saw the footprint. I’m with you on the idea that double the storeys as allowed in the existing zoning – with extenuating circumstances/accommodations – is more than enough leeway in considering this location for development.

What's your take?