A vigorous debate on just what the Air Park could do. Bizarre said the Mayor; appalling said Craven. Murder said a resident.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 11,2013.  It was the longest city council meeting on record for this Significant Seven and one which heard some very impressive delegations from people in the community.

Council was hearing the views of north Burlington residents and at the same time responding to a report prepared by city General Manager Scott Stewart on what the issues were; what the city knew and didn’t know and setting out where the different levels of government fit in.

The Air Park issue is one that covers the gamut from a grass roots community response to city hall, the Regional government, to the Conservation Authority, then the provincial government and then the federal government.

Seldom do municipal solicitors get to work with that many levels on a subject as complex as local airports where the interpretations as to just what and where the jurisdictions are and how they fit in together.

After more than an hour of closed door session Council went back into Open Session and passed the following resolution which was moved by Councillor John Taylor and surprisingly seconded by Councillor Meed Ward.  Given that the issue rests in Ward 6 one would have expected Councillor Lancaster to come forward as the seconder.

Direct the city solicitor to develop a legal strategy to reflect the concerns expressed by Council and citizens regarding issue with the Burlington Executive Air Park and report back to Council on July 2, 2013.

Direct the Director of Engineering to review and update the City’s Site Alteration By –law 6-2003 to reflect the best practices by September: and

Direct the Mayor and City Manager to jointly contact the federal Minister of Environment to request that soil testing be ordered for the Burlington Executive Airport property, and

Direct the Mayor to work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to lobby the federal Minister of Transportation and other relevant Ministries to develop a process to allow municipalities to have input on airpark land fill operations and expansion plans; and

Direct the Director of Finance to arrange a meeting with MPAC representatives and the affected property owners abutting the airpark property specific to the property owners value assessments; and

Direct the General Manager of Development and Infrastructure to request the owner of the Burlington Executive Air Park to provide the city with a complete site and grading plan that minimizes impacts on neighbouring properties.  Further request that the owner modify existing grades to minimize impact on neighbouring properties; and

Direct the Director of  Planning and Building to have staff enforce the Dust Suppression By-law 50-2008, that requires consideration be given to neighbouring properties when construction processes generate dust, and enforce the provisions of the Nuisance and Noise Control By-law including after hours enforcement and issuing offence notices if applicable and as necessary.

City manager Jeff Fielding had some choice words for lawyer Glen Grenier who represented Air Park at the Council meeting last night. Here Fielding, on the left, discusses his serious concerns over the behaviour of the Air Park owners with Grenier, who is a Burlington resident. To the right of Grenier is Blake Hurley, lawyer with the city’s legal department and the lead person on this file and city solicitor Nancy Shea-Nicol on the right.

 That last item had General Manager Scott Stewart directing his by-law enforcement officers to get into their cars – now, and issue tickets if tickets are warranted.  Each infraction calls for a $300 fine.

The debate on this resolution was vigorous and focused on part 1.  Councillor Taylor wanted council to direct the city solicitor to begin legal action now.  Meed Ward was onside with Taylor but other Council members wanted to take a more thought through approach and give city solicitor Nancy Shea-Nicol the opportunity to think through a strategy and put some options before council.  They expect her to be back at Council on July 2nd, three short weeks as the Mayor pointed out.  The files at legal are getting thick – the pier law suites have still yet to be resolved.

Council was in a Closed Session so we do not have much in the way of detail on that debate other than the comments made by individual council members when back in Open Session where they made their individual comments.

There is much more to this story.  Air Park Vince Rossi did not appear before Council.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to A vigorous debate on just what the Air Park could do. Bizarre said the Mayor; appalling said Craven. Murder said a resident.

  • Pat Donovan

    And the truck keep coming. Saturday was a very busy day hauling fill to the Air Park. Doesn’t seem Rossi cares what people vsay or do. This needs someone from Transport Canada or Environment Canada to say stop now.
    4901 Appleby Line