Character area studies lead to city-wide zoning changes; open house Oct. 17

roseland charactershoreacres character studyResidents in Seneca/Delaware and elsewhere in Ward 2 have been waiting for the results from three Character Area studies to learn what zoning changes might be applied to all low-density residential areas.

Staff have now released their recommended changes, detailed below. The changes address size, depth and massing of buildings, balconies, garage width and some architectural features. Staff are also proposing to eliminate site plan control for low density projects, and instead roll the site plan measures (for example grading, drainage and some design elements) into zoning.

An open house is scheduled for residents living in Wards 2, 1 and 3 to go over the changes:

DATE:            Oct. 17

TIME:             5-8pm

LOCATION:  Art Gallery of Burlington

There will be further opportunity for residents to seek additional zoning changes to protect neighbourhood character during the planned review of low density housing zones as part of the Official Plan Review currently underway. That is expected to happen in the new year, details of public consultation to come.

New Zoning Regulations for all Low Density Residential Areas:

  • balconiesDecks or balconies located above the first storey in the side and rear yard of detached dwellings are not permitted.


  • Driveways shall be a minimum of 6m in length. For dwelling units within a plan of condominium, driveway lengths shall be 6.7m in length measured from back of curb to front of garage


  • Building height regulation (maximum 10m for 2 storey peaked roof, 7m for 2-storey flat roof). For through lots, the front building elevation shall determine the front of the lot for the purposes of this regulation.


  • lot-coverageMaximum lot coverage amended to include 1.5 storeys, as follows:
    * 35% for one storey dwellings including accessory buildings;
    * 30% for one and a half storey dwellings including accessory buildings
    * 25% for all other dwelling types including accessory buildings


  • floor-area-ratioThe maximum floor area ratio is 0.45:1. Floor area ratio measures the massing of a building relative to the lot size. It is calculated by dividing the floor area of a building (including garage) by the net area of that lot.
  • Maximum depth of a dwelling shall be 18m measured from building wall closest to front lot line to building wall closest to rear lot line.


  • columnsOn building elevations facing a street, the height of columns and windows on the first storey shall not exceed the height of the ceiling of the first storey.




  • garage-widthgarage-projectionThe width of a front loading attached garage shall not exceed 50% of the width of its building elevation. An attached garage with a garage door facing the street is not permitted to project beyond the front wall on the first storey of a dwelling.

NOTE: Properties with a front or street side yard abutting or south of Lakeshore Road and North Shore Boulevard are excluded from the height, floor area ratio and dwelling depth provisions.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. One question. Do these zoning changes prohibit anyone from making an application for a zoning amendment overturning any or all of the proposed restrictions?

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