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Burlington Council Approves 24-Storey Mixed-Use Development at 1026 Cooke Blvd.

CA_1026 Cooke Blvd Development - TW

At our March 19 meeting, Burlington Council approved a proposed development at 1026 Cooke Blvd. for an up to 24-storey mixed-use building.

See the approved full motion from Council, My Take, and the associated staff report and supporting documents below — as well as additional background information further down this post.

APPROVED MOTION:

  • Approve the application submitted by Halton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 416, to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw, as modified by staff in community planning department report PL-20-24 and community planning department memo to report PL-20-24, to permit a mixed-use development with a height up to 24 storeys; and
  • Approve Official Plan Amendment No. 143 to the City of Burlington official Plan, as provided in Appendix A of community planning department memo to report PL-20-24, to re-designate the lands located at 1026 Cooke Boulevard from “Mixed Use Corridor — Employment” to “Mixed Use Corridor – General” and to include site specific policies for the subject lands; and
  • Deem that Section 17(21) of The Planning Act has been met; and
  • Instruct the City Clerk to prepare the necessary bylaw adopting Official Plan Amendment No. 143 as contained in Appendix A of community planning department memo to report PL-20-24 to be presented for approval at the same time as the associated bylaw to amend Zoning Bylaw 2020, as amended, for the development proposal (File: 505-03/23); and
  • Approve Zoning Bylaw 2020.470, attached as Appendix B of community planning department memo to report PL-20-24, to rezone the lands located at 1026 Cooke Boulevard from “Mixed Used Employment (MXE)” to a site specific “Mixed Use General (H-MXG-534)” with a Holding “H” prefix (File: 520-09/23); and
  • Deem that the amending zoning bylaw will conform to the Official Plan for the City of Burlington once Official Plan Amendment No. 143 is adopted; and
  • State that the amending zoning bylaw will not come into effect until Official Plan Amendment No. 143 is adopted.

MY TAKE:

My focus in planning the future of our community has been on ensuring the right development at the right scale in the right place. We know that the highest density of developments should be close to transit and our GO stations, and this one is.

Thank you City staff for continuing the dialogue with the applicant on this file to try and get closer to a resolution. It may not be a perfect resolution, but it’s progress. I can appreciate that the applicant would have ideally liked us to go further with the proposed development, but I am satisfied that where we have landed is a good balance of all sides and views. We did not want this application to get tied up at the Ontario Land Tribunal for years. This is a clear case of Burlington doing its best to get closer to an applicant’s views and their wishes, while balancing the needs of our community and ensuring they have something they can truly benefit from. I hope this ensures we get shovels in the ground sooner and are able to add to Burlington’s housing supply.

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To read the staff report and related supporting documents, please click/tap the links below:

BACKGROUND:

For full background and details on the proposed application, please see the link to the staff report and staff memo at Council meeting above.

Planning staff have reviewed the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications submitted for the lands located 1026 Cooke Boulevard and it is staff’s opinion that the modified high-density development recommended by staff represents an appropriate form of intensification and efficient use of land. It is staff’s opinion that the modified proposal satisfies the City’s objectives to development the Aldershot GO MTSA as a mixed use community; provide housing opportunities that encourage use of public transit and active transportation; achieve design excellence and provide development that is compatible with surrounding properties.

Staff recommend a modified approval of the subject applications to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law on the basis that that the modified proposal is consistent with and conforms to Provincial, Regional and Local policies, is compatible with surrounding land uses, and satisfies the technical and servicing requirements of the affected City Departments and external agencies, subject to the inclusion of a holding zone.

From Staff Memo at Council Meeting:

Community planning department report PL-20-24 was presented to the Committee of the Whole on March 5, 2024, which outlined staff’s recommendation for a modified approval for the proposed development at 1026 Cooke Boulevard. The Committee referred PL-20-24 to the March 19, 2024 Council meeting to allow for additional dialogue between staff and the applicant in an effort to seek resolution to matters related to maximum building height, podium height and non-residential minimum floor area.

Staff met with the applicant on March 7, 2024, and discussed seven amendments to the modified approval including building height, podium height, rear yard setback, north side encroachments, non-residential uses, floor area ratio and tower floor plate size. Staff are recommending the following changes:

  • Increase in building height from 22 storeys to 24 storeys (both inclusive of mechanical penthouse);
  • Increase in podium height from 16 metres up to 5 storeys to 21.5 metres up to 6 storeys;
  • A 1.5 metre stepback above the 5th storey podium and 3 metre stepback above the 6th storey podium fronting Cooke Boulevard;
  • Increase Tower Floorplates for Floors 7 to 10 from 750 m2 to 870 m2 (Floor 7), 830 m2 (Floors 8 to 9) and Floor 10 (790 m2);
  • Decrease the required non-residential floor area from 750 m2 to 550 m2;
  • Increase the FAR from 10.5:1 to 11:1;
  • Decrease the rear yard building setback from 6 metres to 3 metres;
  • A 5.5 metre north side yard setback to building with a 1.5m encroachment allowance for the proposed balconies; and,
  • Requirement of a Pedestrian Level Wind Study as part of the Holding Provision.

Staff have reviewed and taken into consideration the proposed amendments discussed with the applicant on March 7, 2024, for the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment application for 1026 Cooke Boulevard. Staff are generally supportive the proposed amendments, with the exception of the proposed building height increase and inclusion of live-work units for the non-residential uses.

Staff consider the above amended recommendation an appropriate form of intensification and efficient use of land. It is staff’s opinion that the modified recommendation satisfies the City’s objectives to develop the Aldershot GO MTSA as a mixed use community; provides housing opportunities that encourage use of public transit and active transportation; achieves design excellence and provides development that is compatible with surrounding properties.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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