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Burlington council nixes massive waterfront proposal, and Waterdown Rd tall building bid

Burlington council nixes massive waterfront proposal, and Waterdown Rd tall building bid

In a move that almost certainly will land at the Ontario Land Tribunal, Burlington Council has shot down two tall building proposals that have been the subject of public debate this year. The city issued a news release about their refusal of a proposal for a mixed-use development at the site of the current Waterfront Hotel, which was subject of the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study put out for comment by the public earlier this year.

Staff concluded the proposed development is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, does not conform with A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, does not conform with Halton Region’s Official Plan and does not conform to the policies of the City of Burlington Official Plan . The proposed development also does not conform to the City’s new Official Plan . These factors led Staff to recommend refusal of the subject applications.

The site is located next to two of Burlington’s most significant landmarks, Spencer Smith Park and the Brant Street Pier and the City asked for input to make sure the new development would reflect a high quality of urban design that would enhance the community’s access to the waterfront and the downtown.

Public meetings were held in February on both the planning study and the development application for residents and stakeholders to talk about the study process and hear from City staff and the consultant team. Information for the projects were posted on city web pages and social media.

Commenting on the decision Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kerns said in a joint statement,

” The application is not reflective of the feedback we have heard from the community over many years related to this landmark site. We have heard loud and clear residents want to see more parkland on this site next to our jewel of a waterfront park…regarding the Waterfront Hotel Study, given the information that has recently come to light, we have simply filed this report. We will have more to say about next steps in coming weeks.”

At the same meeting council turned thumbs down on a tall building proposal at the corner of Plains Road and Waterdown Road. The issue of ultra tall buildings was the key issue in the 2018 election which saw almost total turnover on Burlington Council, and led to the departure of the city’s CAO and key planning staff.  Burlington council has expressed support for tall building proposals in the immediate area of the city’s three GO stations.

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