Burling­ton coun­cil booed for pass­ing 23-storey down­town high­rise

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - JOHN BKILA BURLING­TON

— A con­tentious 23storey tower across from Burling­ton’s City Hall got a green light this week, amid boo­ing from res­i­dents in coun­cil cham­bers.

The shout­ing by an­gry res­i­dents prompted Mayor Rick Goldring to re­mind the room, for a third time, of the rules against protests of any kind inside coun­cil cham­bers.

Ten­sions and emo­tions were high as 13 del­e­ga­tions (12 against and one for) gave their com­ments for al­most two-and-half hours.

Those 12 del­e­gates were hop­ing to change the minds of at least two coun­cil­lors, to vote against the ap­pli­ca­tion by de­vel­oper Car­riage Gate Homes.

In­stead, coun­cil voted 5-2 for the pro­posal (Goldring and Coun. Mar­i­anne Meed Ward were the sole dis­senters), mir­ror­ing a vote that took place at the Nov. 1 planning and de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee meet­ing.

The pro­posal, for 412-431 Brant St. and 2007-2015 James St., is just shy of stand­ing three times the height of the eight-storey City Hall.

Joanne Arnold pre­sented coun­cil with a pe­ti­tion she and her husband, Kevin, had started on Nov. 6 against the ap­pli­ca­tion, which had gar­nered 1,438 sig­na­tures on­line.

“The ma­jor­ity of the com­ments asked we leave the by­law as is, leave the high­rises out of the down­town core, es­pe­cially at Brant Street. City Hall should re­main the fo­cal point of Brant Street…,” she said. “Burling­ton’s down­town has a quaint vil­lage feel to it and we like that. We don’t need to be Toronto or Mis­sis­sauga.”

Coun. Jack Den­ni­son ques­tioned the va­lid­ity of the pe­ti­tion when she said she hadn’t gone through each sig­na­ture to weed out any fic­ti­tious names and the fact there were sig­na­tures from out­side of Burling­ton.

Joe Gae­tan said the project wasn’t needed to meet provin­cial in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion de­mands. He echoed Meed Ward, who has re­peat­edly stated Burling­ton will meet its tar­gets with only 60 per cent of the ap­pli­ca­tions com­ing for­ward needed.

Coun. Paul Shar­man re­minded the crowd and coun­cil­lors of the del­e­ga­tion by Car­riage Gate Homes’ Nick Car­ni­celli, which stated the de­vel­oper was ini­tially will­ing to pro­ceed with a 12-storey build­ing.

But that pro­posal was dis­rupted as the city worked to set new planning stan­dards to achieve a qual­ity of de­sign for Burling­ton and the down­town, which “all these coun­cil mem­bers ba­si­cally ap­proved,” Shar­man said. “The de­vel­oper sub­se­quently agreed to what was be­ing asked of (them) and caused them to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the floor space that they would oth­er­wise be us­ing to make a sig­nif­i­cant more amount of money.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.