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Staff recommend 18 storeys at Brant/James; vote July 10, to council July 16

THIS JUST IN: City staff are recommending modified approval of an 18 storey highrise at 409 Brant Street, opposite City Hall and across the street from the already approved 23 storey building at 421 Brant St. (17 storeys with a roof top patio counted as another storey.)

The recommendation from staff will go to the Planning and Development Committee July 10, 6:30pm. Any recommendations from this committee will go to CIty Council July 16, 6:30 pm for a final decision. Residents can Register as a Delegation to speak at either meeting. (Registration isn’t required for committee, but pre-registered delegates will be heard first).

The detailed staff report outlining the recommendation and rationale hasn’t yet been released, but should be available online and at City Hall by Friday June 29. I will also post as soon as it is released.

Meantime, the city is circulating a notice to residents who participated in earlier meetings on the application and left their contact information.

The text of the notice is below and can be downloaded here: Brant John James Streets StatPubMtg+RecRptNot3

More to come on this file, including My Take.

Planning Application for: 401, 403,405,409,411 & 413 Brant St., 444,448 & 450 John St., 2002 & 2012 James St.
File: 505-01/18 & 520-01/18

As you may remember from the previous Notice letter that was mailed in March 2018, the City of Burlington has received applications from Reserve Properties Inc. to re-designate and rezone the property located at 401, 403, 405, 409, 411 & 413 Brant Street, 444, 448 & 450 John Street, 2002 & 2012 James Street, as shown on the sketch below. The Planning and Development Committee of Council will be holding a statutory public meeting to consider a staff recommendation for these applications.

The property is currently zoned Downtown Core Zone which permits mixed use buildings up to 4 storeys in height. The property is designated Downtown Core which permits mixed use buildings of 4 to 8 storeys.

Burlington City Building staff have reviewed these applications along with the comments received from the public and technical agencies to date. Staff will be recommending modified approval of the amendment to the City’s Planning and Development Committee of Council.

Staff recommend approval of a mixed use building with a height up to 18 storeys (17 residential floors plus roof top amenity area), including 760m2 of commercial space at grade and 365 m2 of commercial or office space on the second floor, subject to significant design and public realm improvements, and a parking rate of 1.25 spaces per unit.

Statutory Public Meeting Information

You are invited to attend a Statutory Public Meeting under the Planning Act to consider the staff recommendation report concerning the above mentioned application. This meeting will take place on:

DATE: July 10, 2018
START TIM: 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Council Chambers, Level 2, 426 Brant Street
Burlington City Building Department
PO Box 5013, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Z6

Looking for more information?

Statutory Public Meeting & Recommendation Report

You can access the City of Burlington’s website for more information about this application. The application has its own webpage which contains additional material, including supporting studies that have been submitted by the applicant. To access the webpage for this file please go to:

How to Obtain the Staff Report:

The staff recommendation report which contains the proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments as well as discussion and review of the applications, will be available for public review on June 29, 2018. The report will be available on the City’s website at by searching for the meeting date for the Planning and Development Committee. A copy of the report can also be picked up at the City Clerk’s Department on the main level of City Hall.

Speaking at the Meeting (delegation):

Since this is a statutory public meeting, you do not have to register in advance in order to speak. However, if you wish to arrange in advance to speak at the statutory public meeting, please register online at or contact Jo-Anne Rudy, Committee Clerk at (905) 335-7600 Ext. 7413 or Speakers are limited to a maximum of 10 minutes each and are webcasted online.

Also, if you have presentation materials, they must be submitted to Ms. Rudy by noon the day before the meeting to allow for their distribution and review by all members of the Committee. Please note the content of all submissions is considered to be public and will be posted to the city’s website.

Additional Notice:

If you wish to be notified of City Council’s decision to approve, refuse, or approve with modification this application, or of any subsequent Local Planning Appeal Tribunal appeal of this matter, you must submit a written request to the Clerk’s Department to the attention of Jo-Anne Rudy.

If you do not include your name and address with written comments about the application or speak at the public meeting, you may not be able to appeal the decision of Council to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal or appear as a Party to any future Hearing about this issue. For more information about this matter, including information about preserving your appeal rights, contact Lisa Stern, Senior Planner using the contact information below.

Burlington City Building Department
PO Box 5013, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Z6

Statutory Public Meeting & Recommendation Report

If you have any questions about these applications, please contact the planner on the file:
Lisa Stern, Senior Planner

Phone: 905-335-7600 Ext.7824



Statutory Public Meeting & Recommendation Report
Burlington City Building Department
PO Box 5013, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Z6

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.

Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:


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  1. Let me reiterate… Why do we have plans and bylaws if they are not adhered to?
    We spend thousands of dollars for lawyers to draft this stuff up, staff to review, review, review… breakout groups to spend time and more money, residents to review, ponder and vote. WHY?
    I am so sick and tired of this subject. Rules are rules. I just don’t get it.
    It is not just that residents do not want hi rise buildings, it’s the fact that we can’t drive back and forth to work anymore for the traffic jams. What is this council thinking and how did Burlington get into this mess with developers? They obviously rule.
    I just can’t see how applications are made and rules are overlooked. There is something seriously wrong here; we are not talking a couple or storeys, we are talking 20 storeys over the limit. How is this getting passed? Now we’ve spent thousands drafting up a new OP. Why are we wasting money doing this when the old/current one is not being recognized.

    • Very good questions… Who will present some answers? Can “City Staff” just run roughshod over laws in place? Where can we see the traffic planning projections? Why is the Burlington Downtown so Boring? We need shops that people can shop in… not lawyers, doctors, financial establishments… what a mess Burlington is becoming… and don’t get me started on the loud vehicles travelling on Brant… What are the Noise Bylaws for Burlington? I know there are noise bylaws which refer to no construction work on Sundays… but, there doesn’t seem to be anyone working on Sunday to enforce this…

      • To all of us concerned residents …the damage started long before Queen’s Park mandated this mess…likely even before, when the developers began their “land banking” . And the concessions from Staff truly sound like Liberal Cap and Trade programs….unfortunately all municipalities in Southern Ontario are completely being screwed by this centralist planning…and livable, pedestrian friendly towns and cities are quickly becoming extinct

  2. The vibrancy of any downtown core is in its key retail operations.

    There are a few key tenants that are going to have to depart downtown before the construction commences. There have been no plans to help these displaced businesses and also the businesses that will be collaterally affected during the construction phase.

    Again, we are not saying no to development and making the core more updated and polished; there simply has been no plan for retail operators to survive this intensification at such a rapid rate.

    There has also been parking planning – nor traffic studies – to add some common sense solutions to our current gridlock.

    All roads lead (no pun intended) to businesses being driven out of the downtown core as downtown Burlington is quickly turning into a bedroom community with very limited parking (and only have local condo owners frequent the shops and restaurants). Downtown Burlington is quickly changing and will not longer be a destination to visit from outside our core.

    All we are asking for is to take the time to evaluate and to conscientiously make these VERY big decisions that will affect 1000’s of lives for the next 100 years.

  3. As I wrote several times on this forum – but let me repeat it once again: The Official Plan and the City Bylaws are a worthless pieces of paper since every single project!! is going through either Amendment/Rezoning procedure. Why to bother issuing those documents at all? And let me guess: the Rezoning will be approved and a new Site Specific Bylaw for this site will be issued.
    For the same above reason attending “Statutory” Public Meetings or Open Houses is simply a terrible waste of time.
    And on top of everything: if this is the “building” which is presented on the picture it achieved a status of unbelievable ugliness. It is even trying to surpass the super-ugly box just erected at John and Caroline. At let me guess again: it will achieve that status; of super-super-ugliness.
    Of whatever was left of Burlington downtown’s charm is going to an urban and aesthetics gutter.
    But anyway; thanks Marianne for keeping us informed. Thanks for all the great job you are doing. It looks like you are the only one thinking like us.

  4. The speed by which the latest proposal is progressing through the Planners, and committees to Council really astounds me. It does not seem that long ago the proposal for the second massive development at James and Brant was announced and here we have recommendations for approval of another 17 storey, and I must say very unattractive building. Had no thought been given to previous residence comments and input? Has the proposal really been vetted to assess design, set backs, traffic impact, etc.

  5. If the Province is desperate for more housing for the influx of migrating population, hey, Ontario is vast, use some of the other smaller towns, Northern Ontario, that are crying for people taxes, work, etc. to give them some intensification and density to their small communities. The topic is always “affordable housing”, and building towers in the sky is the only way to go to achieve this here in Burlington, well think of areas in our Province that have real estate that they can afford. Wake up Burlington, challenge the Province, and not ruin our City over greed!!!!!!! Share!!!! We have met our quotas!

  6. I went to Longos, on Fairview, at about 5:30pm tonight… It was a parking lot from Brant to Maple and not much better looking towards Guelph Line. What is going to happen when all of these high-rises (I count 4+ so far…) are built and occupied ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? What kind of traffic studies are these City Staff persons undertaking? If I wanted to live like this, I would have stayed in Toronto… I expect this sort of development in Toronto, not in Burlington. It is very disappointing especially knowing that, apparently, we have already met our “intensification goals” as set by the province. What. Can. We. Do. ???

  7. This lame duck council has no right to approve any of this .It must be deferred until after the election .

What's your take?





Public meeting June 20 to seek input on Conservation Halton’s Kelso/Glen Eden parks Master Plan

4 developments coming July 10: 18 storeys at Brant/James; 38 towns at 1335 Plains/Helena; 50 stacked towns on Prospect; 2000 people, 900 jobs at Tremaine-Dundas secondary plan