Cudmore Lands LPAT Appeal
LPAT Appeal Outcome
Application of Zoning in Low Density Designated Lands
Vogue (Wycliffe) Ltd filed a development application for 3-storey 27 condo townhouses and 8 semi-detached houses in November 2019 effectively looking to impose medium-high density in a low-density residential neighbourhood.
The area is currently zoned for 17 units; 2-storey single or semi-detached. The community delegated against this proposal in January 2020. Mayor Burton questioned ¨How is this not over-development?¨
The developer appealed the application to the OMB citing no decision from the municipality by the mandated deadline. The BVRA registered as a participant in the LPAT hearing which was held on April 19 - 20, 2021. The registered parties to the LPAT appeal in addition to the developer were the Town of Oakville, Halton Region and Shelley Thornborrow representing a group of residents who aligned with common issues to the development application.
The Tribunal Member has ruled in favour of a zoning amendment as a result of a deal between the Town of Oakville, Halton Region and the developer that allows medium density in a low density stable neighbourhood.
The BVRA is disappointed as this decision has set a precedent. A key outcome of the LPAT process was the elastic interpretation and application of the RL8 zoning by-law that would allow for 3 stories in a predominately 2 storey neighbourhood and maximum built forms of semi-detached at 3600 sq feet where single detached homes average 2200 sq feet. In addition, front and side setbacks detract from the existing character of the neighbourhood and the town has allowed an easement from Lakeshore Road West without any tangible benefits to the community.
The BVRA will remain active as this application now proceeds to the site plan process and supports the efforts of a group of neighbours under the banner of Cudmore Lands - Save the Trees, who participated as a party in the LPAT hearing and continue to seek concessions that are allow for gentle transition from adjacent homes.
The BVRA explores this topic of stable residential neighbourhoods and the LPAT appeal process in depth with a Joe, a Bronte resident through the BVRA Fireside chat series.
BVRA Community Engagement
What is an Official Plan?
An official plan describes your upper, lower or single tier municipal council or planning board's policies on how land in your community should be used. It is prepared with input from your community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.
Why do we need zoning by-laws?
A zoning bylaw:
implements the objectives and policies of a municipality’s official plan
provides a legal way of managing land use and future development
in addition to the official plan, protects you from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses in your community
Under the application of section 11.2.2. of the Livable Oakville Plan, a proposed development can accomodate up to a maximum number of 29 units per hectare within a low density area wihtin context to the surrounding area.
Cudmore lands occupy less than a hectare when excluding the lands for a condo road, services and parking, the number units permissable under s 11.2.2 would be 22 units. The development effectivly sought 39.77 which is 17 units over the maximum allowed and more importantly now within the medium denisty range of 30 - 50 units per hectare.
If you apply the zoning by-law which is the legal instrument to implement the official plan, then the permissble number of units on the subject lands within the standing by-law is 17 units, while the developer seeks 35 units. The following analysis, reviewed by an independent urban planner illutsrates the deviation from the existing zoning by-laws and application of the Livable Oakville Plan.
Application of Special Provisions in Low Density Designated Lands
The zoning by-law further prescribes additional land use elements such as setbacks, minimum lot area, number of stories, height and maximum residential floor area. The concept of residential character is based on how these elements of the built form , infrastructure, amenities and natural environment combine to create the context and feeling of an area or neighbourhood.
The following analysis of the special provisions sought in the development application fall eggregiously outside of the zoning allotments and therefore do not represent gentle transition from th adjacent homes and compatibility to the surrounding neighbourhood.
The BVRA faciliated a number of community engagements around this proposed development including a BVRA Townhall in January 2020 with guest speakers Mayor Burton and former Planning Director Mark Simeoni to talk about development in Ward 1.
The BVRA also hosted a zoom community update on Cudmore Garden Lands LPAT Appeal on February 16th, 2021. Thanks to all attendees for participating in a productive conversation.
The key take aways were:
What is motivating council and in particular our two Ward 1 councillors?
Why are the Livable Oakville Plan and Zoning by-laws not implemented and defended consistently?
Why are there extensive meetings with developers and so little community engagement in the planning process?
There appears to be an issue of lack of transparency and consistency at council and in the planning department.
We understand the province drives the planning process - need to engage our MPP as well as the municipality. [The BVRA will reach out to MMP Stephen Crawford concerning limited public engagement in LPAT Appeal process]
We need more public engagement and need to utilize print media to spread the word. [BVRA has & will continue to reach out to online and print media]
Does the BVRA have an independent land planning expert? [BVRA has reached out to an independent planner to explore how best to support advocacy concerning development applications and policy reviews]
Please find a copy of the presentation below for those who could not attend and we ask you to consider the next steps in the community engagement campaign. Strength in numbers so that our Members of Council can hear and heed community concerns.