OLT rejects four-tower residential development in Stoney Creek

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has rejected a 3.4-hectare waterfront residential development in Stoney Creek.

Fengate LiUNA Gardens Holdings LP applied to the City of Hamilton to build two 24-storey buildings and two 15-storey buildings along with townhouses on the site, but before city council decided on the plan, the developer filed a non-decision appeal to the OLT.

City planning staff had concerns that the development could not be serviced by the existing road network and represented overdevelopment of the property.

During the OLT process, Fengate LiUNA decreased the density and lowered the two 15-storey buildings were to 12, increased one of the 24-storey buildings to 26-storeys, and decreased the other to 22.

In a 36-page ruling, tribunal chair Shannon Braun said the development was “an inappropriate level of intensification into the heart of Winona North,” and an “abrupt” change for an area surrounded by single-family homes. She also noted a lack of access to public transit, sidewalks and bike lanes would make the community “vehicle dependent.”

“The tribunal finds the proposed development would be inappropriately placed in, and would not align with, the existing context and planned function for this particular neighbourhood, which does not benefit from robust transit,” Braun wrote in her ruling.

The Winona Garden’s development proposed a density of 430 units per hectare, but the Fruitland-Winona Secondary Plan’s most dense zoning is Medium Density Residential 3, which permits a maximum height of nine-storeys and a density of 50-99 units per net residential hectare.

“The Tribunal finds the proposed planning instruments, and the development they would ultimately permit, are not representative of good planning,” Braun wrote.

“The Tribunal is not persuaded that intensifying to the level proposed is appropriate on this site and is not convinced that improvements to currently inadequate services and infrastructure will fall into place to meet the needs of such a high-density development.”

Since the neighbourhood is not a growth node, does not have transit service and lacks walkable commercial businesses, the tribunal found the proposed development would be inappropriately placed in, and would not align with, the existing context and planned function for this particular neighbourhood,” the tribunal concluded.

“In this instance, the tribunal agrees with the submissions of the city, and finds that the proposed development is not compatible with the existing neighbourhood.

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