The development application process is grinding down the staff in the planning department

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 30th, 2018



The paper work involved in a major development application is extensive. The volume has become more than the city’s Planning Department can reasonably handle.

Add to the volume the fact that there are a reported 30 applications in the pipe line and toy end up with a situation where the developer file an appeal to the Land Planning Administrative Tribunal for not responding in the allotted 120 days.  Some situations allow a 180 day timeline.

The public then howls claiming that the Planning department is inefficient.

Burlington’s Planning department is in one of those no one wins situations.

The paperwork for the National Homes development at 2100 Brant consisted of:

Supporting Documents

Application Form and Covering Letter (PDF)
Site Plan (PDF)
Draft Plan of Subdivision Application (PDF)
Environmental Site Screening Questionaire (PDF)
Enviromental Impact Study (PDF)
Functional Servicing Report and Storm Water Management Report (PDF)
Geotechnical Report (PDF)
Geotechnical Report – Slope Stability (PDF)
Grading Plan (PDF)
Height Survey – Adjacent Building Height Survey (PDF)
Letter of Reliance – Halton Region (PDF)
Noise Study (PDF)
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (PDF)
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (PDF)
Planning Justification Report (PDF)
Plan of Survey (PDF)
Planning Justification Report (PDF)
Preliminary Landscape Plan (PDF)
Sanitary Servicing and Drainage Plan (PDF)
Shadow Impacy Analysis (PDF)
Shadow Study (PDF)
Stage 1-2 Archaelogy Letter of Registration (PDF)
Storm Servicing and Drainage Plan (PDF)
Transportation Study (PDF)
Tree Inventory and Preservation Plan – East (PDF)
Tree Inventory and Preservation Plan – West (PDF)
Urban Design Brief (PDF)
Watermain Hydraulic Analysis (PDF)
Watermain Plan (PDF)

Unit layout

A development with this degree of complexity requires time and resources from different levels to prepare a staff report – all within several months. Planning department has not met the target on a number of occasions.

Various levels of expertise are required to understand and assess the contents of the document.  They also have to get sent to other departments for their input.

On smaller developments the paperwork can be manageable – but when there are more than two dozen applications the staff in the Planning department get swamped.  There are 26 planners on staff with one department asking for an additional planner to help lighten the load.

It is never as simple as it appears on the surface.


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Brant street development running into timing issues - over-development has neighbours up in arms

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 28, 2018



The first the Gazette heard of the status of the 2100 Brant development that is currently at a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal was a mention at the final city council meeting of the current council.

The discussion took place in a Closed Session so there was no information to report.
Then we got a document that had a letter from the National Homes legal counsel. A portion of that letter said:

Please also be advised that we will be asking the LPAT to convert this PHC to a SETTLEMENT HEARING to approve the settlement which National Homes (Brant) Inc. and the City of Burlington have reached. The settlement is reflected in the planning instruments (the Official Plan Amendment, Zoning By-law Amendment and Plan of Subdivision), all of which are attached to this letter. If you have a concern with the PHC being converted to a settlement hearing please contact the undersigned prior to Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

Also, part of the document we got was an outline on where things were in terms of what the developer was asking for.

Aerial of the site

Vacant for years, the land had been donated to the Catholic church and then bought by a developer who had big plans – too big for the neighbours

The development application was at LPAT because the city had failed to respond to the development application within the 120 day timeframe required.

The application was to permit the development of 233 townhouse consisting of 27 dual frontage townhouses, 123 standard townhouses and 83 street townhouses at a density of 43.4 units per net hectare.

The documentation on this development is complex and constantly changing.

Residents from the Havendale community put together a very well written and data supported response to the delegation.

Area resident’s point out that “a lame duck outgoing Council exacting some final tribute likely instigated by the retiring ward Councillor. There are so many planning failures and empty information boxes on so many critical things in the OMB/LTAP Notice that it is a repugnant rip off of the democratic and due public process in the planning and normal sequence outlined in the Planning Act.

Landscape master plan

Traffic issues with just the one street running through the development that exist onto Brant and Havendale

“There will be no staff reports on important matters such as: stormwater and groundwater flows in this escarpment location and how they are to be managed to achieve pre-development runoff rates, and to prevent impacts downstream; a full staff recommendation report with comments from various City departments and the public on the amendments and 19 or so variances requested; a Committee meeting with delegations and debates, and a vote; a following Council meeting with delegations, debate, and a vote; and then an opportunity for appeal.

“All of this democratic process and more is being arbitrarily taken away in this move by a defunct Council.
Tom Muir, an Aldershot resident said “I was told that the planner in charge of the file, Lola Emberson, wrote the basis for the amendment – there is no signature or otherwise identification – and that she agrees with it. Frankly, it looks more like it was written by the developer consultant than an objective planner. It’s a disgrace for a professional and objective planner, working for the residents of the City, to sign off on such a deficient basis for an approval of all the amendments wanted.

Park distances

The lack of a park within the development is a major issue.

“Anything built on such a vacant site as this application would meet the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) targets for intensification, including a reduced build that would address and meet the existing OP and substantial resident comments and submissions suggesting revisions to the application that would satisfy all the PPS and intensification needs.

“It is notable that this appeal by the developer was made possible by the City neglect to make a decision on the requested Official Plan amendment within the 180 days’ timeline.

“This City neglect to make decisions on requested amendments extends also to amendments on zoning by-laws within the 120 day timeline on several other applications, appears to be a policy-like decision to sidestep the normal democratic public process, described above, for the planning process.

Built form

Traditional look to the built form.

“The developers love it as it removes any negative public and planning objections from the process of deciding the application. The public is effectively shut out of any due process, rights of appeal, and the City Council cannot do anything of its own volition without going through the OMB/LPAT. In the end, only one or two LPAT Chairs make the decisions.

“There is another appeal by National Homes on their 484 and 490 Plains Rd application for zoning by-law amendments based on the City failure to make a decision within 120 days. Again, this appeal is designed to sidestep the democratic due planning process, and is facilitated by the City planning and legal staff in an apparent deliberate fashion in ignoring the lapses of the mandated timelines for making decisions. There is a pre-hearing conference meeting set for December 19, 2018, one day after the meeting for 2100 Brant St.

“It’s the same developer, and similar logic, so it is a logical question as to whether this application can be approved without due process, just like the 2100 Brant St application.

“We ought to be concerned that such a planning ruse like these appeals can be used throughout the City planning and development process to undermine public participation in a democratic way of transparent decision-making based on a discussion of the merits and demerits of applications.

Brant street frontageMuir said: “And we should definitely be concerned that the existing planning, legal and senior managers have seemingly organized themselves in such a way as to allow this failure to occur. All I have heard in my complaints to city planning is a litany of possible things that could have happened to allow such a failure to occur, from inadequate staff for processing applications and studies submitted by the developers.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir has pointed out many of the problems with a development he feels is being rushed.

Muir believes “This is a management and policy failure that must be fixed right now.

All this will land on the desks of the new city council that will roll up their sleeves and figure out how development applications are going to be handled.

The Planning department is swamped with applications. There are a reported 26 planners on staff who have to manage the reported 30 development applications in the pipeline.

It is close to an untenable situation and must be emotionally draining for the planners, who for the most part are young, well educated and personally motivated to do good work.

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Bryce Lee: Wants more than any city council could get done in its first 100 days; doesn't think the new Mayor will last more than one term.

100 daysThe Gazette has invited residents for their thoughts on what the new city might try to achieve in its first 100 days.  A lot of wishful thinking and some misunderstanding of how the city actually works.  Interesting comments.


By Bryce Lee
November 28th, 2018

Have often thought the ward boundaries should shift, to accommodate two extra councillors account some wards are geographically larger than others. Even the load so to speak.

No more structures blocking the view of Lake Ontario.

The lake is perhaps the greatest asset this City has, do not lose it to developers!

No more fancy homes on Lakeshore east to Guelph Line.

The issue is the portion shown as parkette. The city had three options: keep the land and develop it as a parkette, lease the land to adjoining property owners until the city decides on its long term use or sell the land. The want to sell it.

The issue is the portion shown as parkette. The city had three options: keep the land and develop it as a parkette, lease the land to adjoining property owners until the city decides on its long term use or sell the land. The city sold it.

Over a long time that entire area should become a linear park. Selling those lots on Lakeshore Road between Market and St Paul to home owners was stupid and short sighted.

Let the council delegations be heard, good amplification is required; citizens must not be ignored. They voted the current Councillors in; they can just as easily be voted out in four years!

421 Brant

Approved – all but impossible to change the decision

Looking north from Queens Head

Developer is expected to appeal the council decision to keep the structure to 17 storeys – developer wants 24 – same as the approved building across the street.

As to the planned monstrosities opposite the current city hall and elsewhere; the so-called Official Plan needs to be reviewed. Such tall buildings should be fronting the edge of Metrolinx railway line, not in the downtown area. Keep the downtown building height to six stories, set back from the new wider sidewalks.

Have affordable shops on perhaps the ground floor or even the second floor.

Motorized vehicle parking should be at the rear of said structures or below level; 1.5 vehicles per household please. Employees should also be afforded parking, below street level.

Traffic barriers in place on LAkeshore for the Car Free Sunday last year were expensive and not really used. The event was poorly attended.

We are an automobile based society

We are an automobile based society regardless of the method of propulsion; make charging stations available payable by bank card. The car park with Elizabeth on the east and John Street on the west should be a many level parking garage with retail shops and professional offices on the ground floor and second level, shops to be fronted on the streets mentioned above.

Maintain, if possible, the residential areas of old Burlington below Ghent Avenue; homes constructed post WWII, and occupied for the most part by baby boomers.

Keeping those aforementioned residences allows residents to walk to most locations; The Brant Street No Frills plaza needs to be retained; grocery outlets are few and far between in this City unless one has suitable transportation.

City sponsored transportation should have free Sundays and free all the time to seniors.
Ensure all of the provincial subsidy is used; smaller electric powered (solar?) buses with frequent service is required.

And if the current Provincial Premier wants to merge Oakville and Burlington to Hamilton, tell him he too could be voted out of office, sooner than later!

Meed ward election night 1

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward

My own thoughts on Meed-Ward: she will be a one term mayor, as were the two previous female mayors of Burlington.

She was wonderful as a Councillor however a mayor requires a whole different mindset.  She will stumble and in four years be out of office.

As for the other newly elected Councillors; being a ward Councillor requires time; time far beyond what the incumbents know. A Councillor is a 7/24/365 job; no rest during the four years; while  elected.

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Seems like housing issues have become a political football being kicked around by everyone.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 26th, 2018



See if you can find the news in this media release from the province.

Last week, Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued this statement in recognition of National Housing Day:

“Twenty years ago, National Housing Day was declared after municipalities, members of the public and community agencies across the country called on all levels of government to take action on housing – specifically community housing.

Steve Clark Minister of Muni affairs Ontario

Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

People said “What can we do to help those in need of a safe and affordable home?” Answering that question is something our government cares deeply about. And while the full answer is complex, at its core it’s simple: we need more housing.

Building more housing will help Ontario create good jobs across the province. Employees need affordable places to live and getting shovels in the ground will bring more construction jobs to Ontario.

But the road to building more housing has been challenging after a decade of mismanagement by the previous government. There is too much red tape that is choking the system – from complex approval requirements, to high costs and government fees. We need that to change.

Our government for the people promised we would remove the barriers to home ownership. My ministry in particular is taking concrete action, we are consulting with the people of Ontario about how the government can remove those barriers and build the right kind of housing in the right places. Their ideas will help us create a housing action plan to boost housing supply.

We know all housing is important. We also need to work together to sustain critical community housing, to repair and renew aging buildings and to maintain the financial viability of housing providers across Ontario.

On this National Housing Day, I want to stress to you as the Minister responsible, that we are committed to fixing the mess left by years of neglect.

National Housing day - structure - tent like

Part of the demand for more and better housing.

National Housing Day began as a call for all levels of government to do more about housing. I agree – we need to work in partnership with our municipal and development partners. They are big financial contributors, and they are on the front lines, helping people every day. Our government is committed to making a difference. This commitment includes working collaboratively with my colleagues in other ministries.

However, the federal government needs to step up. Their National Housing Strategy barely maintains the status quo. I believe they must do more. If we are going to renew Ontario’s housing stock and provide the housing people across Ontario need, the federal government needs to invest more.

I believe we all have a role to play when it comes to maintaining and building more housing in our communities. Today, let’s reflect on how important it is to have housing that is affordable for the people of Ontario. Housing that meets their needs and offers more choice for their families. The people of Ontario should expect nothing less.”

Did I get the message in this provincial media release?

Housing is needed, more affordable housing as well and Ontario is waiting for the federal government to do something ?

Ontario has announced that it is going to take rent increase legislation off the books for any new houses that are built.

In December of 2017 Habitat for Humanity took part in the announcement of a National Housing Strategy.

At that time, Members of Parliament Pam Damoff and Karina Gould, as well as Andrew Balahura from Halton Region were in Habitat for Humanity’s Halton-Mississauga’s Burlington ReStore today to celebrate a historic initiative from our federal government.

All three, along with our affiliate’s CEO John Gerrard, spoke about what the NHS means for our community. MP Gould and Damoff both had a role in the development of the strategy, and were instrumental in broadcasting the message from our community – that a National Housing Strategy is of the utmost importance. This message sprouted from a roundtable hosted by our local MPs, and we believe has a lot to do with our country finally developing a National Housing Strategy of its own.

Habitiat and the NHS announcement

From left to right: Habitat Halton CEO John Gerrard, Burlington MP Karina Gould, Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff and Halton Region’s Andrew Balahura


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Can the residents of this city make a Mayor out of Marianne Meed Ward or will she become a one term wonder?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 22, 2019



In December of 2014, the city council that was first elected in 2010 sat behind a table on the stage of the Performing Arts Centre waiting to be sworn in. his was the first time the swearing in ceremony took place at that venue.

Trumpeters from the Burlington Teen Tour Band were in the gallery to the left of the stage; the sound of blaring trumpets heralded the event.

While the council being sworn on December 2014 was a repeat of what residents elected in 2010 there was still some electricity in the air.

As each member of Council was announced, after they had been sworn in, the applause for Marianne Meed Ward was just that much louder, lasted just that much longer than the applause for anyone else on that stage. If two people had stood up and shouted “bravo” and clapped loudly I swear she would have gotten a standing ovation.

Meed ward election night 1

Mayor Elect Marianne Med Ward at the Polish Hall on election night

Mayor Goldring may not have recognized what was going on but the 2018 election campaign had begun.
On Monday, December 3rd, Meed Ward will be recognized as Mayor and the trumpets will blare. The Meed Ward supporters will see this as the beginning of a new dawn.

It is far too early to tell if Marianne Meed Ward is going to grow into a great Mayor. There are still a lot of people out there that do not wish her well.

She is going to have to work with five people who have never served on anything that has had input into city policy considerations. Angelo Beneventigna is familiar with a lot of the people at city hall and has more in the way of understanding as to how the city works than most of the others.

What Beneventigna has to figure out and realize is that he wasn’t elected to be a “friend” of those who handle the day to affairs of the city but to assure that they are always accountable to council and to the wider public they serve.

Meed Ward will be something of a den mother for the first 18 months.

Paul Sharman, a man that Rick Goldring once said was the best strategic thinker he has ever met, will be sitting on the same stage.

Councillor Shar,man with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions. Both are strong contributors to Council and Committee meetings

Councillor Sharman with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during the 2011 Strategy Planning sessions.

Sharman will be the odd man out on this council. He brings a reputation for abrasiveness and a tendency to be abrupt with people. He is more comfortable getting his own way.

When he became BFF (Best Friends Forever) with Councillor Craven there was little hope of there being much in the way of collaboration. Sharman consistently referred to Meed Ward’s “ideology” which wasn’t one he shared. He was more comfortable with his own. The Gazette began to refer to Sharman as “Mr. Data”; he always wanted more data. Over time we realized that the request for more data meant that Sharman didn’t have to make a decision.

Goldring saw Sharman as the best strategic thinker he had ever met – We won’t test the veracity of that statement. However, Paul Sharman does come at what he does from a strategic perspective.


Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

In 2010, to the surprise of many and shock to others, he fist nominated himself for Mayor. When Rick Goldring filed nomination papers for the office of Mayor, Sharman muffled his ambitions, withdrew the nomination for Mayor and nomination himself for the ward 5 council seat that Goldring was vacating.

Meed Ward needs Paul Sharman to get through the first 18 months. He is the only person on the new Council that can get a budget passed. He might even manage to somehow produce a budget with a 0% increase. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in city reserve accounts; – Sharman knows those accounts better than any of the newbies..

Could he find a way to loosen up some of that money?

The option the LaSalle PArk MArina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due MArch 2013.

Funds to pay for the break water barrier were found – all the city had to do was raid the Hydro Reserve fund.

If the outgoing council could find a way to use $4 million plus that was in the Hydro Reserve find for the breakwater facility at the LaSalle Park Marina – Paul Sharman can find a way to wiggle some funds out of other reserve accounts.  This of course will drive the Director of Finance bananas – that department likes nice thick reserves earning solid interest for the city.

Many people are watching how Meed Ward handles herself in the first 18 months. The people she took political power from are quite willing to see her fall on her face.

The pressure will be immense, which will be nothing new to Meed Ward. The current council has bullied and harassed this woman for the past eight years. Some of the behaviour bordered on the kind of thing you report to authorities that can take corrective action and ensure that there is due process.

Her council colleagues were not the only level that harassed Meed Ward; the failures in the Clerk’s department are legion.

Meed Ward tried hard to establish a good working relationship with Mary Lou Tanner when she was first appointed as the Director of Planning. Her efforts didn’t take.

In the months ahead, expect Councillor Sharman to go into his “smarmy” mode and do his best to charm the newcomers. He has reached out to all of them.

He will sit and wait patiently and should Meed Ward not be up to the job she has taken on – Paul Sharman will try to convince the city that he can do the job – for he was the best strategic thinker Rick Goldring had ever met.

Red jacket at city hall

The mandate is thin – the hope runs very deep.

Meed Ward’s mandate is thin. However, she has the goodwill and high hopes of many of the people who want to see the core values that are Burlington be recognized, kept and built upon.

Too early to tell if the battle lines for the 2022 election are drawn.

For her fans, and her supporters – stop lauding and convincing yourselves she can walk on water.  What Marianne Meed Ward needs is to be held accountable day in and day out.

In 2014 she asked people to trust her – they did and she changed the way the city operates.

She will need that trust going forward.

Related news stories:

The day city council beat up Marianne Meed Ward

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Martha street community divided on proposed development south of New Street.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 21, 2018



The meeting room at the Lions Hall on John Street was full; area residents wanted to know more about a proposed 11 storey development that was yards away from an application for an 18 storey development.  A 26 story development has been approved for the bottom of Martha street.  The neighbourhood was getting crowded.

401 Martha - audience

Audience at the Lions Hall listening to details on a proposed Martha Street development.

People were in the room to hear what the LDG group wanted to build on the east side of Martha Street south of New Street. The land they assembled backs onto Rambo Creek which has created some problems for the developer. The ownership of the creek and how the flood plain will be managed are problems that are still being worked on

The developers have yet to file an application with the city Planning department. The new rules for developments is the requirement that they meet with the public and get reaction from the community that is going to feel the impact.

And impact there is going to be on all of Martha south of New Street. Based on the developments that are planned 520 new residences are going to be created in a stretch of land that you could walk in less than ten minutes.

2018-10-17_Martha St_View 5

11 storeys with a set back from the street of two metres – total of 132 units, five of which will be two story townhouses.

The Adi development at Lakeshore, the Martha that will be on James (James Street and New Street cut through Martha Street).

LDG assembled six properties on which there are five houses.

The proposed development will have four levels of underground parking. There will be 135 parking stalls with an additional seven parking spaces for visitors. The current city parking requirement is for 1.25 parking spaces for each unit. It was not made clear if a parking spot was bundled into the sale price – prices have yet to be set.

The developers did tell the audience that the faster they get approval the lower the cost of the units. The audience chuckled at that comment.

There will be two elevators and the developers is looking for some way to include a ride sharing service..

There will be 80 indoor bicycle parking spots and six outdoor spots.

2018-10-17_Martha St_View 1

Some of the units at the ground level will be two story townhouses. Rendering shows a setback from the street of two metres.

The proposed LDG group development will have 132 condo units of which five will be two story townhouses with three bedrooms. These will be built into the street level of the building and have different cladding.

Those giving the presentation continued to point out that the development complied with all the current policies. This development has to comply with the existing Official Plan and not with the plan that was approved by city council and sent to the Regional government where it has to be approved.

While stressing that the proposed development meets all the current policy guidelines Marianne Meed Ward pointed out that a site with medium density should have 185 units per hectare.

Garden at the rear

Open landscaped space at the rear of the proposed building will abut Rambo Creep. The design shown at the public meeting had pathways for the general public – the audience wasn’t all that keen on that idea.

The developer will be asking for the right to build 413 units on each hectare; an increase of more than 200%.
The developers want to create as much outdoor space that can be used and are asking to have a set back from the street of just 2 metres; the bylaws currently call for a six metre set back.

Time line for this development? The developer said getting approval in principle should take about 18 months and two years to build.

Singe bedroom units will range between 650 to 900 sq. ft.

Two bedroom units will range between 850 sq. ft. to 1400 sq. ft. in size

The developers said they met with Mayor Goldring about the development.

Saxony on ElginThe LDG Group is currently building the six floor Saxony opposite the Performing Arts Centre on Elgin Street.  That development was originally set at four storeys – council approved an application for an additional two storeys.

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Don Fletcher suggests the new city council ask the Region to send the proposed Official Plan back so that it can be re-written.

100 daysWe asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the new city council needs to do in its first 100 days.

They get sworn in on December 3rd.  There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; with the thinking  coming out of the Planning department and worried about 4% tax increases.   People voted for a new path to get the city out of the rut many feel it is in.

By Don Fletcher
November 18th, 2018

“What a great initiative!

Asking for engaged citizens’ ideas, prior to the swearing in of our new Council.

While not original, I think the primary objective of the new Council has to be to “fix” our proposed Official Plan.

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageBy “fix”, I mean to retract from the Halton Region’s inbox our current proposal, and in particular, modify and resubmit a downtown plan (with community support) to be a mid-rise (4-8 storey) community, as opposed to the proposed high-rise ( 14- 25 storey) alternative.



1) This is what our Mayor-elect Marianne Meed Ward campaigned on. Trust needs to be restored.

2) The urgency of the submission was self-imposed and the Region will understand, given the “sea change” based on this issue at City Hall.

3) It’s what most engaged citizens want, because they felt that they were being ignored with its’ hasty approval. It became an “election issue”, maybe the central one.

4) It will unquestionably be the “elephant in the room” with all other matters. Deal with it upfront!

5) The developers need certainty with what is permissible in making future investments.

6) LPAT, unlike its’ predecessor OMB, treats the Official Plan as an enforceable criterion (I.e. teeth).

7) The Official Plan has longevity, unlike many of us.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public. An Official Plan review isn't a sexy subject but it deserves more attention than it is getting.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public.

Okay.   So nothing radically new there!

I would like to add a “how” we could do this..

Relationship is the medium for results and accomplishments.

I learned this as an executive of a $5B successful Canadian public corporation.

We have a largely new Council with a current understanding of what the residents want, and a staff that mistakenly thought they did.

I’m not a big fan of the one employee of Council, City Manager construct, with all of its’ implications.  It feels as though we, the citizens through their representatives, are having our input constricted through a straw.

I recommend that the new Council convene an offsite (3-day) planning session, with all the functional heads in the administration (including the City Manager) at City Hall, to work through the City’s values, objectives and plans. A derivative benefit of such a meeting would be to begin developing those relationships needed to move the City forward and in a positive direction.

I know of a few very capable facilitators who could help.

What should I be paid for this idea?

A seat at the offsite meeting table. After all, I am a management consultant.”

Don Fletcher is a downtown Burlington resident who has been a city council watcher for some time.  Before retirement he was a senior vice president with a public Canadian company in the communications and entertainment field.

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Hersh: resident involvement is essential if anything is to be achieved in the first 100 days.

100 daysWe have asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the new city council needs to do in its first 100 days.

The Councillors  gets sworn in on December 3rd – what has to be done in that first 100 days to set a new path and get out of the rut many feel the city is in ?

There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; even unhappy with the thinking that is coming out of the Planning department.

We asked the people we knew, they aren’t all friends of the Gazette, what they thought could be done and should be done.

By Penny Hersh
November 12th, 2018

City election logoThe residents voted in a new council with the mandate for change. Will it be what residents expect in what they perceive as a reasonable time frame? That is yet to be determined.

In response to this request and because Engaged Citizens of Burlington – ECoB feels that resident involvement is essential I asked the seniors who attend the current events class I am a part of for their input.

In no particular order this is what was expressed.

– Get control over development.

– Culture change at City Hall – Council needs to direct staff, not the other way around.

– Council needs to stop depending solely on Staff Reports.

– Council needs to work with the Provincial Government – Regarding” Places to Grow” and the demands put on Municipalities to reach the mandated target set out for them.

– Council Meetings should take place throughout the City not only at City Hall. Parking is a problem downtown, and if the meetings take place during the day there is a parking fee.

– Town Hall Meetings – to explain in “layman’s language” what is happening. Telling people to go to the City’s website is not the answer.

– Newsletters from Councillors that do more than just detail events happening in their wards. High praise for Marianne Meed Ward’s “ A Better Burlington”.

– City needs to hire a Public Relations firm to make Municipal Politics “resident friendly”.

City Hall BEST aerial

Together we can make a greater change in the culture at City Hall, and never again have to wait for an election to make our voices heard.

The change Burlington needs requires commitment from City Hall and the citizens of Burlington alike, and it needs to start now. Together we can make a greater change in the culture at City Hall, and never again have to wait for an election to make our voices heard.

To be part of this change ECoB is asking residents to participate in the resident ward level committees that are being formed. More information can be found on our website To sign up email us at and make your ward level committee a success.


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Rutherford: audit planning staff, evaluate previous recommendations and educate planners.

100 daysWe asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the city needs to go in its first 100 days.

The new city council gets sworn in on December 3rd – what has to be done in that first 100 days to set a new path and get out of the rut many feel the city is in?

There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; unhappy with the thinking that is coming out of the Planning department.

Here is what Kevin Rutherford thought could be done and should be done.

By Kevin Rutherford
November 12th, 2018

1. Perform audits of planning staff and City manager to evaluate the performance of previous planning recommendations. Staff recommendations are wildly different depending on the planner on file, they need to reign this in and provide a consistent message and approach. Performance should also be evaluated based on the time spent reviewing applications and whether they completed the recommendation within the 120 day window, failure to do so allowed the National Homes Developer on Brant Ave to file an appeal and with the Georgina Court Development it forced council to make a decision in haste because of fear of litigation from the developer because they were at roughly 390 days.

2. Come up with a plan on engaging residents more in development plans, and earlier in the game, and treat residents with respect when they are engaged. Current meetings are essentially about checking a box in the process rather than actually engaging with residents.

Parking sign3. Scrap or re-visit the City-wide parking review. They are reducing the parking spaces required for developments creating massive parking issues. The reality is that adult children are living at home longer so more spaces are needed, not less. The justification for their plan is that they want to eliminate cars from the roads and force people to take transit etc… I am sorry I manage rail/transit engineering projects and Burlington needs massive investment before any of their objectives will ever work and in the meantime residents will continue to struggle. In areas of the city where they are exploring street parking permits is just a cash grab and not proper planning.

4. Educate planning staff on the current OP, PPS, Places to grow act etc… They are submitting recommendations that do not comply either due to incompetence or insufficient education. I agree they need to try to ensure they meet the conditions of these plans/policy, they do not seem to understand the basic principles. Even when mistakes are found, they still defend their decisions and fight, forcing developers or residents to file LPAT appeals.

Keith Rutherford is a Senior Project Manager, managing Rail & Transit engineering projects. He is also the individual leading the LPAT appeal for the Georgina Court (Upper Middle Enclave) residents. He reports that “We just received responses from the City staff on our appeal synopsis and record that we submitted and they are still digging in and standing their ground essentially “sucking and blowing” in their response on the issue items.

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ADI development group can now begin construction of the 26 story tower in the downtown core.

Newsflash 100By Staff

November 5th, 2018



This is not good news – at least not for the city.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016The ADI Development Group can now proceed with the construction of the 26 floor tower they want to put up at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

The Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) dismissed the city’s request to review decision the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) made on 374 and 380 Martha St.

The OMB released a decision on Feb. 13, 2018, regarding the development application that allows 26 storeys. The city filed a Section 43 review request to the Executive Chair of the OMB in March 2018.

The city requested the review on the assertion that there were four errors made by the OMB: Incorrect Application of the Growth Plan, Improper Regard for Council Decisions and Materials, Improper Exclusion of Evidence and Unreasonable Findings with Respect to Tower Separation.

In making its decision, the LPAT member, Paul Muldoon concluded that the city failed to raise a “convincing and compelling” case that any one of the listed errors or grounds cited in its Rules to grant a review was applicable.

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Turning five citizens into productive Council members - a steep learning curve.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 3rd, 2018




Of the five new members of Council perhaps one has attended a Regional Council meeting.

The process of installing a new city council is taking place. The five newcomers to council will be at the Regional government offices learning more about what their role is at that level.

In the week ahead they will be introduced to city staff- meeting the city manager, deputy manager, the clerks and department Directors.

They will probably park their cars in the Lotus street garage and cast a covetous eye on the parking spaces right outside city hall that will be theirs on December 3rd.

Budget book covers

The 2019 budget will be a challenge for the new members of the incoming council.

According to one source they have yet to be given copies of the budget they are going to have to review and make decisions on – the decision they make will give the citizens of the city some sense as to what this council is going to be able to do.

Everyone says the 4% tax increase every year for the past seven years can’t continue – but continue it has. The only time the 2010 and 2014 council ever brought in a budget well below that close to 4% number was in 2011 when it was a 0% increase over the previous year. So it can be done.

As these new members of council learn their jobs the process of healing the rifts with the people that lost in the election has t begin. Traditionally the losers make a courtesy call on the winner, shake their hand, wish them well and head home to lick their wounds.

Wallace and Gould

Mike Wallace congratulating Karina Gould on winning the 2014 federal election.

Mike Wallace had the graciousness to pay a courtesy call on Karina Gould when she took the federal seat from him in 2014.

Neither Wallace nor Rick Goldring visited the Polish hall where Mayor Elect Meed Ward was celebrating with her supporters.

Really poor form – both men were capable of better.

The hard feelings have to be set aside. Ideally, both men, when called upon, can provide some counsel.

The job of setting policy for the city gets debated at the Standing Committee level and then decided by council.

Committee structure:
The city currently has five formal committees of council. They are:

Audit Committee
Committee of the Whole
Committee of the Whole – Budget
Committee of the Whole – Workshop
Planning and Development Committee

A member of Council is going to have to chair each committee, manage the agenda and keep the meeting moving smoothly.

Of the people just elected there are three that have some capacity to do this kind of job. Rory Nisan, Lisa Kearns and to some degree Kelvin Galbraith. The others are going to have to watch carefully and learn quickly.

Kelvin Galbraith headshot_Super_Portrait

Kelvin Galbraith, Ward 1

Lisa Kearns Election Photo

Lisa Kearns, ward 2

Rory Nisan

Rory Nisan, ward 3

Angelo Bentivegna, and Shawna Stolte have a lot of growing to do.

Marianne Meed Ward and Paul Sharman are going to have to carry a lot of the freight during the next 18 months.

Sharman will have to handle the budget and Meed Ward will carry Planning and Development and hope that Lisa Kearns and Rory Nisan are up to doing some of the Committee of the Whole work.


Returning council member for ward 5 Paul Sharman will have to head up the Budget committee. He will also have to work on how he wants to relate to the new Mayor.

Meed Ward H&S

Mayor Elect Meed Ward has her work cut out for her. She has wanted the job for more than a decade – now that she has it – can she make it work? A lot of people are depending on her.

Nisan certainly has the background; his experience as a federal government bureaucrat where he served as part of Canada’s diplomatic corps, should serve him well. However, the world of managing and trying to meet competing interests is far different than dealing with bureaucrats from other countries.

Kearns is said to have solid experience in the commercial world; many are waiting to see that experience in action.

Mistakes will be made – and the public will have to cut them some slack.

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Will the public take to the idea of having significant input on what the towers opposite city hall might look like at the ground level?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 3rd, 2018



What are the issues for this new council going to be?

high profile 421

We know what the developer wants to build; shovels will go into the ground just as soon as the building permit is issued.

There are some, downtowners for the most part, who wonder if the Carriage Gate development, that has now been named The Gallery is really a done deal. We were asked: “Is there nothing that can be done to stop that development?”

421 name - window

Sales office is open.

Has a building permit been issued?

If not then city council can, if they choose to – un-delegated the authority on this project that they gave the Director of Planning.

That has been done before.

There was a project that then Director of Planning Bruce Krushelnicki asked city council to take back from him- and he was duly un-delegated.

The project was given back to Krushelnicki later.

The point is that city council can un-delegate and this might be one of those projects that should be treated this way.

We asked Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward:

Would you consider un-delegating the authority the Director of Planning has over that project and bringing it back to council where they will manage the project?

Meed Ward responded with:

“City council by majority vote can un-delegate the site plan from staff back to council for a final decision.

“This does not stop the project or slow it down.

“It allows council and community input into site plan details (including layout, entrances, landscaping and so forth).

“I’m open to un-delegating the site plan.”


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The ward 1 Councillor Elect is 'speed dating' with the other five new members of council

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 1st, 2018



Kelvin Galbraith took the ward 1 city council seat by a decent margin given that there were 11 people on the ballot.

Kelvin Galbraith headshot_Super_Portrait

Kelvin Galbraith – about to learn that being a member of city council is a full time – and then some job.

His connections based on his leadership of the Aldershot Business Improvement Association proved to be what gave him the edge.  The woman who serves as the BIA Executive Director was also a ward 1 candidate – she will now work with Galbraith to grow the commercial sector

Solid Gold replacement

One of the bigger challenges coming down the pipe for the Aldershot community is the planned development on the Solid Gold property just east of Waterdown Road.

He has worked at any number of small business initiatives that included power washing driveway and plowing snow.

He has owned and operated the Fitness Firm located just west of the Plains Road – Waterdown Road intersection on property that someone is going to buy and develop at some point.

Many suggested this would put Galbraith in a conflict of interest – and it will. His answer to that is – “it certainly will put me in a conflict and I will recuse myself from any council vote.”

Galbraith takes the position that just because you own a piece of property doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be running for public office. You just have to let people know the facts and be transparent.

Station West A sign

Is Kevin Galbraith going to succeed where retiring Council member was not able to – in getting a small supermarket into the community. The Adi group are not known for being easy to deal with.

Galbraith is the kind of guy who flowered at doing door-to-door sales work. He is a consistent booster for the community: Thinks the Marina should be improved even more and that some way should be found to include a restaurant on the site. He’d like to see more in the way of restaurants in the community and like everyone else wants to know when there is going to be a supermarket in the west end of the community.

Galbraith has gone a little further than anyone else and is in conversations with the Adi people who are in the process of constructing the Station West development further up Waterdown Road. They, the Adi people see the need for a supermarket.

Galbraith, a graduate of the Business program at Brock University, wants the community to have more than just a Tim Hortons and a MacDonald’s in the way of coffee ships; “these are the only options we have at this point”.

The Fitness Firm Galbraith has owned and operated for more than 15 years has been restructured which will give him the time he is going to need to serve as a council member.

Galbraith said he would meet with constituents at his health club offices – he may find that isn’t going to make some people feel very comfortable. People feel that public business and personal commercial work should be separated.

While Galbraith has solid experience working with the commercial community in Aldershot he hasn’t seen much of city hall. This will be a new experience for him. His common sense and understanding of the street level needs of the Aldershot community should give him a bit of an edge in dealing with budgets and smaller developments.

He gets his first meeting on how the Region works when he takes part in an orientation at the Region later in November. “I’ve already gotten calls from people in Milton and I’m doing the ‘speed dating’ with my fellow Burlington council members.

He has had his first conversation with Paul Sharman, the holdover from the outgoing council.

Aldershot BIAWhere Galbraith will fit in with the crowd that has tended to focus on the downtown core is anyone’s guess – the one thing that was evident during the interview was that Kevin Galbraith is a leader – not a follow the herd type.

He got through university with a nickel of debt. He had a number of part time jobs that put beer money in his pocket and cash in the bank to pay for books and tuition.

Expect that same fiscal prudence from this man at city council.

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New elected members of city council have to figure our how to do their jobs - steep learning curve

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 1st, 2108



The first thing the members of the city council you elected a week ago are going to have to do is show the public that things are going to be different.

That the respect for each other will be there – and when it isn’t there they will make sure that those who are out of line are brought into line immediately.

If the new council is truly new – citizens will be watching for this.

Without that civility and respect for each other the city is looking at four years of chaos.

Sharman Paul

Paul Sharman – the only council member who held his council seat.

The holdover from the council that is on the way out is Paul Sharman. Many found the man to be difficult to work with and at times seemed menacing to people who were delegating before council.

The Gazette has learned from a number of sources that Sharman is now reaching out in an effort to create bridges to the new members of Council. That is a good sign.

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward is going to need some of the skills Sharman has always had in matters of finance and organization. The problem is going to be the radically different ideological differences between the two.

Some will say that ideology should not be the issue – when that is precisely what the election last Monday was all about.

With a voter turnout of less than 40% – this new council is going to have to be transparent in a way that this city has never seen. They are certainly up to it and if the election promises were real – this is the kind of municipal world all of the newbies want to work in.

It is not going to be easy.

Hand salute

The victory salute. Marianne Meed Ward recognizing the public that elected her at a Polish Hall event.

What the Gazette is watching for is the first few steps that Meed Ward takes as Mayor. If she can be seen as moving forward on several issues within the first 30 days and pulling the whole city together there is a chance that she can actually pull this off.

Meed Ward has time working for her. She get sworn in on December 3rd and begins budget deliberations on the 10th. She then has 12 days to make announcements, take positions before they all head off for the Christmas Holidays.

She has quite a bit of political capital but it doesn’t come from a very broad base. 60% of the population didn’t vote and while Meed Ward had a very convincing win over Rick Goldring and Mike Wallace it isn’t all that wide in terms of the population.

The Gazette’s early thinking on which of the three, Meed Ward, Goldring or Wallace would best serve the interests of those that were vocal – one can only guess what the complacent 60% had in mind – was that Meed Ward was the best hope the city had.

Her thumping the incumbent the way she did suggests that those who were focused and engaged felt she was the person to go with.

Thus we watch closely and carefully how Marianne Meed Ward re-directs the city she chose to live in 18 years ago.

In an exclusive interview with Meed Ward before the ballot were cast she told the Gazette her role models were Hazel McCallion and Bernie Saunders.

If she can focus on the best of both of them and convince her Council to follow her – it just might work.
It is the best hope we have.

Meed Ward is now meeting with the newly elected members of council to get to know them, hear what they hope to achieve during the next four years and answer the questions they have.

One newbie got a call from a constituent about a road problem; he thought about passing it along to the retiring member of council but decided it was his job to do even though he had yet to be sworn in.

He puts out a call to Meed Ward – what do I do? Problem solved.

One of the comments Meed Ward made before she was elected was that if she was elected she wanted to find a way to teach new council members how to deal with staff at city hall.

Who they are, what they do and perhaps how they can best be approached?

The public has now adjusted to the fact that there are going to be changes. People who once had influence at city hall are realizing that the phone calls they used to be able to make to a member of council or the Mayor will not be the same.

Angelo blue sports shirt

Angelo Bentivegna has delegated to city council and knows most of the staff members – he now has to decide what his approach to serving the public is going to be and can he reach the people who were die-hard supporters of the Council member he replaced.

Five of the members of council have no experience dealing with public issues. They each face a steep learning curve; some will do well quite quickly, some will struggle and some may fail and find themselves wondering if they made a poor career choice.

At this point each of the five new members are figuring out how they want to communicate with the people that elected them. Those that voted – and realize that 60% of the people eligible to vote didn’t do so, are, we think, are expecting these new council members to be communicating with them the day after they were elected.

Given the heavy use they all made of Facebook and Twitter and, assuming they kept the names of the people they communicated with, one would think they could have something up in the way of a communications vehicle and a strategy.

Shawna Stolte, who took ward four from a long long term incumbent, found that she really liked talking to people on their doorstep. You can’t cover the 20,000 plus people she now represents walking door to door.

Another newbie thought he would be able to see people in the office of the health club he operates – shades of the Jack Dennison approach; used to be that when you wanted to see Dennison you had to hoof it over to his health club.

Some are suggesting that we need to give these five new members of council time to adjust – the problem with that approach is the issues the public have don’t wait.

Most of these people ran on a campaign that included better engagement. The proof as they say is in the pudding.

How are they doing so far?

Pepper - Gazette shirt - no smileSalt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of the publisher of the Gazette, an on-line newspaper that is in its 8th year of as a news source in Burlington and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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A new development will be going before the public before the planners at city hall see anything - is this the way development applications are going to be handled going forward?

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 1st, 2018


A new development will be going before the public before the planners at city hall see anything – is this the way development applications are going to be handled going forward?

A development taking place in ward 2 is going to be presented to the public BEFORE it is presented to the Planning department.

That is new; the ward 2 Councillor and Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward explains “This is a pre-consultation with the community prior to submitting an application, so we will all see the information at the public meeting.

This approach to development was unheard of with the council that was first elected in 2010.

The development will be presented to the public at a meeting to take place at the Lions Hall on November 19th, at 6:30 pm.

Nov 17 meet dev proposalThe development is yards away from a controversial  18 storey development.

Councillor Elect Lisa Kearns published a note telling her “constituents” that she would be attending the meeting to represent their interests.

Kearns gets to represent the good people of Ward 2 sometime during the evening of December 3rd once she has been sworn in.


Adi’s Nautique development is stuck at the Administrative Review level.

Martha Street is undergoing a massive change.  The Nautique, an ADI development that is stalled in an Administrative Review Tribunal hearing is planned for where Martha meets Lakeshore Road.

The Mattamy development for the corner of James and Martha is working its way through the planning process.

The Mattamy development was for 18 fkloors at one point – then got taken down a notch to 17 storeys which is what the city was prepared to approve on Brant Street.

The Adi development is for 24 storeys and almost across the street is the 22 storey Bridgewater development that is well underway; the full height has already been reached.

Mattamy - 2082-2090-James-at-Martha-Perspective-768x641

Mattamy wants to put up a 17 storey tower right across the street from the proposed 11 story building the public get to know more about later in the month.


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Way back when the city manager made comments at a committee meeting that could be described as an effort to influence the decision that was to be made.

background 100By Staff

October 30th, 2018



It was a pivotal meeting; took place on November 1st, 2017 when the Planning and Development committee heard the staff report on the development application for the NE corner of Brant and James Street.

421 Brant

It’s a done deal – the 24 storey tower will go up. And it is likely to be twinned by a tower of the same height on the SE corner

The development application got approved and was named The Gallery by the developer.

The eventual decision meant a 24 storey tower opposite city hall and the issue that became the focus point for the election that took place a week ago yesterday that put a new Mayor in office.

When development applications go before a Standing Committee they start out with a presentation by the Staff Planner, often followed by comments from the develop.

Rarely does the most senior bureaucrat make comments before an application is discussed publicly. The Gazette has never seen a city manager do this in the seven years we have covered city council.

On November 1st, 2017 city manager James Ridge said the following.

“I’d like to make a few introductory comments just before I turn it over to Kyle.
There are two issues that I would like to address in relation to this application that have come up over & over again in the context of the last number of months.

“The first is the relationship between the application and the new plan for downtown and the Official Plan.

“The timing is unusual.

Ridge shilling for the developer

James Ridge: “”You’ve made a decision …

“This is coming just months before we consider the new Official Plan and has been going through the approval process in parallel with conversations we’ve been having about the downtown.

“I’d like to start with the Strategic Plan.

“You’ve made a decision as a City that the City will grow in certain strategic locations and downtown Burlington is obviously one of the locations.

“Tonight, you are considering the merits of this application which addresses at least some of the goals identified in the Strategic Plan.
It delivers a mix of housing, office, retail, in the City’s urban growth centre.

“It’s walkable.

“It is close to major transit hub and it is arguably higher density.

“There can be an argument about whether it is the right density or not,
and people have asked how this relates to the work done in recent months in downtown and that’s been engaged a lot of the community and there are obvious questions about the relationship.

“The short answer is this.

“The application is not bound by that work, by the work that’s been done nor is it bound by the new Official Plan, but nonetheless, it reflects much of it, and that’s the interesting reality of this application.

“The new Official Plan hasn’t yet been approved.

“It won’t be for a month or so, and as such, this principle by law must be considered in the context of the existing Official Plan.

Ridge shilling 2

James Ridge: “The application in front of you takes the density that is allowed in the existing Official Plan, and reconfigures it …

“The application in front of you takes the density that is allowed in the existing Official Plan, and reconfigures it in a way that we believe is consistent with the work that’s been done in recent months in the downtown and the intent and goals of the Official Plan.

“The applicant has a right now in law today, without further council approval, to build 12 storeys across that sight, and the fact that we have been able to take the rights that the applicant has under the current Official Plan, 12 storeys across the whole site, and reconfigure it in a way that is far more reflective of the work that’s been done over the summer around the downtown growth plan and the new Official Plan is a function of hard work that’s been done by Kyle and his colleagues and the applicant and I thank them both for that.

“The application in front of you isn’t bound by the new draft Official Plan, it still achieves a number of the key priorities that the public told us were priorities this summer.

“When we talked about the downtown, they include wider sidewalks, less sun shade impacts, respect for the character of Brant Street, more public open spaces and excellence in architectural design and Kyle will talk about these in more detail.

“So I’m very pleased that staff and the applicant have been able to incorporate many aspects of the new plan and the public’s priorities for the downtown in this application on an entirely voluntary basis.

“While some may argue, and I’m sure many will, that this application doesn’t fully or sufficiently reflect the new downtown plan, I think that any fair-minded person says, looking at the application, there has been a real effort to at least address some of the vision for the downtown in the plan, notwithstanding the fact it’s not bound by the new draft plan.

“The second thing I’d like to talk about is height and height is often the issue that generates the most conversation and controversy about an application,

“You know that as well or better than I do, and yet decisions based primarily on the height of a proposal can have bad outcomes, especially dangerous in my professional opinion is the notion that shorter buildings are always preferable to taller ones and this application is a case study in that fallacy.

“This applicant has a right to build 12 storeys across the whole site In our professional opinion, having the site developed as a full 12 storey block is as inconsistent as you can possibly get with the vision for downtown that has developed through the summer.

Ridge 4

James Ridge: “… the applicant has the right to do 12 storeys across that site today …”

“Once again, the applicant has the right to do 12 storeys across that site today and we think that would have lasting negative impacts for the downtown, and that’s nor an extreme case or hypothetical.

“The applicant came in in 2012 with a proposal to do exactly that, 12 storeys across the whole site.

“We have pictures if you would like to see them, and to the applicant’s credit, they backed away from that proposal and have come with something different, and while height is clearly a consideration, I want to stress it is not first and foremost about height in this application.

“Show this to you graphically … this is about taking the densities that the applicant has as a right by law right now and reconfiguring it differently.

“Height is part of those considerations but it is not the only one.

“So simply put, our collective professional advice to you is that reconfiguring much of the density on this site from 12 storey monolith to a taller skinny to tower on a smaller footprint is far preferable.

“It is better to have wider sidewalks.

“It’s better to have the expanded view to City Hall and the cenotaph.

“It’s better to have more open space on the street and more sunlight than have 12 storeys across the whole sight, in our professional opinion.

“The benefits of height need to be considered fairly.

“In my professional opinion, that happens rarely.

Ridge 3

James Ridge: “Height tends to be a bogeyman …”

“Height tends to be a bogeyman, something that is seen as fundamentally bad in a development.
and we ask only that we have a fair and an honest conversation about both the downsides of height and there are some, but also a conversation about the benefits and there are many of those as well.

“So with that, I’ll turn it over to Kyle”

Kyle Plaz

Kyle Plaz

Here is what is interesting about the comments made by the city manager: they sound like someone acting as a shill for an initiative.

Mention is made of a 12 storey monolith on several occasions but the public never got to see a drawing of what the monolith would actually look like. No architectural rendering.

421 Brant 12 and 23

The dark shading is what the developer had an “as of right” to build. The light blue is what city council approved instead.

There was never the sense that the 12 story’s was actually seriously considered. The public was just given the impression that it was going to be plunked down on the land and that it would be squat looking and really ugly.

Ridge uses the word fairness in his remarks – many of the delegators who spoke to council later on in the process (there were 30 of them) had to focus on a development that was going to change the city they knew radically.

It was clearly what the city planners wanted.

12 storey design

Some creativity might have solved that 12 storey situation.

What if the city had challenged the developer to hold a design competition for a building that was just 12 storeys – what have others done with 12 storeys?

12 storey desigh 2

Others have dome some very good 12 storey designs.

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Losing the race with grace and humility is the sign of a great candidate.

opiniongreen 100x100By Roland Tanner

October 27th, 2018



Thank you so much

On Monday night I didn’t get the result I and my team wanted to see, but I believe the results, in Ward 2 and across Burlington, were excellent ones for our city. I don’t have the slightest reservation in congratulating Lisa Kearns on an excellent campaign.

Burlington and Ward 2 voted for the things I entered the race to pursue.

A return to civility and respect for residents’ voices.

A council that doesn’t just listen, but sees engagement with citizens as the constant responsibility of every level of democratic government.

A council that will protect downtown from excessive intensification, and demand a creative approach to growth directed at creating complete communities on a human scale.

A transformational approach to better transit, walkable and cyclable communities, and infrastructure that gives us all transportation choices.

A focus on affordable and subsidized housing so our parents, children and grandchildren can afford to live and work here.

I want to thank everybody who took even the smallest role in this process for your support and your interest.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner

Thank you for reading my emails and articles.
Thank you for taking lawn signs.
Thank you for your donations and incredible generosity.
Thank you to the volunteers, family and friends who worked harder and were more generous than I could possibly ever have expected, to reach so many doors with me, to speak to so many residents in every corner of Ward 2 and to make this campaign one I can be proud of, even though we didn’t win.

Working with you all was both a privilege and an absolute blast.

Next steps

I’m not going anywhere. A new and better council still needs residents to stay engaged. Council alone will not create a better Burlington. A large part of the responsibility still falls to us. I intend to stay involved and keep pushing for the things I care about, and the things the residents of Ward 2 and Burlington care about.

Burlington is coming of age. There is huge promise in our city as it grows and changes, while treasuring and protecting our history, heritage and special neighbourhoods. I can’t wait to be part of that future.


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As we embark upon this new chapter in our community’s history ...

opinionred 100x100By Stephen White

October 24th, 2018



In the aftermath of the election a few reflections come to mind.

First, to all the candidates who were elected, sincere and heartfelt congratulations. It takes courage to run for office, as well as a huge amount of self-sacrifice, effort, determination, knocking on doors, sleepless nights, long days, and copious cups of coffee. The thoughts, prayers and good wishes of a community go with you as you embark on this difficult and challenging journey in our City’s history.

Second, to all those who ran and lost, and even those with whom many may have disagreed, please know that there is no shame or disgrace in running and losing. If it takes courage to run for office it also takes twice as much to move forward after a loss. I hope the sting of defeat minimizes with time, and I hope you find a way to remain active and engaged in the life of our City.

Third, we live in a truly wonderful City. As I campaigned during the election and went door-to-door I met an extraordinary number of unique and talented citizens. I was born and raised in Oakville, and have spent the better part of the last 43 years living in Burlington. Although I have lived in different places throughout my career I have always returned here. I believed then as I do even more so now, that we live in an amazing community that is a fascinating combination of different neighbourhoods, ethnicities and cultures. Whenever I speak to new residents and ask them how they like living in Burlington I invariably hear words like “fantastic” and “great”. It makes me proud, but it also makes me truly blessed to call Burlington “home”.

Hand on microphone

Mayor elect Marianne Meed Ward celebrating at the Polish Hall

No doubt this has been a divisive election for several reasons too numerous to mention and not worth re-hashing. Emotions are running high on all sides. There exists a lot of ill-will and bitter feelings. For those who were successful though this is not a time to gloat. Rather, it is an opportunity for everyone to pause, reflect and determine how best we move forward.

Both during my career in Human Resources, as well as through my political involvement over the course of many campaigns, I learned that every interaction in life is a unique compilation of both conflict and conciliation. Conflict in human interactions is inevitable. We don’t all agree on the same things all the time. That is what makes us distinct as individuals. If we all agreed all the time life would be boring. It would also be very unimaginative. In politics, conflict manifests itself as a healthy and respectful exchange of viewpoints and beliefs. Other times it goes much deeper. At some point though we all need to put aside our individual differences, personality conflicts, past grievances and hurts to find points of agreement that allow us to move forward.

Years ago when I was an undergraduate student at McMaster University I did a major paper for my Urban History class on the role of the business community in shaping Burlington’s development between the First and Second World Wars. As part of my research I poured over microfiche records at the Burlington Library of old newspapers. One of the names that I kept coming across through my research was that of Hugh Cleaver.

Hugh Cleaver, for those who may not know, was Burlington’s Mayor in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and Liberal MP from about 1935 – 1948. To my surprise he was alive and still practicing law. I wrote to him requesting an interview, and he very graciously granted my request.

Cleaver Hugh _House_01_GP___Gallery

The Hugh Cleaver house on Caroline – was demolished and replace by a semi-detached house.

On a freezing cold day in February 1977 I travelled to his office on Caroline Street where I met him. Mr. Cleaver was tall, erect and imposing, but in spite of this remained very approachable. Rather than sit in his office talking we climbed into his Volvo and he drove me around the city. He pointed with pride to many of the developments he had been involved in constructing that included an apartment building on Market Street and homes in the Roseland area, many of which I should add are still standing. His memory was encyclopedic, and despite being well into his eighties his passion and love for this City was nothing short of contagious.

Cleaver - Hugh H&SMr. Cleaver is gone now, but his legacy remains. I think of him today, and wonder what he would think about our City. One thing that resonates about our conversation over 40 years ago was our discussion around how to energize and sustain a community under pressure. During the 1930’s that pressure was overcoming economic challenges brought about by the Depression. Today our challenges may not be economic but they are nevertheless formidable.

One thing Hugh Cleaver reinforced was the notion of respect. Mr. Cleaver knew how to reach across and connect with voters and residents regardless of their political affiliation or approach. He lived in the community, and took enormous pride in what he built and created. For him, it wasn’t just about turning a profit or building a magnificent edifice or monument. It was about creating a community that was vital, diverse, sustaining and balanced, but also, one which was inclusive.

I hope as we embark upon this new chapter in our community’s history that our Mayor, our Council and our community pause to reflect on the legacy we’ve all inherited, and the insights offered by past leaders like Hugh Cleaver.

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Meed Ward in an interview: city council just has to become more civil and collaborative.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2018



We asked ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, who is running for Mayor, what the top five things she has gotten done since you were first sworn in 2010

Freeman station Sept 18-17

Freeman Station – a Meed Ward win for the city – with help from Councillor Lancaster.

The saving of the Freeman station, getting the Drury Lane bridge repaired – the city thought it might have to be torn down, and pioneering the way the public gets informed about developments.

No longer safe for the public to use the Drury Lane pededstrain Bridge was closed in November. Estimate is that $2 million will be needed to re-build and $380,000 to put on a five year patch.

The pedestrian bridge was closed for a number of months. City had to decide if they were going to send $2 million for a new one or $380,000 to put on a five year patch.

We didn’t get beyond those three – Meed Ward needed to press home how important she feels maintaining respect for each other is in a civic, civil society.

“We don’t have to agree but we do have to respect each other” she said. Early in her first term she prepared a set of slides that she would put up at every community meeting – when things looked like they might get out of hand she would put the slides back up.

Those slides are now part of what the Planning department uses when staff are out at public meetings. They are used at Standing Committee meetings when she is the chair.

They came out of Meed Ward’s experience on the Joseph Brant Hospital Board where she learned how a board made up of professional people could function.

Meed Ward saw the hospital board as a high functioning group of people. They have term limits, mandatory training and succession planning. Meed Ward admits that succession planning can be awkward in an elected environment – but Burlington has a deputy mayor that is rotated through the council members. For the most part it is a ribbon cutting exercise but when the city experienced the flood Paul Sharman stepped in as Deputy Mayor until the Mayor got back into town.

At the hospital board” said Meed Ward, “they genuinely knew how to respect each other – there was a strong corporate commitment that allowed the members to vehemently and at times passionately disagree, – but they were able to work effectively without making it personal.” For Meed Ward it was wonderful to see that level of collaboration. She said they got great things done. They had a President and a CEO that brought exceptional skills to the job.

“At the end of the day we produced the best decision because we vetted everything thoroughly”

Better public involvement in development proposals:

From the very beginning she asked developers to meet with the community before filing plans with the city. Years later the Planning department told developers that they must meet with the community first before filing development applications.

Notice of meetings in communities are sent out to home within 120 metres for zoning matter and 200 metres for Official Plan amendment matters.

Meed Ward has gone well beyond those legislated requirements. She did mail drops throughout her ward with the larger developments.

In the early years of her first term it was the Planners who would explain a development – “the optics were terrible” she said. Now Meed Ward chairs the meetings in her ward, the Planners talk about the planning implications and the developer talks about the actual plan.

Her objective has always been to keep people informed. She was behind the improvement on the way the public was informed about how council members voted. On a number of occasions she would ask for a recorded vote which required every member to stand up and be counted. During one memorable meeting she made this happen on six different occasions.

For this she was labelled as divisive, not a team player.

The challenge now is that who voted which way does not appear in the official minutes of the meeting. A vote is either carried or not carried. Meed Ward is working on an improvement.

Meed Ward adds that “it took a lot of pushing to get that done but we have it – however we don’t have it at the committee level. If a vote loses at committee and doesn’t make it to council you never know how people voted – that happened with the off peak free transit vote.

We asked Meed Ward what she would do to re-shape council if she is elected Mayor.

“Establish civility which have been horrible on council and terrible in this election race.

“Establish some collaboration, there is no council wide collaboration on this council.

“As a mayor you cannot play favourites – you can’t talk to just a few until you get your four votes – you have to talk to everyone.

“Create an environment to respect diversity in perspective … understand that people have their reasons for voting the way they did – that has been absent from this council.

“People write and tell me they don’t always agree with me but they appreciate that I tell them how I got there and what my rationale was.

“Start with that – all the tools around team building will fall apart if there isn’t respectful discourse.”

While Mead Ward doesn’t know who is going to be elected she does know that there will be at least three new council members representing wards 1,2 and 3 – and there might be a new Mayor as well.

There is some concern that some of those who had difficulty collaborating and were unable to be respectful might get returned to office.

How does she cope with that? “You lead by example” she said.

Councillor Shar,man with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions. Both are strong contributors to Council and Committee meetings

Councillor Sharman with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions.

“We now have the code of conduct and there are penalties that can be applied should it come to that. It never should. Hopefully you only have to do it once and everyone gets the message – if people are called out. If you don’t call them on it people get the impression that it is Ok – you have to stop the bad behaviour. You start by modelling true respect and collaboration.”

Burlington went for years without a Code of Conduct for the members of city council. The city manager had to be pushed by the provincial government to put a code in place.

Residents and council members can file Integrity Commissioner complaints

We wanted to know how Meed Ward would work with what she gets in the way of a council were she to be elected. Would she take them away on a retreat. She wasn’t sure if she could do that but she did plan to reach out to them as soon as she has seen the election results.

She would be reaching out to them the day after the election.

The province shortened the length of election campaigns but left the period of time between the counting of the votes and when the new council is sworn in and meets for the first time.

She pointed out that there will be a meeting for the old council at the end of November during which they can make decisions even though on December 3rd they will no longer be able to follow through on those votes if they were not re-elected – and two of them will have retired.

“We have this long period of time – more than a month where the old council is meeting and making decisions by people who are not going to be back.

Meed Ward wants better election processes and oversight and get rid of third party advertisers and get rid of anonymous funding.

James Ridge Day 1 - pic 2

James Ridge on his first day sitting in the Council Chamber.

We asked what she wanted to do about city staff were she to become Mayor. City council hires a city manager who in turn hires the staff he needs to run the city. Meed Ward is pretty direct when she says “ Staff recommends – council decides.”

She added that Council needs to show more leadership in directing staff and in making decisions.

The flow of information was a serious concern to not only Meed Ward. Council members were getting committee reports that ran well over 1000 pages and expected to digest it all in ten days.

“There were gentle conversations with staff on the flow of information” said Meed Ward

Med Ward said “We got the revised OP document a month before. It needed more time than that.” Meed Ward’s biggest disappointment was the amount of time that was given to the downtown plan – that was rushed through in two months and it needed a lot more time she said.

The public picked this up and delegated heavily – the council didn’t hear what the public was saying and the OP got sent to the Region over the protests of many.

The Gazette was surprised at how little mention there was on the arts during the election campaign – the city pumps well over a million dollars into the Performing Arts Centre, the Art Gallery and the museum. Meed Ward didn’t add anything to that during the interview.

Beachway - Full park

The re-development of the Beachway community will have a significant impact on how people use the lake front – it was never seriously debated during the election.

There was not a mention either of the plans for the Beachway community.

We wanted to know what Meed Ward thought the city was going to look like 5 – 10 -15 years out?
“We lost the Herd, a semi professional baseball team that got a better deal in Welland. Why asked Meed Ward. Why are parks in such disrepair?

Regional government:

Burlington goes to the Regional council as 7 people – Oakville goes as a team – how do you change that we asked. “Well you have to be aligned locally and if you are that will be reflected at the Region..
Meed Ward’s two top issues at the Region are growth, public transportation and roads

“I can get a single bus to Hamilton – I can’t get to Oakville on a single bus.
“We have to figure out if we are going to allow widening of the roads north of the QEW

The Region has said if you don’t want those roads widened then you can take them back and absorb all the costs

The city is believed to have achieved the growth that was required by 2031. There is another wave of population growth coming. The province will tell the Region what the growth requirement is going to be for 2041. They will then allocate how much of that growth is to go to each municipality. Those growth allocation numbers will be priority number 1 for Meed Ward. The council that goes with her to the Region will be pretty green – they are going to have to learn a lot fast.

The Region currently has Burlington’s Official Plan in the “in-basket”. They have to approve it, possibly make some changes and send it back. There are those that would like to see the OP sent back now without any changes so the city can revise the document and get it right.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public. An Official Plan review isn't a sexy subject but it deserves more attention than it is getting.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public.

Meed Ward will tell you that there is a lot in the OP that is just fine – her problem is with the downtown core – and the number of matters that she thinks are missing. “We know we are going to have to amend the plan just as soon as it is approved” she said..

Legally she isn’t clear as to whether or not the city can do that.

“We would have to communicate to the Region that there is a new council that will have a different view of what needs to be changed” she said

Working with the school board and the matter of the two high schools; one already closed a second due to close in 2021. City has no input on those properties. It is only when the school board declares a school surplus that they no longer have a stake in it. After that there is a clearly defined process for determining what happens to the property.”

It doesn’t not just slide into a developer who decides he has some ideas for the land.

Meed Ward has suggested to the committee that looks into compensation take a longer look at just what a Deputy Mayor should be. Meed Ward wants to see more professional development and training for city council members. Next term she would like to see some definition put around the role of the deputy Mayor..

How the hospital tax levy got to be a tax that would be with citizens forever.

Burlington taxpayers were told by the province that they had to come up with $60 to pay for a portion of the hospital transformation; That news was delivered to the Mayor during his first month of his first term.
The city created a special tax levy that appeared as a separate line on the tax bill and over time the money was raised. Problem was that special tax levy didn’t disappear.

Meed Ward doesn’t exactly cover herself with glory in the way she handled this one. She said the recommendation was in a staff report. Does anyone read all of those staff reports? Meed Ward said she didn’t hear any complaints. Of course there were no complaints – the public didn’t know about the decision. The Gazette did raise the question on more than one occasion.

There could have been a referendum about redirecting those funds – no one asked for one.

“There were no questions so the tax levy remained with the funds going to infrastructure.”

Meed Ward is usually very quick to point to everything that impacts the people of the city – this one was allowed to slide through. Something to be watched for is she is elected Mayor on Monday.

The day city council experienced a major melt down.

The December 19th, 2012 Standing Committee meeting was a disaster. Council was deciding who would sit on which boards and committees

Meed ward said that usually the choice of committees is determined before the meeting starts but on that December day two Councillors met in the foyer and colluded to remove Meed Ward from the hospital committee and the Downtown BIA. Councillor Lancaster was put on the BIA.

The Mayor had been blind-sided by Councillors Craven and Sharman.

People were aware of the city council dysfunction – on December 19th – we saw it – it was ugly – the city council at its worst

Visual - city council full

When the elected members of Council take their seats on December 10th, they will be in a re-designed council chamber. The big question for the public is – will they behave any differently and who will sit as Mayor.

We asked Meed Ward: How do you stop this kind of thing? Do you send them home and bring them back when things settle down?

“The challenge” said Meed Ward” is to change the behavior.  Will an election put an end to that ?  Meed Ward said she cannot speak for others

“The first thing we have to do is find a way to respect each other” she said.

Term limits? Certainly for the Mayor said Meed Ward. Council members – she wasn’t sure how long
Term limits force changes said Meed Ward. When a seat is vacated new blood gets brought in.
The civility of the new council will be determined in some degree on who gets returned

Meed Ward has suggested to the committee that looks into compensation take a longer look at just what a Deputy Mayor should be. Meed Ward wants to see more professional development and training for city council members. Next term she would like to see some definition put around the role of the deputy Mayor..

What does the Meed Ward future look like?

What does Meed Ward see in the next 5/10/15 years?  What has the city got going for it?  Will this continue to be a nice place to live?

Mead Ward point to her campaign brochure which sets out why she is running.

The printed piece of paper is something she controls – what happens on a day to day basis is something she does not control – the best she can do is manage it

What is there out there that she hasn’t seen? “I didn’t see the cannabis question coming” she said.

Paletta MansionMeed Ward said great cities don’t happen by accident. The citizens of this city fought to make them great. In Burlington the citizens said no to town houses on the Paletta property

They said no to development in Central park

They said no to the sale of the land on the Lake side of Lakeshore Road between Market and St Pail Streets – they lost that one


The chunk of land in the centre block got sold.

Citizens have taken their city council to court when they were unhappy.
Meed Ward said “ there are generations that delivered for us – it is now our turn to deliver for them – what are we going to deliver

Meed Ward said she believes the citizens want that that small town community feeling. She isn’t saying no to development – but she doesn’t want development that is going to destroy the city people have said they want

Seniors Centre

A Seniors’ Centre is needed in Aldershot and in the east end – ideally in the Lakeside Village Plaza that is being re-developed.

Green spaces, trees, community centre’s are what she wants to focus on.  Sports fields need to be improved – people are having difficulty getting ice time and time on playing fields.

“I ensured that there was an additional $200,000 put into the budget with more to follow.
We have to actively take steps to protect what we have.”

In the Avondale community, where a developer wanted approval for the Bluewater development that would take more lake shore land out of public hands, the developer used the city decision to sell that lake shore property between Market and St. Paul as justification to show that the city didn’t need any more lake front property in the public’s hands.

Meed Ward will, if she is elected Mayor, she try to “undo and hold back some of the decisions that have been made and at the same time move forward on some of the good things.”

She wants to see something better done with the Nelson stadium. More trees and better transit.

She fears the city is in serious trouble with the tree canopy we have.

She hopes that within five years people will be able to travel on reliable transit easily and cheaply.

Meed WArd at PARC

Marianne Meed Ward – She began delegating to city council then ran for the ward 1 seat – was defeated by Councillor Craven – moved to ward 2, continued to delegate, especially on Saving the Waterfront. Ran for Council and was elected twice. Now she is running for Mayor

Marianne Meed Ward was born in Colorado – she came to Canada when she was in kindergarten.
She lived in Richmond Hill, Kingston, spent a year at Kingston Collegiate. Went to Carleton University to study journalism – she was never employed full time at a newspaper but her first published piece was a freelance article published in the Ottawa Citizen – it was about job placement for people with disabilities.

She got a job as the editor of a national magazine, was promoted to publisher and, after a number of years decided to go out on her own where she made more money. She freelanced for 11 years.

Asked what who she looked to as a role model – she thought for a moment and said Hazel McCallion – the Mayor who grew Mississauga into the city it is today.

Anyone else, I asked. I’ve always liked the way Bernie Saunders does things, he was consistent and the public was with him.

Marianne Meed Ward, an 18 year citizen of Burlington believes the public is with her. She will know what the immediate future holds for her Monday night.

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Marty Staz: How do we want our city to grow ?

opiniongreen 100x100By Marty Staz

October 20th, 2018



Really, How Do We Want To Grow

Being involved in a municipal election campaign for the first time has certainly been an eye opener. What started out as a bucket full of presentable ideas has now morphed into a collection of defined plans, processes and objectives. The more you talk with people, the more you research and the more you think.

This eventually provides you with something that you truly believe is the right plan.

Side view - mid rise

An election campaign was an eye opener for Marty Staz.

Without a doubt, the most talked about and the most focused topic in our city is intensification, or as I often refer to it over-intensification. So to begin, let’s look at a definition of intensification. From the website intensification is defined as any new residential development within the existing built-up urban fabric. By this definition, intensification may occur on undeveloped or on previously developed land; what makes it “intensification” is its location within the area defined as already urbanized. This definition is the one used by the Ontario government. So, keeping this definition in mind, let’s explore what is really going on in Burlington.

In Ontario, The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2006) has policies designed to contain the urban footprint of one of the fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the developed world. Research has shown that if the Toronto region, which includes Burlington, continues to grow as it has in recent decades, its residents will experience a decrease in their quality of life. This last sentence is where I think we have to push the pause button and determine how we want Burlington to grow.

After looking at the various development projects on our city’s website, either proposed or underway in our city, I determined that there are 28 projects with a proposed height of 8 stories or more stretching to 25 stories. Eight of those projects are proposed for Ward 1. Also, let’s keep in mind that this number is what is current. With the recent approval of 23 stories across from City Hall I can only imagine what future proposals will look like. So this brings me back to the question of how we want to see our city grow. When going door to door and listening to what people have to say I would suggest that the answer is a resounding no – but growth is inevitable. I know we have growth targets in place as mandated by our provincial government but that’s an argument for another time. In my opinion achieving those targets is a non-issue.
So how do we want to grow?

Staz on the missing middleThere is a very interesting concept referred to as “The Missing Middle”. The illustration below gives us a good visual interpretation of what the missing middle means and if you want a good real-life example of this just look to Mississauga. This city started out as a bedroom community for Toronto full of single family homes. When growth started to occur their local politicians decided that the solution was to grow up, so now it’s either single family detached or high rises that stretch forever.

To be perfectly clear, any design that reflects the Missing Middle still must adhere to specific density requirements and accommodate the proper parking, green space, parkland, etc. Just look at the proposed townhouse development at 2100 Brant Street as an example where these standards have been ignored.

“Well-designed ‘Missing Middle’ buildings unify the walkable streetscape as they greatly diversify the choices available for households of different age, size, and income. Smaller households tend to eat out helping our neighbourhood attract wonderful restaurants. Diverse households keep diverse hours meaning we have more people out walking our streets at more varied hours—keeping them safer.” — Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs

So this is a call for architects, planners, and developers to think outside the box and to begin to create immediate, viable solutions to address the mismatch between the housing stock and what the market is demanding—vibrant, diverse, sustainable, walkable urban places. Missing Middle housing types are an important part of this solution.

The City of Burlington is at a crossroads and I honestly think that this could be a solution to growing our city, meeting our provincial mandates and creating a great place to live.


Marty_Staz_Marty Staz is a candidate for the ward 1 city council seat and is a former president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

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