It’s too late to stop hi-rises already approved but Burlington City Council has unanimously approved requesting the Region of Halton to adjust the boundary of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC) to generally align with the lands in proximity to the Burlington GO Station, and to remove the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designation from the Downtown. It was the designation of the Burlington Transit station across from city hall that was used to justify the erection of a 26-story condo tower in the area. The city lost an appeal regarding the proposal by developer ADI for a high rise that the official plan said could not exceed 8 stories but the OMB approved a height limit of 26 storeys for the property. The developer had successfully argued that the Downtown bus terminal would qualify the area as a Major Transit Station Area, which qualified the project for a much higher density than they would otherwise be entitled to.
Public outcry over the development was a major factor in the defeat of some long-time councillors and the mayor in the 2018 municipal election.
Earlier this year, the City of Burlington received a joint letter from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Ministry of Transportation stating that the Region of Halton, working together with the City of Burlington, can remove the identification of a mobility hub and the MTSA designation in Downtown Burlington.
The city says the John Street bus terminal does not currently function as a major bus depot and is not anticipated to be more than the intercity transfer point in the future;
Adjusting the Downtown UGC boundary to align generally with lands in proximity to the Burlington GO Station will enable provincial, regional and city objectives to be met by focusing population and employment growth and amenity and infrastructure investment in an emerging transit supported area.
Great news but it’s sad to realize that if the designation change was done merely five years ago, there’d be a few less skyscrapers being constructed right now. No building should be taller than twice the streetscape width; take a look at all the historic centres of the ancient cities of Europe.