Plains Rd - March 24 Meeting to Rezone Plains Road South - Response by Tom Muir

The Burlington Gazette Reported on this letter here

From: Tom Muir
Sent: March-24-15 1:26:02 PM
To: Rincon, Hugo (hugo.rincon@burlington.ca)
Cc: Craven, Rick (rick.craven@burlington.ca)

Thanks again. I guess there isn't a rush on this item. However, I would like to provide some initial comments, but will give more details and thoughts on the questions you asked the public to address at a later date when I have more time.

In reading the material you provided, I must say my initial reaction is one of concern.

The proposed revision has long been, historically, one of the biggest fears of Aldershot people - policy and wording revisions that can lead to wholesale block-busting and creeping destruction of a prime section of Aldershot character, heritage and history.

Site-specific Official Plan policy:
Part III. 2.2.3. h) Notwithstanding the policies of Part III, Subsection 2.2.2 d) of this Plan, the lands designated “Residential Medium Density” on the south side of Plains Road, between Cooke Boulevard and Filmandale Road, shall be subject to site-specific zoning regulations designed to protect the existing character of this portion of Plains Road and provide compatibility with the abutting neighbourhood to the south. Any exterior alteration or addition to the property shall maintain the residential appearance and character of the property.

Changing this wording, and supporting zoning bylaws, so as to remove the requirements for site-specific zoning requirements - "shall" - to protect the existing character, provide compatibility with the abutting neighborhood to the south, and maintain the residential appearance and character of the property, is a sure recipe for just such a future. This is what a majority Aldershot residents have consistently expressed objections to. I live on Townsend Ave. , immediately south of these lands.

If these protections were desirable, warranted, and defensible in the present OP, then what has changed that makes such protections not so in the present. These lands are certainly not realistically needed to meet any other superseding goals that I can think of. All I can see is that such revisions reward speculation and profiteering.

Such wholesale changes I cannot support. Notwithstanding that not all of the properties are equal, how does one choose which to protect and will that be defensible, among many judgemental factors? This is a very slippery slope.

I think that in short order, given other redevelopments that are already underway on Plains Rd in general, this is exactly what appears will happen following such revisions. I already see signs of this, such as development/real estate companies speculating in properties in the subject section. I don't want to see a replication of that recent redevelopment form in the subject area.

It will destroy what is left of the low density residential, with some employment or commercial uses mixed in, and with green spaces and mostly attractive streetscapes. It will be replaced by concrete, brick and asphalt right to the street.

This is not an Aldershot Village Vision, but rather a Nightmare looming. This seems to me a critical juncture in the process.

I will provide further thoughts and analysis of the proposals in the future.

I presume there will be a presentation of sorts that will go beyond what you sent me. Can you please provide an e-copy of that to me?

Thank you,

Tom Muir