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OK of Burlington Downtown boundary changes comes too late to stop several hi-rises

OK of Burlington Downtown boundary changes comes too late to stop several hi-rises

It’s taken several months but the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Steve Clark has finally given official approval to changes in the  City’s Urban Growth Centre (UGC) designation that will remove of the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designation in the downtown, and shift it to the city’s GO station areas. The designation came too late to prevent the expansion of a high rise on Lakeshore Road at Pearl to 29 storeys from 22 that was OK’d by the Ontario Land Tribunal earlier this month. As well, there are at least seven other large projects that may be allowed to proceed.

The removal of the MTSA designation and boundary adjustment of the UGC takes effect immediately and applies to all new applications. In a release Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said the decision  will help us control overdevelopment moving forward. But she also noted, “however, the Minister chose to grandfather seven applications that were submitted prior to November 10, 2021 from the UGC boundary adjustment and the City is seeking additional clarification on how to proceed. 

The mayor continued,, “Five of the seven applications located in Burlington’s downtown are before the Ontario Lands Tribunal and the City will strongly advocate that the tribunal take into account the City’s vision for the downtown and the new changes brought in by the Provincial Government. The City will defend at every opportunity the vision that this Council has set out and worked tirelessly to have included in the Region’s official plan amendment  We will encourage proponents of those applications to revaluate their projects given the updated provincial policies.”

The statement says the city will be pressing local MPP Jane McKenna and Clark to recognize the widespread desire in the community to see some limits placed on the pace of intensification

 Said Mayor Meed Ward, “Burlington’s Council was elected with a clear mandate to stop overdevelopment, and we will continue to do everything within our power to do so. The adjustment of the boundaries of the UGC and the MTSA are a victory for good planning in Burlington. However, implementation issues still remain to be resolved. The Minister’s decision that the policies apply only to new applications presents a greater challenge to achieving our vision for downtown with the applications already in..”

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