Residents seek character study for Delaware-Seneca-Lakeshore School community

delawareClose to 100 residents attended a community meeting June 2 to share concerns about infill activities on Delaware and Seneca that are removing older homes and replacing them with much larger, and uniform building designs, compromising the unique and eclectic character of the neighbourhood.

To view the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting visit below:

June 2 Delaware/Seneca Neighbourhood Meeting

The primary concern is that the same builder, using similar plans, is building a number of homes in a short period. That has created a “cookie-cutter subdivision” feel in the neighbourhood, as opposed to the diverse community that is more in keeping with the city’s Urban Design Guidelines for development in this area.

Additional concerns were raised with the specific buildings related to height, massing, garages, reduced greenspace and trees,windows impacting privacy, lack of proper construction controls creating parking and driving problems, as well as construction debris, nails, noise and other impacts.

Several options for controlling development were shared including the zoning bylaw, urban design guidelines (which address architecture, privacy, tree protection and more), undelegating site plan approval so decisions go through council, a heritage district, construction conditions, and a Character Area Study with an Interim Control Bylaw to stop development until the study can be complete.

Residents have asked for a Character Area Study with an Interim Control Bylaw. There are currently three Character Area Studies underway in Burlington: in Roseland, Indian Point, and Shoreacres. However, none have been granted an Interim Control Bylaw during the study period, which has in some cases taken two or more years.

I have agreed to work with staff to bring a request for a Character Area Study for the Lakeshore School District (boundaries to be defined) to the July 6 Development & Infrastructure Committee.  Some background on Character Area Studies is below.

In addition, there were several other concerns raised at the meeting that I will be following up on:

  1. Set up a meeting with the builder to share resident concerns.
  2. Request that the councillor be notified of all future proposed developments in the area so approval can be undelegated from city staff and go to council for a decision.
  3. Organize a neighbourhood tour.
  4. Parking issues: request a special area patrol. Trucks are parking the wrong way on the street. On Delaware, two south of New St. on east side will be redeveloped. Need to ensure intersection won’t be blocked at New Street.
  5. Request information about recourse from nails from nail gun flying to neighbouring property.
  6. Request that potholes be filled.
  7. Construction site on Seneca, two north of the bike path on east side needs hoarding for safety.
  8. Request a list of infill developments approved in the Delaware/Seneca area in the last 12 months.
  9. Bring a motion to committee, then council, for a Character Area Study and Interim Control By-law.

Most of these initiatives are already underway with staff.

To review material related to the other Character Area Studies see below:

Character Area Study for Indian Point & Roseland

Shoreacres neighbourhood character study one step closer

Motion approved by council Feb. 23, 2015 regarding the Shoreacres Character Study (a possible template for Seneca/Delaware):

“APPROVAL OF SHOREACRES CHARACTER STUDY Receive the public feedback obtained from a community engagement event held on July 29, 2014 and related correspondence related to Staff Direction SD-19 14, June 30, 2014, as contained in Appendix B of PB-11- 15;

and Direct the Director of Planning and Building to review recent development applications in the context of existing development and initiate a review of the Official Plan policies, Zoning By-law 2020 regulations and site plan application review process within a portion of the Shoreacres neighbourhood as defined in Appendix C of PB-11-15, subject to funding availability and Council approval of the business case presented in the 2015 Current Budget. (PB-11-15)”

NOTE: $60,000 was set aside for this work.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch, or leave a comment below.



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. Since where do you get off being the neighborhood house police. The homes being built are lovely and I for one would be happy to live in one. They are not “Monster homes” by any stretch of the imagination. A far cry better than some of the homes in the neighborhood where people don’t cut their lawns or start a renovation and 2 years later still isn’t finished. I could go on. Some of the add ons to your so called character homes are in and of themselves hideous. When did our neighborhood get so snooty and heavy handed?

  2. Re: Lakeshore School area study, This area is a cohesive, mixed, friendly, walkable neighbourhood, with mature shade trees and lots of kids playing safely with minimal traffic. This must be protected. Monster developers have to be reined in.

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