The City of Burlington and Roman Home Builders is holding a 2nd public meeting to review plans for the proposed 5 Story residential building at 2085 Pine Street. (See Project Link).
At the first meeting held in April, area residents and stake holders reviewed initial plans and drawings. Minor concerns and questions were asked but the opinion was generally favourable and complimentary for the development. It was cited by many that the builder went to great effort to ensure that the building’s form suited the area as well as respected the existing heritage home where they plan to utilize the home as amenity for the future residents.
City Planning had earlier voiced a concern that the first proposal was 6 stories and that it was an over build for the downtown and would not respect both the plan of the downtown or the character of the area. The builder listened and reduced the height by a story.
Public Meeting Wednesday September 23
The 2nd public meeting is being held tonight at the Burlington Seniors Centre where attendees can review updated plans and voice any further opinions.
Core Zoning Change
The current property is zoned 4 story with accommodation for 8. The proposal of 5 stories will require a zoning change for the site. Though over the 4 stories, the proposal makes a reasonable case to break beyond the 4 story by-law. The Official Plan for downtown looks for 4 stories with accommodation for up to 8 if the proposed building makes efforts to benefit the community — a subjective concepts but one which clearly stands out in this case. The summary of the initial presentation concluded:
1. The building is medium height and density
2. The structure is terraced and arguably visually fitting of the area
3. Effort is made to adequately accommodate the parking needs of the residents
4. A reasonable effort was made to keep and utilize the existing heritage building in a meaningful way for the residents
5. The building will support terrace greening / plantings
The downtown is clearly under pressure to intensify which means infill and replacement of existing structures with higher density forms. Intensification doesn’t have to mean 28 Story buildings, or even 10 stories for that matter. Reasonable intensification efforts can be made to achieve the goals of the Official Plan. Research and examples in other cities across North America show that medium density and height is all that’s necessary to achieve intensification goals while keeping the character and liveability of cities and towns.