City decides to Grow Bold by going Up, being Smart and looking Beautiful.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 11, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

And so we are going to grow Up, Smart and Beautiful – which is the tag line for what most of us understand as intensification.

How far up we go and where that up takes place is what a lengthy Committee of the Whole was about Thursday afternoon.
Council was assured that the planners knew where that “up” growth should take place and where is won’t take place.

The policies in the existing Official Plan are intended to guide the review of Official Plan Amendments involving a proposed increase in density.

These policies generally assist staff to review these applications on a site-specific basis but lack the required supporting policy framework that ensures that the proposal conforms to a broader city-wide vision and will support other important community and city-building objectives contained with the Official Plan and Council’s Strategic Plan.

Draft city system

This is the vision – a clear separation between rural and urban.

Without a city wide-wide vision, intensification can quickly become sporadic and create many challenges for the city including:

• limiting opportunities to concentrate growth in key under-utilized areas which have the potential to be major sources of new growth and investment;
• creating the potential for proponent driven intensification proposals in established neighbourhood areas of the city;
• resulting in the sporadic allocation of limited financial resources for development specific infrastructure and/or community infrastructure upgrades/investments; and
• not achieving key goals and objectives of the Official Plan, Places to Grow and Strategic Plan.

In 2008, the city’s first intensification framework was developed and endorsed by city Council. This strategy was primarily intended to form the basis for the development of new mixed use land use designations in the Official Plan and to identify the city’s capacity for population growth as part of the Region’s 2031 growth allocation process. However, the strategy and associated mapping were not incorporated as part of the current Official Plan.

As of March 2016, 72% of proposed residential units since 2006 which are either currently under review by city staff/under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, or have been approved by city staff but for which a Building Permit has not yet been issued, were located outside of the intensification areas identified through the city’s previous 2008 framework.

What that seems to say is that developers paid no attention to the Official Plan and the city let them get away with.
“Given current development trends since the development of the 2008 intensification strategy, staff believe that action must be taken to establish a comprehensive vision for intensification in the city through the Official Plan.”

Proposed Direction: Intensification Framework
A new city-wide Intensification Framework is proposed as part of the current Official Plan Review that will build upon Council’s new Strategic Plan and serve to provide greater clarity and direction to the public, city staff and other levels of government as to where and how the city plans to grow and intensify over time. More specifically, the new framework will have four key objectives:

1. serve as a filter through which privately initiated Official Plan amendments for increased density are considered and evaluated to ensure that growth is being directed to priority areas including key under-utilized mixed use and transit station areas;
2. provide the basis for the development of population and jobs growth capacity projections which will inform the forthcoming 2041 growth allocations by the Region of Halton;
3. ensure coordination amongst various city departments and other levels of government and service providers with respect to the efficient and timely focusing of investment/upgrades in infrastructure (including water and wastewater servicing, transit, utilities etc.) and community infrastructure (including parks, community facilities and public realm) which may required to support intensification and long-term growth; and
4. provide greater opportunities to accommodate a variety of housing forms that can serve the needs of a broad demographic in terms of tenure, affordability and access to services and transit.

The following sections will identify how the proposed Intensification Framework will achieve these objectives by outlining the proposed details/structure of the framework, how the proposed framework will be implemented and also identify how the framework will serve to inform future city initiatives related to intensification.

The proposed framework will achieve its objectives by establishing four key areas:

Primary Intensification Areas,

Secondary Intensification Areas,

Employment Intensification Areas

Established Neighbourhood Areas.

For each area, the Official Plan will contain objectives and policies that, while maintaining development permissions provided through the underlying land use designations, will serve to establish clear expectations for the scale and type of intensification that is expected within each area and provide greater direction when evaluating proponent driven Official Plan amendments for increased density. The high-level geographies, objectives and policies of each area are outlined below:

The Primary Intensification Area will be comprised of major nodes and corridors, which may include various residential, mixed use, commercial or employment land uses in areas which have the greatest potential to accommodate intensification including: the city’s Urban Growth Centre (UGC); mixed use areas of the Uptown Urban Centre; the Aldershot, Burlington and Appleby Mobility Hubs; the Plains Road/Fairview Street Urban Corridor; the Brant Street Urban Corridor and aging Neighbourhood Centres located south of the QEW

Intensification framework

This is a draft document.

Primary Intensification Areas will focus on the intensification of under-utilized mixed use and employment areas (including Mobility Hubs) which have the greatest potential to accommodate significant population and employment growth and foster the development of pedestrian and transit-oriented neighbourhoods.

Growth within Primary Intensification Areas will account for a majority of the city’s growth over the planning horizon of the Official Plan and create a network of density that will support higher-order/frequent transit opportunities.

Policies for the Primary Intensification Area will require new developments to achieve intensification and promote developments which propose significant population/employment growth to locate in the Primary Intensification Areas to ensure that proposed redevelopments make the most of the development potential these areas offer. In addition, policies will ensure that these areas are planned to develop as complete communities and that Primary Intensification Areas are a focus for city, Regional and Provincial investment/upgrades to infrastructure and community infrastructure which may be needed to support significant population and job growth in these areas.

Secondary Intensification Areas will be comprised of commercial/mixed use designated areas and generally vacant sites which are not located within a Primary or Employment Intensification Areas and which are located immediately adjacent to an arterial street. In addition, staff propose that sites containing publicly-funded schools be generally identified as forming part of the Secondary Intensification Area in order to recognize potential redevelopment/intensification needs on these sites over the long-term which may not conform to the traditional residential land use designations applied to these sites.

Secondary Intensification Areas will consist of areas which may contain limited, site specific opportunities for intensification over the planning horizon of the Official Plan. However, to ensure the Primary Intensification Areas remain the primary focus for significant intensification and infrastructure and community infrastructure investment, these areas will not be intended to intensify at a scale or intensity equal to that of the Primary Intensification Area. As such, Secondary Intensification Areas will not be intended to accommodate a majority of the city’s growth to 2031.

In order to meet the intent of the Secondary Intensification Areas, policies will include criteria to evaluate intensification proposals which involve an Official Plan Amendment for increased density. The criteria will focus on the proposed scale and intensity of the proposed development to ensure that the proposal will not result in significant unplanned population growth beyond that currently permitted under a site’s existing Official Plan permissions and that the proposal will not require infrastructure/community infrastructure investments/upgrades in order to be accommodated.

This will provide staff and Council with greater control and predictability that development proposals involving significant population and employment growth will be focused/directed towards the Primary Intensification Areas. In addition, this will ensure that financial resources for potential infrastructure investment/upgrades required to accommodate growth are not being redirected to areas outside of the Primary Intensification Areas.

Established Neighbourhood Areas

Established Neighbourhood Areas will be comprised of existing, predominantly residential neighbourhoods (including areas designated as Residential Low, Medium or High Density) as well as small neighbourhood-oriented commercial sites which are not located on an arterial street.

Draft Urban structure

This is a draft document.

Established Neighbourhood Areas will be intended to accommodate existing development, redevelopment and intensification opportunities which are already currently permitted through a site’s Official Plan land use designation. As such, Established Neighbourhood Areas will not be considered essential towards achieving population/employment growth to 2031 and beyond.

In order to maintain the stability of the Established Neighbourhood Areas and limit the potential for the introduction of significant and unplanned intensification proposals into these areas, policies will be introduced that prohibit privately initiated Official Plan amendments for increased density beyond that permitted through the underlying land use designation.

As a result, only the following forms of intensification would be permitted within the Established Neighbourhood Area:

 Redevelopment/infill in accordance with Official Plan land use permissions;
 Consents to Sever;
Plans of Subdivision; and
Accessory Dwelling Units (e.g. second suites, including detached units).

This limitation would not prevent or preclude the potential for redevelopment or intensification of sites within the Established Neighbourhood Area but rather provide greater certainty that any proposals will be in keeping with the existing permissions provided through the site’s Official Plan land use designation and compatible with the neighbourhood’s existing built form, density, and scale.

Employment Intensification Areas

The Employment Intensification Areas will be comprised of areas identified as city or Regional ‘Areas of Employment’ as identified at the conclusion of the city’s Municipal Comprehensive Review. However, this will not include employment designated areas located in undeveloped areas outside of the built boundary as the proposed Intensification Framework is intended to apply only to developed areas where redevelopment and intensification would occur within an existing developed area context.

Residential permits - graph

This is where the residential housing was built.

While not forming part of the Intensification Framework, employment designated lands within undeveloped areas of the city will continue to be governed by the underlying land use designations and policies of the Official Plan and will continue to form part of the city’s employment land inventory pending the outcome of the city’s Municipal Comprehensive Review.

The Employment Intensification Area is intended to capture employment lands located within developed areas which have the potential to accommodate further intensification and job growth to 2031 and beyond.

Within Employment Intensification Areas, staff generally believe that existing Official Plan permissions/policies along with the implementation of Council endorsed policy directions provided through the Employment Lands Direction Report will ensure that the Employment Intensification Area can continue to provide substantial opportunities for future intensification and job growth. A new policy is proposed that will promote significant employment intensification proposals to be located in areas which are in close proximity to transit routes and/or major, multi-purpose or minor arterial streets to ensure these proposals are adequately served by the city’s transportation network. In addition, staff may review the need for any additional policies pending the outcome of the city’s current Municipal Comprehensive Review for employment lands.

Council, meeting as a Standing Committee endorsed the report unanimously. It will get final approval at the next city council meeting.
It is a report that needs close study – policy for a long period of time is being put in place. The intensification targets will get written into the Official Plan – which both staff and council would like to see as something that has stronger teeth to it.

2008 intensification map

This is a map of the 2008 intensification framework.

The section of the staff report that told of the “72% of proposed residential units since 2006 were located outside of the intensification areas identified through the city’s previous 2008 framework” is troubling.

There will be more to say about intensification – right now it is Up, Smart and Beautiful as the city decides to Grow Bold.

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Adi submits their re-designed proposal to the city - still 26 storeys high.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 8th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Walker, Nott, Dragicevic Associates Limited (‘WNDAL’), a company retained by Adi Morgan Developments (Lakeshore) Inc. to assist in the development approval process associated with the redevelopment of the property known municipally as 374 and 380 Martha Street submitted the following to the city on June 29th. The city has yet to make this information public.

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

The original architectural rendering for the property the Adi group proposed building at the intersection of LAkeshore Road and Martha Street.

The original application was for a 28-storey mixed use building consisting of 226 residential dwelling units and 348 square metres of non-residential gross floor area at grade

The Adi Group then bought the house on Martha Street to the north of their development site and asked the Ontario Municipal Board to adjourn the  hearing they asked for while they worked out a new design with the city.

The OMB Commissioner gave them until June 30th to submit a new design.

The following is a description of the design.

The enlarged site is approximately square shaped with frontage on both Martha Street and Lakeshore Road and dimensions of approximately 40.6 metres by 41.7 metres. The configuration of the enlarged site allows for the elimination of the above-grade parking garage in favour of residential and amenity space, and a reduction in the height of the podium from five storeys to one- and three-storeys above which a 23-storey tower would rise for a total height of 26 storeys (88.4 m), inclusive of the podium.

More specifically, the following is a list of the revisions that have been incorporated into the Revised Proposal since the Resubmission:

• The area of the development site has been increased from 1,359 square metres to 1,701 square metres;

• The height of the podium element has been reduced from five-storeys to one- and three- storeys. All above-grade parking has been eliminated from the podium in favour of residential units and amenity space;

• The overall gross floor area has been increased from 15,089 square metres to 19,159 square metres (which is primarily the result of the substitution of the above grade parking with residential and amenity space uses);

• The floor space index has increased slightly from 11.1 FSI to 11.26 FSI;

ADI Nautique detailed sketch

The original site for the development did not include 380 Martha Street.

• The overall residential dwelling unit count has been revised from a total unit count of 192 units consisting of 145 one-bedroom units, 45 two-bedroom units and 2 three-bedroom units to a total of 240 residential dwelling units consisting of 4 studio units, 162 one-bedroom units (including one-bedroom plus den), and 74 two-bedroom units (including two-bedroom plus den);

• Indoor and outdoor amenity areas have been redesigned and now consist of 435 square metres of indoor amenity (plus storage lockers) whereas there was previously 428 square metres of indoor amenity space and 693 square metres of outdoor amenity space (plus private balconies and amenity space) whereas there was previously 493 square metres of outdoor amenity space. Amenity areas are now proposed to be located on the 2nd, 4th, and 20th storeys;

• The amount of parking has been increased commensurate with the increase in the number of units such that now there will be 241 parking spaces for 240 residential units, all of which are located below grade; and

• The area of the ground floor retail space has increased from 327 square metres to 423.2 square metres;

The consultants argue that the enlarged site continues to represent good planning and is an appropriate form of development for the subject site within a Downtown Burlington context.

The document we obtained does not include any architectural renderings.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

Adi brothers appear to have taken on a partner for the controversial Martha Street development.

What is interesting to note is that Adi now appears to have a partner in this development. The corporate name used is Adi Morgan Developments (Lakeshore) Inc.

It is still a 23-storey tower that would rise above a three storey podium for a total of 26 storeys.

One additional note: Mayor Goldring is reported to have been asking people what they thought of a ten storey structure.

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City council begins major discussion on just how intensification is going to take place.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Building a city that is going through a significant stage in its development means working with a number of very large parts – that are all moving at the same time – in different directions.

The GO trains are going to have 15 minute service at some point in the not too distant future – that will change the way people commute. Tat service is going to be electrified, apparently starting in the Aldershot part of the GO system and on through to Union Station.

The city is more than just the Escarpment to the north and the lake to the south. It is the people in between that determine who we really are. And it takes more than a magazine saying we are the #2 city in the country doesn't make it so.

The Escarpment is a no go zone when it comes to intensification – except for the hamlets of Lowville and Kilbride.

The city has now completed its much touted Strategic Plan – now the Official Plan has to be completed to fit in with the Strategic Plan and at the same time comply with the provincial places to grow Plan and the restrains that are placed on Burlington with the Escarpment Greenbelt Plan.

The province has determined how many people are going to move into Burlington – that means having homes for them to live in – and that means some form of intensification.

Next to garbage collection – intensification is probably the most challenging file the planners have to work with.

City council will be in a half day Committee of the whole session later today going through all the options that present themselves – where should intensification take place – how much?

Mary Lou Tanner, the new planner has a solid grip on what has to be done – it is the how she is going to do it that matters now.

That means putting ideas before members of council who will determine a policy. Before that policy gets nailed down by council the issues have to be taken to the public – which is not as full informed as it could be.

Mary Lou Tanner

Mary Loy Tanner – Director of Planning

Tanner decided to hold a media briefing – something new for this town – which she did via a conference call during which the manager of communications for the city began to explain to journalists who have been covering this file for some time just what an Official Plan was. It was embarrassing – and not all that accurate. In Burlington we call these an “opportunity to learn”.

We know now that there will be something in the way of physical amenities in the station West development the ADI Development group are working on. The rules that were in place when the development first came to the public’s attention didn’t require as much as a sandbox.

Our information is that there is a ¾ hectare park/public space worked into the plans.

There is now more of a critical mass in the Upper Middle Road – Appleby Line part of the city – new forms of development are expected to take place there.

Tanner mentioned that there is some land assembly taking place in the downtown core as well – being driven in part by the development of the Paradigm project on Fairview next to the GO station.

There is also a significant focus on the Plains Road – Fairview corridor that is currently one of the most pedestrian unfriendly parts of town. Not a road one wants to drive a bike on.

Tanner has come up with a tag line she uses to describe the direction she is going in: Up – Smart – Beautiful. She speaks in terms of “appropriate density”; a term that will mean something different to everyone she talks to.

Tanner went to some lengths to assure people in established, mature communities that they aren’t going to see a 20 storey condo on their street. Maybe now those same residents will agree to not cut down trees that are on their private property.

Intensification New St at Guelph possible

A planners idea of what the Roseland Plaza could look like after intensification.

The Roseland Plaza and the Burlington Mall were referred to as “aging plaza’s and are seen, apparently. as places that could handle more in the way of density.

Affordable housing is still a serious concern in Burlington. While affordable housing is a Regional responsibility – it is the city’s planning department that has to work directly with the developers – in the past there have been some unfortunate miscommunications.

East of Emmas - For sale

One of two prime pieces of property on the south side of Old Lakeshore Road on the market.

There is something going on in the Old Lakeshore Road part of the city where the Bridgewater project is well underway. Two prime properties on the south side of Old Lakeshore Road – just east of Emmas Back Porch have for sale signs on them.

Hillier property - for sale

Both pieces of property are on the market.

There is a wonderful opportunity to do something both splendid and spectacular in that part of the city.

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Meed Ward wants her colleagues to endorse a resolution calling for changes to how the Ontario Municipal Board operates.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

It didn’t take her long to get her concerns with the way the Ontario Municipal Board changes the will of some decisions made by municipal councils.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has always had problems with the way the OMB works; she also thinks the city’s legal department doesn’t do all that well before the OMB and notes that Oakville seems to do much better.

When the  Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Attorney General announced they are working to develop proposed recommendations to improve how the OMB works within the broader system of land use planning, Meed Ward couldn’t move fast enough.

Meed Ward as a delegation

Marianne Meed Ward earned her spurs as a citizen who delegated again and again for changes in the way the city did things.

The province said it was preparing a consultation paper that will be released in the fall 2016 for further comment.

The province added that it would like to hear views on a range of topics, including the jurisdiction and powers of the OMB. This could include what matters can be appealed and who may appeal them, the use of local appeal bodies and how much deference should be given to municipal decisions.

Meed Ward believes Burlington has an opportunity to help shape the upcoming OMB reform discussion and consultation paper. “We can: she said “advance a principle-based approach to OMB reform that endorses the principle that municipal governments are a mature order of government able to make planning and other decisions for our communities.

“By passing a resolution now for input to the province, we have an opportunity to ensure this principle undergirds the upcoming consultation.”

Meed Ward adds that the principle also aligns with the approach taken by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

Meed Ward said she recently spoke with the Director of Policy at AMO., who confirmed AMO will take a “principled approach” to advocacy on OMB reform that starts with the principle that municipalities are a mature order of government in decision-making.

Meed Ward takes the position that as “ a mature order of government, there should be no right of appeal to the OMB of an Official Plan or Zoning Bylaw amendment decision by a local council, where those Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws have already been approved by the municipality, Regional government (where applicable), and the provincial government as conforming to growth plans and other applicable legislation.”

Meed Ward argues that:

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Will Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward find support for her OMB related resolution from Mayor Goldring ?

Municipalities retain the right to initiate their own amendments to Official Plans/Zoning Bylaws, and city councils retain the right to approve recommendations from staff and/or requests from the development community for amendments to the OP/Zoning Bylaw, where these changes are considered in the best long-term interest of the communities they serve. But there would be no right of appeal of a council decision to the OMB.

Removing the right of appeal to the OMB for Official Plans and Zoning Bylaw amendments achieves the following:

  • endorses the principle that muncipalities are a mature order of government, and final decision-makers.
  • encourages municipalities and members of the development industry to work together to achieve the best land use planning outcome for
  • eliminates duplication of work, saving time and money. OMB appeals, whether by municipalities, residents, or members of the development industry, are costly and time consuming, and ultimately built into the price of new homes or property taxes. Local planning staff and various local departments and agencies take months reviewing the merits of a planning application; the process begins all over again when an application is appealed to the OMB, but in a much more costly and time consuming forum. This process, in effect, makes the OMB the local planning departments of the
  • frees up much needed resources and time in the OMB calendar to deal with the balance of hearings that come before the

The exception to the right of appeal would be where municipalities did not follow due process or its own procedures in processing an application (for example failure to provide proper notice of a statutory public meeting). The appeal would deal with process issues, not the merits of the application.

To date, more than 100 municipalities have passed resolutions to reform the OMB, including Oakville and Halton Hills. A common theme underlying the resolutions is the principle that municipalities are a mature order of government in decision-making.

A coalition of elected officials from Ontario municipalities recently sponsored a municipal summit on OMB Reform in May that Meed Ward attended. The key principle arising from the summit is that municipalities are a mature order of government and best positioned to make local planning decisions, and as such our Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws – where approved by upper levels of government – should not be appealable to the OMB.

By passing the attached resolution, Meed Ward Burlington has an opportunity to add their voice to those calling for OMB reform; we have an opportunity to encourage the province to shape its consultation around the principle that municipalities are a mature order of government in land use planning and other decisions.

Worth noting is the Mayor Goldring sits on an AMO advisory committee but has not commented (for or against) on the AMO policy

The following is the resolution Meed Ward proposes city council endorse:

City Hall BEST aerial

Will city council fully endorse the Meed Ward resolution …

Queen's Park

… and will the province hear what city council may have to say?

WHEREAS, the Government of Ontario has announced a review of the Ontario Municipal Board and is seeking input from municipalities and members of the community; and

WHEREAS, the City of Burlington has an Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw that set out Council’s policies on how lands should be used, guides and directs future growth, and is developed in consultation with the community; and

WHEREAS, Burlington’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw have been approved by the Region of Halton and the Government of Ontario and conform to applicable regional and provincial legislation; and

WHEREAS, Council retains the legislative power to initiate, grant or deny Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments after appropriate review; and

WHEREAS, currently all Burlington land use planning decisions may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB); and

WHEREAS, municipalities are a mature order of government able to make planning and other decisions for our communities;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Burlington requests the Government of Ontario to recognize and respect the rights of municipalities to make decisions regarding adherence to municipally, regionally and provincially approved Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws, which reflect local community needs and visions, by implementing the following OMB reforms:

  1. Exclude the Board from hearing appeals of applications for amendments to municipally, regionally and provincially-approved Official Plans and Zoning
  1. Require the OMB to show deference to the decisions of local

Limit appeals to the Board to matters pertaining to following due process or procedure in processing an

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Motion be sent to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; the Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Mr. Patrick Brown, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party; Ms. Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party; all MPPs in the Province of Ontario; the Regional Municipality of Halton and all Halton Region Municipalities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Motion be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

It could become an interesting debate’

Meed Ward H&S profile

Has Councillor Meed Ward managed to gain support from her council colleagues for the resolution she plans to bring before Council?

Had the provincial government made this kind of change a few years ago the city would not be involved in an OMB hearing over the proposed ADI Group development at the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street.  City council unanimously agreed that the then proposed 28 story structure (now reduced to 26 storeys) should not be approved.

The city then failed to make a decision on the ADI application within the required time frame and ADI took the application to the OMB.

 

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City councillor sets out her views on intensification and what it is doing to green space - bludgeoning it in her words.

By Pepper Parr
June 21, 2016
BURLINGTON, ON
A colleague mentioned article he had read in Urbanicity, a newspaper (in print) published in Hamilton that had an article by Burlington’s Ward councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

“She nailed it” said the colleague. What you think?

Meed Ward wrote about Intensification and Green space.

opinionandcommentIntensification’s war on greenspace – and what we can do about it.

You’ve probably heard the word “intensification.” Likely in the context of defending a massive new residential over development. Possibly as a fatalistic response to the legitimate desire to protect farmland.

In simple terms, the word means putting more people into less space.

Intensification is supposed to usher in a utopian era of urbanism, saving communities from suburban, car-dependent sprawl while protecting green-space at the same time.

The problem is, intensification has become a war on urban greenspace that threatens to degrade the very communities it creates.

“Intensification” is being used as a bludgeon to justify every new development of any scale in any area, while removing almost every tree, shrub or blade of grass in the way.

This must stop.

For starters, let’s rid ourselves of the word “intensification.” Intensification is a plastic word that means whatever people want it to mean. Instead, we need to talk about the kind of neighbourhoods people want to live in, as our city grows and changes.

It turns out people want to live in traditional neighbourhoods, built before the supremacy of the car: places like downtown Burlington. New communities aim to mimic these historic neighbourhoods. Planners call it “traditional town planning” or the “new urbanism.”

Residents believe the developer has focused solely on the positive nature of the aesthetic – they are concerned about density and the intrusion of anything other than single family homes.

Residents in this community, west of Brant street didn’t like the level o intensification the developer had in mind and they were able to beat back the proposal.

The key feature is walkability. But walking has to be pleasant (that’s one reason urban greenspace is important.) And walkability has to mean more than getting a bag of milk, picking up your dry cleaning, or visiting a “parkette” with a bench and a toddler slide.

If you have to get in your car to visit a park large enough to play a game of pick up football, or drive to a big-box store surrounded by parking to get groceries or hardware, or drive to another city to work, or get on a yellow bus to go to school, we haven’t achieved walkability.

All we’ve done is add more traffic.

Trouble is, the intensification we’re getting is almost exclusively residential, with token retail (if at all) that doesn’t come close to satisfying daily shopping needs.

Mapleview Mall - parking north east side

Is this the only solution we have to placing stores in our communities?

We won’t build truly walkable communities until we address the commercial side of urban development, and wean ourselves off of the big boxification of shopping, schools and employment. Resi¬dential and commercial uses are still very much separated, with big box retail, office and employment sequestered on barren, clogged and treeless roads surrounded by seas of parking, far from neighbourhoods.

We won’t build walkable communities until people can work and go to school close by. I hear regularly from resi¬dents who’d gladly take a pay cut (and some have) to walk to a job in Burlington. At a recent proposed school clo¬sure meeting, a father spoke movingly about the impor¬tance of walking his kids to school – it was their time to connect. Other parents said they’d gladly keep their small, old school within walking distance, than go to a big, brand new school far away.

Finally, we won’t build truly walkable communities until we make walking pleasant. That means beautifying our city, and adding urban greenspace. Trouble is, new developments sprawl all over their sites taking up greenspace; the taller the building, the more sprawl, with development virtually covering lot line to lot line, especially in downtown areas where land is at a premium. We end up with the equivalent of a vertical suburb, with no greens¬pace. “Amenity areas” are counted as balconies and party rooms.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward had her daughter Miranda, a grade 9 student, shadowing her all day. The workshop was the end of a 12 hour day. The young lady does not have a campaign manager.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with her daughter Miranda. The Councillor is expected to challenge the current mayor Rick Goldring for the chain of office in the 2018 municipal election,

Even in our newer “smart growth” neighbourhoods that were supposed to be the antidote to suburban sprawl, there’s almost no greenspace around homes, virtually no room to plant a backyard tree or the space to grow the root system for a large boulevard tree. New townhouse developments have even more asphalt and less greenspace. To compensate for the lack of land to absorb stormwater runoff, we build underground cisterns.

We must do better. Here are just a few steps we can take to fight intensification’s war on urban greenspace:

• Value urban greenspace as much as rural. The province has protected rural Burlington via Greenbelt legislation; our job is to protect and add to urban greenspace. We shouldn’t trade off one for the other. City folk need greenspace every bit as much as rural folk.
• Aim higher than green roofs, low flow toilets, geothermal heating and the like for sustainable urban development. As important as these are, they don’t replace the need for actual trees and urban greenspace.
• Revise zoning to require more setbacks, trees, permeable land, low impact development, and onsite passive greenspace in urban redevelopments.
• Take parkland dedication on redevelopments as land, rather than fees as we do now. That would instantly add urban greenspace.
By shifting the conversation from “intensification” to community, we create neighbourhoods where people want to live. I hear regularly from residents who’d gladly take a pay cut (and some have) to walk to a job in Burlington

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Council meeting was just a quickie - but the under tones were not pleasant. More than 9 recorded votes.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2106

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a quickie.

But a bit different in a couple of ways

At the regular meeting of city council – that lasted 28 minutes – Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward called for six recorded votes – a record for her. The idea became popular and Councillor Craven, Councillor Sharman and the Mayor asked for recorded votes as well.

Visual - city council full

It was almost as if they didn’t want you to know who they are. Terrible picture quality.

The city of Burlington just isn’t going to move to a technology that records every vote on everything at both Council and Standing committee meetings.

Trustees - Papin - Oliver - Grebenc

The Board of Education visuals are much much better.

The Halton District School Board has put technology in place that allows the trustees to press a bottom and within seconds the vote result appears on a screen that can be seen on the web cast as well.

Visuals = Council partial

The close ups of Councillors are not any better. The pink jacket tells you she is Councillor Lancaster. The guy with the bling tells you which one is the Mayor.

The city is also a bit of a laggard when it comes to the quality of their web casts, Compare the visuals we have provided – the school board cameras capture the expressions on the faces of the trustees – the city cameras let us know that Councillor Lancaster is wearing a pink jacket.

The city can do better – they just don’t want to – so much for genuine public engagement.

Councillor Craven reported that the public space at the corner of Plans Road and Waterdown is now complete – it took the unfortunate and some thought illegal expropriation, of the former Murphy’s convenience store to make this happen – but that is the price of progress. Craven told council the Aldershot BIA contributed $65,000 to the creation of the small plaza

Aldershot is getting another small space for the public to sit and watch the cars go by at the intersection of Plains Road and Francis – that should be in place by September,

Aldershot - 35 Plains Road 8 storey

Commercial services at grade – we have yet to see any form of office space development – the place where all those quality jobs are going to be located. so far – it is just a place for people to live – a place that has neither a decent supermarket or an LCBO store. That isn’t living folks! The report identifies Ruth Victor & Associates as both the Applicant and the person who is representing the applicant. Ruth Victor is the planner who speaks for the ADI Group most of the time.

June 22nd – there is a public meeting on the plans for an eight storey structure at Cooke Blvd Road and Plains Road East which Councillor Craven explained as an additional step in the creation of the economic hub that is coming into being in the Aldershot community.

Convention Centre hotel

The existing is the convention centre –  the proposed is the six storey hotel. Construction should start soon. A decent watering hole for the east end.

The report identifies Ruth Victor & Associates as both the Applicant and the person who is representing the applicant. Ruth Victor is the planner who speaks for the ADI Group most of the time.

A six storey hotel adjacent to the Burlington Convention centre was approved – in record time gushed Councillor Sharman

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Burlington Mayor greets Apeldoorn Mayor - both sign an Expression of Interest - which means?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 1st, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Not quite sure what this means but the Mayors of Burlington, Ontario and Apeldoorn, Holland signed an Expression of Interest today at Burlington City Hall to promote economic development opportunities between the two cities.

In a media release city hall said an Expression of Interest focuses on advancing potential partnerships in three specific areas, including:

• Clean technology sector development;
• Trade partnerships;
• an exchange program for post-secondary students.

The word that matters here is “potential” for that is about all we have seen in terms of new development in the city.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation will lead discussions on behalf of the City of Burlington.

Mayor Goldring and Mayor Berends

Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring “expressing an interest” in each other

Mayor Goldring said: “Based on conversations during our visit to Apeldoorn last spring, as well as meetings this week, we have agreed on three specific areas of opportunity we are looking to pursue. Apeldoorn is a natural economic partner due to our twinning agreement, as well as its prominent clean technology sector as it relates to Burlington’s Community Energy Plan.”

The Mayor went on to say that: “Today’s signing furthers the twinning agreement established between the cities of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and Burlington, Canada on May 6, 2005. The twinning agreement states that the cities will explore economic development and new business opportunities.”

And that is about all the two cities have been able to do “explore”.

“Apeldoorn is interested in furthering business with Burlington,” said Mayor John Berends. “Several of our companies are interested in Canadian partnerships, especially in a city like Burlington where we have already established a good working relationship.”

There has been some relationship development between Apeldoorn and Burlington but just at a mid-management staff level. Rob Peachey, Manager Parks & Open Space in the Capital Works Department, was part of the delegation that went to Holland to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland and he said at that time that he expected to exchange ideas and processes with his peers in Holland, particularly as it related to parks and recreation.

Holland is a country where bicycles are a large part of the movement of people. Burlington is still struggling to get to the point where bicycles are more than a form of weekend recreation.

Palladium Way property

The Economic Development Corporation shows land that is vacant and for sale. New Regional Court House is to be built on part of the property.

Burlington’s Economic Development Corporation hasn’t had much in the way of real economic development to report on – they list future conferences on their web site and, we stand to be corrected, but there hasn’t been a new business of any size or significance brought to the city since the BEDC was reorganized and new management out in place.

Fresh Insights Consulting was created to do some market research for the local business community by MBA students from McMaster University and that operation appears to percolate nicely.

If the objectives and targets in the much touted Strategic Plan are to be met there is going to have to be something significant happen  in the next 25 years, which is the length of the dream contained in that document.

Both the Economic Development Corporation and the city’s Strategic Plan appear to be pretty well reflected in the image on the BEC web site – lots of colour but pretty confusing looking.

BEDC art from web site

Image on the Economic Development corporation web site, while colourful, is confusing – reflecting that state of economic development in the city. Has there been any?

The development taking place in Burlington is residential – with million dollar condos on Lakeshore Road and small residential on Fairview next to the GO station – plus the ADI development on Dundas and Sutton.

The ADI development on Lakeshore and Martha street is still being actively marketed and still working to get through the Ontario Municipal Board hearing that is due to come up for air sometime in June.

Hard to see where those high-tech, high paying jobs are going to come from – if they do arrive – there should be a places for people to live.

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Councillor Taylor likes the attention rural Burlington is now getting - residents aren't all that certain there is a benefit for them in all that attention

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 4, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

I think most of the people who attended John Taylor’s constituency meeting at the Conservation Authority office on Britannia Road Monday evening expected to get a really clear explanation as to why the city decided not to go forward with the Mt Nemo study that started back in 2013.

There was an explanation – sort of. A combination of the things the study didn’t have going for it and the amount of money it was going to require (that is more speculation than fact – no one was able to say during the meeting just how much had been spent).

Mary Lou Tanner

Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner – joined the city six months ago.

The explanations – three city staff people took a crack at it – was that they were going to go back to all the feedback that came from the Rural Summit in 2013. That event certainly produced a lot of comment – what disturbs is that neither the current planner nor senior policy planner Don Campbell were in place at city hall when that meeting was held.

Staff would have collected a lot of notes and there were probably a number of briefing papers prepared but there is nothing like being in the room to get a sense of what really happened.

It sounded as if the planning people – with a lot of input from the city manager – had decided that everything should come under the Strategic Plan umbrella. The Mt Nemo study didn’t appear to do that – so it got the hook.

Mt Nemo Rural-summit-map-682x1024

Rural Burlington residents look over a large aerial photograph of their part of the city and wonder how ling it is going to remain the way it is.

The Official Plan Review – that is now on again – is to comply with the Strategic Plan. A significant statement in that Strategic Plan is to manage and protect our rural environment. Manage it for who and protect it from what was a question residents asked on several occasions.

The city set out what had been done when the Heritage Character of the Mt Nemo Plateau was being studied.

1. Preliminary Study of the Heritage Character of the Mount Nemo Plateau
2. Heritage Conservation District Study

Assessed character and heritage.

Identified options for the long-term conservation and enhancement of the character and heritage.

Recommended further study.

Key Finding
‘…a distinct historical community represented by a range of heritage features and elements…bounded in such a clear physical manner…the study area can be identified as an organically evolved, continuous Cultural Heritage Landscape’

What is a Cultural Heritage Landscape? A collection of related built form, landscape, vegetation, archaeological resources and other elements that have heritage value.

What is a Heritage Conservation District? What would it do for people within the district. Most felt that all it really was – was another layer of regulation.

Geographically defined area
Protects from unsympathetic alterations
Applies to a collection of historic buildings, streetscapes, landscapes
Areas are referred to as “designated”
Tool to manage change in accordance with a set of Guidelines (Heritage Conservation District Plan)
Plans are unique and is developed with the community

Chronology:

June 2013 Council direction to undertake preliminary research
January 2014 Preliminary assessment presented to Committee
January 2014 Council direction to consult with public
February 2014 Public consultation event shared findings of the preliminary assessment
 April2014 Public consultation event to discuss the preliminary study, proposed next steps in starting a Heritage Conservation District Study
May 2014 Council Decision: To proceed with the Heritage Conservation District Study
October 2014 MMM Group retained to complete the HCD study
February  2015 Public meeting to present research and field work completed by MMM Group to date
February 2015 Council direction: Place Official Plan Review reports and Mount Nemo on hold pending start of the new city manager and Strategic Plan.
January  2016 Official Plan Review restarted.

Between February of 2015 and January of 2016 city council was working its way from what started out as a four year Strategic Plan to a document that covers the next forty years.

Rural Burlington residents wanted to know what the benefit was for them from this new approach. The comment was that while downtown grows “up” – the result of intensification, the rest of Burlington would grow outwards which would have more people using the rural part of the city.

It was about 15 months ago that rural Burlington began the discusion about what it wanted to be. Some things were clear - others not as clear. The early draft of a vision got put on a huge board and for the most part the communuty liked the look of what they had said to each other.

The early draft of a vision got put on a huge board and for the most part the community liked the look of what they had said to each other.

Most residents resented the layers of regulation they had to deal with: Conservation Halton, Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Region and then the city. It was too much.

Pros and cons

Once the planners had determined what the pros and cons were – the decision was pretty easy to make.

The planning department had two new staffers: a new director and a senior policy advisor – they reviewed everything they had and came to the conclusion that a Conservation Heritage District wasn’t needed, didn’t fit in all that well with the Strategic plan and certainly wasn’t’ what the residents wanted. Their graphic setting out the pros and the cons was enough to convince the politicians.

graphic02Staff saw the killing of the Heritage Conservation Districts as an opportunity to refocus; build on community feedback received to date and find the local vision that they believed came out of the Rural Summit in 2013.

The air park didn’t get as much as a mention.

Part two will follow.

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Is the Adi Nautique development downtown been revised to 18 storeys? Look at the offer carefully.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 28, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

It’s bold – its brassy and all part of the sales pitch.

Developers like to be able to say – xx% sold – and the closer that xx is to 70 – the better.

Nautique ad sent out

$310,000 + will get you a splendid view of the Escarpment.

Development projects have to be sold – and this latest move by Adi Development Group is certainly a sales pitch that catches the eye.

ADI Nautique detailed sketch

Days before their application to the Ontario Municipal Board AdI Development announced that they had acquired the lot shown as 380 Martha – which changed significantly the size of the property they wanted to build on. Adi is currently in talks with the city’s planning department.

In Burlington the objective is to get in on a property as early as you can – and this pitch makes it a little easier. They are offering units on the north side of their proposed 26 storey tower at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

The following is an electronic message forwarded to us by a regular reader:

New prices just announced for escarpment facing suites at Nautique Lakefront Residences Downtown Burlington!

Prices start as low as $309,990 (1 parking space included).
The suites at Nautique Lakefront Residences have been designed by award-winning Cecconi Simone and feature open-concept layouts to maximize living space. Contemporary European custom-designed kitchen featuring corian countertop and backsplash with five-piece euro-style appliance package along with in-suite white stacked washer and dryer. Spacious lakeview terraces & balconies.

The building features two floors of amenities space with a 6th floor outdoor terrace and 18th floor sky lounge overlooking the lake. Outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, bbq’s, party room, dining room, library, private lounge, fitness centre, indoor/outdoor yoga studio & more.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to invest! Inventory won’t last long!

SPECIAL EXTENDED DEPOSIT STRUCTURE
$5,000 on Signing
Balance of 5% in 30 Days
5% in 120 Days
5% in 370 Days
5% in 540 Days

PARKING: 1 Parking Spot Included In The Purchase Price
OCCUPANCY: November 2018

Give Noman Khan, Broker, Loyalty Real Estate, Brokerage
905.330.4077 – vipcondosales@gmail.com

Some questions arise out of this announcement. Does the 18th floor sky lounge overlooking the lake suggest that the building will top off at 18 stories?

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

Adi is aggressively marketing the condominiums on the north (Escarpment side) of the building.

Adi is currently in talks with the Burlington Planning department to see if they can come to terms on a site configuration that will get them past one of the tougher OMB Board members who has given then some time to see what the city thinks of the addition of an additional piece of land that adds significantly to the size of the footprint they have to work with.

The city’s planners never say a word about how development talks are going – it will be Adi that does all the talking – and this most recent release, which they sent out to selected people, suggests they have run something by the planners and think they might have some buy in.

Adi fence - from lkeshore looking nth

A portion of the property that Adi Development group wants to put a 26 storey condominium on – he size of the foot print they want to build on has been revised

After the decision the OMB handed down on the appeal Councillor Jack Dennison made to the Board to reverse the decision made by the Burlington Committee of Adjustment that opposed his request to sever his Lakeshore Road property. Many in Burlington shuddered at that decision and wonder what the city’s chances are going to be with the Adi situation is that before them.

We know nothing about the OMB member who heard the Dennison appeal – but we can tell you that Susan Schiller who is hearing the Adi application is not going to be an easy one for anyone.

Susan Schiller heard the application Nelson Quarry made for a permit to expand the quarry they were mining in rural Burlington. The application was denied.

Watch this one carefully. Asking for a different OMB member to hear the ADI application is something that can be expected: such an application would be about a “perceived bias” on the part of the member.

Business is business and you do what you have to do.

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As much as three years of citizens complaints about construction disruption while the smartest development the city has seen in 25 years gets underway on Lakeshore Road.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 12, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

This isn’t the time of year for people to be out on the streets all that much – it’s still a little chilly.

For those who do venture to the edge of the lake and happen to wander east of the Waterfront hotel – they find themselves entering the early stages of a construction zone.
That lot that used to be home to the Riviera is now just mud with pieces of equipment scattered around the site.

Bridgewater - drill - bore hole

It could be taken for some kind o armament – but it is a drill that bores into the ground.

Fencing is in place and those “must wear a hard hat” signs are beginning to go up. Earlier in the week there was a tall – maybe three storey’s high – rig on the property. Bore holes were being drilled.

Bruno Kresina, the construction project manager, wasn’t on hand to explain what was going on.

The piece of land was home to the sales office – that was torn down a couple of weeks ago. The large six foot by six foot scale model of the Bridgewater project was put in storage – it will show up again when the new sales office is opened.

For a while the use of office space in the downtown core east of Brant was close to a game of musical chairs. Mayrose Tyco owners of the five storey tower on the north edge of the Elizabeth Street parking as well as the owners of the Bridgewater development, had rented space to the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation. They were set up on the ground floor of the building while the parking lot at the Joseph Brant hospital underwent a massive re-development re-build that is costing the taxpayers $60 million – with the hospital foundation raising a second $60 million.

Bridgewater Aerial-rendering-1024x758

A drawing setting out where the different buildings will b situated and the open space for public access.

With the hospital foundation out of the space, Jeff Paikin and his New Horizons Development group can move their sales offices into the space. Not they need all that much of a sales office space – they are said to be past the 70% sold point – and that must be true because the bankers don’t release the cash until sales are at that magic 70% level.
And so now the construction begins.

Details

This is what the south side of Lakeshore is going to look like sometime in 2018 – there will be public access to the lake in between the hotel on the right and the condominium of the left. It won’t be a very wide opening.

It’s a complex set up. The development was approved by city council in 1995 – it was to be a “legacy” project that had been in the minds of the Mayrose Tyco people before 1985. There were some land swaps that squared the assembled land – and a couple of close calls when Conservation Halton, who had grandfathered the development a long time ago but were beginning to get impatient.

Mayrose Tyco brought in the Mady Group to build what was to be a 22 storey condominium and a seven storey condominium plus a seven storey hotel that edged up to eight storeys.

The first hotel was to be a Delta – that got upgraded to a Marriott – which is some distance from the old Riviera motel.

Mady ran into financial problems – Mayrose Tyco took them off the building of the development and asked Paikin if he would take on the construction.
Paikin had already bought a unit in the seven story condominium – he was now going to build his new home.

Bridgewater - road alignment Apr 12-16

You are looking at what is going to be pretty close to the new street – sidewalk alignment on the south side of Lakeshore immediately east of Elizabeth street.

LogoIt will be a couple of years before the any moving vans arrive – the residents of the city have a couple of years to complain about the construction disruptions.

When it is completed – the waterfront will be a much different place.

Save the news feedThe construction of the pier and now this luxury level hotel and some very high end condominiums, which will be described as the finest buildings to live in the GTA. Better than Oakville?

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Strategically city council apparently knows what it plans to do for the next 25 years - really? Strategic Plan approved.

element_strategic_planBy Pepper Parr

April 12, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

It was more than a year in the making during which it went from the traditional Burlington four year plan that got expanded to a 25 year plan that added $200,000 to the city’s budget, presumably to maintain the plan or do some of the numerous promises in the document.

Council was proud as punch with the achievement.

It was described as the product of public engagement and a plan the city believes captures the priorities of the city’s residents and community leaders. Input was gathered from business groups, community groups, staff and residents. The city held workshops in late 2015 and early 2016 to test the draft with the community, making 176 changes to get to the final version.

Burlington aerial

A City that Grows, A City that Moves, A Healthy and Greener City and An Engaging City – call it home – with a plan for the next 25 years.

In the media release the city said: The strategic plan includes four strategic directions:
A City that Grows
The City of Burlington attracts talent, good jobs and economic opportunity while having achieved intensification and a balanced, targeted population growth for youth, families, newcomers and seniors.
A City that Moves
People and goods move through the city more efficiently and safely. A variety of convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation that align with regional patterns are the norm. Walkability within new/transitioning neighbourhoods and the downtown are a reality.
A Healthy and Greener City
The City of Burlington is a leader in the stewardship of the environment while encouraging healthy lifestyles.
An Engaging City
Community members are engaged, empowered, welcomed and well-served by their city. Culture and community activities thrive, creating a positive sense of place, inclusivity and community.

James Ridge - looking right

City manager James Ridge – once he got his teeth into it – the Strategic Plan became his baby – now he has to deliver on it.

“The new plan is a blueprint for city-building,” said City Manager James Ridge. “This is a bold, ambitious multi-year plan that we will deliver in partnership with the community.”

The media releases are intended to put the city’s spin on an event. What was actually said during the Monday evening council meeting wasn’t quite the same

There was serious concern over the lack of any prioritization and where the money was going to come from to pay for all the plans.

Mayor Rick Goldring said: “With the strategic plan now approved, the city will work with its leadership team to add detail to each strategic direction, including completing the city’s Official Plan and Transportation and Transit Master Plan.

“I look forward to working with council, staff, our residents and businesses to get started on initiatives across Burlington outlined in our strategic plan.”

The city will continue to report back to the community on the progress of the plan, including through issues of City Talk, and through advertising and social media as well as updates to City Council.

The intention is to continually review, refine and update of the Plan quarterly.

And of course the Gazette is going to be there every step of the way. We were the only media organization that attended every one of the Strategic Plan meetings and have an insight that will inform what we write.

During the creation of the Strategic Plan Mayor Goldring made a trip to China – there was never a report on that trip – what it cost and what was achieved.

Strategic Plan Workbook

In the beginning – when work on the developing of a Strategic Plan started it was going to be a four year plan – it grew.

There has not been a report on how much was spent on the creation of the report – going from a four year plan to a 25 year plan certainly added to the cost.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a recorded vote or any discussion on the decision to move from a four year time frame to a 25 year time frame.

The Strategic Plan will be on the city’s web site – as soon as we know exactly where it is we will advise you.

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Is a decision on the city's court case asking a judge to compel the Air Park to file a site plan and remove the illegal land fill due soon?

News 100 redBy Staff

April 4, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

April may turn out to be a very good month for the city of Burlington.

Airpark aerial used by the city

Will a Judge order the Air Park corporation to remove the tonnes of illegal land fill from the land and file a site plan with the city – before the end of the month?

We are advised that the Justices that hear court cases are close to releasing a decision on the application the city made for a Judge to compel the Burlington Air Park to comply with the city bylaw requiring the submission of a site plan for the air park property and also remove the tonnes of illegal land fill on the 200 acre piece of property.

The court case was held last November, in one of the smallest t court rooms in the Milton court house where some 20 people crammed into space that might have held 10 comfortably.

The Gazette is advised that a member of the city’s legal staff advised council that a Judge at the Court House advised the city that Justice Gibson anticipates he will be in a position to release his decision by April 30th.

This will be a ground breaking decision which, given the way the Air Park corporation has handled precious decision that went against them in the past, will file an appeal.

Because of the significance of this case to the municipal community across Canada – this case could make it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Parking Standards to get a review - first time in 30 years - we need to do the homework, think hard about the problems and the solutions.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 28, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The city is bedeviled with what to do about parking – there are those who feel a parking spot is supposed to open up for them in exactly the place they want to put their vehicle. Many seem blind to the impact their vehicles have on the environment and even though they have more disposable income than they could possibly spend they howl over the cost of parking.

Mapleview Mall - parking north east side

There are times when you can’t get a parking spot at the Mapleview Mall where there are acres of parking space. Is there a solution? We need one.

The city has two malls –one with fields of parking that are covered in asphalt that creates significant storm water management problems. The city owns more than half a dozen parking lots plus a multi-storey tower downtown that is rarely full. Developers are putting up structures for people who may well not require the amount of space the city rules require them to build – but the rules are the rules.

Buzz-on-Elizabeth-1024x682

Could we begin freeing up some space and creating spots for just these little guys?

Many of the cars on the road these days are not as big – two could fit in the parking spots now underground but the rules don’t permit much flexibility.

The city has thousands of homes with garages – but residents complain about parking space because their garage is used as storage or a workshop.

The city does have some issues with parking – the biggest of which is public attitude.

The department of transportation is holding an Open House to gather public opinion as they work towards a major review of what the parking standards should be for the city.

Vito Tolone, the recently appointed Director of Transportation, has been around parking most of his municipal career – he knows what he is talking about. He does get a little excited at times during presentations but if you listen to him and pay attention to what he has to say – you will find he is usually right.

This project he is overseeing with the aid of the IBI Group who are serving as consultants to the city is to develop parking standards that:

• Are clear, defendable, and based on sound technical analysis;
• Recognize differences in existing land use and support the envisioned urban structure;
• Encourage transportation alternatives to the personal automobile, where available;
• Support efficient forms of development in terms of costs and land requirements; and
• Balance the needs and concerns of a diverse set of stakeholders including City staff, (who happen to get free parking for their cars), developers, businesses, ratepayer groups, TDM organizations, and the general public.

Burlington City Council Group

This is the crew that is going to have to look at the staff report and then stand up and do the best thing for the people that put them in office – that will call for them to work ad a team – not something that is seen very often.

Lessons learned in previous studies point to the following key success factors: There has to be support at a very high level – city Councillors have to be behind any changes.

There has to be a willingness to accept at least a degree of change, which amount to some political courage and real leadership. Burlington has always been a little short on political courage.

There has to be a balance of technical analysis, best practices and policy guidance. That policy guidance comes from staff based on the data they collect and the advice they get from the consultants the hire.

Potential Challenges include: Collecting data for wide range of uses; obtaining data from private residential properties; developer input (the developers have to be responsible and pay at least some attention to the greater good and not just their bottom line.

There may be a disconnect between the ideal future standards and current behavior (truer words have not been written. Finally, phasing in parking standards is difficult.

Key Issues for Study

• Parking issues differ across user groups and land uses
• Balancing the needs and concerns of a diverse group of stakeholders is a concern
• The city anticipates parking pressure from downtown redevelopment.
• The unclear future of emerging trends in transportation technology and their impacts on parking requirements is not something easily known.
The consultation process is:
• To gain an understanding of the issues that residents, business owners, developers, etc. face in regard to parking and parking standards;
• To gain an understanding of the potential effectiveness of changes to parking standards in making more efficient use of parking, supporting transit-oriented development, and other policy objectives; and
• To gain buy-in from the business and development community, ratepayers, and other interest groups on proposed parking standards.

With the Strategic Plan about to get a blessing from city council staff will begin to fit the role transportation is going to play in the way Burlington will get grown during the next 25 years.

Work on the Official Plan can go forward with more precision now that the Strategic Plan is in place. The Transportation Master Plan will get re-shaped and not exist as a plan that does not fit in tightly with everything else. This is going to be a new experience for the bureaucrats – city manager James Ridge has made it clear that his approach to managing the growth of the city is to always be looking at the complete picture.

Station West

It’s an empty field right now – in a very short period of time it will be a very busy construction site with stacked townhouses and apartment/condo towers – with not that much in the way of public space. All being done legally.

The city has come to the conclusion that it will have a number of mobility hubs and appear to be being forced by a developer in the west end to go with the Aldershot GO station as the first hub – even though for the sake of the city – Aldershot may not make the most sense.

Station West A sign

The Station West development yards from the Aldershot GO station is being actively marketed by the Adi Development group.

The problem is a developer is racing ahead with plans that the city has to climb on board with or get left behind. Quite how Burlington got itself in this bind is going to take some analysis – and if there are planning tools that can give the city more leverage – someone better find then and learn how to use them quickly.

Wednesday night the public gets a chance to make its views known. We need to do this right the first time – once decisions are made – there is no going back. We haven’t done all that well with transportation issues in the past.

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Strategic plan supporter gives the city a thumbs up for a document that took nine months to create. He no hopes that the arts get serious funding going forward.

element_strategic_planBy Pepper Parr

March 21, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Getting it - yellowIt was one of those déjà vu evenings for Trevor Copp as he stood at the podium during a Corporate and community Affairs Standing Committee meetings – this time, at least to some degree – thanking the city for beginning to come around to his point – first made about five years ago – that artists were beginning to be able to work in the city they live in.

we

Trevor Copp in conversation with Angela Paparizo, the city’s cultural manager.

Copp’s was delegating at the meeting which was hearing comments on the close to final draft of the 25 year Strategic Plan. The event was part love in and part dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s while council and staff commented on just how involved citizens had been in creating the document.

It isn’t an overly long document – 30 some odd pages and there isn’t much in the way of inspiring language in it – but it is at least understandable.

Frank McKeough, former Chief of Staff to MAyor Rick Goldring asked about how politicians can handle complex issues when voters tend not to be informed and don't have the background needed to arrive at decisions.

Frank McKeown, former Chief of Staff to Mayor Rick Goldring and now the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation supports the Strategic Pan – now wants th city to deliver on the document.

Frank McKeown, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation added that it was a solid plan – the challenge now was to executive on that plan – and that is the real challenge.

City manager James Ridge, sounding like an author on a promotional tour, threw out the phrase “blue print for city building” as if it was the title of a book and he wanted to be certain that people go it. We counted five occasion when the phrase was inserted into his comments.

Ridge set out some of the challenges the city faces and identified a number of places where things are going to get done differently. The Gazette comments on the Ridge remarks elsewhere.

Throughout the creation of the Strategic Plan – and it was a creation – they took more than nine months to complete the document – we don’t know the total cost yet – the word culture was sprinkled rough numerous pages.

Jim Riley, part of the arts collective in Burlington, made the point that the word art had been left out – and while it may seem petty, Riley had a point. “The arts change culture” he said. Most of council got his point which is something that would not have happened five years ago.

Riley went on to point to definitions of culture in both a UNESCO document and a Ministry of Culture document.

Many speak of the role the arts plays in local economies –and city manager Ridge tends to portray himself as “arts sensitive” – just how sensitive will become evident when we see how much he invests in the art community.

The city puts just shy of a million dollars into the Performing arts Centre and another just shy of a million into the Art Gallery of Burlington – but not much of that money finds it way into the pockets of the artists.

The city does have a cultural manager who has an assistant – but the city seems to have said that it isn’t going to put much in the way of dollars into the Culture Days event that takes place each fall.

Strategic Plan Workbook

What has traditionally been a document to guide a city council during its term of office – the 2015 Strategic Plan was changed to a long term vision document that covers a 25 year time frame.

Of all the issues that got covered during the debate Monday evening – culture got the most air time – but there wasn’t a word from either the Executive Directors of the Performing Arts Centre or the Art Gallery.

Trevor Copp might have to come back to a council meeting and prod a little more. Copp’s did say that he felt there was very good public participation in the creation of the plan

“You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a notice of a public meeting about the Strategic Plan” he said.

There was far more public discussion about this plan than any other document the city has developed. Michelle Dwyer, who is on her way to city hall sainthood for her efforts to get the plan completed, mentioned that she saw dozens of people attend meetings with copies of draft of the plan printed out and marked up in their hands as they walked into meetings.

James Ridge

The Strategic Plan came out of a city administration run by city manager James Ridge – it is now his to deliver on.

JC Bourque + Ridge + Dwyer

KPMG consultant JC Bourne with city manager James Ridge and Michelle Dwyer – the woman said to have made the creation of the Strategic Plan possible.

City manager Ridge said that the Strategic Plan “would have never happened with Michelle work”.

In his  closing remarks Councillor Craven said that he supported the plan (he had few questions about the content) but thought it took far too long and that it could have been done at a weekend symposium without consultants.

That’s the way they do things in Aldershot where, as the ward 1 Councillor pointed out “the developers are ahead of the city with their proposals” – Station West – the stacked ton house development is pretty close to a done deal.

The strategic Plan will get some fine tuning in the next few days and get put before Council on the 11th of April. Then the really hard work begins – because all those people who turned up at the public meetings are going to hold this council and its administration accountable for what is set out in the document.

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Another attempt to get a private tree bylaw in place - Mayor advocates a pilot study for Roseland.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 21, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

The Mayor is going to make another attempt at getting a private tree bylaw passed by Council – we think.

In July 2013, the Development and Infrastructure Committee chose to receive and file an information report on a private tree by-law feasibility study. Council did not vote to see the creation of such a bylaw at that time.  . The dean of Council, John Taylor, summed it up when he said “the will is just not there”, the public just doesn’t want this” and try as they might BurlingtonGreen and Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward, who pushed as hard as one can push, could not get this through the Development and Infrastructure Committee.   ” It is going to be very tough to get a private tree by law in this city” said Taylor

In a Notice of Motion that he filed for debate at the Development and Infrastructure the Mayor said that since the 2013 failure he “ continues to hear requests for a private tree by-law in Burlington. Most recently, this came from members of the Roseland community as part of the Character Area Study process.

mnbh

Many of the trees in Roseland are very old – replace trees have not been planted – at some point the residents of this community will deeply regret the loss of their tree canopy.

“Recognizing staff did not support a private tree by-law specific to the Roseland neighbourhood … I believe there is merit investigating a pilot private tree by-law to gauge its impact.

“I propose that a report on a pilot project with recommendations be drafted by staff, with considerations to such aspects as length of time, extent of regulations, performance measures, staff resources required, among others.

“There are several reasons I support a pilot project for a private tree by-law in Roseland. I believe our tree canopy is essential to the environmental and physical health of our city and its residents. As well, as one of the community’s oldest neighbourhoods, Roseland has a large number of mature trees that contribute to its character. Through the Character Study, many residents expressed a desire to maintain the tree canopy and the presence of the large, mature trees.

“The Roseland Tree Planting Initiative is a noteworthy endeavour started by interested community members.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

A truly spectacular tree canopy – most of the trees are on city owned property.

“This cooperative effort by city staff and residents in the community to proactively plant trees within the public rights-of-way in areas with a high percentage of mature trees, and raise awareness among homeowners about the importance of trees within the neighbourhood, demonstrates the value placed on trees and as such, is an appropriate neighbourhood to implement a pilot private tree by-law.”

The Mayor added that “There are many other neighbouring communities that have private tree by-laws, such as Oakville, Hamilton, Toronto and Brampton. Mississauga is currently working on establishing a private tree protection by-law.

He also said: “When drafting the by-law, it is important staff strike a balance between private property owners’ rights and the intent of preserving our tree canopy. The outcome of this pilot project will be valuable in determining the applicability of a private tree by-law in other neighbourhoods, and, potentially, a private tree by-law for the entire city.”

The motion that will get debated is:

Direct the Acting Director of Roads and Parks Maintenance to investigate the implementation of a pilot tree by-law for the Roseland neighbourhood, with a review of options including, but not limited to: length of time for pilot project, extent of regulations, budget and staffing requirements, and measures to evaluate success, and to include community consultation.

Direct the Acting Director of Roads and Parks Maintenance to report back to committee on June 21, 2016.

There is a critical word missing from the Direction – the word “private” isn’t in between the words pilot and tree. Is this a motion to create a bylaw restricting what people can do with trees that are on their private property?

Geese on Guelph Line and the apple trees

A beautiful collection of apple trees next to st. Christopher’s church on Guelph Line that were cut down because Canada geese were eating the apples and pooping on the roadway.

There have been a very sad story told about the man who cut down a 50 year old tree because he didn’t want to rake the leaves. A lovely collection of apple trees were cut down on the property next to St. Christopher’s Anglican church on Guelph Line because Canada geese were eating the apples and pooping all over a driveway used for the most car by just cars. There was a promise to plant new trees – two years and counting and still no new trees,

The environmentalists take the position that people do not own trees – that we are the stewards of a tree for the period of time we own the property on which the tree grows. Mayor Goldring has positioned himself as an environmentalist – he tends however not to walk his talk.

It will take some time for a shift in attitude to take place in this city. Changes in attitude take place when a society is educated – it is the leadership of a community that does the evangelizing.

The motion the Mayor has put forward isn’t going to get us very far – I would love to be proven wrong on this one.

Background links:

Council looks for every way out of a private tree bylaw.

The environmentalists lost the fight in 2013

 

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Adi's downtown development will not get the approval it wants until sometime in 2017 - in the middle of the municipal election.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 16th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

It isn’t a new application – it is a revised application and the final phase of the Ontario Municipal Board hearing of the now revised Adi Development Group application to put 26 storeys of condominium development at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road will not be heard until February 20th of 2017.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: expect the two of them to head to head in the 2018 municipal election in 2018. At least one of the issues is becoming clear.

Expect this to become a prime election issue in 2018 when ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward will run against current Mayor Rick Golding when the issue will be – what kind of a Burlington do we want?

A much more contrite Adi legal team did everything they could to ensure Chair Susan Schiller that they were going to do everything they could to ensure that there was public participation in the revised application.

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

The next rendering of Nautique will not look like this.

Hearings are as much about procedure as they are about the merits of an application. Because this is a revised application the city wants to know much more about just what the revision is all about – the only thing they know at this point is that Adi has purchased an adjacent piece of property and wants to merge it into what they already have. And what difference is that going to make to the shape and scope of the development – well those are the issues that are going to get discussed by the city’s planning department and the Adi architects before it gets back to the OMB.

What has been worked out is a schedule of events that has the Adi plans going to city council before they go back to the OMB hearing – which is a pretty interesting way to approach the problem.

Here is the lineup of events:

From now until the end of June Adi will have informal meetings with staff on what they have in mind with the new piece of land to the development.
At the end of June Adi formally amends the application.
There is then public notice of the of the revised application also at the end of June
Staff then does its review of the revised application and has until the end of September to get that done.
There is then a public meeting sometime in October
Late in October city council considers the revised application
There is then an OMB pre-hearing conference after the city council has had a chance to do whatever it wants to do. The date for this meeting will be late October early November.
Expert meeting reports are due November 28th
Witness statements are due December 12th
Participant statements are due January 6th
Reply statements are due January 16th
Visual evidence is due January 16th followed by a 10 day hearing that will start February 20th, 2017.

The city did have the right to ask that the development application be denied on the grounds that it was a new development which would have forced Adi to go back to square one and start all over.

This approach, which the public learned about this morning, is not bad – one might be gracious and call it pretty good.

Denise Baker, lead counsel for Adi promised everything but the kitchen sink as she explained the way Adi intended to proceed. One would have liked to see some of this willing to collaborate when the original application was filed rather than bully the city into an OMB hearing. They did have the right to do what they did – practice within the development community is to allow some grace time for development applications.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

Saud and Tariq Adi – it was heavy sledding for the twins at the OMB hearing.

One gets edgy when hearing the promises from an organization that has in the past flouted bylaws and put signage up along main traffic arteries and install large signs that were called hoardings at one point and then a fence on another – forcing the bylaw enforcement people to seek advice from the city’s solicitor before ordering Adi to comply with the bylaw.

ADI Nautique detailed sketch

Adi development added about 20% more land to the development they plan for the NW corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

The OMB hearing that began on Monday came to be because Adi was not prepared to give the city some additional time to vote on the application.

With Chair Schiller running the OMB hearing as it goes through its various stages – there will be no nonsense. Those at the media table in the hearing room remarked that she appeared more diligent when it came to the public interest than the city’s council.

Because some land has been added to the assembly the boundary demarcation for those who are permitted to ask to be part of the proceedings and have standing will become a little bigger and include people who were not included up until now.

Chair Schiller went out of her way to ensure that all the lawyers let people know they could make presentations.

Schiller noted there was a high degree of public interest in the hearings – television cameras arrived at city hall on both Monday and Wednesday.

It now becomes a waiting game. Adi will work at figuring out how much more they can add to the development – they are going to have to find a way to pay for that additional land.

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And what has the Air Park been up to recently? City solicitor has a lot of questions.

airpark 100x100By Staff

March 16, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

One never knows what is going to appear in the mail box.
The following was passed along to us – interesting.

March 11, 2016

Fax: 416-314-8452

Application Assessment Officer
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Operations Division
Environmental Approvals Access &
Service Integration Branch Application Verification Unit
135 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 1 Toronto, Ontario M4V 1P5
E-mail: tina.dufresne@ontario.ca Ms. Tina Dufresne, District Manager
Halton-Peel District Office, Central Region
4145 North Service Road, Suite 300 Burlington, Ontario L7L 6A3

Dear Sir/Madam:
Subject: EBR Registry Number: 012-6693
Ministry Reference Number: 1720-A59NX4 Proponent: 2120901 Ontario Limited
Instrument Type: Environmental Compliance Approval – EPA Part 11.1-sewage
Location: 5432 Bell School Line, Burlington, Ontario

I am writing on behalf of the of the Corporation of the City of Burlington, in response to an application for a new Environmental Compliance Approval for 2120901 Ontario Limited posted to the EBR on February 4, 2016. For the reasons that follow, the City of Burlington is requesting that the application be returned to the proponent as incomplete for the reasons as will be set out below. In the alternative, the City is requesting that the time for the submission of comments be extended for an additional 60 days beyond the current deadline of March 20, 2016 to permit adequate time for consideration of the issues by Burlington City Council, and affected residents.

Background

The City of Burlington and the Burlington Airpark Inc. have been engaged in litigation for several years arising from an illegal fill operation taking place at the Burlington Airpark. The sewage works that are the subject of the application before you drain water from the landfill at the airport that is the subject of the litigation between the City and Airpark. The Airpark is located between Appleby Line and Bell School line, north of Highway 407, all of which is located in the northern rural area of Burlington.

Air Park dump truck

It was the dumping of landfill that resulted in neighbours calling the Gazette – we published the first stories on the problem which woke up people at city hall who began to look into the problem.

A fill operation on the Airpark property commenced in late 2007. The City of Burlington was never consulted about the fill operation or about any proposed expansion plans that the Airpark might have with respect to its operations. On or about March 2013, the City began receiving a significant number of complaints from new landowners in the vicinity of the Airpark. The nature of the complaints ranged from grading activities, drainage, noise, dust, traffic safety and about the possible effects of contaminants in the fill on drinking water. After having investigated these complaints, staff concluded that the Airpark was using its lands as a fill site in order to generate revenue and was not depositing fill to implement a planned and/or imminent expansion of its airport facilities.

As a result of its investigations, on May 3, 2013 the City issued an Order to Comply pursuant to its site alteration by-law by obtaining a permit for the ongoing fill operation. After the Airpark failed to comply, the City issued a Violation Notice under its by-law. Since that time, the City has been engaged in protracted litigation with the Airpark to bring the Airpark into compliance with the City’s by­ laws to address the off-site impacts caused by its fill operation.

Litigation Round 1

The Airpark brought a court application in July 2013 to prohibit the City from enforcing its Topsoil Preservation and Site Alteration By-law against the Airpark and the Airport. The City responded with a counter application seeking a declaration that the City’s Topsoil Preservation and Site Alteration By-law 6-2003 was valid and binding upon the Airpark and to its fill activities.

In November 2013, the court dismissed Airpark’s application against the City and declared that the City’s Topsoil and Site Alteration By-law was valid and binding upon it. The Airpark subsequently appealed the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on June 13, 2014.

Following the decision of the Court of Appeal, the City continued to press the Airpark to comply with the Order to Comply under the City’s Site Alteration By-law. The City adopted a new Site Alteration By-law #64-2014 which contained materially the same provisions found in the previous by-law. The City maintained that the Order remained outstanding and it continued to be entitled to enforce it. The Airpark subsequently did file an application, however maintained that it was in relation only to a small area at the north-west corner of the Airport. This position

ignores all of the fill unlawfully deposited at the Airpark between January 1, 2008 and August 2, 2013.

litigation Round 2

The City commenced an application to the court in April, 2015 seeking an order to remove all fill deposited on site between 2008 and 2013. In the alternative, the City seeks to have the court order the Airpark to submit a complete application for a site alteration permit pursuant to the new City’s site alteration by-law. The application was heard by the court on November 10, 2015 and at the time of preparing this letter, the court has not released its decision.

Nature of Burlington’s Interest

The City of Burlington has a clear and compelling interest in the application for Environmental Compliance Approval that has been submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and posted on the EBR. As demonstrated above, the City has been engaged in a protracted dispute with the Airpark to regulate the fill that was brought onto the site illegally in order to address the environmental impacts resulting from those actions. In particular, the City is concerned with the grading of the property, and the impacts on the drainage of the lands, all of which are related to the proposed sewage works identified in the current application for compliance.

Councillor Blair Lancaster walking through the property of a farm adjacent to the air port found the land spongy and soaked with water – now we know where that water is coming from.

Prior to 2008, which was the start of the fill operations, the Airpark had a storm sewer drainage system that was located generally in the vicinity of the North­ South runway and the airpark buildings. These storm sewers discharged into the existing pond at the SE corner of the property and into the adjacent farm fields.

With the start of the fill operations, additional storm sewers were installed in the areas of fill. These storm sewers discharge into a regulated watercourse and also at several locations along the west property line. This has resulted in changes to the stormwater discharge regime onto adjacent properties. The change has been from the previous “sheet flow discharge” to “concentrated flow discharge”. As a result, adjacent properties have been adversely impacted, as identified above in the form of complaints received by the City.

The City agrees that the MOECC Environmental Compliance Approvals were required for these storm sewer systems. In addition, Conservation Authority permits should have been applied for. It is the City’s position that detailed storm sewer and stormwater design calculations should be provided for these systems. The application does not include adequate information in this regard.

Irregularities with the Present Application

City staff has had the opportunity to attend at the Halton-Peel District Office to view the materials filed by the proponent. The City submits that the application as filed contains a number of irregularities that merit the rejection of the present application on the basis of incompleteness.

Name of Proponent

Air Park entrance uly 2013

The ownership of the Air Park and the taxes they actually pay are now being questioned.

The name of the proponent making application for environmental compliance approval is 212091 Ontario Limited. The Certificate of Incorporation and the Articles of Incorporation attached to the application for that numbered company date back to 2006. Our recent corporate search of this company discloses that the numbered company was in fact amalgamated with the Burlington Airpark Inc. on January 1, 2007, forming a new company, Burlington Airpark Inc. being Ontario Corp. Number 1721779. Burlington takes the position that the application has been made by a defunct corporation which cannot have legal responsibility for the proposed works to which the application relates. The documents submitted in support of the applicant’s name are neither current, nor do they provide proof of the name of a genuine applicant. Furthermore, the documents submitted do not include copies of the subsequent articles of amalgamation.

Burlington submits that the proponent’s name as posted on the EBR is misleading, and a reasonable person having an interest in postings on the EBR respecting the Burlington Airpark Inc. would not have adequate notice of the application as posted in its current form.

Location(s) Related to this Instrument

The posting to the Environmental Registry identify the relevant address as 5432 Bell School Line, Burlington. Our information is that the actual address for the site is 5342 Bell School Line, in the City of Burlington. Again, any reasonable person having an interest in activities related to the Airpark would not have adequate notice that an application had been made for those lands. Also, 5342 Bell School Line is only one of three land parcels forming the Airpark lands.

Statement of the Municipality (s. 5.1)

The City notes that section 1.5 of the Application – Statement of the Municipality has been left blank. The Municipality has to indicate that it has no objection to the construction of the works in the municipality. I can assure you, that the City of Burlington, where the works are located has not been contacted and has not been consulted. Furthermore, the box has not been checked as “NA”.

Our understanding is that a municipal declaration is required from the municipality in which the sewage works are or will be located. The Ministry’s own “Guide to Applying for an Environmental Compliance Approval”, identifies that this declaration, “is required to establish the municipality’s general concurrence with the proposal, to ensure that the proposed works would not contravene any municipal by-laws or other requirements.” Also, the common law requires that the City be consulted in these circumstances.

Based on the background provided in this correspondence, the City of Burlington has very serious concerns about the sewage works identified in the application, and the municipality ought to have been consulted prior to the application having been made. The City takes the position that the installation of sewage works was done concurrent with the illegal infill operation that was occurring at the site, in contravention of the City’s site alteration by-laws.

Burlington’s Request

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated. The city is not done with this issue.

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport maintained they were federally regulated and did not have to comply with city bylaws.

The City of Burlington is requesting that the application be returned to the proponent as incomplete for the reasons as presented. The application contains incomplete and inaccurate information, and has the effect of misleading any person with an interest in tracking environmental activity on the EBR. The proponent ought to correct the application, and ensure that discussions are held with the relevant municipal authorities, including the City of Burlington and Conservation Halton before an application for environmental compliance is re­ submitted.

In the alternative, the City is requesting that the time for the submission of comments be extended for an additional 60 days beyond the current deadline of March 20, 2016 to permit adequate time for consideration of the issues by Burlington City Council, and affected residents.

Please note that these submissions are preliminary and deal only with the adequacy of the application and process followed to date. Should the application continue to be processed for approval, the City will submit its technical comments on the application for environmental approval.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours truly,

Nancy L. Shea Nicol
City Solicitor & Director of Legal Services cc. Mr. Ian Blue, Gardiner

This is the kind of document that would get circulated to council members and discussed in a closed session of council.  Our thanks to the citizen who had the courage to pass it along to the Gazette.

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Meed Ward will issue a statement on the Council decision not to oppose the ADI request for an adjournment of the Nautique development.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 15th, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Often, whenever ward 1 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward appears at events with the Mayor she sounds more "mayoral" than the man who wears the chain of office.

Mayor Goldring and Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

The statement released by the city on the decision they made not to oppose the request ADI Development Group made to the Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board hearing for an adjournment that will push any decision forward to 2017 was so typical of this council. Every member of Council is on record as being opposed to the project.

What their thinking was during a two hour plus session of council is secret – but one would like to think that these high school graduates could say something.
Councillor Marianne Meed Ward did say : “This is the right decision and if no more comes from the city I will work with legal to draft a statement that can be shared, probably after the hearing tomorrow.”

Now you know why she is the odds on favourite to become the next Mayor of Burlington.

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City council votes not to oppose the ADI request for an adjournment to the appeal they took to the OMB.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 15, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

In an earlier version of this story we said Councillor Craven did not attend the Special Council meeting: we erred.  Council Craven was in attendance, Council Sharman was absent.

Burlington City Council voted to not oppose a request from Adi Developments to adjourn the Ontario Municipal Board hearing regarding the application for a 26-storey condominium proposed to be developed at 374 Martha St.

Recorded vote

Council members standing for a recorded vote not to oppose the ADI Development group’s request for an adjournment of the OMB hearing they sought. Councillor Sharman was absent.

In 2014, Adi Developments submitted an application to the City of Burlington for a 28-storey condominium to be developed on a .136 hectare parcel of land at 374 Martha St. Adi Developments launched the OMB appeal in March 2015. In February 2016, the developer amended its application to 26 storeys.

Martha Street bungalow

The bungalow on the right was recently purchased by the ADI development group and added to their land assembly on which they propose to erect a 26 storey condominium.

At the OMB hearing on March 14, the developer told the OMB it has bought the property at 380 Martha Street, and will include that property in its condominium development application. The city’s legal team asked for an opportunity to receive instruction from Burlington City Council.

The Chair of the OMB hearing asked the City of Burlington to have a response to Adi Developments’ request for adjournment by 3:30 p.m. today. The public was informed after 4 p.m. of City Council’s decision.

ADI Nautique detailed sketch

The property marked 380 was purchased by ADI and added to the original land assembly.

The OMB hearing will resume on Wednesday, March 16 at 10 a.m. in City Hall, Room 247, to deal with the developer’s request for adjournment and to establish a future process for dealing with the appeals that are currently before the board. The meeting is open to the public.

That was what the city had to say: What they didn’t comment on was that the adjournment will push the hearing back to sometime in 1Q of 2017 – that’s the earliest date the OMB can hear this case.
In their comments made while asking for the adjournment legal counsel for Adi said they believed many if not most of the concerns the city had expressed over the original development application could be resolved through discussion about the impact the additional property would have on the scale and scope of the project.

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

The most recent rendering of the Nautique

Patrick Devine, legal counsel for the condo/apartment building directly across the street from the small piece of property that has been added to the land assembly amount to much more than a small change and should be seen as a new application and treated as such.

Unless someone objects to the adjournment, which could be as long as a year, things at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road are going to be quiet for some time.

Background links:

Original story on the ADI request for an adjournment of the OMB hearing they demanded when the city failed to act within the required 180 day timeline

 

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Will city council get it right this time? An opportunity to revover from the first round handling of the ADI development on Martha Street.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 14, 2016

BURLINGTON, ON

Mayor and chair

Can Mayor Goldring keep his council focused and on topic in order to meet the two hour limitation he was given by the Chair of the ADI development appeal now before the OMB.

The Mayor is going to have to be brisk and focused when he chairs the Special meeting of Council Wednesday afternoon as they work through what they want to give their legal counsel in the way of instructions on the latest twist in the Nautique development that ADI took to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Nautique ADI rendering - sparse

Can a substantially revised development still be appealed on its original grounds? ADI purchases property to the north of their Nautique development site.

The ADI Development Group appealed their application to build a 28 storey structure to the OMB because they didn’t like the fact that the city did not give them a decision on their project within the required 180 day timeline.

Now they have the temerity to ask the city to go along with an adjournment for six months or more – and it will be more because there is no room on the OMB calendar until the 1Q of 2017.

There is also a bigger issue – the addition of a significant chunk of property to the development proposal would suggest that the OMB can (some say should) throw the appeal out and let ADI make a new application to the city.

The Mayor might have been better advised to call the meeting for 9:30 am – there is going to be a lot to talk about and there is significant doubt that this council can get through the jibber jabber they do when they debate in time to meet that 3:30 deadline put in place by the Chair of the OMB hearing.

City council recently approved the salaries for city council and reported on what council members were given in the way of expense and benefits money. On has to add about $60,000 to the number shown – this is what the council members get paid for their work as members of the Regional council.

Council vote Dec 18-14 Water Street

Recorded votes are not the norm for Burlington’s city council. In this instance Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward votes against – it will be interesting to see if she demands a recorded vote for whatever comes out of the closed council meeting on Tuesday.

The debate that takes place, in a closed session of city council, which the Gazette believes is one of those occasions when the discussion should take place in camera; however the vote on what the city decides to do should take place in a public session where the public gets to learn what the question was and how individual members actually voted.

This is an important decision that gives the city an opportunity to bring a developer to heal.

One can hope that Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward will do her duty and once again ask for a recorded vote – don’t let your constituents down Councillor.

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