ADI development group can now begin construction of the 26 story tower in the downtown core.

Newsflash 100By Staff

November 5th, 2018



This is not good news – at least not for the city.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016The ADI Development Group can now proceed with the construction of the 26 floor tower they want to put up at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

The Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) dismissed the city’s request to review decision the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made on 374 and 380 Martha St.

The OMB released a decision on Feb. 13, 2018, regarding the development application that allows 26 storeys. The city filed a Section 43 review request to the Executive Chair of the OMB in March 2018.

The city requested the review on the assertion that there were four errors made by the OMB: Incorrect Application of the Growth Plan, Improper Regard for Council Decisions and Materials, Improper Exclusion of Evidence and Unreasonable Findings with Respect to Tower Separation.

In making its decision, the LPAT member, Paul Muldoon concluded that the city failed to raise a “convincing and compelling” case that any one of the listed errors or grounds cited in its Rules to grant a review was applicable.

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15 comments to ADI development group can now begin construction of the 26 story tower in the downtown core.

  • Penny


    Yes we do have a new Director of Planning, but remember who hired her. The current city manager hires all staff.

  • joe gaetan

    I believe the LPAT decision is a “Legacy Appeal” decision because it was initially filed with the Ontario Municipal Board. The details of decision are not yet available on CanLII and could be interesting reading. A review of the entire process, start to finish is required.

  • Steve D

    Shouldn’t those incompetent city officials now be fired?

    • Burlington Local

      Absolutely. Time to clean house. We have city employees playing checkers while the developers are playing chess.

  • Judy

    Come on everyone , i read all the comments and many more. The planning department is nothingless than incompetent in my opinion. That goes for all the various departments governed by the city manager. The old council was somewhat less than effective because it appears that it simply accepted the proposals from staff. we do have a new director of planning which should give us some hope that other significant changes can take place.Is it possible that if one is in power for a relatively long term that the trees become more important than the forest and that the thought process is tainted by developed associations. Here is to the new council which we all await a new horizon

  • Penny


    LPAT is relatively new – previously it was the OMB that was the body that dealt with appeals. Yes some communities did win their appeals, Oakville for one has been extremely successful at the OMB.

    The question that perhaps residents need to ask is why Burlington is not successful at the OMB?

  • Judy christie

    Does LPAT ever say no to developers?? I am a fairly new resident in Burlington and it does not seem that “Big Brother” bothers to say no!

  • We are going to pay in spades for this bungling and incompetence all over town. Downtown is toast.

  • Jenn H

    I agree with you Penny. This issue was presented by some candidates during their campaigns much differently. Taking advantage of the lack of engagement by residents. Shameful manipulation and fear mongering. People don’t trust government and are tired of being lied to yet over and over yet they make no attempt to do their research. So the residents perpetuate the cycle.
    A lack of legitimate media is another huge detriment to the election process in Burlington. No journalists willing to provide information to voters. Instead people take to anonymous accounts on twitter or else be shamed and labelled bullies to silence them.
    On top of a low voter turnout, not unique to Burlington, we get the government we deserve.

  • Dave

    Penny, I sure would hope you have decidedly more concrete details to form your public opinion other than what “residents report” about the process, and then move into a “supposedly staff” bit of total heresay. It’s a controversial topic for sure, but the last council seemed understand that the height was going to up no matter what they did and that at least more greenspace on the ground level was still in their control. Something I have not heard much about from the new council folks.

    • joe gaetan

      How this file was handled be observed in part by reviewing section 2.1 of the decision.

      Section 2.1 of the Act: Regard to the Decision of the Municipal Council:

      42] Section 2.1 of the Act requires the Board to have regard to the decision of the
      municipal council and to information and material considered by the municipal council in
      making its decision…..

      43] In each case, the City referred the Board to the applicable staff report to the City
      Council that dealt with the particular iteration of the proposal since City Council did not
      set out its reasons for either decision. Noteworthy in each of these two staff reports is
      the planning opinion that the particular proposal under consideration is consistent with
      the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 (“PPS 2014‟) and conforms to the applicable
      provincial plans and conforms to the Region‟s growth policies. The planning opinions
      set out in these reports then go on to state that the City is evaluating the proposal from
      a land use compatibility perspective.

      44] While the planning report on the first proposal was extensive and provided
      detailed analysis, the planning report on the revised proposal was quite short. This
      report had no substantive compatibility analysis on the revised proposal. The report
      simply asserts that the revised proposal is not compatible with the existing
      neighbourhood character.

      45] As a result, the Board is left with little to which regard might be had in terms of
      the planning reasons the staff, and perhaps the Council, considered in rejecting the
      revised proposal.

      Introduction of New Evidence

      [89] While the Board agrees that the additional information could not have been
      known by the December 2016 filing date for expert witness statements, it was known by
      the City three weeks before the start of the hearing on February 22, 2017. No
      persuasive explanation was advanced by the City to explain why the information was
      not disclosed at least at the outset of the hearing on February 22, 2017.

      City of Burlington Official Plan

      [100] In the circumstances of this case, the Board accepts this approach as a relevant
      consideration, particularly since the Subject Site is within the UGC, an MTSA and close
      to the centre of the Anchor Mobility Hub. In light of the Subject Site‟s location, the Board
      extends this approach to the consideration of the likely life-span of the proposed development. In implementing GGH 2017 policy that is set out above, the
      Board must consider whether a four-storey development as of right with only a
      possibility of growing to eight storeys, as set out in the current City OP designation for
      the Subject Site, would „adversely affect the achievement of transit-supportive

      Height and a Comprehensive Municipal Official Plan Review
      104] The Board heard evidence from Messrs. Ferancik and Lowes and from Ms.
      Bustamante regarding the ability of the intensification strategy, as implemented, to
      achieve the minimum targets of population and jobs required by the GGH 2006 and the
      GGH 2017. The upshot of the examination and cross-examination of these witnesses
      appears to be that the City may not quite meet the minimum required target for

      [125] For compatibility with existing land uses, the Board found that wind, sun and
      shadow, and physical form with setbacks, stepbacks and potential tower separation to
      be principal matters for review.

      149] Having considered the specific location of the Subject Site, and the foregoing
      analysis of stepbacks, the Board finds that the proposed tower stepbacks on all sides
      are appropriate.

      155] Ramp slopes and aisle widths for the safe maneuverability of vehicles in the
      underground garage, particularly for those using accessible parking stalls, are not
      matters before the Board in the context of the proposed zoning by-law amendment. Ms.
      Edgcumbe, for the City, acknowledged that these matters are normally considered at
      the site plan stage but was raising them at this point to flag the concern. The Board notes the concern but makes no finding on these matters since the issues raised are not
      matters addressed in the proposed zoning by-law amendment.

      Proposed Conditions
      [162] The City did not call any evidence on the community benefits it would seek or the
      criteria by which these s. 37 benefits would be identified. Ms. Bustamante testified that it
      is the City‟s practice to do so only once a determination is made that a proposed
      development should be approved. In the circumstances of this case, with the City
      opposed to the proposed development, the Board was advised that no discussion has
      taken place between the City and Adi regarding s. 37 benefits and there is no
      agreement at this time on the language appropriate in the ZBLA regarding s. 37

      [163] The Board finds that the revised proposal, as generally set out in the proposed
      official plan amendment filed as Exhibit 6 and as generally set out in the proposed
      zoning by-law amendment as filed in Exhibit 7, is consistent with the Provincial Policy
      Statement 2014, conforms to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe 2017
      and conforms to the official plan of the Region of Halton.
      [166] The appeal by Adi Development Group Inc., now Adi Morgan Developments
      (Lakeshore) Inc., is allowed in part.

      The full decision can be found at:

  • Susie

    I believe the writing is on the wall as to who is in control of how our city will go forward with developments!!!! It appears that the intentions and goals of the developers are achieved one step ahead of the City. Will the new Mayor, Councillors and staff have any real powers to make any real differences to the proposals that have been worked on for the past year, and an OP that was so inflated on sizes and heights before it was sent to the Region???? So much solid planning advancement already going on behind closed doors, that we may be faced with more formality public sessions that will not make any of us happy campers. Our hopes are high for major cutbacks!! The target need is not there, the greed is!!

  • Gary Scobie

    You are correct Penny. Citizens will have to live with the results of the ineptitude of the Planning and Legal Department leadership and shameful decisions made in favour of over-development by the majority of the current Council. The twin towers on James Street and the highest building in Burlington (for now) at the foot of Martha Street at Lakeshore will be constant reminders of what occurs when citizens are not listened to, are dismissed as troublemakers only and when the only voices heard are those of developers and their planners.

    A lesson learned in the failure to engage the public in our own destiny? I certainly hope so.

  • Penny

    This fiasco seems directly linked to the fact that the City of Burlington did not defend itself properly at the OMB. These are not my words, but were reported back by residents that were involved in the appeal. Supposedly staff when asked were unable to present a case for less height and when asked what would be appropriate they were unprepared to answer this question backed up by facts.

    Appealing the decision, in my opinion was a face saving measure prior to an election period.

    The approval of the development of 421 Brant Street was the next misstep by this Council, which has now led to the LPAT appeal by the developer of 409 Brant Street. So much damage done that cannot be changed.

    Residents have to understand that the new council are unable to undo what has already been approved.

    • Phillip Wooster

      Of course, the question should be raised, “Did the planning department ever have any real interest in presenting a proper defence at the OMB?” Was this true incompetence or just a show —quite deliberate to claim we raised a defence and failed?