Burlington waterfront development issues could take years to resolve, mayor says
Published May 6, 2023 at 9:24 am
It could take several years before Burlington’s waterfront vision comes into focus.
That is the viewpoint of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward who says the process will take some time as the City, developers and the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) figure out what’s best for land use along the water’s edge.
In an interview with Khaled Iwamure of inhalton.com, the mayor pointed out the next scheduled meeting with the OLT is not until 2024 when the process will officially continue for developers to present their case on why two towers — 35 and 30-storey buildings with five-story podiums — should be built next to Spencer Smith Park at the foot of Brant St.
“People care very passionately about our waterfront,” the mayor said explaining that the topic is constantly raised by members of the public.
The proposed towers would replace the existing six-storey hotel with a mostly mixed-use development of 557 residential units and a hotel of 122 guest rooms.
The developers believe the buildings will enhance the city’s skyline and boast expressive architecture and amenities that the public will be able to access.
Critics, however, believe the project is too big and take away from the natural beauty that the adjacent park and lake provide.
For its part, the City has turned down the proposal which has landed the project in the hands of the OLT as the builders’ appeal that decision.
“Council has rejected that (the proposal) for not being compatible with our visions for a key site in our city right beside our jewel of a waterfront at Spencer Smith Park,” said the mayor. “We will be making our case at the tribunal that this is inappropriate and that there is a better way to handle this particular site.”
The mayor went on to suggest it could take several years for the issue to be resolved as all parties present their case to the OLT which would then take time to render a decision.
“The hearing has been set for 2024 so it’s a long way off before there is anything approaching a decision,” she said. “And we hope that we are able to make our case that there are better ways to deal with this particular site than what is proposed.”
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