Skip to content

Town settles with developers on five large projects

What’s coming to your neighbourhood?

In the world of planning, the Town of Oakville may make the decisions on new developments, but it doesn’t always have the final say.

If developers don’t like the ruling – or don’t get an answer from the town within a required timeframe – they have the right to appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

The provincial decision-making body will review the proposed development, decide if it fits within planning rules and issue a verdict.

But prior to that expensive and time-consuming process getting underway, the town will frequently reach agreements with developers to allow their proposals, or a slightly modified version, to be built.

Reaching settlements that both parties agree to is an encouraged, common and necessary way to avoid full hearings before the OLT, explains Russell Cheeseman, an Oakville planning and municipal law expert who often represents developers at the OLT.

"Settlements are an absolutely vital part of the process," he says. "This province would come crashing to a halt without them."

In recent months, the town has reached settlements in a number of cases before the OLT. Below are the details of the recent deals.

SmartCentres development – 256, 260 and 294 Hays Blvd. and 271 Oak Park Blvd.

The town will allow retail giant SmartCentres to build two towers (26 and 31 storeys) with 587 residential units near the northwest corner of Trafalgar Road and Oak Park Boulevard.

Read more: Residents say towers will be an eyesore

While deemed mixed-use, the development will have only 520 metres of ground-floor commercial space. That’s only enough space for about three average-sized Starbucks stores or half an average-sized Dollarama.

The lack of retail space on a property originally planned for that purpose is particularly disappointing to Ward 5 councillor Jeff Knoll.

"As I have always said, there is lots of land in the same area to build such buildings that would not detract from the retail nature of the area," he said.

By appealing the development to the OLT, SmartCentres "deprived (town) council and the public of the ability to press them on these issues," said Knoll.

The developer had originally applied to build the same number of units in two towers of 28 and 29 storeys, but the town’s urban planning guidelines require height variances of five storeys between towers to create a more interesting skyline.

Review the settlement details here. Full details of the plan can be found online here.

Star Oak Developments and Docasa Group (subdivisions on the south side of Burnhamthorpe Road near Sixth Line)

At its final planning and development meeting prior to last October’s election, council opted to defer approval of two North Oakville subdivisions.

The developments should wait until town staff reported back on a long-overdue (and still not completed) parking strategy, suggested then Ward 7 councillor Pavan Parmar.

Read more: Political jockeying underway as municipal election nears 

With the election in the rearview mirror, the town reached a settlement with the two developers to allow the subdivisions to proceed exactly as originally proposed.

  • Star Oak Developments (90 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.) The town will allow 196 residential units (128 townhouse, 68 detached dwellings), a stormwater management pond and two natural heritage system blocks associated with the West Morrison Creek on the 23.5 hectare property. Review the settlement details here.
  • Docasa Group Ltd. (160 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.) The town will allow 431 dwellings (123 detached, 56 semi-detached, 104 lane-based and street-based townhouses and 148 units in two mid-rise buildings) on 18.5 hectares. The subdivision will include an elementary school block, a park block and a natural heritage system block. Review the settlement details here.
Delmanor West Oak: Eight-storey seniors residence overlooking Lions Valley Park

The settlement will allow Delmanor to move ahead with its plan to build a 315-unit rental high rise building for seniors on 4.6 hectares of land severed from St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre.

The eight-storey building will overlook the Sixteen Mile Creek and the popular Lions Valley Park. An additional 24 one-and-a-half storey independent living units arranged in four blocks will also be built.

Read more

Review the settlement details here.

Revera/Smart Centres: Retirement home at Lakeshore Road West and Garden Drive

The settlement will allow a five-storey retirement residence with 100 independent supportive living units and 32 assisted living units.

The building will also have 130 square metres of publicly accessible retail space (slightly less than the size of an average Starbucks) on Lakeshore. One level of underground parking will be built.

Review the settlement details here. Review the site plan details here.

Read more