Weather alert warns of high water with 25mm to 50 mm of rain expected in 24 hours: Caution advised

News 100 redBy Staff

March 27, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The people who watch weather stuff have issued an alert that comes to us from Conservation Halton via Environment Canada forecasting rain beginning this evening and ending by tomorrow afternoon with expected amounts ranging from 25 mm to 50 mm.

This precipitation, in conjunction with saturated ground conditions will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in local streams. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Water levels in watershed creeks will rise significantly during the weekend. Caution around the edges of creeks - especially with children.

Water levels in watershed creeks will rise significantly during the weekend. Caution around the edges of creeks – especially with children.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to stay away from watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream flow and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Tuesday March 29, 2016.

A Watershed Conditions Statement is issued when high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeist, hikers, children and pets.

Flooding is not expected.

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Director of transportation gets staff to fix a broken web site link on a long weekend - kudos to him.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 27, 2016 02:36 am

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette is quick to point out the short coming of city staff – the screw up that lost the sound and closed captioning part of a Standing Committee webcast one one of our most recent – but there are two sides to that coin.

Vito Tolone Dir Transportation

Director of Transportation Vito Tolone – works long weekends.

More often than the public realizes – staff make that extra effort.  We did a report on a public meeting that is to Review Parking standards for the city that have not been significantly revised for 30 years.  Reference was made to a survey the public could take – bu the link to the survey didn’t work.

The Gazette sent a note along to the Director of Transportation Vito Tolone – who responded Saturday evening at just after 11 pm, advising us that the link had been fixed.

Kudos to you Vito.

The survey is at: CLICK HERE

 

Original story:

 

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We will never know that the Mayor had to say about his private tree bylaw or what the rest of council had to say about adding bike lanes to the New Street construction tender.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

As Standing Committee meetings go it was a pretty full agenda. The afternoon session was full and some significant recommendations were made. One was so important to this council that they held a Special meeting of council to pass a recommendation they had made minutes before – that had to do with the designation of a piece of property in the city core in ward 2.

The Gazette reports on that event elsewhere.

Council Chamber April 2011

The webcast station is tucked away in a corner at the back of the council chamber. It needs an equipment upgrade and better oversight as well.

The evening session had three items that were important:

1 – Memorandum from Mayor Goldring requesting pilot for private tree by-law in Roseland. (DI-01-16)
2 – Report providing enhanced cycling infrastructure options for New Street. (TS-06-16)
3 – Statutory public meeting and report providing information regarding a rezoning application for 2384 Queensway Drive (Habitat for Humanity Halton). (

The meeting did take place and there was some media in attendance. The Gazette chose not to attend this meeting – choosing instead to hear a presentation on what is being done with the Randle Reef – a pile of toxic sludge in Hamilton harbour that is being covered over using $2.3 million of your tax dollars.

We decided we could pick up the webcast and report on the evening meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Standing Committee.

Well – we are not able to report on that meeting – the web cast does not include either sound or the closed captioning.  As of Thursday afternoon – no one seems to know quite why.

Councillor Craven could make ammends and spearhead a drive to get the Freeman Station located in Spencer Smith Park where it belongs. That would mean getting along with Councillor Meed Ward. Can Craven get beyond his problems with Meed Ward and see the greater good for the city?

Councillor Craven chaired the Development and Infrastructure meeting and was not aware it wasn’t being fully broadcast. No one told him. As a former broadcaster that must rankle him.

The Chair of the Standing Committee didn’t appear to know that his meeting was not being effectively broadcast. There is no reason why he should. The Information technology staff didn’t seem to know that the broadcast wasn’t complete either.

The Gazette was able to get through to Councillor Meed Ward who made inquiries – the city manager doesn’t appear to have been in the loop.

This is sort of like a radio station going off the air and no on at the station being aware that no one could listen to what was being said.
The city did add a note to the web site saying:

D&I – Mar 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm
Due to technical difficulties, the evening session of the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting on March 22, 2016 does not contain audio or closed…

We don’t know of there was a malfunction of the equipment or if it was the web caster who didn’t push a button or if the committee clerk failed to push a button.

The record of the meeting is lost – forever apparently – so the public has no way of knowing what the Mayor had to say about his motion to create a private tree bylaw nor do we know what the discussion was about adding bike lanes to the construction work currently being done on New Street.

The Committee Clerks does take minutes –we are about to see just how completely inadequate those minutes are. We will publish them just as soon as they are available.

The questions one asks is: What’s going on at city hall? We do not believe the failure to capture the sound and the closed captioning was deliberate but we do wonder aloud why someone did not check to ensure that the sound was being captured and broadcast. Is this something the webcaster should have done ? Is it something the Committee Clerk should have done? Should the Committee Chair, Rick Craven have checked, or more importantly, should the webcaster or the Committee Clerk alerted the chair to a problem – and once it was evident there was a problem should the city manager James Ridge not have made a statement and apologized for the screw up?

This mistake points to a bigger problem – the equipment the city uses is ancient and the quality of the broadcast is terrible. The mages are fuzzy and it is difficult to understand just who is speaking at times.

We have a city administration that goes on and on about how well they engage the people picking up the tab – but they rob you of the opportunity to go back and see just what the rascals are doing.

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Province releases its 2015 sunshine list (those being paid more than $100,000) and announces a 15 cent an hour minimum wage increase.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Getting it - yellowThe provincial government has made it very easy to learn who got paid more than $100,000 during 2015. What was a little tough, especially for those who are far below that $100,000 figure, is the title of the Minister who released the data – Deb Matthews is President of the Treasury Board, and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.

If you're happy and you know it - clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it – clap your hands.

Getting more people onto that $100,000 list would help – the 15 cent an hour increase in the minimum wage that was announced isn’t going to do all that much is it?

The searchable list of those hard working folks on what has come to be known as the “sunshine list” is a click away: CLICK HERE

When you search to learn what our council members are paid realize that they get a cheque from both the city and the Region.

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Transit change: Route 1 detour in downtown Hamilton this Saturday March 26, 2016

notices100x100By Staff

March 24, 2016

BURLINGTON,ON

Due to an event at The First Ontario Centre, Bay Street will be closed from King Street to York Boulevard from approx. 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.

Bus terminal John Street 4 busses in-outThe Route 1 will need to detour as follows:

• Regular routing to King and Bay streets
• Continue along King Street and turn right on Hess Street
• Left at Cannon Street
• Resume regular routing…

During this time, bus stops at Bay and Vine Streets as well as Cannon and Queen Streets cannot be serviced. Please proceed to the stop at Cannon and Queen Street.

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Police will be out looking for people not using their seat belts - it will cost $240 if they find you.

notices100x100By Staff

March 24, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

As the Easter long weekend arrives so does the Spring Provincial Seatbelt Campaign. The Halton Regional Police Service reminds motorists that wearing a seatbelt while in a motor vehicle is the law and officers intend to actively enforce that law.

The campaign will run from Friday, March 25th, 2016 – Monday, March 28th, 2016.

Police presence

Deputy Chief Nishan DURAIAPPAH on the right.

Halton Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Nishan DURAIAPPAH is pretty blunt and direct when he says: “A properly used seatbelt is the most important piece of restraint system your car has. It’s also one of the few things you have full control over. Regardless of whether you’re on a short trip and you know the roads, you need to wear a seatbelt. The decision not to could be the last decision you make. When a driver not wearing a seatbelt is involved in a collision, the ability to control your vehicle is lost – and the likelihood of serious injury or fatality increases dramatically. Each year we stop and charge hundreds of drivers for not wearing their seatbelts and will continue to do so. Our officers will be diligently enforcing the seatbelt legislation throughout this traffic safety campaign.”

Drivers should you choose not to buckle up you could face a fine of $240 and 2 demerit points which will remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the offence.

Drivers are reminded that they are responsible to ensure all occupants under the age of sixteen and occupying a seating position are wearing the complete seat belt assembly, including a properly approved child seat or booster seat.

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Around the Bay Road Race Road/Lane Closures and Traffic Restrictions - Sunday, April 3, 2016

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

March 23, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON
The Hamilton Herald Newspaper and cigar store owner “Billy” Carroll, originated and sponsored the first “Around the Bay Road Race”, run on Christmas Day, 1894. It is now the oldest road race in North America, older than the Boston Marathon which was born three years after the Around the Bay Road Race. The race tested the abilities of the finest long distance runners, but was also an avenue to lay down some bets.

The Around the Bay Road Race established Hamilton as a running mecca for long distance runners, and it was not uncommon for thousands of spectators to line the route to watch their local favourites start the race from the front of the Herald Newspaper Offices at 17 King Street West Hamilton.

Around-the-bay-15

Older than the Boston marathon.

The 122nd Around the Bay Road Race on Sunday, April 3, 2016, will result in road and lane closures in Burlington from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Streets will reopen as the last participant passes. Vehicles parked illegally in the event area will be tagged or towed to allow emergency access.

Road Closures – 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• QEW Toronto-bound exit ramp to North Shore Boulevard East. Detour via Fairview Street.
• North Shore Boulevard East Niagara-bound entry ramp to the QEW. Detour via Fairview Street.
• Plains Road West at York Boulevard. Detour via Hwy. 6 and 403.

Traffic Lane Closures – 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Southbound lane of King Road from Plains Road East to North Shore Boulevard East – local access only. Northbound traffic not affected.
• Eastbound lane of North Shore Boulevard East and North Shore Boulevard West from Plains Road West to the QEW exit ramp west of Joseph Brant Hospital. Westbound lane open to westbound traffic only.
• Eastbound curb lane of Plains Road West from York Boulevard to North Shore Boulevard West. Two-way traffic maintained.

Bus route detours in effect

Routes 1 and 5. The HSR, Route 11 Parkdale bus will detour via the QEW and Maple Avenue to the John Street Terminal. For more information call 905-639-0550 or visit www.burlingtontransit.ca

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New Street to be closed until September for water and sewage main construction.

notices100x100By Staff

March 20, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

New Street closed between Martha Street and Guelph Line starting March 21, 2016

The City of Burlington and Halton Region are making improvements to New Street, between Martha Street and Guelph Line, and to several of the streets located in the area of New Street and Drury Lane.

New st close to May 8

Transit route changes while construction on New Street takes place.

Construction to replace the water and wastewater mains on New Street will begin on Monday, March 21, 2016.

The work is being broken into sections with the work starting at Guelph Line through to Seneca

All local businesses will remain open throughout the construction period. Local access for residents and businesses will be in place.
Transit

Burlington Transit users will experience detours and schedule changes from March 21 until September 2016 during the construction on New Street.

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Road construction in New Street from Cumberland Ave. to Hampton Heath Rd.

notices100x100By Staff

March 12, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

New street is what is known as a Regional Road – the region gets to take care of it.

The current task is to replace water mains and wastewater main relining on New Street from Cumberland Ave. to Hampton Heath Rd.

New Street constructionProject is expected to last until September.

The construction work throws a real wrench into the transit schedule.  Here’s the detail:

Burlington Transit users will experience detours and schedule changes from March 21 until September 2016 during construction on New Street.
Detours will affect parts of Routes 4, 10, 50, 52, 300, 301 and 302. Route 4 will not stop on Teen Tour Way from May 9 to Sept. 3, 2016, but the Community Connection Routes will still reach the stop during the construction.

The schedules for Routes 10, 11 and 20 have been changed to allow for connections at the Appleby GO Station. Route 10 will no longer become Route 20 at the Appleby GO Station which means a transfer will be needed when going between Routes 10 and Route 20. The new Route 20 schedule will increase to every 15 minutes.

Detour maps and supplementary schedules to the Ride Guide will be distributed on buses, in the terminal and all updates will be available online at BurlingtonTransit.ca.

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City council to hold special meeting on Tuesday for legal update on the Adi development which is subject of an OMB hearing that starts Monday.

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

March 11, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Something’s up.

The City of Burlington has “scheduled a special City Council meeting for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 for a legal update regarding a property at 374 Martha St.”

ADI rendering from SW

The original development application was for a 28 storey structure – that got cut back to 26 storeys. The city did not approve or deny the application within the 180 day time frame required – so Adi went to the OMB asking them to approve the project.

Just in case the significance of that address isn’t immediately obvious the city announcement goes on to say:

“An application related to the property is the subject of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing involving the city. The OMB hearing on this matter begins on Monday, March 14 at 10 a.m. at City Hall, Room 247, and is open to the public.”

The OMB hearing is scheduled to run for three weeks – it will be interesting to see if that schedule holds up. The Mayor could have held its meeting Friday afternoon – council meets “at the call of the Mayor” – for some reason the city wants to see the OMB hearing begin before it goes into session for the “legal update”

The Gazette was informed recently that the Mayor has had a conversation with the Adi’s – that information could not be confirmed.

Stay tuned.

The development the OMB is going to hear an application on is what is being marketed as the Nautique, a 26 story project that is to be built at the corner of Lakeshore and Martha.

Slip over to the link for a detailed background on just what the issues are on the development.

 

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Burlington and two of its OMB hearings; one is taking forever - the other begins next week.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

March 10, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings are relevant and for the most part – as dry as unbuttered toast – they are also where some big money gambles get resolved.
Burlington has two hearings on the docket – Ward 4 Council member Jack Dennison’s appeal of a Committee of Adjustment decision that did not permit his request for a severance of his 308 Lakeshore Road property.

A designated home, bought under a power of sale on a HOW WIDE LOT which the owner. Councillor Jack Dennison wants to have severed into two lots.

A designated home, bought under a power of sale  which current owner Councillor Jack Dennison wants to have severed into two lots.

His OMB appeal was first heard on April 29, 2013 – yes three years ago. That hearing was adjourned as was the May 29th, 2014 and the September 23, 2014 hearing.

The appeal was heard on April 21st, 2015 and continued on June 22nd 2015.

Nine months later – and still no decision. This was thought to be a pretty simple severance request; something isn’t right here. But don’t expect an explanation from the OMB – one day the decision will be posted on the OMB web site. The lawyers involved will be notified that a decision has been made and they will get a copy. OMD decisions cannot be appealed – so in the fullness of time Jack Dennison will know if he can sever a portion of his property.

City council knows what this appeal has cost – will they make the amount spent public?

Will Dennison run for his council seat in 2018? If the public gets wind of what it has spent on this case and if there is a credible candidate – he could be in trouble.

Dennison announcing

Jack Dennison announcing the sale of his Cedar Springs health club.

Retirement might be in the works for Dennison – he recently announced the sale of his Cedar Springs sports club.

ADI project - rendering from LAkeshore

Early rendering of a proposed 28 storey structure that cantilevered over the street at the upper level. Tarif Adi explained at the launch of the development that the idea was to have the building look like a “billowing sail” that would be seen as a statement for people entering the city from the east on Lakeshore Road.

The second significant matter on the OMB docket is the appeal the Adi Development Group has made to the OMB claiming that the city “refused or neglected to make a decision on the Official Plan change and zoning application” made by Adi for the development of a 28 storey structure on an .070 piece of land at the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

The public got its first look at the proposed development on Oct. 9, 2014, Burlington Art Gallery at 7 p.m. It was not a happy meeting. Many of the people in the room realized then that this project was headed or the OMB.

While Council didn’t hold a vote on the application until very recently – the development was contentious from the day it was first shown at a public meeting.

The Gazette has written extensively on this development and was the recipient of a libel claim by the Adi Development group. The Gazette was asked to apologize for three articles it published and to take them off their web site.

An apology was published and the three articles are no longer no longer available to the public on the Gazette web site.

The proposal is complex. No one on council liked the project – or at least that was what they said publicly – Ward 1 Craven retweetCouncillor Rick Craven re-tweetd a notice of the public event.  For a council member on record as being opposed to the development – the re-tweet seemed inappropriate – bu then Adi has a massive development planned for Aldershot – maybe that explains his enthusiasm.

In a staff report on the proposed development the planners said:

Refuse the applications for Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, submitted by Andrew Ferancik, Walker Nott Dragicevic Ltd., 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, ON, on behalf of ADI Development Group Inc., to permit a mixed use development consisting of 226 residential apartment units and 348 m2 of ground floor commercial development, on the property located at 374 Martha Street.

Unfortunately, this recommendation didn’t get to a city council meeting for a vote. By the time the city council meeting took place Adi had filed their appeal to the OMB.

Council did hold a vote a number of weeks ago.

It is a complex situation and the city didn’t exactly wrap itself in the corporate flag – they looked like the Keystone cops for a short period of time – but sloppy administration isn’t reason to approve a proposal that doesn’t meet most of the public policies the planners think they should meet.

Adi submitted the following reports to support their application:

1. Planning Justification Report (prepared by WND Associates, September 2014)
2. Functional Servicing Report (prepared by Urbantech West, August 2014)
3. Geotechnical Investigation (prepared by Landtek Limited, February 2014)
4. Phase One Environmental Site Assessment (prepared by Landtek Limited, February 2014)
5. Traffic Impact Study (prepared by Paradigm Transportation Solutions Ltd., August 2014)
6. Noise Feasibility Study (prepared by Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Ltd., September 2014)
7. Pedestrian Wind Study (prepared by Novus Environmental, August 2014)
8. Shadow Studies (prepared by RAW Architects, August 2014)
9. Site Plan (prepared by RAW Architects, August 2014)
10. Tree Inventory & Preservation Study (prepared by Adesso Design Inc., June 2014)
11. Floor Plans (P1-P5, Levels 1-28, Rooftop Terrace Plan and Roof Plan)
12. Elevations (prepared by RAW Architects, August 2014)
13. Sections (prepared by RAW Architects, August 2014)

Planning staff explained that OPA and rezoning applications are subject to the following policy framework: Provincial Policy Statement, 2014; Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe; The Big Move; Halton Region Official Plan; Burlington Official Plan and Zoning By-law 2020.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

Saud and Tarif Adi

They provided summaries of their position on all of the policy statements.

Planning Opinion on the PPS:
While the proposed development is consistent with the PPS in principle, the proposal represents over-intensification on a site that is too small and does not provide adequate setbacks, buffering, amenity space or parking standards. The significant reduction of numerous development regulations that are required to facilitate this intensification proposal on the subject property and the failure to satisfy the City’s Official Plan policies described in Section 8 of this report results in an application that is not consistent with the PPS.

Planning Opinion on Places to Grow:
The subject applications generally conform to the principles of the Growth Plan by accommodating intensification in an area that is designated for intensification, and more specifically, within the Urban Growth Centre. However, the subject applications are not proposing an appropriate scale of development and the proposed development does not achieve an appropriate transition of built form to adjacent areas. The City’s existing intensification strategy is well positioned to meet the minimum density target established in the Growth Plan without significant changes to the existing Official Plan policies and permissions. The City does not require the overdevelopment of one small property in the Urban Growth Centre in order to achieve the minimum density target.

Big Move logoPlanning Opinion on the Big Move:
The proposed development generally conforms to the vision of the Big Move. However, the City can meet its targets without the proposed over-intensification of this site.

Planning Opinion on the Regional Official Plan:
While Region staff generally has no objection to the proposed development on the basis that it conforms to the Region’s growth policies, City staff is evaluating the applications on the basis of land use compatibility. The proposed development represents the over- intensification of a very small site, does not provide an urban form that is complementary to existing developed areas and does not achieve an appropriate transition of built form to adjacent areas.

Planning Opinion on the City of Burlington’s Intensification Strategy:
The City has conducted several conformity exercises and has developed a comprehensive approach that balances the protection of neighbourhoods and the accommodation of compatible intensification in appropriate locations. As outlined in Section 7 of this report, staff is confident that the density targets established in the Growth Plan, Regional Official Plan and City Official Plan will be achieved by 2031 without amendments that significantly depart from the City’s Official Plan.

Mobility hubs at the GO stations is close to a no brainer - it is the possible hub in the downtown core that has yet to be thoroughly thought through. Council decided that closing the terminal on John Street to save $8000 a year was not a bright idea.

Mobility hubs at the GO stations is close to a no brainer – it is the possible hub in the downtown core that has yet to be thoroughly thought through. Council decided that closing the terminal on John Street to save $8000 a year was not a bright idea.

Planning Opinion on the Mobility Hub Opportunities and Constraints Study:
The MHOC Study has no policy implications at this time, but staff is of the opinion that the proposed development would not be in keeping with the principles and preliminary directions stemming from the MHOC Study. Staff also notes that future master planning exercises for Mobility Hubs will determine detailed site-specific requirements should changes to the Official Plan be deemed appropriate. In the interim, prior to the completion of a Downtown Burlington Mobility Hub master plan, development proposals will be required to meet the Official Plan policies that are in effect. If Council approves Mobility Hub objectives that are incorporated into the Official Plan as a result of this Official Plan Review, then de elopment proposals will be required to me t those objectives until such time as the master planning exercise is completed.

Planning Opinion on the Urban Growth Centre Targets:
Adi - Urban growth centre boundaryBased on the development patterns that have taken place in the Urban Growth Centre in the past ten years, staff is of the opinion that the City of Burlington is well positioned to achieve a total of 200 residents and jobs per hectare by 2031 taking into consideration the existing Official Plan permissions and zoning regulations within the Downtown.

Planning Opinion on the City of Burlington’s Official Plan:
The proposed development represents residential intensification and is therefore subject to the housing intensification objectives and policies in the Official Plan. The proposed development provides additional housing in the form of residential intensification, but the proposed development is not compatible with the scale, urban design and community features of the neighbourhood and does not meet the objective of the housing intensification policies.

The nearest residential buildings are the one storey detached residential dwelling to the north and the three storey townhouses to the northwest of the subject property. A five storey retirement residence is located on the east side of Martha Street and a 12 storey apartment building is located further northeast from the subject property. The proposed four storey podium which contains a three level parking garage with a 24 storey tower above at this location does not integrate well with the existing neighbourhood and does not provide an appropriate or a compatible transition between the existing and proposed residential buildings.

In fact, many of the taller residential buildings in the area are located northeast and southeast of the subject property and the existing buildings have greater setbacks from the street and from adjacent properties. The block containing the subject property generally has a lower density built form with building heights ranging from 1-3 storeys and the proposed development does not provide setbacks from the street nor from adjacent properties.

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

A more recent rendering of what has been named the Nautique

The proposed development fails to satisfy a number of intensification criterion including

• the provision of off-street parking;
• the achievement of compatibility with the existing neighbourhood character in terms of scale, massing, height, siting, setbacks, coverage, parking and amenity areas to provide a transition between existing and proposed buildings;
• the provision of adequate buffering; the compromised redevelopment potential for the abutting property located at 380 Martha Street;
• the requirement for intensification proposals to be well integrated with the existing neighbourhood in terms of built form, scale and development profile in order to provide a transition between existing and proposed residential buildings;
• the building height, massing and density lead to the overdevelopment of a very small lot; and
• the proposal represents overintensification.

The proposed development fails to satisfy the residential intensification policies of the Official Plan and does not represent good planning.

Planning Opinion on the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines:
The proposed development is not in keeping with the City’s Downtown Urban Design Guidelines for high rise development for the following reasons:

• the building setbacks are not sensitive to the existing built form;
• the building does not propose stepbacks to reduce the perception of building bulk from the street;
• the building does not utilize the results of the visual angular plane study to determine the appropriate building height and/or massing;
• the tower is not located away from the corner of the two intersecting streets;
• the building height, mass and architectural design present a tall, boxy structure that does not reinforce human scale;
• the impact of the high rise development on adjacent properties has not been appropriately minimized through a transition of height, mass, separation and landscaping;
• three levels of above-grade parking that address the street are proposed;
• the proposed development does not clearly express a podium at the street level with a proportion and massing that is consistent with the surrounding built form;
• the proposed development has not been designed to provide a height transition to the surrounding lower scale developments to minimize the shadowing and wind impacts; and
• the negative impacts on adjacent properties related to overshadowing and overlooking have not been addressed through building setbacks, stepbacks, height and massing.

ADI storefront

The Nautique sales office on Brant street in a building owned by the Region

Planning Opinion on Zoning By-law 2020:
The zoning changes requested are excessive. The site as proposed would be overbuilt and should not be approved.
The siting of the proposed development is partially responsible for the perceived scale and massing of the building. The building will address the corner of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street and proposes no setbacks along the adjacent property lines to the west and to the north. The building footprint will cover almost all of the lot and leaves no room for vegetation or separation distance from adjacent buildings.

ADI Nautique detailed sketchThe siting does not provide any “breathing room” between the proposed building on the corner property and the adjacent buildings to the north and west; the proposed building will appear “crammed” into the block. The siting of the proposed development is not compatible with the existing neighbourhood character.

Is the development selling? Do people want to buy units in the proposed 26 storey structure? Adi has not released any sales figures. In a news report they said they have received more than 3000 expressions of interest – those are not sales; just people kicking tires.

Adi has promoted the project heavily within the real estate community and are offering generous commissions. They held an event at their sales office on Brant Street for the real estate agents offering Valet parking.

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Annual closure of King Road to protect endangered Jefferson Salamander starts March 15

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 9, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Do you know of another city that closes down a road so a slimy little creature that tends to breed at night can cross that road?

It happens in Burlington every year in March.

King Road from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road will be closed from March 15 to April 6 to allow the endangered Jefferson Salamander safe passage during its annual breeding migration.

He isn't exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

The Jefferson salamander – He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

The Jefferson Salamander is a nationally and provincially protected endangered species. Each year, since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for an approximate three-week period.

The city works closely with Conservation Halton to assist in the protection and recovery of this endangered species.

King Road Map  2“Conservation Halton commends the City of Burlington for closing King Road once again to protect the Jefferson Salamander, this is a great example of the relationship we have with our community partners,” said Hassaan Basit, General Manager, Conservation Halton. “It can be challenging to determine when is the best time to close King Road as spring weather can be unpredictable, particularly this year, however we feel confident based on the advice of our ecology staff who make the call on the best science and information available.”

One of these was enough for the people in rural Burlington. Is a bylaw creating a Heritage Conservation District the best way to prevent any quarry application - or is there a larger objective being sought?

One of these was enough for the people in rural Burlington. One of the reasons for not permitting an expansion of the quarry was the impact that would have on an engendered species.

 

The Jefferson Salamander is quite a bit more than an endangered species. A provincial tribunal made a decision a number of years ago to not allow the expansion of the Nelson quarry due in large part to the impact any expansion would have on the existence of the salamander.

In Canada, the Jefferson Salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment. Several forested areas in Burlington provide the necessary breeding, summer and overwintering habitats required by this species.

Jefferson Salamanders spend the majority of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills and become air-breathing (like the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs) and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds in mid-March or early April during wet rainy nights. They show strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes requiring them to cross busy roads.

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Animal Shelter hosts low-cost microchip clinic - $30 per pet

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 8, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The City of Burlington Animal Shelter invites all cat and dog owners to attend its low-cost microchip clinic on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Burlington Animal Shelter, 2424 Industrial St.

How did these guys get those balls off the Christmas tree?

City by law says cats have to have a microchip – did you know that?

“The last thing any pet owner wants to experience is the stress that comes with trying to find a missing animal,” said Dave Lake, the city’s supervisor of animal services. “In addition to a dog licence, a microchip is an easy, inexpensive way to ensure owners can be quickly reunited with their pet if they are ever separated.”

The cost for a microchip is $30 per pet and only cash will be accepted. Visitors to the clinic can expect a quick and minor procedure. Dogs attending the clinic should be brought on a leash and cats placed in a carrier. The City of Burlington’s bylaws require cats to be microchipped.

Appointments for the clinic can be reserved by calling 905-335-3030. Walk-ins are also welcomed. Pet owners are asked to bring proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Paw Fund in support of stray animals.

How do they work?
Microchips can be implanted by a veterinarian or at a shelter. After checking that the animal does not already have a chip, the vet or technician injects the chip with a syringe and records the chip’s unique ID. No anesthetic is required. A test scan ensures correct operation.

Microchip in a cat

Microchip implanted in a cat – visible near the top of the photograph.

An enrollment form is completed with chip ID, owner contact information, pet name and description, shelter and/or veterinarian contact information, and an alternate emergency contact designated by the pet owner. Some shelters and vets designate themselves as the primary contact to remain informed about possible problems with the animals they place. The form is sent to a registry, who may be the chip manufacturer, distributor or an independent entity; some countries have a single official national database. For a fee, the registry typically provides 24-hour, toll-free telephone service for the life of the pet. Some veterinarians leave registration to the owner, usually done online, but a chip without current contact information is essentially useless.

The owner receives a registration certificate with the chip ID and recovery service contact information. The information can also be imprinted on a collar tag worn by the animal. Like an automobile title, the certificate serves as proof of ownership and is transferred with the animal when it is sold or traded; an animal without a certificate could be stolen.

Did you know?

That you must have a microchip put in your cat?  In 2005 the city passed a bylaw:

Control and Registration of Cats
30. (1) No person, being the owner of any cat shall fail to have the cat implanted with a functioning subcutaneous microchip.

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Without proof of immunization - students face suspension from school.

Newsflash 100Walter Byj

February 5, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

It came near the end of the Wednesday Halt on District School Board meeting when Director Miller announced to the trustee that to date there are 2,000 students at the grade 11 and 12 levels who are not yet fully immunized.

The Halton Region Health Department that requires 100% mandatory immunization for grade 11 and 12 students within Halton. If those students do not get their immunization by the end of March they will be subject to a 20 day suspension beginning April 6th.

The Regional Health department has done everything possible to immunize students – going so far as to set up individual appointments for students to get the needle.
Miller stressed that that this is mandatory by Halton Public Health as they will be suspending the students, not the school board.

Related article:

Parents have to report.

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Power back on at Locust Street garage - other parts of the downtown had power problems as well.

notices100x100By Staff

February 4th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Power Restored at Parking Garage on Locust Street

Power to the parking garage at 414 Locust St. has been restored.

 

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Power Outage at Parking Garage on Locust Street

notices100x100By Staff

February 4m 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Power Outage at Parking Garage on Locust Street

The parking garage at 414 Locust St is temporarily closed due to a power outage.

Hydro crews are on site.

The estimated time for repairs is not known at this time.

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Conservation Halton suggest there might be rainfall amounts in the order of 15 to 25mm this evening and overnight.

notices100x100By Pepper Parr

February 3rd, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Whenever there is weather forecast that relates to rain –there are a lot of people in Burlington who pause – some even shudder.

Environment Canada is advising that our area will be experiencing rainfall amounts in the order of 15 to 25mm this evening and overnight. With partially frozen ground conditions and soils near saturation, water levels are expected rise.

Creek flooding - HaltonWidespread flooding is not anticipated, however there is potential for minor flooding of low-lying areas. Water levels in our reservoirs are low and storage is available to manage potential runoff within regulated systems.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to stay away from watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

Conservation Halton will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement – Water Safety Statement only if significant changes in the forecasts occur. This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through to Thursday February 4, 2016.

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Residential tax rate will be $17.10 per $100,000 of home assessment value.

burlbudget2016By Staff

January 25th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The residential tax rate for 2016 is going to be $17.10 per $100,000 of home assessment value.

City council approved the 2016 budget this evening which came in at an increase of 3.19% more than 2015.

Additional details will be published early Tuesday.

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City spent $4.75 million less than they planned in 2015 - no - they aren't going to give any of it back to you.

burlbudget2016By Pepper Parr

JANUARY 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The report to council set out how the treasurer thought the surplus from the 2015 budget should be used. A cool $4,750,000 that was not spent in 2015 will not get returned to the taxpayers – it will get tucked into various reserve funds and saved for those rainy days.

Unaudited retained earnings

The surplus came from money budgeted but not spent on city services and significant improvements on revenue the city was able to pull in. We overspent on corporate expenditures. The numbers are in millions.

Where were the savings experienced?
The city treasurer reports that expenses were closely monitored in 2015 to find ways to reduce operating costs; she reports the 2015 retained savings as follows:

• Human Resource Savings
City human resource costs (excluding winter control) are projected to have a favourable variance of $1,555,230. (The treasurer uses the term favourable and unfavourable balances which most of us know as a surplus and deficit.)

The city experienced a large number of vacancies throughout the year, some of them for senior positions. The favourable variance is primarily attributed to the period of time from when the position became vacant to being filled after the competition was complete.

• Earnings on Investments
Investment income is projected to exceed expectations by $1,327,017. This positive variance is attributed to $2,287,375 of realized capital gains, of which $960,358 will be used to meet the budget of $5.1 million. The proposed budget for Earnings on Investments for 2016 has been increased by $100,000 to $5.2 million.

• Supplementary Taxes
Supplementary tax revenues exceeded budget by $1,885,369. This is due to one property with three high rise buildings assessed as multi-residential for 3 years of taxes (2013-2015) totaling just over $2.0M in city revenues in 2015.

Bus station John Street lined up 1 side

The city saved on the cost of fuel – but the projected bus ticket sales target was not reached. Transit is going to be an ongoing cost that the city does not seem to be really prepared for – where is the problem?

• Transit Fare Revenues
Transit fare revenue is projected to have an unfavourable variance of $719,870 as a result of the 2015 budget not being in line with actual receipts. The proposed 2016 budget has been decreased by approximately $592K to $5.1 million to better reflect the actual trend.

• Diesel Fuel Costs
Diesel fuel costs are projected to have a favourable variance of $643,572. The majority of the variance is found in Transit.This variance is mainly attributed to lower than anticipated fuel prices.The proposed budget has been decreased by approximately $110K for 2016 to $2.9 million.

The remaining difference in the retained savings is comprised of favourable and unfavourable variances spread across numerous programs within the city. The 2015 Operating Budget Performance Report will provide more details on these program variances.

Consistent with past practice and recognizing the one-time nature of the retained savings, this report recommends a transfer to provide flexibility for addressing future one-time expenditures.

The retained savings is not to be used to directly reduce the proposed 2016 tax increase. As this is a one-time funding source, it is important that there is no reliance on retained savings built into the budget process on an ongoing basis.

2015 Recommended Retained Savings Disposition
• $738,361 Provision to Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund
It is recommended that $738,361 be set aside to finance one-time expenditures included in the 2016 Proposed Operating Budget. This allows unique one-time needs to be addressed without affecting the tax rate and without being built into future budget years. These one-time expenditures will be addressed through the review of the 2016 Proposed Operating Budget.

• $750,000 Provision to Capital Purposes Reserve Fund
In order to meet future funding challenges and for the city to support its vision for implementing priority capital projects, staff recommend that $750,000 be allocated to the Capital Purposes reserve fund. This will provide funding for unforeseen requirements for approved projects, funding related to potential future federal/provincial programs and the accelerated road renewal program approved by Council. The 2015 balance for the Capital Purposes Reserve Fund is $9.5 million.

• $750,000 Provision to Strategic Land Acquisition Reserve Fund
The $750,000 provision will assist in replenishing the reserve fund for future strategic land needs. The 2015 uncommitted balance in the Strategic Land Acquisition Reserve Fund is $908K.

• $750,000 Provision to Information Technology Renewal Reserve Fund This provision will provide funding for life-cycle renewal of Information Technology infrastructure.

• $500,000 Provision to Insurance Reserve
In order to maintain a sufficient balance to cover both premium and deductible expenses, it is recommended that funding be allocated to this reserve. The 2015 balance is $663K.

• $500,000 Provision to Benefits Reserve Fund
It is recommended that $500,000 be transferred to the Benefits Reserve Fund to help replenish the balance which is currently $1.2 million.
• $500,000 Provision to Policy Initiatives Reserve Fund
In order to support resource requirements to finalize the Official Plan and other related studies.The balance is currently $100K.

• $250,000 Provision to Severe Weather Reserve Fund
This will help stabilize future budgets when major storms dramatically impact the operating budget.
The balance in the Severe Weather Reserve Fund is currently $2.8 million. It is recommended that the City target a one-year budget for the Winter Maintenance (which is approx. $4.6 million). .

• $11,639 Provision to Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund
The remaining amount of $11,639 to the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund.

Prior to the calculation of the preliminary 2015 year-end retained savings, staff estimated any minor accounts payable, year-end accruals, and any year-end transfers for net zero activities that needed to be made as part of the year- end close process. The following are the estimated year end transfers for net zero activities.

TransfersTransfers 2transfer 3

DAAP Reserve Funds

In 2005, the Engineering Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund, the Building Permit Stabilization Reserve Fund and the Planning Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund were created to ease budget pressures should development revenues slow down due to economic and/or market conditions.

The table below shows the projected year-end transfers included in the the calculation of the 2015 preliminary year-end retained savings.

• Engineering Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund
The decrease in Subdivision Administration Fees has resulted in a draw of
$91,829 from the reserve fund. Residential development in Burlington has changed from large-scale Greenfield subdivision applications, to small-scale, infill and intensification sites requiring OPA, zoning, site plan and condominium approvals. The proposed 2016 Budget for Subdivision Administration revenues has been flatlined to $100,000 and will be gradually reduced to zero over time using the $275,000 in the Reserve Fund.

• Building Permit Stabilization Reserve Fund
The Building Permit revenues for 2015 are $3,479,851. These revenues are offset by expenditures (both direct and indirect as per the Bill 124 model), with the resulting draw from the reserve fund of $244,544.

The proposed 2016 Budget for building permit revenues have been increased by
$98,770 to be in line with the 3 year average 2012-2014.

• Planning Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund
Planning Fee revenues have a favourable variance of $566,144 mainly due to increases in official plan and rezoning revenues. A provision of $566,144 has been made to the Planning Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund.

The proposed 2016 Budget for planning revenues has been increased by $45,000 to $1,695,000 to be in line with the 3 year average 2012-2014.

Budgeting is part science and part dealing with the unknown.  Set out below is what the city experienced between 2011 and 2015.

Retained savings 2011-2015

Top portion of the report shows where the surpluses came from – bottom shows what city council decided to do with the surplus.

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There will be no Lowville Winter Fair this year. Parks and Recreation moved funding into events a community can put on.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 19TH, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

There isn’t going to be a Lowville Winter Fair this year.

City hall has moved the funds that were used in the past today for the event and put them into the Love My Hood project which is a program that allows any neighbourhood to approach the Parks and recreation department with an idea and ideally get the support they need.

det

If there is going to be any marshmallows and hot chocolate it will be at a local rink event. Not in Lowville.

det

You can still toboggan at Lowville – but there will not be an organized Winter Fair this year.

Parks and Recreations has come to realize that most communities know what they want and don’t have to be spoon fed.

Love My Hood is a pilot project to build a healthier Burlington by engaging and empowering residents to come together and provide events celebrating their Burlington neighbourhoods.

love-my-hoodLove My Hood helps residents bring events to all neighbourhoods throughout the city by supporting and encouraging Burlington residents to hold their own neighbourhood gatherings, activities or projects where neighbours can get to know each other. Love My Hood provides resources, support, guidance and eliminates some common barriers in event hosting.

There were 13 love My Hood events in 2015 – Parks and Recreation wasn’t prepared to say how many they hoped for in 2016 but they are aiming for 150 of them in 2017 – why 150? 2017 is Canada’s 150th anniversary of Canada.

Want to know more about creating an event for your neighbourhood? Contact Burlington Festivals and Events Office. LoveMyHood@burlington.ca

As for winter activities – the city now has 18 local skating rinks and they felt that Love My Hood programs could be developed around the rinks.

Lowville doesn’t have a local rink – thus – no Lowville Winter Fair. There was some talk about the Lowville community putting on an event – if they do it will be more local and not something that hundrds of people trooped up to Lowville to take part in.

Is this an opportunity lost? It will be interesting to hear what ward 3 Councillor John Taylor has to say on this.

Stay tuned for some comment from him.

In the meantime – if you want to do something for your community – fill in an application form at:

There is all kinds of information on this new approach the city has taken to empowering neighbourhoods and letting each community design programs it wants.  Log into for more details.

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