Reserve Properties and two other companies (Reserve Burlington Developments Ltd., and Kingcor Developments Ltd.) have appealed City Council’s approval of the mayor’s motion for an 18 storey building opposite City Hall. The site encompasses the entire block from Brant and James to John St., including Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, two restaurants, a jeweller, and a former furniture store.
Last November, council approved a 23 storey tower on the opposite corner of Brant and James.
The appeal seeks similar consideration.
The 23 storey building is double the allowed heights on one of the assembled lots (12 storeys, due to an earlier Ontario Municipal Board decision), three to four times the allowed amount on the balance of the assembled lots (four to eight storeys) and even higher than the 17 storeys proposed in the new Official Plan (which isn’t yet approved by Halton Region, therefore not in force and effect).
The 17 storey building is two to four times the existing Official Plan (four to eight storeys), and matches the new (unapproved) Official Plan permissions here.
The applicant had a preconsultation with staff about the project in December as the new Official Plan for the downtown was being discussed over a series of public committee and council meetings. The application was filed in January. The new Official Plan was adopted 6-1 in April (I did not support).
Read my earlier article here: Committee votes 5-2 for mayor’s motion for 18 storey building at Brant & James
Read the staff report and supporting studies here: 409 Brant St
My Take: City council opened the door for this appeal when it approved the 23 storey building across the street. It is not surprising that the developer is seeking the same treatment for the other side of the street.
I did not vote for either tower, and would have supported projects in keeping with the existing Official Plan for low to mid-rise here, which is appropriate and accommodates growth while being respectful of the character and infrastructure downtown.
The height and density of both towers are excessive for Brant Street; there is a reduction of overall commercial space by almost 70% – so much for the argument that towers are good for business; and mitigation measures are required for shadow and wind impacts, among other concerns.
The towers will fundamentally alter the small-town feel and historic, low to mid rise character of this stretch of Brant Street.