A new development may attempt to change St. Luke’s Precinct’s Zoning
A property group has assembled land within St. Luke’s Precinct with the goal to redevelop the series of single detached dwellings into rental condos and apartment buildings.
Welwyn Interests, approved a Burlington Property Manangement Company has been amassing a land assembly at the corner of Burlington Avenue and Lakeshore over the last decade. The property is a series of single detached homes which they have converted into rental units.
During a recent workshop held by Ward 2 Councillor Ward, side effects the Welwyn group send delegates to get a feel for what residents might think of a potential development. Though they suggested that they were at the meetings to listen, buy more about clearly they were doing the talking and that their mind was made that the future forms would not comply with existing zoning and that they would make an application to change the single detached dwelling zoning of the St. Luke’s Precinct that some of these home lots sit within.
The delegates from Welwyn suggested that they intend to build a mid-rise building at the corner of Burlington and Lakeshore with a taller building on Lakeshore to the East of the corner. North of the corner on Burlington they intend to build multi-level apartment complex with a 3 story facade and higher level at that rear stretching from Lakeshore toward Elgin Street.
No application has been made so there is not currently any imagery available. See Map for location.
What does this mean?
If the Welwyn group applies and successfully changes the zoning in the St. Lukes’s Precinct it will mean that the neighbourhood will loose all ability to maintain it’s single detached zoning as recognized and protected by the city of Burlington and Province of Ontario.
Further, the Welwyn Interests and other developers are attending workshops as well as lobbying the city to adjust or amend the Official Plan to potentially allow them to develop higher rise buildings and townhouse style forms within the precinct. Currently the precinct is zoned single detached at house height as well as setbacks and side yards typical of the precinct and which creates the character of the neighbourhood.
Additionally, it has been suggested by the Welwyn Interests while at the workshops that the edges of the St. Luke’s Precinct, in particular the corner at which they own property, is an unusual shape and should be rounded off, thereby handing over the bottom of Burlington Avenue to the adjacent higher density precinct. They suggest that this area would better suit the higher density zoning along Lakeshore. This tactic of tidying the precinct puts the subjective decision of how the precinct should look in the hands of the developer with commercial interest rather than the interest of the residents.
Who does this Affect? All of us
Though tidying or rounding off the edges of the precinct may seem obsessive compulsively satisfying on a map, remember that there are homeowners who live at these edges who deserve to enjoy the benefits of the character of the neighbourhood as much as those in the middle. Consider that those who bought homes at the edges believed, like those in the middle, that they would continue to enjoy their lifestyle indicative of the area and which is derived from the character of the precinct. They deserve to be protected from the creep that is pressuring to eat away the edges and engulf their homes with high density building beyond the zoning, inevitably diminishing their quality of life, enjoyment of their property and reducing their home values.
No corner is more or less important, valuable or significant — all areas within the precinct are classified as single detached low density within the precinct and zoned the same and recognized to be protected under the Official Plan.
Hang on to what you have. A great place to live
Lastly, we have to consider the affect of chipping away at the precinct. Already very small — under 300 homes — the St. Luke’s Precinct represents one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the region and certainly one of the most cohesive of the character of single detached representing amazing homes of all decades over the last 150+ years. Chipping at the edges will see no end. Logically allowing an edge or corner to go, reveals yet another edge or corner until eventually what we have today, is gone forever.