Residents opposed to a five story condominium on property with a four storey only zoning.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 10, 2014



This Thursday Nov. 13th at 7pm., Rm 305, at City Hall, the city and Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward will host a public meeting to review the proposed five story condominium for the property at Blathwayte Lane and Elgin Street (Stretching over to Locust Street).

The lots are zoned as four storeys maximum. Five storeys will require a zone change and zone changes on any property in St. Luke’s Precinct will set a precedent toward other zone changes.

St lukes precinct 5 storey proposal

Area residents do not approve of an additional storey being added to a proposed condominium in the community.

The St. Luke’s precinct residents have been very successful in having developers stick to the rules and the zoning given to a property.

This meeting is an early stage of the process event where the developer is gauging community reaction. The precinct residents see this as a critical first meeting where they can influence a design and urge to the developer to adjust the building to fit within zone or take their model somewhere else.

St. Luke’s is an easy 15 minute walk from the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street where a developer wants to put up a 28 storey structure on a site zoned for a maximum of eight storeys.  While there has been strong reaction to the Martha Street project that part of the city has not had the same success as the people in St. Luke’s.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

17 comments to Residents opposed to a five story condominium on property with a four storey only zoning.


    On behalf of Landform Development Group, (LDG), I would like to express sincere thanks to all of the ward residents who attended our pre-development proposal on Thursday evening. The attendance was larger than we expected and the comments we received were both positive and much appreciated.

    I would also like to thank Councillor Marianne Meed Ward for moderating the presentation and Rosalind Minaji from the City of Burlington planning department for her attendance and comments.

    Our commitment is to build great buildings in great communities, and after listening to the comments and feedback, we are very pleased to be building in (Ward 2 – St. Luke’s Precinct) in the City of Burlington.

    We listened to all of you, and I am pleased to announce we will formally submit our new SAXONY design and application in accordance with current zoning allowances (4 storeys of condos) in the spring of 2015.

    The ‘Saxony’ project will be a 4-storey classic condominium building, designed to reflect the rich and vibrant heritage of the Burlington community.

    Thanks again for your attendance and the great feedback!

    Mr. Daniel Mclean
    Landform Development Group Inc.

    • Burlington Senior

      Daniel – This is an excellent response & I look forward to your product, and if as successful as this one should be, to many more quality developments.

  • Neighbours of St. Luke’s Precinct — protect@stlukesprecinct.com

    This is simply a discussion of zoning and height. As residents of St. Luke’s Precinct we invite the developer to respect our neighbourhood and build a quality product within the current zoning and height of 4 storeys. Why are 5 proposed when 4 would fit so well? 5 Stories will require a zone change, and any zone change within the precinct will undermine the Precinct’s ability to defend its zoning throughout the whole neighbourhood.

    As for as the comment that building more height and more residential will help area businesses, that is a failed concept. Area businesses require much more population than can be served by adding more tall residential buildings. Sure, retail and services thrive on local residents but so much more so on visitors to a downtown.

    Among a myriad of reasons, visitors come to a downtown because of a beautiful and vibrant area at human scale. It is widely acknowledged that these areas tend to be low to medium height with mix use buildings and abundant cultural spaces. Affordable spaces for new businesses, entertainment and cultural development breath fresh air into business districts.

    Over building with residential buildings support a few real estate professionals and developers but choke local businesses by capitalizing land, speculating on and inflating land prices beyond what mixed use builds can justify, and diminishing the attractiveness to visitors.

    Just think of all the downtowns you’ve enjoyed as a traveller, or shopper, and likely these places will be open, diverse and generally of lower zoning height of around 4 stories.

    We all have a role and choice in the evolution of our downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods. The Neighbours of St. Luke’s Precinct wish to stand up and assist the city in sticking to the plan and zoning in order to see Burlington and the downtown continue with its incredible legacy of a great place to live and work — for all, not just a few.

  • Glenda Dodd

    Burlington has an abundance of houses on deep lots. Those who say what difference does it make if it is four stories or five stories….precedence…that is the main and biggest issue….once zoning is changed for one development it is hard to not accept the next, then the next and the next bigger, larger and before you know it Shannon the developers have the tools for the sweeping changes you think you are protected from.
    Be careful because people like Peter Rusin – real estate broker who made comments like the property in question is “”quite suitable for an 8-storey redevelopment. There is no reason for any of the old Meed Ward crazy type of resistance” – he goes on to say “Go to eight stories and encourage even more intensified projects” – well that is the beginning of the breakdown of any good plans we have. Investors, developers, and real estate brokers do not have a city in mind, they have their pocket book interest in mind not the electorate residences, all they can see is downtown being nothing more than multiple level buildings – just think of all the downtown property owned by investors, what do you think they are waiting for if not the opportunity to change the lot or lots they own into multiple dwelling units. The picture shown of the proposed building looks like block on the bottom and maybe brick on one top floor, bet there is stucco under the windows, it may not be a high end building, just in the right place for a cheap build with high profit because the downtown location will bring in big bucks no matter how simple the build. That building being proposed does not look like a high end build to me. Looks good on paper but so did the 58 towns on Ghent, now that is a ghetto waiting to happen. Depending on who owns these buildings they could easily be the future derelict builds.

  • Maggie

    I do like the design and the extra story doesn’t concern me in this particular case. I do realise this could be a problem of setting a president for future development. My concern is the one voiced by Chris about the current businesses. I would not wish to see either building torn down. I am not sure how long the grey house has been there. The building which is Melodia is not that old. Admittedly I like the restaurant and it’s owners but even before I checked out the place earlier this year I liked the building. As for the relationship between intensification and retail, there are other ways to increase retail than building more buildings which increase traffic.

  • D.Duck

    Shannon Gillies: ‘It’s great these residents groups exist, but let’s be clear; they do not speak for everyone.”

    No, these groups do not speak for everyone but if they are the only group speaking then it is assumed they speak for the majority. Burlington citizens MUST be more proactive in their wishes to city council or you will get what you don’t speak up for!!

    • Tom Muir

      I agree with D. Duck – citizens need to put up or shut up.

      As for Shannon Gillies, who says; “I feel this area is sufficiently protected from any sweeping changes that would negatively affect the neighbourhood.”, can she tell us about these protections? Isn’t an important one of these the height restrictions?

      I’m afraid that Shannon isn’t speaking for anyone, including herself, in terms of the decision process for this project proposal. Go to the meeting and present an argument in the forum where the “speaking” actually counts.

  • Shannon Gillies

    I’m not sure this is even an intensification issue. It’s more of a building design/zoning issue. The fifth storey is so recessed here, it essentially looks like a four-storey building. I think this a beautiful design that would greatly improve the corner of Elgin and Locust, although retail at the street level would probably make it even better–but that’s not my decision to make. I live within the boundaries of the St Luke’s precinct, just a stone’s throw away from this lot, and while I understand the concerns about setting a precedent, I feel this area is sufficiently protected from any sweeping changes that would negatively affect the neighbourhood. It’s great these residents groups exist, but let’s be clear; they do not speak for everyone.

  • Steve Robinson

    High-density, overcrowding, congestion, clogged city streets, endless traffic jams. Burlington’s (cough), infilling, intensified future.

  • J Szold

    The main difference between Ms. Meed Ward’s point of view and Mr. Rusin’s is that the electorate supported the former and rejected the latter.
    A principle of good planning is that we establish a plan and be extremely prudent about changing it. I don’t believe we owe developers the “right” to make a living.
    There is very little correlation between intensification and successful retail. I have watched wave after wave of retailers fail in Toronto because the populace used its cars to go shopping instead of its feet.
    There is a great deal more to creating a livable city than merely intensifying it. So-called planning that is done one development at a time does not address this need.

    • Anthony Pullin

      Agreed. The key word is “plan”. Burlington has a Planning Department. Ms. Meed Ward regularly defers to their judgement. Mr. Rusin’s beef should in fact be with the Planning Department, not Ms. Meed Ward or the electorate. Should changes occur in the OP in the future, they should be proactive, not reactive to any specific developer or proposal. Anything less is not a plan.

  • penny Hersh

    It is mentioned that the residents of St. Lukes precinct have been successful in making developers stick to the Official Plan. It is also mentioned that the residents who live along Lakeshore not have been as successful. I have to question “who’s fault is that” it certainly is not the residents lack of participation in telling council what it would like to see.

    Think this failure lies at the feet of Council.

  • Peter Rusin

    This site is actually quite suitable for an 8-storey redevelopment. There is no reason for any of the old Meed Ward crazy type of resistance; that negative philosophy increases taxes for everybody, keeps unwanted upward pressure on housing price increases for everyone, and kills downtown businesses that hope to rely on more people living in the core. I just hope the old Meed Ward mentality changes in the new term of council. I hope she does her math homework; this assignment is easy. Go to eight stories and encourage even more intensified projects; The future of Burlington depends on it.

    • Burlington Senior

      Once again, we see the petty hubris of one highly skilled in a narrow subject, but oblivious to perspective. Mr. Rusin’s comments sound like those of a loser….

  • Chris Ariens

    Would that be the lot on the north side of Nelson? Does that also include the business operating in the home beside the parking lot (which Google shows as ‘Blair Lancaster Spa’). Does it also replace the ‘Melodia’ restraurant? If so, I’m not a fan of displacing businesses for solely residential use.

    I do however like the design and the extra story is stepped back nicely and does not appear to be detrimental. If I’m a resident, I’d rather be near a high-quality 5 story building, than a cheapo 4 story building. Or a parking lot that a developer is sitting on in hopes of building something big for that matter. Hopefully they can get this done whether it happens to be 4 stories or 5 stories is not really the most important issue.