Late in 2012, treat a group of investors announced their intention to tear down a growing number of grand homes in the centre of the neighbourhood and replace with multi-level town houses.
In order to build this type of dwelling, the group lead by Maurice Desrochers president of Burlington Furnished Rentals, is making the effort to permanently change the zoning of this unique detached single family home zoned community to that of higher density or intensity; resulting in multi-family, multi-level zoning throughout the entire St. Luke’s Precinct. The investor group is preparing to start the application process with the City of Burlington to change the site zoning as early as the spring of 2013.
What does this mean?
Currently the neighbourhood, recognized by the Province of Ontario and Burlington as culturally significant, is a unique community of zoned single family homes. This recognition by the city means that multi-family homes such as townhouses, semi-detached homes or apartment buildings and high-rises are not permitted as they would disrupt the unique cultural make-up of what currently exists.
Approval of the application to change the site zoning will mean that any future developer may tear down the single family homes in St. Luke’s Precinct and build high density dwellings such as multi-level town houses and low-rise apartment buildings as well as the type of dwelling currently proposed.
What do they intend to do?
The developer believes that as long as the development looks good then it will serve you well. They have been selling the idea via a promise of how the development will look “upscale”, “historical” and will raise the value of the existing neighbourhood. The reality is harsh:
– to build this development, they will change the zoning and expose the area to all types of future developments of higher density, independent of “look”
– if the city doesn’t say no to the zoning change this time, it will have no precedent for any future zoning change pressures
– there is no way of holding the developer to their promise of “nice aesthetic” once the rezoning is complete since aesthetic is subjective and outside the control of the city
– once the rezoning is done, it is permanent and
– in the event that the developer can’t afford to build to the aesthetic proposed, they can simply sell off the property to another builder as development land with no future promise of an upscale aesthetic
What do people think?
A growing number of residents — homeowners and tenant neighbours alike — are apposing the proposed zoning change and have assembled a group to resist the zoning change threat that will alter the neighbourhood forever.
The residents of The St. Luke’s Precinct live their lives here because they love the neighbourhood. They find beauty in the tree lined streets and enjoy the eclectic mix of exemplary period homes that have been built by generations in every era. They are excited by the proximity to the urban corridor of downtown but most of all they love the way of life here.
What makes it so special — so unique? We believe it’s simple. We moved here in commonality for the appreciation of the single family home make-up of the precinct. The residents of this community could have lived anywhere, in any kind of dwelling but they saw something special in this single family zone. Be it the spaces, the trees, yards in which to play or front porches to relax — it’s a very liveable place.
Because of this, we believe it is something worth keeping. The community is worth preserving — the relationship we all share with the homes, each other and the legacy of the generations before us is worth more than we can imagine. It’s where we live. It’s worth protecting from permanent alteration.
If you feel the same way and wish to assist those that are gathering to resist the proposed zoning changes, then please contact us and we’ll keep you abreast of all events and communications. Please return to this website as it will be a resource to update residents that wish to resist the zone changes.
What we will do
Together as a community we will assist the city in fulfilling its plan to protect our neighbourhood. We will start by informing each other of the value in what we have and connect around this common love for the area. We will tell all concerned neighbours to get involved, visit this website and connect.
We will then express to the city and to Mr. Desrocher’s investor group our desire to maintain the area as zoned; to keep the unique character and make-up of this place we call home. We will ask the city to let the neighbourhood continue without the cultural and historical disruption of rezoning for prospecting and commercial gain.
As an organized group with a single focus, we will coordinate and participate; creating productive dialogue between the city and the investor group to show our neighbourhood’s desire to keep our zoning and persuade the investor group to change their plans to rezone for the development of their townhouse project.
Together we will ensure that all our voices are represented at the city when the zoning application is reviewed and considered by the city. We will ensure our voices are heard by all Councillors and staff that influence the decision for changing zoning.
Thank you — the residents of The St. Luke’s Precinct
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