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Burlington Committee Gets Initial Feedback on 2085 Pine Street Development Application


At our Planning and Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, we received a preliminary staff report on a development application at 2085 Pine Street. No decision has been made on this file as this was only a receive and file report. As well, as the City of Burlington is still under an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) — and the site of the development falls within the boundaries of the ICBL — the Statutory Public Meeting for the application is as far as the file will go until the ICBL expires in March 2020.

Background on application:

Applicant Glen Schnarr and Associates Inc., representing owner Pine Street Burlington Corp., is looking for an Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment to place a 11-storey residential building with ground floor commercial/office space.

The property is 0.1 hectares (approximately 0.25 acres) and located on the north side of Pine Street, west of Martha Street. Townhouse units, as well as a church and dance studio neighbour the site. The application calls for 39 residential 2-bedroom units, ranging from 89-167 square metres in size, and three levels of underground parking with 48 parking spaces. The entrance to the building would be off of Pine Street.

The existing 1.5-storey building currently on the site is listed on the Municipal Heritage Register.

For more background on the site, please view the full staff report PB-63-19 – 2085 Pine Street.

What the applicant had to say:

  • Karen Bennett, planner for Glen Schnarr and Associates Inc.
    • Application provides a mix of housing in the area
    • It is just five more stories than a previous proposal for the site, by a different property owner, and features 24 more units
    • The intent is the existing heritage building will be maintained and adapted for office use
    • Property owner is open to hearing the feedback from the community and making changes to the plan
  • Alex Temporale, ATA Architects Inc., designers of the building
    • Plans to retain and restore the heritage home, giving it a new foundation
    • Plan is to maintain the commercial activity of the street
    • From street level, the heritage home will still be perceived with only the first three-four storeys of the new building adjacent to it
    • Plans to enhance the landscape in front of the heritage home
    • A planter on the fifth floor will act as a natural barrier to keep residents from the edge and maintain the privacy of neighbouring townhomes. The planters will be irrigated through a pipe system and maintained by the building management

What the community had to say:

  • Roland Tanner, on behalf of Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECOB)
    • This application is a much larger development than the previous one on the same small-sized lot
    • The lot size is inappropriate for a development of this scale, it will tower over neighbouring properties
    • It exceeds the maximum zoning densities for the site and doesn’t match with the existing community character
    • The small size of the lot makes appropriate setbacks and 45-degree angular planes unachievable
    • Concern that the heritage aspects won’t be preserved
  • Gary Care, resident on neighbouring Martha Street
    • Wouldn’t be happy with a compromise of 7-8 storeys
    • Doesn’t want a structure greater than 5 storeys
    • Requests the City explore ways and means to mitigate any future successful appeals by a developer on this site to change its zoning and OP permissions
  • Don Wilson, resident
    • Fails to meet City’s requirements that developments need to be compatible with the area’s character
    • The level of intensification is unnecessary and not needed for the City to meet its provincial targets/standards
    • No visitor parking, and not enough tenant parking
  • Norman Chang, downtown resident
    • The current infrastructure is not significant enough to support the application as is


The decision on this application will come after the ICBL is lifted and we have new policies in place. This application will be evaluated in light of those new policies and staff will come back with their recommendation. I share the concerns and perspectives of residents that there are deficiencies from a compatibility stand point, a height stand point, design, parking, urban design panel and heritage stand points. The good news is the heritage building is still there in the plans.

The contemporary design for the building doesn’t work. It is disappointing that the known previous work on this file, that the developer surely had access to, was not built in, in some way – that work was done just two years ago. The notion that a church and a dance studio are under-utilized, as we heard from the applicant delegation, is shocking. We want a mix of uses and scale.

We have met our growth targets in the City. We are 10-12 years ahead – we are at roughly 174 people and/or jobs per hectare. We don’t need to overdo it in density.

There is misinformation out there that our OP hasn’t been updated since the late 90s – our current OP was updated in 2008, post Places to Grow and provincial intensification targets. We have an updated plan and we’re on track to meet our provincial policy statement targets. We have a good plan in our downtown and this is more than double what is in our really good plan.

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7 thoughts on “Burlington Committee Gets Initial Feedback on 2085 Pine Street Development Application”

  1. Why is every new application a mixed use building? Can someone please answer this question?
    Mixed use requires twice the amount of parking… customers/deliveries/contractors.
    Can we not have a few new residential buildings without commercial traffic?

  2. I see what I think an error. We are operating under our existing in force OP that was updated in 2008. It is not the adopted OP, as stated, which is not approved, is under review, and is not legal.

    We are on track and are ahead to meet targets.

    1. Hi Tom,
      This is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. Yes, you are correct – it should read current, not adopted OP. Thank you for catching that and letting us know. We have updated the post. And thank you for taking the time to comment on the Mayor’s website.

    1. Hi Larry,
      This is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. The development application at 2085 Pine St. just had its Statutory Public Meeting where staff submitted a report to the Planning and Development Committee on Sept. 10. The report was for receive and file only, and no decision or recommendation has been made yet on this file. At the meeting, delegates had the chance to present their feedback and input to Committee. Since the City of Burlington is currently under an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) for the downtown and the area around the Burlington GO Station – and since the file falls under that boundary – the file has gone as far as it can in the planning process for now.

      The decision on this application will come after the ICBL is expected to be lifted in March 2020 and the City of Burlington has new policies in place. This application will then be evaluated in light of those new policies and City of Burlington staff will come back to Committee with their recommendation.

      Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

  3. I agree with the statements made by the public. The structure is far too high and out of character with the rest of the neighbourhood.

  4. Although I respect the developers for trying to fit in with Burlington, lower building height and keeping the heritage property in front, but it’s still too tall. I spend a lot of time on my time on my balcony so I have empathy for the peoples who’s views will be lost and it way too close to the Synagogue. The location is unfitting for a large construction project because it would impact dozens of lives.

    People going to worship will be distrupted significantly and it should be treated the same as the properties surrounding St. Luke’s church. People won’t be able to use their balconies during construction because of dust and noise.

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