The possability of a terrible development on Brant at Havendale has been averted; the settlement the developer thought they had was taken off the table.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 2, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That Local Planning Act Tribunal meeting on the National Homes development at 2100 Brant looks like it might turn into an expensive mess.

A resident who attended the most recent meeting found it “ Very interesting adding that the City will be sued for costs for wanting to change the appeal from a settlement agreement back to a Pre-hearing Conference (PHC).

The lawyer for the developer said that Council has the right to make this decision, but there are consequences when things like this happen at the last minute, especially since the previous council had signed off on this.

Landscape master plan

The original proposal did not include any park space.

People who asked for “Party Status” were told they need to be incorporated in order to get party status.

Parties are National Homes lawyer Ira Kagan – the City, and Havendale Group with John Calvert named as Party for now.

Participants are Tom Muir and Jim Young.

John Calvert, a retired municipal planner mentioned the next day that the National Homes lawyer Kagan called him and said he wanted to get together. I gather there is back channel talk of a new submission.

The new Pre-hearing date is Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at 10:00 am Room 247 at City Hall.

It is a Conference to deal with a draft procedural order and list of issues put forward by the Parties.
The important point that came out of the meeting is that what was scheduled as a Pre-hearing event remained as a Pre-hearing.

There was an attempt on the part of National Homes, the developer, to have the meeting made one at which a Settlement would be agreed upon.

Residents in the area – 2100 Brant – just south of Havendale, howled arguing that there was no Staff report nor was there any meaningful resident input.

Aerial of the site

The proposed 233 unit development got reduced to 212 homes would create huge traffic problems with just two exits to Brant; left hand turns to go north would be very difficult.

Ed Door, the citizen who delegated on behalf of the community set out in considerable detail how badly the development application was managed. A link to that sad story is set out below.

Some heads in the Planning department should roll for this one.

On the several occasions this matter got discussed at council the meeting moved into a closed session because there were legal issues – which never got explained.

The good news is that the development is on hold until the LPAT hearing takes place in April.

The National Homes lawyer is also handling the appeal for 484-490 Plains Rd., development for which the PHC was held the day after 2100 Brant development. That case is scheduled to have another PHC, held via telephone conference call on May 3, 2019 at 9:00 am. Purpose is to discuss procedural order and issues.

Related new story:

Ed Door delegates on one of the saddest developments taken to the Planning department where it was horribly mis-managed.

 

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3 comments to The possibility of a terrible development on Brant at Havendale has been averted; the settlement the developer thought they had was taken off the table.

  • Kevin Rutherford

    @ Penny, thanks for sharing your learnings! We are 5 weeks from the pre-hearing on our appeal and this information is greatly appreciated.

  • Stephen White

    I’m not sure if “heads should roll”, but at the very least the City’s actions and the response and conduct of a number of Planning Department officials needs to be the subject of a serious impartial review.

    Kudos to Ed Door, Tom Muir and Jim Young for their vigilance and leadership on this file.

  • Penny

    I attended the LPAT pre-hearing and learned some very valuable things should a resident group want to be granted Party Status.

    I knew that unless the group was incorporated they would be unable to be granted this status. Incorporation is one expense but along with it comes Director Liability Insurance if you want to protect anyone in the group from being held responsible in the event that you lose the appeal and the developer sues you for costs they incurred defending the appeal.

    What I learned :

    – petitions are not taken into account. If a group does not charge membership fees the fact that you can say you have 500 plus members is argued that these members simply signed on for information and don’t necessarily agree with your group appealing a decision.

    – Residents who come forward at the appeal to explain why the development impacts parking, traffic, noise, etc. while taken into account have little impact if the developer brings forward expert witnesses to discount the residents concerns.

    – The person who is granted party status cannot then be “an expert witness”. In this case John Calvert, who has been granted party status is unable to act as their urban planner expert.

    – I was aware but it was discussed that LPAT does not provide any funds to groups. They are available to answer questions and advise but that is all. My experience with LPAT has been extremely positive, however, in the end it is the group’s responsibility to fund their appeal.

    It is not easy for a resident group to appeal a decision. The group will be inundated with reports that have to be read, understood, and replied to by a date determined by the lawyers and LPAT.
    Funds need to be available for incorporation, insurance, expert witnesses.

    While supposedly this development was appealed under the OMB, and will be subject to the OMB guidelines, the only major difference I can find between appealing to the OMB and LPAT is that under LPAT witnesses are not cross-examined by both sides ( which takes up time and creates more costs to the parties involved).

    If LPAT is supposed to make the appeal process more “resident friendly” I fail to see it. Appealing a development decision is not for the faint of heart.

    The Havendale Group need to be applauded, this appeal is justifiable and residents of all wards need to stand beside them.

    The question I have to ask is why does a resident group feel they have to attain party status when the developer has appealed to the OMB for “lack of decision” by the City?

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