In April, 2005, Wal-Mart Canada approached the city of Burlington with a proposal to rezone land from Mixed Use Corridor Retail to allow the construction of a 128,860 s.f. Wal-Mart store. Under Burlington’s zoning ordinance, in the Mixed Use Corridor Retail zone, large scale retail warehouses are prohibited. Planning staff for the city recommended the rezoning, but when the plan came before citizens in Burlington for a public hearing, the project was shot down. The Community Development Committee in Burlington passed a motion that said: “WHEREAS the subject site is located at the gateway to Burlington’s Downtown; and WHEREAS it is located in close proximity to the Burlington GO Station; and WHEREAS recent Ontario Provincial Government initiatives on Growth Management identify Burlington as a “growth centre” and designate it to accept greater intensification, including residential uses, especially in the vicinity of public mass transit nodes; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Public Meeting No. 10-2005 with respect to Planning Department Report PL-55/05, dated April 22, 2005, concerning applications for amendments to the City’s Official Plan and zoning by-law to permit the development of a Wal-Mart store, be adjourned; and THAT no decision on the applications be made in conjunction with this public meeting until such time as the Planning Department’s Official Plan Review Team has reviewed appropriate alternative land uses for this site in concert with land uses in the vicinity of all Burlington GO stations; and THAT following this review, staff incorporate its findings into the Official Plan through the ongoing Official Plan Review process.
(PL-55/05.” For now, the Wal-Mart rezoning is dead, but the company is not likely to go away, and may return with new plans.
For an earlier story on Wal-Mart’s efforts to rezone Burlington, search Newsflash by the name of the town.