St. Lukes Precinct » Blog Archive » 546 Burlington Ave. Development


546 Burlington Ave. Development

UPDATE: The Committee of adjustment meeting was postponed as a result of the developer failing to post notice of application on the site. Signs have now been posted and the new date set for February 8. — More info to come.

Developer is applying to build 3 homes on what is currently 1 lot resulting in 3 very tight builds.

Maurice Desrochers of Desrochers Developments, the developer that has amassed a number of properties within the block of Caroline Street between Hager and Burlington Avenues and who in 2013 proposed a townhouse development has now applied to the city planning department to knock down the corner property at 546 Burlington Avenue and sever into 3 separate single detached dwellings. (Click here for Plans)

The application requires an extensive list of by-law amendments but does not require a zoning change. The built form will remain single detached dwellings.

546 Burlington Plan Overlay

546 Burlington Ave. Site Plan — yellow represents proposed builds. Grey represents existing.

The majority of amendments that the development will require is due to the small size of severed lots resulting in a very high ratio of house to building lot as well as the unprecedented closeness that the homes will be to the property lines which is significantly under the by-law minimums. The houses will cover the property lots with a coverage as much as 38.9% which is well above the limit of the by-law that stands at 25%. The net of this is that for the most part the homes will not have significant rear or side yards.

Keep Your Character

Rear and Side Yards are a key character feature of the St. Luke’s Precinct neighbourhood and influence a way of living and quality of life. The dramatic reduction of these features will affect the area’s liveability and character while also kicking off a trend of builds that will attempt to further reduce these areas.

The City of Burlington and Province of Ontario recognize the St. Luke’s Precinct as an area of unique character and significance to the city and have put in place measures to physically define the area so that we can protect it from development pressure. These measures are zoning and by-laws; rules that the city and neighbours believe are key pillars that define the built form, space and relationship between buildings.

Following these laws is easy when individual home owners wish to redevelop respectfully. The challenge for some business developers is that these rules can be in the way when they attempt to overbuild to maximize yields for their profitability. Hence some of these less respectful businesses attempt to change the laws to suit their purposes but in doing so destroy character and can forever influence the neighbourhood’s ability to enforce their zoning and by-laws.

Voice your opinion

The committee of adjustment hearing is set for:

Monday February 8th
6:30 pm
Room 247, 2nd Floor

A copy of the original Committee of Adjustment hearing notice and lot plan can be viewed here: 546 Burlington Avenue Redevelopment Plan Link

Residents are encouraged to attend to voice their opinions.

Let your neighbours know what you think of this plan by a developer to redevelop 546 Burlington Avenue by commenting below. Also please tell your neighbours about this development and encourage them to come out to the meeting to voice their opinions.

'4 Responses to “546 Burlington Ave. Development”'
  1. admin says:

    There have been a number of discussions with neighbours on the street as well as emailed to us. The consensus is clearly stated among all that the character of the St. Luke’s Precinct inherently stems from the structure of its zoning and by-laws.

    The space and form that results from designing homes within the rules of set backs, side yards and rear yards leads to a way of living and enjoying this place and its spaces. We need to maintain this character and way of living or loose what is this precinct, this amazing neighbourhood and wonderful community to live it.

    A Burlington Ave neighbour says — “My concern is, he’s (Desrochers Developments) changing min lot size, set backs and lot coverage. Sounds like a completely different zoning bylaw. Where will it end. It’s a small area of downtown where min lot size and set backs have to be maintained.”

    Yes, this does feel like yet another abuse of the neighbourhood strictly for business profit. The option for the developer is to sever to build 2 homes on the lot. 3 homes is unreasonable and will negatively affect the lives of those already here.

    To paraphrase a Birch Street neighbour this weekend — “We can’t forget about the importance of the coffee spaces; the places where neighbours casually meet between their homes to catch up, share a story and get to know each other. This is a high quality of life and what makes this place what it is, a neighbourhood that’s so special to live in.”

  2. Karen says:

    In the conversations I have had with many of my neighbours in St. Lukes regarding development here, the overwhelming feeling is frustration. The repeated attempts at major variances to bylaws is becoming an all to constant thorn in our side. Each of us spoke about the love we have for the character of our neighbourhood and how sad it is that we have to fight to keep it intact despite the fact that it has been recognized and protected by the law. We all echoed the sentiment that we would like to stand up to protect this character and lifestyle that we sought when we moved here and that we have worked hard to create while living here. Unfortunately fighting is not the lifestyle we were looking for and some residents don’t have time available to put up that fight. Doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Karen,
      All those we’ve spoken to feel the same way. Fortunately not all building in St. Luke’s has been so potentially disruptive or aggressively distorting to our zoning and by-laws. There have been quite a number of renovations and rebuilds that approached the neighbourhood with respect and appreciation for what’s here and how people live. Their by-law amendments were minor and few, relating or reacting more to the eccentricity of the area or shape of the lots than trying to squeeze profit from space. To those respectful people we are thankful for their sensitivity and regard for their neighbours.

  3. admin says:

    Gary says:
    I would like to express my opposition to the increased lot coverage planned for 546 Burlington Avenue. These by-laws are written for a very good reason and should be adhered to. There is no reason, other than profit, that 2 houses cannot be put on this location and improve the neighbourhood at the same time.

    Now and again an application is made to increase lot coverage to add to a home for a young and growing family, and often times a small increase is warranted. However, in my opinion, this is not a valid argument here. 38.9% coverage vs the mandated 25% is quite a jump. Surely 2 homes on this lot would still give a decent return to the developer and at the same time provide a backyard (something the present plan would not allow) for children to play in for generations to come.

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Update – Jan 25, 2016
Public Meeting: January 25 on proposed redevelopment of 546 Burlington at Caroline Street Date: January 25, 6:30pm Room 247 2nd Floor ------ Resident's of St. Luke's Precinct, please support your neighbourhood by attending this meeting and voice your opinion about this proposed project that threatens to shrink house side yards, back yards and setbacks in order to fit 3 houses on a current single home lot. This is a precedent setting set of amendments for the St. Luke's Precinct. Hang on to reasonable amendments and use of your by-laws and protect your hood.
Update – Oct 20, 2014

Public meeting Nov 13 on proposed redevelopment of Locust/Elgin
Date: Nov 13, 7pm, Rm 305, City Hall
Residents of St. Luke's Precinct, please attend this meeting and voice your opinion on this development that so far proposes to require zoning changes. Zone changes anywhere within the precinct will cause a precedent of further zone change as stated by planning. Hang on to your zoning and protect your hood.

Stay tuned for more info.

Update – Sept 26, 2014

A neighbour of the St. Luke's Precinct has informed us that surveyors have been measuring the Dalewood Apartments property at 1367 Elgin Street.

Part or all if this property is owned by Maurice Desrochers development group / Executive Furnished Rentals. Desrochers has previously indicated a desire to rezone this property for 8 story condominiums.

A site rezone of this nature would mean a precedent rezone for the whole precinct.

Stay tuned for more information.

Update – Sept 12, 2014
510 Hager Avenue / New Home Build — Late summer, the city received the site plan application/plans for the second Mattwood house on Hager Ave. This is the lot(s) originally proposed as townhomes/semis by Mattwood but the Neighbours of St. Luke's expressed discomfort for the zone change and appealed to the builder to do single detached builds.
Update – June 4, 2014

Confirmation from the city is that the developer is intending on building 2 detached single family homes. They have begun the first on the south most lot but have yet to propose a plan for the 2nd. This first house will conform to the current zoning and needs only minor variance approval.