City council decides to climb into bed with the developer - they make that decision at a closes session of Council - 'plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 22nd, 2020


Proposed Development
A proposal has been submitted for the development of 12 townhouse blocks with a total of 83 units and three condominium townhouse blocks with 150 units. Also included in the application are a woodlot block as well as a natural heritage system (buffer) block. The proposed development has a total area of 11.1 hectares (27.2 acres). These lands are currently vacant and have been historically used for agricultural purposes.


LPAT Appeal Update – April 22, 2020

Is this progress?

At its meeting of April, 20, 2020 Burlington City Council approved the recommendation of Confidential Legal Report L-10-20 to accept an offer to settle the issues in dispute between National Homes (Brant) Inc. (“National Homes”) and the City with respect to National Homes’ appeal currently before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (“LPAT”).

As part of this approval, Council approved the recommendation that the planning analysis attached as Appendix ‘B’ to L-10-20 be released publicly and posted on the City’s webpage under Planning and Development Applications for Ward 1, while retaining solicitor/client privilege over the balance of this matter in its entirety.

The settlement between the City and National Homes resolves the issues in dispute between the City and National Homes on the basis that National and the City will seek LPAT approval of a revised development proposal for the subject lands.

The revised development proposes 210 dwelling units in townhouse, street townhouse, and semi-detached dwelling forms abutting public and private roadways, surrounding a 0.31 hectare centrally located Park block.

In particular, the revised development plan makes changes to where the proposed development inferfaces with the existing residential neighbourhood to the north, reducing the unit count in the area and replacing proposed 2-storey townhouses with 1.5-storey semi-detached bungaloft units. The revised development plan also increases the minimum building setback for the proposed semi-detached units backing on to existing lots on Havendale Boulevard from 9 metres to a minimum of 10 metres.

A copy of the planning analysis is available on the development application webpage, along with a copy of the conceptual site plan and proposed plan of subdivision for the revised development.

How does this impact the hearing scheduled to commence on July 27, 2020?

While the City and National Homes have settled the City’s issues in the appeal, there are two other parties to the hearing- the Region of Halton and neighbourhood association Vision 2100 Brant. As a result, the appeal hearing will proceed on July 27, 2020 with the City and National Homes attending to seek LPAT’s approval of the revised development plan and to respond to the evidence called by one or both of the other parties in opposition to the revised development.

Should the remaining parties both individually reach a settlement with National Homes in the appeal, the parties could seek to have a settlement hearing scheduled in advance of July 27, 2020 in order to present the settled plan to LPAT for approval. If that were to occur, the hearing scheduled to commence on July 27, 2020 would not be held.

The City’s development application webpage for 2100 Brant Street will be further updated to advise of any additional settlements between the other parties and National Homes or the rescheduling of LPAT hearing dates.

If the LPAT hearing proceeds, the good people in the Havendale community are going to find themselves city at a table with the city on the other side opposing what they want.

The Vision 2100 document and the delegations that were part of the protest against the development was one of the very best the Gazette has seen in the past ten years.  A new city council was elected to oppose this kind of over-intensification.

It would be nice to know just how each Councillor voted on this matter in that Closed Session of Council.

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5 comments to City council decides to climb into bed with the developer – they make that decision at a closes session of Council – ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

  • Alfred


    The confusion over Planning issues in this community is the fact that our Official plan is over 20 years old and does not take into consideration modern Planning directions and therefore cannot be defended. So we find ourselves in a lawless zone. LPAT becomes the law. Arguments are made on both sides. Then a seemingly impartial judge makes a decision. It would appear that the Developers are winning most of the time. LPAT. covers all of Ontario So the decisions should be consistant in terms reference to Provincial guidelines and instructions as useless as they are. The Downtown area has special designations that from what I understand will soon be changed. That will add more twists and turns. Stay tuned.

  • Kevin

    I am continually baffled by the residential planning process in our City. Considering part of my role is dealing with municipalities for projects that I manage for Infrastructure projects, it is shocking in how different the processes are (and the level of scrutiny applied to each).

    Planning does live in the “grey areas” at times with policy being open for interpretation but there are regulations and bylaws that are clear cut and defined. I have been following development applications in Burlington and clearly the developers are shooting for the moon in their applciations not even making attempts to comply to bylaws or regulations. The shocking part is how hard our City works to massage these bylaws and regulations to make these developments work and in the end they use the argument “the approved development has significant improvements over the original proposal”. This for me is the most frustrating item! Is the City trying to get little wins (ie. park, slightly reduced units etc…) or are they pushing for developments to be compliant in law and policy? I see no evidence that any part of our City structure is pushing back on developers to be compliant on any application. At a certain point you cross the line drawn in the sand, I wonder if anyone can see that line anymore considering how far behind them it is at this point.

    I understand there is housing need in our province, and largely affordable housing that is needed. None of these developments being approved contain any affordable housing. Even the townhouse development in the Orchard has the smallest townhomes starting at $795k, that is a far cry from the defined level of affordable housing.

    • Kevin

      I do acknowledge that there are some areas outside the City’s control, particularly with the PPS and Planning Acts. However the Regional/City OP’s (inherited or otherwise) should be followed as much as they can while considering the Provincial Policies and rather than trying to reinforce these in effect plans/policy we seem to flex and bend to attempt to avoid an LPAT appeal.

      The Zoning Bylaws are a whole new scenario that SHOULD be a constraint for the City, however Zoning bylaws are being ammended to match the residential development applications rather than residential development applications be adjusted to comply. It is one thing to change a zoning from low to medium, or medium to high density but the meat and potatoes of the bylaws and regulations are being ignored or changed. Anything from density, set backs, property coverage, garage sizes, parking requirements, ammenity space, etc… are dictated by our City Bylaws and regulations. Even some of the recently approved developments don’t comply with even their own revised and ammended bylaws. The fact that our City is not working to enforce these is mind blowing.

      I have no issues with the City cutting a deal when a Developer’s application is compliant within the 3 boundaries, however I have seen very few recently approved applications that meet this criteria. It doesn’t help how often the City is stuck behind a rock and a hard place with failing to make reviews/decisions within their allotted time.

      • Steve


        I completely agree with you. Yes somethings are out of their control, but on the things that are within control, take a stand, use the leverage you do have.

        Developer wants to ask for a change in zoning from Low to Medium density..perhaps OK.

        But then to ask for dozens of Bylaw changes without highlighting the magnitude of the impact, well that’s how 2100 Brant became a High Density proposal masquerading as only a Medium density ask!

  • Joe Gaetan

    The LPAT-Council-Intensification-Developer salad is wilting. How about a Coles notes version of these decisions that those of us who don’t eat, sleep and breathe this can follow. Our city as we “knew” it is also wilting away, decision by decision by decision. Having spent most of my time in Burlington on Havendale, my heart goes out to my former neighbours who will have to live with the monstrosity at the end of their street.