Public can now get a look at what the developer wants to do with the Waterfront Hotel site

By Pepper Parr

September 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On the evening of September 8th, there was a virtual pre-application presentation given by Bousfields, planners for Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. , which is the company expected to make the application.

It was the first look at what the property owners had in mind for the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site.

Two things about the images shown below – we were able to show a bit of what the developers have in mind last week.

I think the design is superb.

But I don’t think that design is what the people of Burlington want. It is some distance from the slightly quaint look of the downtown core, which isn’t all that big. It is my belief that there isn’t all that much vibrancy to it. But that’s my personal view.

The decision that gets made about this development is to be made by the people of Burlington.

Unfortunately the people of Burlington didn’t get to see the presentation.

There were just over 100 people participating in the virtual presentation – of which at least a dozen were city staff.

During the Q&A part of the presentation the Gazette asked how we could get a link to the presentation which was recorded.

No one had an answer so on September 11th, I reached out to the Director of Communications Kwab Ako-adjei with the following:

Greetings

I think you will have taken in all of the pre-application virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Quite a show.

As you know it was recorded and the developer didn’t raise any objection on it being made public – what wasn’t clear was –

Thomas Walker (I erred and used the wrong last name – it is Douglas) was asked and didn’t seem to know where it would be located nor did he leave me with the sense that it would actually be put on the city web site.

Would you follow this up for us please.

I address this to you because we intend to follow how the request is handled and want to be on record as having reached out to the head of the Communications department.

Stay well

I later got a reply from Carla Marshal, who is one of the Communications Advisers with the city.

Good morning, Pepper.

Please take a look at this information, which should help to clarify the City’s role in the development application process: Understanding the Development Application Process – City of Burlington

The meeting was led by the developer so the developer owns the recording of the event. The City does not own the recording; the developer does. It is at the sole discretion of the developer, in this case, Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. c/o Bousfields Inc., if and where the recording is posted; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website: https://bousfields.ca/

Shortly after there was a response from Suzanne Vukosavljevic,  who was filling in for Marshall..  She said:

The City posts its own meeting recordings on the City site but in this specific case you are asking about, it was not a City meeting so therefore, the City is not posting the recording.

Your questions have been answered by staff below.

Thanks for your interest.

The city provided the following:

As the communications advisor for Planning, I have worked with staff to provide you with the following information:

From Thomas Douglas, Senior Planner, Community Planning:

Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City. If/when the proponent proceeds to submit a development application to the City for their proposal, as part of their application they must provide minutes from the Pre-Application Community Meeting, a written summary of public input received at the meeting, and an explanation of how public input has been addressed and reflected in the submitted application.

In cases where a Pre-Application Community Meeting occurs virtually, this may be done using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received. The City does not post the recording on the City’s website, and it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website.

I will inform the proponent of the 2020 Lakeshore Road development proposal that the Gazette has expressed interest in obtaining a copy of the recording.

I hope this helps!

I didn’t feel my request had been met and responded:

Actually it doesn’t help very much.  I then set out more specifically what I was looking for: Carla’s responses are short – set in red.

Does the city have a copy of the event that was recorded? No
Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City.

If not – does the city intend to obtain a copy?
No

and where will the copy be located on the city web site

The meeting recording will not be located on the City website; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website –

Further: whose technology was used – re: using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received.
The applicant has the recording.

Further – who would make the decision to not post the recording, should it become available on the city web site.
it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website

I reached out to the planner Bousfields and asked where we could get a link to the presentation. And waited.

This morning there was a response from the Bousefields planner with a link to the presentation.

And later in the day there was a link from Thomas Douglas with the same link.

That’s a lot of back and forth – but we did get what we were asking for. Why the difficulty is beyond me.

There are two images below. They are of what the building will look like from Lakeshore Road and what it will look like from the Lake.

A rendering of what the development might look like from Lakeshore Road. Commercial space will exist at grade.

 

A rendering of what the site will look like from the Lake. Each tower will sit on a four storey podium and then rise to 30 storeys and 26storeys.

In part 2 – there is more in the way of visuals and comment on how the virtual event went and what was learned.

The developer can now submit an application.

When and if they do – they are expected to show how they responded to some of the issues and concerns that were raised.

Bousfields added: Note that the plans are not final and are subject to modifications as we move forward. No formal applications have been submitted at this time, and the public meeting was simply to gauge public interest and explain the proposed intent for the site prior to submission of formal planning applications.

 

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 comments to Public can now get a look at what the developer wants to do with the Waterfront Hotel site

  • Why the city did not ask before the meeting if the proponent would agree to its posting (to get a wider circulation in the interests of transparency) is obvious. The proponent had no objections, its the city who do not want the developers/public perspectives open to viewing a year before an election. Particularly since tbey know they have an adopted but not approved Burlington New Official Plan. The latest issues material to be discussed at the next OLT CMC identifies parties knowledge that this needs to go back to the adopted status in the interests of appropriate public engagement and compliance with Halton Plan and govetnment policies. What a mess this Council – all of them have created because the Head of Council leads a blind council that fails to abide by legislation unless it is advantageous to tbeir leader’s plan that began at the beginning of the 2014 Council. IE to become mayor and now to stay in that position, rather than what is in the best interests of taxpayers who have to live with the havoc and cost..

    • David Barker

      OMG. More grassy knoll conspiracy theories.

      At the meeting the moderator, who I think did an excellent job and should be engaged more often, was very, very clear that the meeting was being hosted by the proponent but facilitated by the City. Therefore to anyone with an understanding of that would know that any material offered was the property of the proponent not the City. Chasing after the City was a rookie mistake by the Gazette.

      Please note the requirement for a pre-application meeting was brought about by your mayor, who you say is looking to be secretive. Odd way to be secretive, hold a public meeting 9n what you wish to hide. Hmmmm.

      There is little doubt this proponent is like all those others looking to build super high towers in the downtown core. No thoughts, concerns or offered solutions for the infrastructure pressures it will create, or that their concept is directly contrary to the wish of the City council and more importantly its residents.

      The proponent cynically stated the subject lands were within the urban growth center designated for the intestification mandated by the Province. The proponent was later forced to admit that the boundaries of the UGC have been revised to exclude these lands and the Province has signaled its approval of the revision.

      And just like all the other downtown core developers the use as justification of their tower heights those applications which have been denied by the City and which now await OLT adjudication.

      I suggest the OP mess was created by the previous council administration and that this Council has done a superb job to straighten things out.

      Should any development of these lands proceed, whether 12, 22 or 32 stories, I suggest it should be a requirement of any application approval that the proponent pay for and construct a pedestrian crossing subway beneath Lakeshore Rd at the Brant St intersection.

      Editor’s note: It may have been a rookie mistake but let the record show that both the city and the proponent sent us copies of the recording of the meeting. Reading the article on the efforts the Gazette had to go to to get the recording makes it very clear that originally the city was not on side.

  • S. Hutchinson

    Once application is submitted to the City it will sit in the Planning Department hands for 120 days and then Developer will move it on to LPAT which is Provincial, and the Premier is just pushing for higher and higher housing to accommodate our quoted rising influx of population. City will then have no powers to move forward with what is sound reasoning for the area, thus results of obvious grid lock for Lakeshore and Brant Street that cannot be widened to accommodate the extra density. Pre-pandemic, Skyway bridge closed for accidents, and weekends, are now at a crisis state of crawling to no movement! RED FLAG!!

  • Mozelle Cole

    I guess the point is, one should not have to go around the mulberry bush to obtain documentation from the City. In this day and age when the price of groceries is a click away, minutes of a meeting hosted by the City should be readily available. I trust the City charged for the developers for hosting the meeting.
    I’m sick and tired of going around in circles with developers. They know exactly what we do not want and what is allowable. It’s gone on for years. I remember taking time off from work to attend a mayor’s summit as to what we would like to see in place of the subject hotel. Groups of eight or ten to a table, brainstorming. It was all staged. There is no point thinking that we have any say at all. We are just little lambs. Sad really.

  • David Barker

    WOW ! And I thought I was a terrier. At the virtual meeting it was made very clear that the meeting was being hosted by the proponent but facilitated by the City. So it stands to reason ownership of any recordings are the property of the proponent. Giving the City a hard time was pointless. As it turns out the proponent made the recording available upon request

Leave a Reply