Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the Adi Development Group proposal to build 26 storeys at the Martha - Lakeshore Road intersection to begin on Wednesday. It might be a very short hearing.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 20th, 2017



Wednesday morning at 10:00 am the person chairing the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing will call the meeting to order and the scheduled 10 day hearing will begin.

Those attending might see some rabbits pulled out of a hat as the Adi development Group begin their argument that they should be given approval to build their now 26 storey condominium on the comer of Martha and Lakeshore Road.


In terms of design the proposed building i several grades above what Burlington has seen in the past the level o intensification and the location are what have citizens upset.

The last OMB level event was a request the ADI Development Group made to have their argument go to mediation.

There has not been a report from the OMB on how the mediation process went – did it even take place?

If it did was the mediation successful and if it was successful what did the mediator conclude?

The OMB meeting on Wednesday might be to have the OMB officer hearing the arguments decide to accept the recommendation from the mediator.

There hasn’t been a word from either the city or the OMB.

This mess, and that is the only fair word to apply to the 23 month saga that began at the end of March in 2015, when the city failed to make a decision on the application the Adi Group made to build what was originally a 28 storey stricture at the intersection.

The rules call for the city to respond to an application to either approve or not approve an application to revise the Official Plan within 180 days. These are often site specific revisions to the Official Plan.

The city got their lines crossed and was not able to give the developer an answer – the Adi group went to the OMB very shortly after the 180 day period ended.

The Adi Development Group had every right to do what they did even though the practice has been to allow some leeway. It was evident that Adi was quite prepared to bulldoze their way through the process.

ADI Nautique detailed sketch

The site for the planed condominium was enlarged when Adi did a property swap with the Carnacelli group. The block between Martha and Pearl is now owned by the two developers – if the Adi development is approved – watch for a second building the same height to go up in that block. Is there no limit to what the Burlington market can absorb in the way of new residential units?

Adi, perhaps realizing that they had a problem, did a land swap with another developer that had a small property to the north of the site making it larger – they reduced the height by two storeys as well.

The city had every right to ask the OMB to not hear the application because it was now a new and different proposal. The city chose to not force that argument. Had they done so Adi would have had to reapply for whatever they wanted from the city.

The city in essence gave Adi a pass.

It has been a badly managed file on the part of the city from almost the day the proposal was made public at a public meeting at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Wednesday morning we will see what direction the OMB takes.  This one could go in almost any direction.

The city solicitor, the city manager, members of city council know if there is a recommendation from a mediator.

If there is – the plot thickens.

Two sources, both close to this story are suggesting that the city has gone along with a structure that will be 18 storeys in height.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

The Adi brothers.

A developer working in the same general area has said that in order to make a profit the Adi people need approval for eighteen storeys.

The Mayor has asked several people what they thought of a ten storey structure.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has stick to her guns and said that the Official Plan and zoning for that property allows eight storeys and that is what she wants to see approved.

The property along the north side of Lakeshore Road between Pearl and Martha is owned by two developers.

Should the OMB hearing decide that Adi is to be given the right to build 26 storeys expect to see some almost identical built on the western side of that block.


A 19 storey condominium plus a parking garage plus a medical building approved for this site. One block south and one block west the same developer is proposing a 26 storey tower opposite city hall.

Brant Street rendering

Partial view of a proposed development opposite city hall on Brant Street.

With the Carriage gate development now underway at Maria between Elizabeth and John Street going up 19 stories and another Carriage Gate development announced for James Street and Brant, opposite city hall the downtown core of Burlington will not resemble anything like the city many people seem to want – something quieter and small – and with less traffic.

Speaking of traffic – where do things stand on the road diet pilot study the city is struggling with on New Street between Guelph Line and Walkers Line?

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 comments to Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the Adi Development Group proposal to build 26 storeys at the Martha – Lakeshore Road intersection to begin on Wednesday. It might be a very short hearing.

  • Stephen White

    Truly a discouraging article that does not bode well for the future of this City.

    I’m continually aghast at the reluctance of this Council and our Mayor to challenge either their public servants or developers. Not only does it strongly indicate a need to “clean house” in 2018, but it also raises some serious questions around how the public can better influence the policy process as a whole.

    Penny has pointed out, as I have done in several posts, that Oakville has had considerably more success in preserving its heritage and downtown. Why? I’d submit that part of the reason is that it has a number of vital and engaged ratepayers’ associations who aren’t afraid to mobilize and challenge their government and the bureaucrats at City Hall.

    We are all “sitting ducks” until such times as we can create a strong, united front across the city that opposes some of the nonsense that has been advanced in recent years. It’s not just development/intensification issues, but transportation policy, bike lanes, budgets, and a myriad of others issues.

    • Chris

      City Councillors and the mayor rejected this proposal. The reason Burlington is struggling is because the expectations are ridiculous for new developments, most of the downtown is zoned for 12 storeys, which is hilarious. No wonder Adi and other developers are fighting this in places they shouldn’t be. The residents don’t want any change which is also ridiculous. So to compromise Burlington is building density around GO Stations and in the downtown to keep the majority of Burlington exactly the same as it is now to make everyone happy. But nobody is happy with anything.

      I recommend moving to Brantford if you want a stagnant unchanging city. But even Brantford is trying to progress because its stagnation is killing their economy.

  • Penny

    Burlington seems to have a history of never fighting for overdevelopment. It is interesting when the City seems proud that it never has contested anything prior to this Adi development at the OMB. I think the last time was Walmart and they backed away from that, although why they would have made an issue of that is questionable.
    When there is no vision for a city and this goes back many years and continues to this day why would residents expect anything else from Council.

    Do Council members work well together? Is there a committed approach to overdevelopment? Why would the City in its wisdom decide to make the waterfront as a place to over intensify? This was decided years ago. Interesting that Oakville has been able to protect its downtown.

    I have to think that this is not the only project that has been mishandled by staff.

    • David Fenton

      You have to have the fight in you to fight Penny, seven councillors all long serving, we need to increase the number of councillors and break up what has become a knitting club.
      This cities budget is enormous and should be run by people with a business ethic to achieve the goals of the client (You/Me) not to wander off into the woods & be away with the fairies.

  • Eva Amos

    As for the road diet pilot study I understand data will now be collected through September and October 2017 due to the water main construction that took place last fall and will again take place in April/May. The transportation Dept will then report back to Council. Council committed to a one year pilot. The pilot started on Aug 23, 2016. Collecting data to the end of October does not make this a one year pilot. Why was New Street chosen as a pilot if there was to have been water main work in the first place. How much more data does the city need. I can provide data on the online petition which now stands at 2205 signatures.