No shovels in the ground yet for the 421 Brant Street project.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2018



There was one piece of information given out by the Mayor that didn’t elicit much in the way of a response.

He said near the very end of his two hour Reverse Town Hall meeting that the 421 Brant project had been approved by city council and that he didn’t see anything that would change that decision.

421 BrantThe Mayor was one of two council members that voted against the 23 storey project – he had said he could live with 17 storeys.

ecob signECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington is said to have an appeal to the OMB they are ready to file at city hall but have yet to do so – they apparently need to wait until some certain conditions have been met.

We asked Councillor Mead Ward what the different options are including if the city council procedural bylaw permits the city to change their minds. Her answer was yes and no; it was illuminating.

“Technically, the final decision on 421 Brant has not been made; that won’t happen until the amending bylaws come forward for a council vote. Usually, the bylaws are presented at the same time as the vote on the application, except when community benefits are negotiated. Those are negotiated after council votes on an application, and the benefits come back for final vote alongside the amending bylaw.

“As community benefits are being negotiated for this development, because of the increased height/density, the bylaws and community benefits will come back at a future date (likely in the spring) for council vote. That vote will be the final decision on the matter.

“Council could choose at that time NOT to approve the amending bylaws, which would stop the project. That is unlikely but technically possible.

“The fact that the final decision on this matter hasn’t yet been made is why in December the Engaged Citizens of Burlington could not file an Ontario Municipal Board appeal of the council “decision” on 421 Brant; a decision hasn’t been made until there is a vote on the bylaws, which hasn’t happened yet. The bylaw vote triggers the appeal period to file an appeal with the OMB (or the new Land Planning Appeals Tribunal).

Meed Ward H&S

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward chair a Standing Committee meeting.

Reconsideration Motions:
“In general terms, council can choose at any time to “reconsider” a vote – (but that doesn’t apply in this case because as explained the final vote hasn’t occurred). A motion to reconsider an item requires a 5-2 vote; You can’t even reconsider a decision unless the 5-2 motion passes.

“If the reconsideration motion passes, council can then discuss/debate the item and make a different decision; a simple 4-3 majority is required.

“Only someone who voted in the affirmative on the original motion can present a motion to reconsider the decision.”

That means either Councillor Taylor, Sharman, Craven or Lancaster could put this matter back on the table. Given that none of the four attended to Mayor’s Reverse Town Hall and didn’t get to hear how angry people are there is little likelihood of anything like that happening.

Councillor Dennison was at the meeting and he did vote for the project. No one made any comment on Dennison.

Of this project is going to be stopped the citizens are going to have to hope that ECoB has a strong argument and can find the funds to fight the case at the OMB.

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6 comments to No shovels in the ground yet for the 421 Brant Street project.

  • Denise McKay

    Brant Street seems way too narrow to justify a 23 story building…and look at the congestion at Brant and Lakeshore most days. It we must grow to achieve adequate tax dollar support, there are other parts of the city that seem barren and potentially more suitable for another high-rise grouping.

  • Penny

    Elizabeth, until the amendment regarding the development of 421 Brant Street is ratified by Council it is not a done deal. This has not come forward yet because staff is trying to get Community Benefits from the Developers for allowing the increased height allowance. It is at this point that this comes up for ratification.

    You mentioned previously that you had a very good conversation with your Councillor Jack Dennison. I would suggest you call him and ask him to change his vote. If 2 councillors change their vote – the developer does not get to build the 23 storey building without taking the City to the OMB. I would rather tax money be spent on defending the current Official Plan than some of the other legacy projects that seem to be funded by the City.

  • Jane

    Which two of the five councilors is listening to the residents and will “present a motion to reconsider ??”
    We have lived in Burlington 37 years and have NEVER seen our residents so upset and disappointed in our Council. We have lost total trust. It will reflect strongly at the polls in October.

  • I didn’t quite understand Jim Barnett’s comment. Please expand. What is meant by information to justify a reconsideration motion.

  • Jim Barnett

    A slight correction. Jack Dennison was at the meeting and now has lots of information to justify a reconsideration motion.

  • Dennis walker

    Thank you for the balanced coverage of this issue. Citizens anger is also based on the realization that our councillors no longer fight to protect our city. In the past we passively accepted their decisions This issue has woken people to their lack lack of aesthetic judgment and vision and uncritical acceptance of big development thinking.
    Work has already begun to achieve better representation