Amica submits a revised proposal in August and then files an appeal of the city's decision to do nothing with the proposal.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 2, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On August 19, 2019, the Amica people along with their financial partner Bruce Partners submitted a revised development proposal which includes 17-storey and 12-storey building elements with a 6-storey lower building podium, transitioning down to a 2-storey element for a portion of the rear of the building. The number of proposed senior’s living units has been decreased from 475 to 419.

From Lakeshore Rd and 403

The development is at the intersection of North Shore Blvd and the ramp to the 403.

Then on September 23, 2019, the Official Plan amendment and Zoning By-law amendment applications to facilitate the proposed development were appealed to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT).

Amica appealed the applications based upon the lack of a City decision on these applications within the legislated timeframes, as set out by The Planning Act.

The site is within the City’s Interim Control By-law area, and as such, no recommendation reports have been brought forward for development applications in this area until such time as the Interim Control By-law is lifted and policy and zoning are in place.

site drawing

Where the development is to be located.

South east corner

A rendering of the view of the development from the south east corner.

South elevation

The elevation from the south.

One Burlington resident is concerned that the automatic appeal that arises from the city’s lack of decision is really just a fait accompli for the development.

Amica development rendering

An early rendering of what the site would have looked like to the people on the adjacent street.

“It will eventually pass because LPAT has jurisdiction and the city’s interim bylaw to halt development is nothing but an illusion of trying to do the right thing. If the city does nothing more than not make a decision, they are allowing developers to proceed in absentia.

The only plus in all that at this point is the revised plan is not as brutal to the eye as the first one.

North elevation

The revised elevation in the latest version of the Amica development.

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11 comments to Amica submits a revised proposal in August and then files an appeal of the city’s decision to do nothing with the proposal.

  • Adam

    James you are 100% CORRECT. Please read his post again. Politically it NEVER makes sense to support development, there is always someone that doesn’t like it. It is much better to oppose it and blame it on Doug Ford or LPAT etc. Meanwhile the mayor and counsel know the city, and the GTA, is badly in need of new housing to house the 100,000+ new residents each year, that it provides jobs to almost 20% of our economy and increased taxes for the city.

    I suspect people calling for development at the Mall live downtown or near this development. It is very easy to tell someone to “build somewhere else”. The problem is that people don’t want to live in a parking lot at the mall, or a parking lot at the GO station. They want to live in a community, close to the lake, schools, shopping, parks etc. Also the city has absolutely no power to force someone to build at the Mall, it is owned by a private company.

  • Penny Hersh

    Claudette,

    I have said on many occasions that a condo complex should be built where the empty Sears Store is at Mapleview Mall. It would be wonderful for seniors/and families, if the building had an entrance into the mall. This location has public transit, and I don’t think there would be pushback from residents to have a condo complex in that area.

    In the winter when it is difficult for some to get out they would have access to restaurants, stores, an area to socialize with others, get some exercise by mall walking and if a physician relocated it would provide necessary medical services.

    This location would allow a developer to get the height they want and help meet the Provincial Targets for growth.

    Other cities are doing this, why not in Burlington?

  • Steve W

    @James … you are 100% correct.

  • Claudette Mancini

    Oh, boy! Confusion and deception at its very best, here! I wish I was a lawyer so I could get rich from all the lawsuits that will result from this development from the following sources; citizens disabled or killed from accidents caused by the comings and goings of the all the vehicles required to keep such a development viable; visitors and family members of the residents who were unable to get medical help to their loved ones in time to administer aid or emergency transportation to the hospital; evacuation of residents in the event of a major disaster of some kind. Is there no more common sense in this province? If you can attach a sports facility to a Hamilton mall, then why not investigate the old Sears site at the Burlington Mapleview Mall? Plenty of room, there!

  • Terry Rose

    Just to add another thought to Penny Hersh’s. If Amica submitted their revised proposal on August 19 wouldn’t that give the City 120 days (i.e. December 19) to respond? Then, if the applicant received no response, they could file an appeal based on a non-decision. Filing an appeal a few days later (as reported by the Gazette) conveys one very simple message to Council: “this is what we think of your Interim Control Bylaw”

  • James

    My theory, and admittedly it’s only a theory, is that the Mayor and Council strategically use the OMB and now LPAT to their advantage. Former Councils have done it, and this Council is doing it. Think about it, in public they express nothing but contempt for the planning appeal system, even going so far as to suggest LPAT should be abolished entirely (knowing full well that will never happen). They take the position their constituents want publicly, save face, and their political careers stay on course. But behind their office doors they realize stopping these developments is problematic. They know we need housing. They know we need the money that these developments generate. They know we need the jobs that the construction industry provides. And they know that coming out publicly in support of these developments is political suicide. So what can they do? They can delay planning application decisions just long enough so that the developer can appeal to LPAT, which is exactly what they want. They can delay updating Official Plans and ensure weakened defenses at LPAT Hearings. They have found a way to keep development going while getting no blood on their hands at all. It’s that pesky LPAT that approves developments, not Council. They have intentionally shrugged off those politically charged decisions onto someone else. It’s the greedy developers who take the heat and hatred from the community, and that’s exactly how they want it. This is the game they’re playing, and we’ve all fallen for it. I have no proof of course, but this is what I’ve suspected for a while now.

  • Penny Hersh

    Hans,

    When the City instituted the Interim Control By-Law this allowed the planners to review an development application and then stop before taking the final steps to issue a report and present it to council. This is a Municipal By-law.

    The Provincial Planning Legislation gives the Municipality 120 days to get their report to Council. This is where the problem lies. Does the Provincial Mandate supersede the Municipality and because the City does not get the report to Council within that timeframe because of the Interim Control By-Law this allows the developer to go to LPAT to appeal the lack of decision within the timeframe allowed.

    The question now remains will LPAT start their process before the Interim Control By-Law comes to an end in March or start the process now.

    At a public meeting Heather MacDonald, at the time Director of Building, didn’t know the answer. They were hoping that LPAT would wait, but there was no guarantee.

  • Carol Victor

    This is an abomination as it is twice the height of the condo beside it. The developer says it comprises a 17- storey tower but they don’t take into account the non-residential usage which puts it at 23 storeys. Back in February Amica promised to work with the community to modify the proposal and they have actually had no interaction with the residents most affected, the condo dwellers at 1201 North Shore Blvd. What they have come back with is in fact worse than the original. They have turned one of the large towers to now face the condo next door.

    Many of the condo owners in 1201, a 12 storey bullding are concerned for their safety as the entrance onto North Shore is not at an intersection with a traffic light. With 400+ units, 150 staff members plus delivery services and resident visitors using the one entrance right next to the condo, it is an accident waiting to happen. No solutions have been brought forth to mitigate this serious situation.

    Council needs to turn down this proposal. Amica is pushing them to forgo the interim by-law so they can pass this process through to LPAT which is nothing better than the old OMB. Our council was elected to protect us from the “tall building syndrome” and now with the Conservative provincial government ‘s Bill 108, the latter can call the shots. I hope the people of Burlington remember this the next time they vote for any Conservative government.

  • Terry Rose

    Amica again displays contempt for Burlington City Council and its citizens. Why submit a revised proposal and 12 days later file an appeal to LPAT? Or is it just “payback” time because they failed to get an exemption to the Interim Control Bylaw?
    The revised proposal has token changes: identical GFA (42,000 sq m); similar footprint; taller tower 65m (including mechanicals) and second tower 48.5m. OP height is 22m. Incompatible with precinct and neighbouring precincts as required by OP. The failure to find a solution to the traffic issues is sufficient grounds to disqualify this application.

    • Gary Scobie

      I agree, Terry and Carol. There are appropriate sites for buildings with over 400 tenants, 150 employees and lots of service trucks and visitor cars, but unfortunately for Amica, this isn’t one of them. The absolute mass of these buildings might be OK if it was located beside the QEW at one of the Gateway Mobility Hubs in Burlington that don’t have single family dwellings and that can provide proper entry/exit roadways, but this site is was not well chosen for the purpose Amica desires.

      Right at a QEW on-ramp and close but not opposite to a signal-controlled intersection for traffic coming off the QEW, there is absolutely no magical solution for a safe signal-controlled entry/exit intersection in and out of the Amica site. The on-ramp is too close.

      The existing condo directly to the east already has issues with entry/exit that make it dangerous to come in or out across North Shore Blvd traffic. Adding this many more potential vehicle entries/exits would be disastrous. It just doesn’t pass muster on traffic safety.

      The only possible benefit to the location is that the hospital is just down the street for the inevitable accident victims, both vehicular and pedestrian. But I really don’t think most people would count that as a benefit, do you? A bit macabre.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “Amica appealed the applications based upon the lack of a City decision on these applications within the legislated timeframes, as set out by The Planning Act.”

    Shouldn’t there be some communication from the Planning Department to council so that action can be taken in time so that these deadlines are **never** missed? It appears that the Planning Department is inadvertently helping developers by missing deadlines and the cost to Burlington of failing to meet the deadlines seems to be the loss of any control over what gets built; surely that is not acceptable? What is the real problem?

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