4853 Thomas Alton Blvd Re-Zoning Application – ADI Development Group
I would like to thank residents for their considerable involvement on this re-zoning application regarding a future development proposal which includes a 19 storey Condo tower and townhouses abutting Thomas Alton Blvd and Palladium Way. Residents have commented on the height and density and have requested more amenity space. They have also shared their concerns about traffic generation and cut through traffic from Thomas Alton Blvd to Palladium Way. As a result of the community consultation, Adi Development Group, working with city staff, have adjusted their application by reducing the number of units, changing the design of the towers and internal roads and parking to address traffic concerns, however more work still needs to be done.
It is important to note that the existing zoning on the property allows for high density 10 storey block apartment buildings. The changes to the zoning in this application include townhouses on the outside of the development which would allow better transition for the existing home owners and the tower condos would be built on the north east corner of the property away from the existing town homes.
A recent recommendation report came to Committee and Council on July 18, 2016 which seems to have caused some confusion for residents. The report requested Council approve that, staff continue discussions with the developer. This was necessary as the legislated process for applications requires that the City must provide a decision within 180 days or the developer has the right to go to the OMB, The Ontario Municipal Board. The 180 days had lapsed and if the developer goes to the OMB the rezoning decision will be made by the OMB not City Council.
Some residents have been making comments on Social Media that the zoning change application has been approved and that it’s a done deal. This is simply not true. The development process is a legislated process and the City must follow all the rules, allowing for community engagement. This is the phase we are currently in. Residents seem to be confused as to what they can change and what they cannot. In this case the existing zoning allows a developer to develop as of right. Therefore residents cannot stop a development from occurring, but they can help to shape the development so that it will fit in with the community better. I would also like to address a final concern for residents who feel no development should take place or that this property should be designated green space. Unfortunately this is not possible as the zoning was done when Alton Village was approved. The developer owns this property and has a legal right to develop it just as the developer did when your homes were built.
As stated, the comments from residents and staff have resulted in the developer making significant technical changes to the application bringing them to the point they are at today. The recommendation brought to Council allows staff to address the remaining outstanding issues at a later date. Information about the full re-zoning application and staff recommendation are available at http://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/4853-Thomas-Alton-Boulevard.asp.
My two cents.
- The townhouses around the perimeter are an improvement over the 10 storey block buildings that are currently allowed. I believe the 10 storey block buildings are not the best type of build for this site and the surrounding residents.
- The proposed towers are to high and the number of floors should be reduced. The overall density is to high.
- I understand the concerns of residents with regard to parking and traffic. However I am satisfied that our professional staff have recommended technical changes that willaddress these concerns.
- While the modelling for shadowing has shown that there is no concern for residents, I would like to know what the impacts will be for the commercial properties on Palladium Way.
- Staff are currently discussing amenity space and the design of the towers. Through this work they are addressing the quantity of amenity space, parking, wind reduction and massing and site lines. This work should be completed over the summer.
- Community benefits can be achieved through this proposal because of the significant request for additional Height and density. Once the development has been evaluated on its own merits these discussions can take place. Residents have told me they want more green space in Alton and have asked about a swimming pool.
- More density could also mean service improvements for transit in Alton. Many residents have indicated this is important to them.
Next Steps: Through staff’s continued discussions with the developer over the summer they hope to finalize a recommendation that will be compatible with the community. If successful, a report will come to committee and council in the fall and residents will be notified with the hopes that they will continue to be involved and provide their comments on the final recommendation.