A 26-storey mixed-use condo has been given the green light in downtown Burlington by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
The ruling for the Adi Development Group’s proposal at 374 Martha St., also known as The Nautique, was made on Feb. 13.
Ward 2 Coun. Marianne Meed Ward says it’s a “devastating decision for the downtown,” while city officials say they’re “disappointed” with the decision.
“We cannot continue to plan our city, especially our downtown, on an application-by-application basis,” said deputy city manager Mary Lou Tanner.
“This is not good planning and allows others to make decisions on our city’s future.”
At the hearing, the city argued that Adi’s proposal for 26 storeys wasn’t appropriate for that location for a number of reasons, “including the fact that the proposal far exceeded the height limits allowed in that area, the need to complete an updated Official Plan and the longstanding public policy that the Bridgewater development will be the landmark building,” a news release from the city reads.
In its decision, however, the OMB states that the city’s current land-use policy for the site doesn’t reflect provincial policy.
As the OMB noted in its ruling, “the evidence suggests to the board that the current designation is no longer appropriate for the subject site and a proposal that is taller and more transit-supportive is both preferable and better implements the transit-oriented and intensification policies of the PPS 2014 and the GGH 2017.”
The OMB later notes “while the provincial policy regime emphasizes the importance of a municipality’s official plan, there is no suggestion in the provincial policy regime that a municipality’s official plan may undercut provincial policy.”
Tanner says in light of the OMB’s ruling, it’s “even more important that the city move forward with the adoption of the new Official Plan. As this ruling shows, our current OP is a liability; it is out of date and is open to challenge. The area-specific plan for downtown Burlington will strengthen the city’s position on development in the downtown by replacing outdated polices with a plan that better reflects provincial policy, while also protecting the character of the city.”
Council shot down Adi’s application on Oct. 24, 2016.
Meed Ward is already talking appeal.
“It’s undetermined at this time whether this is an option here. However, we must explore this and use every tool available to fight this decision,” she said in a statement.
What do you think about a 26-storey condo going up at 374 Martha St.?