Developer wants to add two more storeys to an approved project.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 1st, 2017



When the project was first brought to the public the project could have been five storeys – the developer decided to go with four storeys.


Will adding two additional storeys make a big difference to the look of the community?

The development was sold out before a sales office was opened. It was going to be a very high end building with every imaginable amenity,

They had to tear down the Melodia restaurant that was never able to make a go of it.

Then the contractors started digging.

Melodia - Saxony

The design of the site went through a number of changes. In the very early stage the developer wasn’t able to acquire the restaurant site – when that changed the development changed significantly – it got bigger – now it is going to get higher.

That is when the problems started – there was water where water wasn’t expected and it took a considerable amount of time to figure out what the source was and how to stem the flow.

That problems seems to have been resolved – the cost certainly put a dent in the profitability of the proposed building.

The developer is now asking the city’s Planning department to add two additional storeys to the approved four levels.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has said that at this stage she “open to considering the request” for a little more height in that part of the city, which is a block away from the proposed 27 storey structure that Carriage Gate wants to build opposite city hall.

The builders for the Saxony 4-storey condominium at Locust and Elgin have filed an application to permit two additional storeys on the project. The application has not been approved. Staff are reviewing materials submitted by the applicant and will ultimately make a recommendation to city council to approve, refuse or modify the application. Council will ultimately vote on the request.

Meed Ward plans on holding a neighbourhood meeting to seek public input on the request.

Mark Hefferton at has been assigned to the file


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8 comments to Developer wants to add two more storeys to an approved project.

  • Jeremy Skinner

    I wish to propose a compromise to the developer’s request to add 2-storeys to the approved 4-storey built form. Permit the developer to erect a mid-rise tower to accommodate the equivalent usable space of the desired two additional storeys on top of the 4-storey approved built form. This mid-rise tower should be positioned to minimize sun-shadow impacts on the bordering residential neighbourhood located on Blathwaite Lane. In specific the townhomes with odd numbered address of 459 through 469 Blathwaite Lane. The tower might be positioned at the corner of Elgin and Locust (above the rounded corner in the article’s building depiction).

  • Steve

    What happens to the people that bought fourth floor “penthouse” units? Do they get units on the 6th floor now or do they get screwed?

  • Darren

    It’s my understanding from speaking with City staff that the developer made a second planning application and they didn’t simply go back and revise the terms of the original application like a couple of the comments suggest. Assuming that’s the case, what’s the issue?

    If I wanted to build a house or a commercial building and part way through the approval process or the build I decide I want to make some changes, shouldn’t I be allowed to apply for those changes? I mean, “suck it up and live with it”? Really?

    As for the water in the excavation, it’s groundwater. The developer would have had to do all kinds of studies (i.e. geotech, environmental) for a development like this so I seriously doubt the water was a surprise like the article suggests.

  • George

    Let them have the additional stories. If the project isn’t financially feasible it will not be built. I agree it should be 20 stories or more, we need to build up. We need more quality residential construction to bring in the bodies for a vibrant downtown. The Nimbys should move out of town.

  • Stephen White

    The issue isn’t how many storeys. That is a separate discussion entirely. The issue is that when a contract is entered into with binding terms and obligations on both parties one party doesn’t have the right to go back and rejig the terms just because they forgot something.

    Think about it for a moment. If you contract with a supplier to pay $200K for a service, and the supplier decides later they forgot to include something, it’s not appropriate to go back and revise the terms. There is a difference between a contract and a quote. The supplier eats it, and learns from the mistake.

    As for the density question, here’s the $64,000 question: where is the impact study to show the ramifications of increased population concentration in the downtown core? There isn’t one! Neither Council nor the Planning Department have any studies or research to show the impact that increased densities will have upon traffic congestion, or infrastructure, or anything else. At the Appleby Mobility Hub meeting last month that question was posed by an attendee asking about schools. The question was deflected. The same gentleman asked a question about roads. The question was deflected. Another attendee asked for specifics around how many people would be accommodated. The question was deflected.

    Deflections work really well in hockey….not so well in the real world. Before signing on the dotted line it helps to know what the costs and ramifications are.

  • James

    Even 6 storeys is a waste of valuable real estate at this location. Anything under 20 storeys shouldn’t even be considered downtown. This is the downtown core, the only one we have, so why wouldn’t the developer and more importantly the City want to make the most of it? Missed opportunity if you ask me.

  • Steve

    Don’t see an issue with 2 stories. It should be twenty more in reality. We can’t grow out, we have to grow up. The taller the better.

  • Stephen White

    This sets a really dangerous precedent which I hope Marianne Meed Ward and the rest of Council comprehend. In business, when you enter into a legally binding agreement, and the terms don’t work out in your favour, the expectation is that you “suck it up” and live with it.