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Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – July 26, 2021 – What can you tell us about the high-rises proposed at the former Holland Park site?

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Welcome to the Mayor’s Monday Mailbag, an initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share weekly answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at mayor@burlington.ca or the Mayor’s social media platforms.

At the end of the month, we’ll publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.

Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – July 26, 2021

QUESTION:

“I see several new high-rise buildings are coming to the site of where Holland Park used to sit. How did this application get approved? How can this developer build as high and tall as they want?”

ANSWER:

We know the development at 2243, 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane is significant and has raised many questions and concerns in the community. People are asking when or if council will approve this. The applicant has applied for a Site Plan application that complies with the land use, height, and density requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.

There is no ability for council or staff to impose a height or density restriction on this site-specific file.

The City Zoning Bylaw in this area has no maximum height limit. In 2019, we implemented an Interim Control Bylaw to freeze development around the Burlington GO station and downtown Burlington, which are designated Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA), to study these areas more closely. We completed that work in 2020 by adding new policies to the OP and Zoning for both the downtown and the Burlington GO MTSA.

One of those policies limits height to six storeys within 10 m of Fairview Street, Brant Street and Drury Lane, with taller buildings permitted beyond 10 m, but no height cap. The form of tall buildings is managed through design features, floor plate, distance separators and other technical factors which staff continue to evaluate.

The location of the development application is currently within a Primary Growth Area and within an MTSA on a Priority Transit Corridor with planned frequent transit service by way of Regional Express Rail. All three of the GO stations (Aldershot, Appleby and Burlington) are envisioned to accommodate significant future growth, including taller buildings, residential and employment density, and mixed uses, including public amenities and parkland.

The application requires site plan approval — that has been undelegated from staff and will come to council for technical review and approval. The approval authority for the proposed Site Plan application was “undelegated” from the Director of Community Planning back to Council. Despite this, Council cannot make a decision that conflicts with the permissions of the City’s Zoning By-law.

A site plan review does not change heights. The community can provide input on site plan matters (layout, landscaping, and so forth) when the site plan does come to council for review. In the meantime, please continue to send your comments to staff and Council (contacts below).

Residents can find up-to-date and background information about this Site Plan application at https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/clv-group-developments-2243-2269-fairview-st-and-864-drury-lane.asp. You can subscribe to receive email notifications when any of the above webpages are updated by clicking the “subscribe” button on the right-hand side of the webpage. Questions and feedback can be directed to the planner on file, whose contact information is on the webpage. You can also directly connect with the Ward Councillor at ward2@burlington.ca for more information on the public engagement that has occurred to date, and to share your questions and feedback. You are welcome to continue to share questions and feedback with the Mayor’s Office at mayor@burlington.ca

Please note, since this development is a Site Plan application, the supporting studies and documents are not posted online compared to a Rezoning/Official Plan Amendment, which are public processes. However, the City has posted the Site Plan Information Report, as well as a Community Meeting Presentation hosted by the Ward Councillor that occurred on April 21, 2021. You can also access the April 21, 2021 community meeting recordingpresentation and notes, on the Ward 2 Events page at: https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/ward-2-meetings-and-events.asp

MORE BACKGROUND:

It is important to note the Province’s Growth Plan requires that Halton plan to accommodate 1.1 million people and 500,000 jobs by the year 2051, and planning for this now will ensure sustainable and livable communities. Halton’s review of its Regional Official Plan will ensure it aligns with Provincial policies and remains responsive to changing social, economic, environmental and demographic conditions. Each Growth Concept helps answer questions about the future of the region and our city.

On June 15, it was announced that the Province has approved our request to adjust the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre (UGC), allowing us to move the designation that was once centered on our downtown core to focus instead on our Burlington GO Station and thereby direct future development with height and density to where it belongs: near mass transit, or in other words, the Mass Transit Station Areas (MTSA) designated areas (including Aldershot and Appleby GO station, although Burlington GO is designated as the UGC).

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*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600