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This just in: Community Benefits negotiated for extra height/density on 23-storey highrise at 421 Brant St coming to committee April 10, 6:30 pm

This just in: The Community Benefits negotiated by staff for extra height/density for the 23-storey highrise at 421 Brant St. across from City Hall are coming to the Planning & Developement Committee April 10, 6:30pm, at City Hall. Residents can register in advance to share your views with members of council for or against the proposed benefits.

The full staff report is here:

PB-33-18 OPA, ZBA, RDA, S.37 – 421 Brant St

A summary of community benefits is below along with additional changes to the proposal including increased commercial area, an additional elevator and changes to setbacks.

My Take to come.

  • To assist with affordable housing, a discount of $300,000 to be used against the purchase price of up to 10 dwelling units within the subject development, or an equivalent cash contribution to the city.
  • one (1) publicly accessible car share parking space (indirect non-cash benefit assessed at $50,000) and a car-share vehicle for a minimum of two years (assessed at $50,000)
  • $50,000 contribution towards the future expansion of Civic Square
  • public access easement for lands located at the northeast corner of Brant Street and James Streets, the minimum dimensions of which are in the form of a triangle measured at 16m by 16m (128m2) (indirect community benefit assessed at $75,000)
  • eight (8) visitor parking spaces (indirect community benefit assessed at $400,000)
  • increased building setbacks, including widened sidewalks on Brant Street, James Street, and John Street, and view corridors on Brant Street and James Street to City Hall and the Cenotaph (indirect community benefit assessed at $250,000)
  • $150,000 towards the public art reserve fund to be used within the publicly accessibly privately owned easement area referred to above and/or in the future Civic Square expansion
  • implement green technology and sustainable architecture elements into the subject property in accordance with either
    LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development guidelines (indirect community benefit assessed at $300,000)
  • Implement City of Burlington Streetscape Guidelines Standards within the Brant Street, James Street, and John Street public realm areas, including the expanded building setback areas at-grade and the publicly accessible open space easement area outlined above (assessed at $150,000).

Additional changes have been made to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment including:

  • The minimum commercial ground floor area contained in the attached amending Zoning By-law has increased to 935m2 from 900m2;
  • A third elevator has been added to the residential building, requiring expansion of the mechanical
    penthouse unit to include three elevator shafts, two fire
    access stair wells, enclosed hvac and mechanical systems, and a lobby providing access to the rooftop amenity area. Accordingly, the setback for theBrant Street side has been changed to 15.2m from 19m, the setback for the James Street side has changed to 14m from 15.2m, the setback for the John
    Street side has been changed to 13.5m from 9.1m, and the setback for the north property line has changed to 13m from 14.5m. City Building staff have confirmed that the expanded mechanical penthouse will not be visually perceivable from the sidewalk on the opposite sides of Brant Street, John Street, or James Street.
  • A 10cm construction tolerance has been provided for all setbacks including and above floor 5.

 

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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20 Comments

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    • There is no percentage of affordable housing. “THE DEVELOPER WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE AN ALLOWANCE OF $300,000.00 TOWARDS THE PURCHASE OF UP TO 10 UNITS. This is a joke – this could be 1 unit if any as the wording only encourages the developer – it does not make it mandatory. Who will decide who can purchase at this reduced rate? What is to stop the developer or a family member from purchasing this unit and then turning around and selling it at a profit. This, in my opinion, was to placate Marianne who wanted to be able to provide some affordable housing in this building. What is considered affordable? and there is also no mention which of the units would be eligible for this discount- the larger units at 900,000.00? If this Section 37 report is accepted by Council, we need to ask the question – who is running this City- Staff, Developers?

    • Ian Johnston This is from the staff report. As you can see the contribution for affordable housing is fixed at $300K. Affordable housing is a regional responsibility and if they decide not to purchase units in this building the city will receive $300K in cash. “To assist in the pursuit of long-term affordable housing, the Developer agree to a discount of $300,000 to be used against the purchase price of up to 10 dwelling units within the subject development, or in the event that a purchase(s) is/are not to occur within the subject development, the Developer agrees to provide the City with a cash contribution of $300,000 prior to condominium registration, to the satisfaction of the Director of City Building”

  1. Let’s just leave the official plan till after the next elections and have a fresh start with some fresh ideas. I don’t believe we should sell ourselves for so-called “benefits”.

    • Has anyone taken the time to read what is being offered. They are as Joe Gaetan indicated community benefits. It is not a community benefit to add an additional elevator so that the building conforms to the REQUIRED SAFETY CODE. It is not a community benefit to ENCOURAGE the developer to provide UP TO 10 “AFFORDABLE” Units by discounting the unit by $300,000,00. This could be 1 unit and it could be sold to someone in the developers family, who could then flip it and make a good profit. Unless the wording is SHALL provide and if it becomes the Halton Region Housing who decides who gets the unit it is nothing more than a smokescreen. I could go on and on but this will do no good unless the Ward Councillor decides that what is being offered will not be of benefit to the community around the development that will have to deal with the high-rise and how it will impact their lives. I would also like to know aside from the Ward Councillor in this case WARD 2 who else sits on the Committee who makes these recommendations. Everyone needs to read through this report…..It is a joke….$500,000.00 in really non community benefits to allow for the increased height is not even the price of 1 condo unit in the building.

  2. Marianne Meed Ward When I add it all up it’s a lot of benefits and dollars. How does this compare with other recent developments and what they contributed for community benefits ?

  3. The public are getting tired of attending meeting after meeting to discuss the same issues. We elect people to do the job. What’s the problem here? We have by-laws. I’m lost, in that we need to continue discussing 23 and 26 storeys when it clearly states 4 and 8. Why do we bother with an official plan or by-laws?

  4. What does it mean THE CITY”MAY ENCOURAGE THE USE OF COMMUNITY BENEFITS PROVISIONS WITH REGARD TO THE FOLLOWING MATTERS”. Does this mean the Developer is not have to follow through? After all Carriage Gate has not followed through on the Section 37 Benefits for the increased height for their development on Maria Street.

  5. I have serious concerns that Cartiage Gate is again getting special treatment here. If the company was required to adhere to the new OP formula for calculating public benefits (i.e. 8 additional public spaces per storey of extra height or 150 sq metres of commercial space) it would likely claim that proceeding on that basis is not economically feasible. Instead this ‘compromise’ which contains so called ‘indirect benefits’ which are clearly the responsibility of the developer to satisfy, along with a bunch of inflated fluff is supposed to satisfy the community benefit issue. And all this from a developer that welched on its commitment to agreed community benefits in the case of its Berkeky Development. This is beyond a poor deal – it’s a bad joke!

  6. This sounds like the promises we are getting provincially prior to the election. We all know that things change and promises get broken. Why are we giving away the height restriction????

What's your take?

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