Aldershot residents feel they aren't being told the whole story - It's not right and regrettable as well.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 25, 2105


Tom Muir is an active community participant – he is also a bit of a burr under the saddle of the Councillor for his ward Rick Craven.
Muir is not the kind of guy that backs down easily – and he is the kind of guy who does his homework

When he delegates before city Council – which he does frequently – his questions are pointed and often sharp.

Plains Road Cook and Waterdown - bigger frame

Plains Road, east of Waterdown – residents believe the properties are being assembled with plans are for a 6 storey structure.

He recently wrote a staff member in the planning department about a development that no one was actually sure was going to take place – the only information the public had was a sign on the property saying units were for sale.

Muir asked the planning department for some details on any plans the city might have received about a potential redevelopment on 40-58 Plains Road East.

The staff member said:

I have attended several meetings with the owners of 40, 46 & 50 Plains Road East. Formal preconsultation meetings were held in December 2012 and July 2014 to discuss a 6 storey apartment building on these three sites. An Official Plan amendment (OPA) and rezoning would be required to allow any redevelopment of these properties for an apartment building. I have not attended any discussions or held any preconsultation meetings involving 58 Plains Road East.

The City of Burlington has not received an application for OPA or rezoning of these properties. We have not approved any apartment building on these properties. However the City cannot legally prevent property owners from advertising their intentions or from collecting names of potential purchasers for residential units which are not approved or built.

Plains Rd 40 - 58 at Cooke and Waterdown

Waterdown Road is in the process of being widened, the local convenience store was expropriated and there are plans for some very significant developments – the residents would like to be informed.

Muir now knew more than most people in his community. What galled Muir the most was that there had been a community meeting to talk about the thinking being done for the stretch of Plains Road between Cook and Filmandale and there was no mention of the meeting about any development proposals or pre-consultation meetings.

Muir commented in his response to the planner saying:

“It is not right, and highly regrettable, that this information was not disclosed to the public as part of the official process and meeting. That it was largely by accident that I discovered this failure to disclose key information relevant to the purposes of the meeting just makes the situation more intolerable.

The disclosure of such information should be city policy, period. I just don’t understand what the thinking or objective is in non-disclosure. What kind of organization lets this happen?

Awareness of this information would clearly affect the knowledge and thinking of the public regarding the issues and questions being posed to them by the city at the meetings, and in the process. Therefore, the issues, comments, and concerns they provide in response are similarly affected.

Therefore, the turnout numbers of the public are influenced downward, and the comments you have received, and may receive further, are not fully informed, and are therefore biased, because this information is missing.

I think you need to do the meeting again, with the public fully informed as to what has been, and is, going on in regard to the missing information, and how that might relate to the OP and by-law issues that are under review.

“This is not the first time in my experience in Ward 1” said Muir “that the city has failed to disclose this kind of particularly relevant and material information to the public in formal meetings. The resulting bias in response received from the public is always the same.”

“And it always leads people to lose trust in the process, and in the integrity of the city’s ethic and code of conduct. This is so simple to avoid – always do the right, honest thing.”

Plains Rd and Cooke empty lot

A vacant lot across the road from properties that are beleived to be part of an assembly sits next to Solid Gold, an “adult entertainment” business. Many would like to see that establishment turned into something more acceptable to the community.

The lead speaker at the meeting on March 24th was the city planner. He had to know about the possible development. He didn’t say a word.
The ward Councillor, Rick Craven also spoke to the crowd of about 80 people – he didn’t say a word either – you can bet the mortgage that Councillor Craven knew about the project and assume that he had had a number of conversations with the developer.

Let us add one more piece of information. The Gazette received the following from a reader whose credibility is as strong as it gets. That person wrote: Regarding Greg Woodruff’s article, I think the Plains Road project has been in the works for a while. Through one of our daughter’s friends, we learned that properties on Fairwood Place E. – up to Birchwood – were being assembled about a year ago. If true, the development proposal will extend well beyond the Plains Road corridor – right into the neighbourhood.

Expect to hear more from the people of Aldershot about this one.

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6 comments to Aldershot residents feel they aren’t being told the whole story – It’s not right and regrettable as well.

  • Paul

    With new For Sale signs up on both Fairwood East and Plains between Birchwood and Cooke, it’s clear as I predicted that this party lacks the ability to assemble any more properties in any meaningful way. As there is one very strategic property in particular for sale we can only hope the right builder takes it on with some regard to our community. We don’t need any more houses falling into desrepair or lawns going to mess.

  • AS Burlington

    It’s a shame that one of our own Burlington Developers with ties and a sense of responsibility to the community were not encouraged to put forth ideas for this strip. I understand they tried but funny it’s this group that finally got green lit. If they are already trying to sell condos not yet approved on land they do not yet own it could very well be the way they will proceed. We must be vigilant indeed. Thank you Mr. Muir.

  • Glenda Dodd

    Mr. Rance: Please don’t put ALL councillors in the same bucket. As a Ward 2 resident I fully appreciate our Councillor, Marianne Meed Ward, she truly listens to us and because of this you will often see one opposing vote against the majority of councillors….John Taylor is the only other respectable city councillor, the other group of four, well between them and the Mayor they have the majority so whatever they want is what will pass, they are the ones to truly watch and question.

  • Paul

    It’s doubtful that this group is assembling on Fairwood–they can’t even assemble the remaining houses on the block in question on Plains Road. Doubtful anything will come of it. There is a house in the middle and its out of their price range. They dont even own 56 and 58 so thier own information is misleading. Geowarehouse is a great resource and will put your minds at ease. I’m a realtor but access is easy enough for citizens. When The Rosehaves or Branthavens come along then we can worry that development will happen. My next focus is looking up activity on the homes going towards Filmandale.

  • warningu2

    Yes I agree with you Frank but we (the citizens of Burlington) keep electing the same team in place. We have not bee vigilant. What we see is what we voted for.

  • Frank Rance

    I don’t know Tom Muir, but I really like what he has to say. I think he has discovered that there is an extreme element of sleeze, manipulation, and deceit at City Hall, more than the usual amount, and it looks to me like it starts at the top.

    Mayor Goldring and the City Councillors talk about transparency, but all the taxpayer seems to see is just the opposite. Hypocrisy appears to be in vogue at City Hall.

    Every citizen of Burlington should be very vigilant and on guard when it comes to this particular group of our municipally elected officials, plus those City Hall employees who faithfully obey and carry through with these misguided agendas.

    Maybe we should have an enquiry and get to the real truth.

    Thank you, Mr. Muir.