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Reserve Properties appeals approval of 18 storey building opposite City Hall to LPAT

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.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

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.

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  1. Yes, Christopher George; unfortunately you are absolutely right when you say “…build the monstrosity and then leave….leaving their creation behind for the citizens. Forever destroying the City we love.”
    The following is an addition to my previous comment. “They” build those ugly monsters using the same prefabricated mass production glass curtain wall – with some exceptions – from BC to southern tip of Florida. The only “artistic expression” is the strange meaningless pattern of not less ugly balconies covering this cheap wall, what is all together laughable!!
    Some time ago it was prefabricated concrete walls like those all over Eastern Europe now is the prefabricated glass walls all over. Both types of “architecture” will last for generations. Ufortunately! But “they” don’t care, “they” simply leave, like Christopher noticed.
    What is even worse: our Councilors don’t care either (with an exception of Marianne, let me say it again).

  2. City Councilors are trying to please the electorate before coming elections and the developers at the same time (this does not apply to Marianne, thanks again for that).
    After the elections – if they are elected – they will do everything to bow to the developers again and approve whatever they want; no matter how high it is, how far from the by-law it is, and how ugly it is. Does this proposed “building” have to be so extremely ugly? Even an unwanted tall building can be pretty; at least.
    Our once charming Burlington downtown is going to an aesthetic garbage can; forever!
    On top of other unresolved! problems which this “intensification” is creating, of course.

  3. It is time for the city to stand up to the developers. They knew what the height bylaw was when they bought the properties. They come to city hall and offer money for the city to use on projects the city should already be funding in return for a favourable response to their requests for bylaw easements.
    Time to grow a spine, stick to your bylaws

  4. As much as the City is trying to be progressive, they forget that Developers come into a City, draw outlandish projects, fight the City, get their way, build the monstrosity and then leave….leaving their creation behind for the citizens. Forever destroying the City we love.

  5. My take is that, the amount of time gone into this subject by all concerned is an embarrassment. In my simple way of thinking, rules/bylaws are put in place for a reason. Abide by them. How the City could even entertain this situation for as long as they have, is appalling. Time is money. That goes for all concerned. I am exhausted reading and attending meetings on this subject. To me it’s simple… read the rules.
    I heard that a developer is after the co-op condos across from the hospital. If he/she pays them, e.g., $400,000 each, where are those people going to be able to buy in Burlington?
    I salute the developers. They are doing their job well.
    Please remember that we vote for the city to look after our best interests. In my opinion, they are not doing that at the present time.

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