The Ontario Lands Tribunal (OLT) has approved an application for a 12-storey mid-rise, mixed-use building with 389 units on seven assembled properties between 40-70 Plains Rd. E., located on the south side of Plains Road East between Birchwood Avenue and Lasalle Park Road.
The Appellant’s (property owner/developer) initial proposal called for the redevelopment of the site with a 10-storey mid-rise, mixed-use building with 423 residential units.
The revised proposal updated the proposed redevelopment to include a 12-storey mid-rise, mixed-use building with a total gross floor area (“GFA”) of 21,970 sq.m., 389 residential units, and 1,027 sq.m. of non-residential GFA.
Of note, the revised proposal includes increases in amenity space and setbacks and, in particular, a large setback from the rear lot line that is next to the rear yards of a low-rise residential neighbourhood to the south. The entrance to the building is proposed to be at the northside of the site that aligns with a signalized intersection at Cooke Boulevard and Plains Road East.
The OLT approved this proposal in a ruling on Feb. 10, based in part on the location of the site in the Aldershot Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) that is designated to accommodate significant new population and employment growth.
Several residents participated in the hearing, and submitted written correspondence. That information was received and considered by the OLT in their review of the proposal.
The concerns raised by the participants were addressed at the hearing by the planner for the applicant, David Falletta.
Noted by the OLT during the hearing:
“A number of the concerns raised by the Participants relate to aspects of the planning process, which are not issues before the Tribunal and as such are not addressed in this decision. With respect to the Participants’ objections to the proposed increases in height and density, Mr. Falletta reiterated that such increases are contextually appropriate, given the location of the subject site along a mixed-use corridor and along a road planned for residential intensification at high densities that is well-served by transit. He addressed concerns with respect to shadow impacts noting that shadow studies were completed which show there will be no impacts on the residential neighbourhood to the south and any impacts to the west and east of the site are adequately limited and do not exceed the criteria set out in the City’s terms of reference.
“Although the Participants expressed a preference for development in the form of detached dwellings and view the proposed building as disproportionate in size and out of character with the area, Mr. Falletta explained that, from a land use planning perspective, encouraging single detached dwellings along an intensification corridor within a strategic growth area and MTSA would be inappropriate, undesirable, inconsistent with the PPS and would not conform to the applicable planning framework.
“He reiterated that the area is experiencing transition, changing in character and evolving with the MTSA as evidenced by the existing and planned developments in the area.
“Mr. Falleta added that the Planning Act, the City’s Official Plan (both old and new) include a mechanism to apply for increases in height and density, noting there have been several site-specific amendments for developments along Plains Road that have led to approved increases in maximum density and height. A thorough planning analysis was conducted in accordance with the applicable planning framework and was supported by required studies and, from a land use planning perspective, the development is considered compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood.”
As noted in the OLT’s official ruling:
“The Tribunal reviewed and considered the concerns raised in the Participant Statements but is nevertheless satisfied, based upon the uncontradicted land use planning testimony and the detailed Affidavit of Mr. Falletta, that the proposed development is representative of good planning and is in the public interest and the proposed OPA and ZBA have appropriate regard to the matters of Provincial interest in s. 2 of the Act; are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement; and conform with the Growth Plan, Regional Official Plan and City Official Plan.”
You can read the full OLT ruling here: OLT Decision for 40-70 Plains Rd_OLT-21-001834-FEB-10-2023.
The City of Burlington also has a dedicated project webpage for this application for additional details at burlington.ca/70plains