City Fights Back After Massive New Condo Approved in Burlington

The City of Burlington is fighting back after the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approved a massive new condo in downtown Burlington.

A Sect. 43 review request has been sent to the OMB’s executive chair regarding development applications at 374 and 380 Martha St.

The ruling for the Adi Development Group’s proposal at 374 Martha St., also known as The Nautique, was released on Feb. 13.

It allows 26 storeys.

Under Sect. 43 of the Ontario Municipal Act, a review may be requested so the OMB may ‘rehear any application before deciding it or may review, rescind, change, alter or vary any decision, approval or order made by it,’ according to the city.

These are some of the reasons cited by the city for requesting a review of the decision:

  • The OMB failed to properly consider the planning hierarchy set up in the Urban Growth Centre by city council when the board approved the height and density at 374 and 380 Martha St.
  • The board didn’t consider that the city's Official Plan allocated height and density at different levels with the Urban Growth Centre, with the greatest growth directed to the Wellington Square and Old Lakeshore Road areas. As a result, the tallest building in the city, 26 storeys, is on a site designated for significantly lower levels of height and density.
  • The city is asking the executive chair to grant the city's review request and to dismiss the appeals related to 374 and 380 Martha St.

If that doesn’t happen, then the city requests an order directing a rehearing of the appeals or changes to the board decision to reduce the height and density allowed on the site.

Last month, Ward 2 Coun. Marianne Meed Ward called the ruling a “devastating decision for the downtown" while city officials said they're "disappointed" with the decision.

We cannot continue to plan our city, especially our downtown, on an application-by-application basis," said deputy city manager Mary Lou Tanner at the time.

"This is not good planning and allows others to make decisions on our city’s future.”

In its decision, however, the OMB states that the city’s current land-use policy for the site doesn't reflect provincial policy.

The OMB noted in its ruling, “the evidence suggests to the board that the current designation is no longer appropriate for the subject site and a proposal that is taller and more transit-supportive is both preferable and better implements the transit-oriented and intensification policies of the PPS 2014 and the GGH 2017.”

The OMB later notes “while the provincial policy regime emphasizes the importance of a municipality’s official plan, there is no suggestion in the provincial policy regime that a municipality’s official plan may undercut provincial policy.”

What do you think about a 26-storey condo going up at 374 Martha St.?

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