Approved condo will soar 15-storeys taller than Burlington’s vision

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Published July 24, 2023 at 11:37 am

Conceptual art for the 26-storey building on Brant St.

The approval of a condominium in Burlington is 15 storeys taller than what the City of Burlington wanted for the area…and local politicians are not happy about it.

The project, which will proceed at 535 to 551 Brant St. with 26 storeys, was given approval by the Ontario body that adjudicates planning disputes.

A statement released by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns says they were disappointed with the decision.

“We know the community will be very disappointed in this decision, as we are,” the statement reads. “It fails to appreciate staff, council and the community’s vision for this area, and to direct the highest buildings to our GO station areas.”

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) recently ruled in favour of Renimmob Properties Limited to build the complex on what currently exists as a small retail plaza between Victoria St. and Caroline St.

Burlington had initially told the builders that an 11-storey structure (then later upped it to 17-storeys) with greater setbacks was appropriate for the site. Renimmob disagreed which led to the appeal hearing with the OLT.

In making its decision, however, the OLT ruled in favour of the developer’s proposal after agreeing that the site is suitable for such intensification and density and fits with the Ontario government’s call for growth in urban areas.

The City says the OLT relied on outdated information in making its decision, basing it on Burlington’s previous vision for growth which focussed more on the downtown core but has since shifted to the areas around GO train stations. Because the building application was made before Burlington changed its vision the development company was within its rights to rely on the previous guidelines.

The mayor and councillor go on to say the decision underscores the challenges the City faces in implementing its own vision for managing growth in Burlington.

“We will continue to face these challenges as long as the OLT can override local council desires as expressed in our Official Plan and related documents,” they say.

Burlington is reviewing its options on whether to seek a review of the OLT decision.

Start date for the project has not been announced but when complete the building will house 259 residential units with commercial buildings on the lower level. Further, there will be room for 226 parking spaces for cars and 88 for bicycles. The vehicular entrance will be from John St.

 

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