Will lots as small as 56 feet wide become the norm on Lakeshore Rd in the Roseland community? There goes the neighbourhood!

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 13, 2013  Heritage along Lakeshore might take a hit.  Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison wants to sever a lot off his heritage designated property and produce a lot – 56feet wide, that will probably be the smallest along that part of Lakeshore Road that has more than its share of mansions.

The news broke at a Heritage Burlington meeting where Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward advised the meeting that she “had met with the property owner and was aware of the plans”.  She did not say the property owner was Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison who lives in a designated  property on Lakeshore road.  Dennison is always quick to point out that he asked for the designation and is very proud that his home is recognized as historic.

It wasn’t until another member of the advisory committee asked for the address and then some else mentioned that was the Dennison home.  It was at that point that Meed Ward drew a copy of the architect’s plans for the lot severance from her purse and passed it around the table.  It was not made available to the public.

The Jack Dennison residence on Lakeshore Road is a designated property that the owner wants to have severed with one lot measuring 56 feet in width.

The request for a severance will go to the Committee of Adjustment where neighbours can attend and comment.  Because there are heritage implications it is expected that Committee of Adjustment will look to Heritage Burlington for some comment.

If Committee of Adjustment denies Dennison the severance he wants he has the right to take the Committee of Adjustment decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Peter Thoem, a member of the Committee of Adjustment and a former Ward 2 member of Council may choose to recuse himself from the decision-making at the Committee of Adjustment level.

The Roseland Community Organization was formed recently to oppose the several severances taking place in the community.  Don Baxter. An RCO director  said  Dennison was very direct with the community association and invited its directors to tour the property and get a full understanding as to what he plans.

It wasn’t clear if the RCO was opposed – it may want to poll its membership before it takes a position.  RCO does expect to attend the Committee of  Adjustment  meeting when it takes place.

Creating a lot as small as 56 feet will certainly be different for Lakeshore Road and the fear within the community that it would be precedent setting and not in the best interests of the community.

Dennison does not want to talk about his plans at this point.  He said: I don’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else – this will come out at the appropriate public meetings and I would like to leave it at that.

Anyone can take that position and we certainly respect Jack Dennison’s position.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have given Meed Ward a copy of the architectural drawings.



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