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LETTER: Don't turn Burlington into another overcrowded high-rise hell

I am sending this out as I recently discovered that the Burlington (and GTA) skyline is changing significantly and not in a good way
1120 Cooke Boulevard (Stationwest Phase 2): a proposed mixed-use condo and retail development by Adi Development Group on the northeast corner of Waterdown Road and Masonry Court in Burlington's Aldershot neighbourhood.

I am sending this out as I recently discovered that the Burlington (and GTA) skyline is changing significantly and not in a good way. My wife mentioned her hairdresser told her that an 18-storey condo block was going to be built in the near future near the Aldershot GO station.

I was surprised as we do not have towers anywhere near this height in our area. So, I contacted my councillor regarding concerns of placing a building of this size in Aldershot, which is primarily a low rise residential neighbourhood. I received a quick response and was shocked to see the actual size and scope of the proposed building across the whole of Burlington focussing on areas in the vicinity GO stations/transit hubs (Aldershot, Burlington and Appleby). There are 11 apartment buildings planned that are up to 32 stories in Ward 1 alone. I understand that additional housing is needed and I support the low-rise condo development that has been consistently used in Burlington over many years, but I think high-rise building will be a disaster for our city and will provide a new height standard moving forward.

The province has identified Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) as land where additional housing can be constructed this will impact Burlington and the GTA. The Province Government plans to build 1.5 million hosing units by the year 2031 and Burlington's share of that is 29,000.If this proposal is implemented then we will have at least another 29,000 new vehicles on our roads (probably more) which will increase congestion considerably during busy times. I am sure you are all aware of the slow traffic on the QEW/403, Fairview St, New St, Plains Road and Lakeshore that already exits so just think what an additional 29,000+ vehicles will do.

We have a large number of schools in Ward 1 that are either on or close to these routes which are a safety concern with increased traffic volumes. Also, I am unaware of future urban planning to accommodate these additional residents for items like schooling, Health etc, which is already in tight supply.

I also asked why council had approved this building activity and I was told that if a developer does not get planning approval from the city, they can appeal the ruling to the Ontario Lands Tribunal (OLT) which can over rule the council. I am sure you can guess the route the developers have taken.

In looking into the OLT I discovered it was formed on June 1, 2021 by the provincial government and is based in Toronto. So there is now a relatively new appeals tribunal based in Toronto approving developer appeals from all over the province – this sounds like a recipe for disaster similar to the Green Belt fiasco that the provincial government tried to slip past the people of Ontario recently.

I care about the city of Burlington and how it looks and feels. I would not want it to be turned into another overcrowded high-rise hell like parts of Mississauga and Toronto. Remember this planning initiative is across the whole GTA and will impact any area near public transit (Oakville, Bronte etc). So, contact your councillor, MPP, your newspaper, social media groups to voice your concerns and perhaps we can get the provincial government to work with townships to provide additional housing which fits the existing environment rather than imposing high-rise buildings on low-rise communities.

Peter Maby


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