A group of residents have created a Facebook page and are starting a petition to develop an alternative development proposal to the “emerging preferred concept” created by consultants for the Waterfront Hotel site.
The site is the subject of a public study currently underway to determine the best development alternative for the property. Current permissions allow 8 storeys, up to 14 with provision of community benefits.
The emerging preferred concept proposed two buildings on the site, 14-18 storeys on the West, 20-25 storeys on the East, with a public walkway between, similar to the Bridgewater to the East.
Residents think we can, and must, do better. A group has begun a Facebook page to start a conversation with the community about the future of Burlington’s waterfront, and to solicit public input on a more environmentally friendly Plan B – the B stands for “better.”
“Our PLAN B is under development but fundamentally proposes to eliminate the western building and restrict the height of the buildings on the northeast corner of the property to the maximum allowed under the current by-laws for the whole property,” states the Facebook page. “This plan would effectively extend greenspace into Spencer Smith Park and enhance vistas for all park goers.”
The group is also working on a petition, with an option to advise city council members of your views.
Staff are planning to bring an update report to the Planning and Development Committee of council in November, to allow for additional community consultation. The recommended land use concept will come to council in the new year for approval.
To see the powerpoint and notes from all the public meetings leading up to the emerging concept, visit the project page on the city’s website here: Waterfront Hotel Planning Study
My Take: I am not inspired by any of the options, including the emerging preferred concept, which is too high and dense, as well as unimaginative – just copying from the Bridgewater. Instead, by locating buildings only on the East side of the site – as suggested by Plan B – we can gain more greenspace next to Spencer Smith Park, and respect existing development rights. I look forward to working with residents to create a better plan for this key area of downtown and our waterfront. Please share your views below, or on the Facebook page.