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City council shuts down rezoning of 264 Erie Avenue

City of BrantfordCity council shuts down rezoning of 264 Erie Avenue

City of Brantford council members voted to turn down a zoning by-law amendment for 264 Erie Ave. during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

The property in question was purchased in June of 2022 by Ideal Capital, and the developer had submitted a zoning by-law amendment to change the property, (which exists in an intensification corridor) from a Residential Type 1C (R1C) and Flood Residential Type 1C (F-R1C) to a Flood-Residential Medium Density Type B (F-R4B).

Ideal Capital had submitted plans that would allow the developer to build a four-storey apartment building with 47 units and 64 parking spaces (ten being for visitors) on the land.

The site is approximately one acre in size and currently contains a three-and-a-half storey single detached dwelling with two single-storey additions onto the rear of the existing dwelling. The home is often referred to by residents as the “castle.”

During a public meeting on Tuesday, November 24, nearly 70 Eagle Place residents gathered at the Doug Snooks Eagle Place Community Centre to learn more about the proposal and to voice their concerns.

The topic was then brought forward at a planning committee on Thursday, December 14.

On Tuesday’s meeting, Council received a report with recommendations from the Planning Committee to approve the change, “subject to the application of a ‘Holding’ provision and in accordance with the applicable provisions.” *To see more, visit

https://pub-brantford.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=18958

At the top of the meeting, Councillor Brian Van Tilborg separated the item for discussion and to make note of his concerns with the proposal.

“This is an intensification quarter, and I don’t think the intent was to have multiple apartment buildings up and down the area,” he said. “Erie Avenue is a minor arterial roadway that is quite narrow … and we are trying to intensify before we have any plan to make the road to accommodate such intensification.”

He did ask City Staff, if the building were to be demolished, what would be the procedural advancement.

Patrick Vusir, Planner for Long Term Planning, responded.

“Right now, the subject property is subject to demolition control,” he said. “A non-routine application would come to Council for decision.”

Van Tilborg then continued on with more points to consider.

“I want to point out that there are currently 66 trees on this property and we’re a community that is trying to increase its tree canopy and 48 of those trees would be removed. That’s a lot of trees with no actual replacement management. The visual impact of the building that would be going up, certainly doesn’t have the character of the neighbourhood and nothing in the plans showed anything like that. It was very much an unappreciated design with the neighborhood. There were about 70 people that came out to express their interest or opposition to the build, and it was virtually unanimous that this was the wrong build for that area.”

He noted he would be voting against the resolution.

“We’re trying to bring the best vision for the community, to the community and this one here, it just doesn’t seem to fit in, so that’s why I separated it so that I could vote against it,” he said.

During discussions, Councillor Greg Martin inquired with Staff if the developer would have the opportunity to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) if they wanted, and Staff confirmed that yes, it was a possibility.

He also asked if the developer was obligated to bring the same plan to the OLT, or if they had the opportunity to change it and Staff confirmed that the developer could change it if they wanted to.

The item then failed on a vote of four to six with Councillors John Sless, Rose Sicoli, Martin and Kevin Davis, Mayor of the City of Brantford, voting in favour of the by-law change, noting that Councillor Gino Caputo was not present for the particular vote.

Davis then asked councillors to create a new resolution that would describe why the original resolution did not pass, and the following was put on the floor for a vote:

“A. THAT Zoning By-law Amendment Application PZ-14-23, submitted by MHBC Planning on behalf of Ideal Capital, affecting the lands municipally known as 264 Erie Avenue, to change the zoning to Residential Medium Density Type B – Exception 32 Zone” (R4B-32) to permit a 47-unit Apartment building BE REFUSED; and,

B. THAT the reasons for the refusal are as follows;

-The proposed development offends the character of the neighbourhood;

-The proposed level of intensification is not appropriate

-Impact on traffic and burden on City infrastructure

C. THAT pursuant to 34(18.2) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.13, the following statement SHALL BE INCLUDED in the Notices of Decision:

“Regard has been had for all written and oral submissions received from the public before the decision was made in relation to this planning matter, as discussed in Section 9.4 of Report 2023-623.”

The vote on the new resolution was carried on a vote of seven to four, with Councillors Sicoli, Caputo, Martin and Carpenter voting against it.

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