Ouch! Court orders Air Park to pay city $118,327.53 in legal costs

airpark 100x100By Staff

November 8th, 2016



We now know what the City Solicitor told members of city council when they went into closed session yesterday afternoon.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered Burlington Airpark Inc. to pay City of Burlington court costs in the amount of $118,327.53.

Airpark aerial used by the city

The Air Park corporation dumped tons of land fill on their property to level out the land and in the process earned thousands of dollars in fees collected for permitting the land fill on the property without an approved site plan, The black line indicates the boundary of the Air Park property.

The cost award is related to the June 30, 2016 decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in favour of the City of Burlington’s application to compel Burlington Airpark Inc. to submit an application for a site alteration permit to comply with the city’s bylaw.

With the court ruling, the Airpark was required to file an application for a site alteration permit for the fill deposited between 2008 and 2013 before Aug. 31, 2016 and has now been ordered to pay the city’s court costs on a substantial indemnity basis.

Heavy construction equipment parked on a 30 foot + hill 50 yards from the kitchen window of the Sheldon property on Appleby Line next door to the Air Park landfill operation. Many thought the overnight parking of the equipment overnight was intimidating

Heavy construction equipment parked on a 30 foot + hill 50 yards from the kitchen window of the Sheldon property on Appleby Line next door to the Air Park landfill operation. Many thought the overnight parking of the equipment overnight was intimidating

An appeal by Burlington Airpark Inc. to the June 30, 2016 judgement in favour of the City of Burlington is scheduled to be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal on March 28, 2017 at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. West in Toronto.

The City of Burlington site alteration bylaw 64-2014 regulates the placing, dumping, cutting and removal of fill or the alteration of grades or drainage on a piece of land. Individuals doing this type of work must first submit an application to the city for a site alteration permit.

This is getting to be a very expensive experience for the Air Park and almost a profit center for the city. This is not the first time a Court has ordered the Air Park to pay the city very substantial costs.graphic04

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Adi reported to want an OMB led mediation to resolve the differences the city has with their Nautique project.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2106



The developer of the application for the proposed 26-storey condominium at 374 and 380 Martha St., Adi Development Group, has requested, through its legal counsel, that the City of Burlington participate with Adi in an Ontario Municipal Board-led mediation process in an effort address the city’s issues with the revised development applications in advance of the scheduled hearing on Feb. 21, 2017.


Most recent architectural rendering of the Nautique development planned for the intersection of Martha Street and Lakeshore Road.

The city is prepared to engage with Adi in an OMB-led mediation. The mediation is not binding.

Mediation calls for an open, honest and respectful exchange of views – difficult to see that happening when Adi president Tariq Adi is reported to have said the Mayor’s comments were “laughable”.

Mediation is not normal in Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings. Recall that these hearings were asked for by Adi when the city did not respond to their Official Plan and by law change request that were part of the application they made back in 2015.

When the city and Adi eventually got in front of an OMB officer ADI asked for an adjournment because they had acquired an additional piece of land which they argued at the time would allow them to come back with a revised plan.

Which they did – that revised plan added 48 units to the development proposal – it at the same time lopped two floors off the structure – from 28 down to 26.

Adi is spending a significant amount on advertising and marketing the development – one could venture a guess that they are so far extended on this development that they have to find a way to recover their losses.
Mediation would be interesting – unfortunately those sessions will be behind closed doors – will the city fold on this when the public can’t see what they are negotiating?

The city’s Planning department spend days “negotiating” with Adi – it went nowhere.
Should the OMB officer go along with mediation – what that does is give Adi another tool with which to beat down the city should the mediator find that some of the Adi suggestions had merit but the city found it was more than they wanted to go along with.

Better methinks to have everything done before the OMB hearing which is public.

Dennison announcing

Councillor Jack Dennison

We know where Councillor Dennis stands on this one. He likes the 19 storeys at Lakeshore and Torrance. The Mayor is prepared to mediate – with a guy that says his position is laughable.

“I support mediation because I believe it gives the city an opportunity to influence a positive outcome for this development. We do not know if mediation will be successful, but it is worth attempting before we proceed to the hearing. I continue to seek a development proposal for this site that is respectful of the surrounding area and streets, and integrates well with the existing and planned context of the area.”

Adi - Saud and Tarif

Adi brothers Saud and Tariq

Naïve would have been a more appropriate word.

Adi has been jerking the city around for the past couple of years. They took this to the OMB – let it get resolved at that level.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column.

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Schedule of meetings for community character studies released.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 6, 2016



The Character Area Studies for Roseland, Indian Point, and Shoreacres neighbourhoods are nearly complete. City staff are preparing a report about these studies and their impact on other low density residential areas.


Indian Point – a small neighbourhood with a rich history – and a very divided population. Old timers wanted it to stay as it was – the “nouveaus” had plans for bigger homes and thoughts of dividing properties. Some of the early public meetings got pretty hot and heavy.

There will be a series of open house meetings you can drop in on anytime to learn more about these planning initiatives, ask questions, and share your comments.

The Character Area Studies for Roseland, Indian Point, and Shoreacres neighbourhoods were received by Council on February 29, 2016.

community-character-study-meetingsStaff have prepared policy and by-law amendments to implement these studies and for low density residential areas outside of the character areas.

Together, they will provide a proactive approach to support all established low density residential areas through an enhanced regulatory framework. The proposed drop in open houses are the final opportunity for you to provide input on these initiatives prior to a Council decision on the proposed amendments.

Lastly, the Statutory Public Meeting for Council to consider the proposed amendments to the Official Plan, Zoning By-law, Site Plan By-law, and Site Alteration By-law is being targeted for December, 2016. Confirmation of the Statutory Public Meeting date will be provided at a later date.

The Gazette will report during the weekend on how city council handled this matter.

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Lakeshore Road south of Maple expected to re-open October 16 - Detour maps shown.

notices100x100By Staff

September 27, 2016


The Phase II Road Closure is expected to remain in effect until October 16, 2016.

For access to the Joseph Brant Museum, Joseph Brant Hospitalloading dock and hospital construction site trailer, use North Shore Blvd/Maple Avenue.

For access to the following locations, use the Eastport Drive detour route:

• Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant
• Ministry of Transportation – Maintenance
• Halton McMaster Family Health Centre
• Joseph Brant Hospital Parking Garage
• Joseph Brant Hospital Construction Site
• Burlington Beach


Map with detours that will be in place until October 16th, 2016

On October 17, 2016 Lakeshore Road, south of the Maple Avenue / North Shore Boulevard
intersection, is scheduled to be fully opened to traffic, weather permitting.

Lakeshore Road will be open to traffic, but will remain a construction site, with the following works scheduled to take place:

• Completion of traffic signal and street light installation
• Tree planting
• Site restoration

2016 Construction works are scheduled to be completed by mid November 2016 with toplift asphalt
and final landscaping works planned for the spring of 2017.

Changes to Hamilton Street Railway Company (HSR)

During Construction HSR service will be returning to Lakeshore Road. The date is yet to be finalized. For more
information please visit https://www.hamilton.ca/hsr-bus-schedules-fares/schedule-routesmaps/

Lakeshore Road was raised about one metre to align with the hospital.  The raised portion of the road extends to the water treatment plant.

Henshell house Beachway

The Region purchased this property for a reported $550,000 – and then tore it down.

Longer term, the road is expected to take a sharp turn to the right to accommodate the Regional Plans for a much larger Beachway recreation area,  The longer term plan includes buying up the more than 25 homes still in he area on a willing seller – willing buyer basis.  The Regional government is the willing buyer and has been offering good prices and a number of sweetheart deal initiatives.


Longer term the Beachway we know now will be a much different place – all that green in the photograph will be parkland with different themes for different sections of the property – and all the home will eventually be gone – IF the current plan comes to full fruition.

If you have any questions about this project, please call Jeff Thompson at 905 335-7600, ext. 7669 or
Janine Yaromich at 905 335-7600, ext. 7421.

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What did the consultant say to city council? Here it is - word for word. Pay attention - it is your city they want to change.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 26th, 2106



The debate on the installing of dedicated bike lanes on New Street was the thin edge of the wedge that is leading the city into a full blown review of both the way land is used in the city and how we transport ourselves.

Sometime ago the city hired Brent Toderian to consult with the planning and transportation departments. Set out below is the “reporting letter” Toderian sent the city before the Committee of the While meeting last week that set out what Toderian described as a bold new move.

Toderian UrbanWORKS (TUW), the corporate name this consultant uses explains that the reporting letter is what is behind the support for Council consideration of a proposed launch of a public engagement exercise for a new City of Burlington Transportation Plan.

Burlington aerial

Burlington as it was in 2013 – before the pier was completed. Council has decided it needs to grow up rther than out. How are they going to do that?

TUW has been providing city planning, transportation and general operational and culture change advisory services to the City of Burlington since November, 2015. The engagement with the City has been strategically and deliberately broad/flexible, including advice on the City’s proposed new official plan, various transit – oriented development considerations, and more general city planning, urban design, communications, cultural, and capacity – building aspirations. The most specific and “deep” example of TUW’s consulting services to the City has been in the creation of a new Transportation Plan, the subject of this RL.

The following is what Toderian wrote in his “reporting letter”

Intended transportation plan, nature and structure:

Informed by extensive discussions with city staff, the intention for the Transportation Plan work program is to prepare a plan document organized around a new central transportation vision, eight powerful “new directions,” and a series of new implementing policies and actions under each new direction. Actions will include, among other things, new work programs that will extend from the transportation plan, and be guided by it.

The intention is NOT to make any detailed transportation alignment or design decisions as part of the Transportation Plan that would require processes such as environmental assessment – these would come later. Before any such detailed work is undertaken, and indeed before it CAN be properly undertaken, it is critically important for the City to consider and decide on a significant new direction for the city’s transportation.

Our working title for the Transportation Plan, which should have a dynamic and engaging brand, is
“GO BOLD in a City Growing Up: City of Burlington Transportation Plan.”
This working title reflects the critical relationship between the Transportation Plan and the Official Plan, which has already been branded “GROW BOLD.”

How we got here:

The City of Burlington is at a turning point. We would say that we’ve reached a “fork in the road,” but frankly that is left – over language from a car – first transportation era.

Building on decades of evolution in transportation thinking over many plans, policies & initiatives, two

significant recent events have sparked a game – changing new conversation about mobility in Burlington.

The first is the April 11, 2016 Council adoption of Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015–2040. The bold new Strategic Plan contains unprecedented aspiration and commitments regarding both “A City That Grows” and “A City That Moves” — and to be more specific, a city that will move in a fundamentally different way in the future than it has in the past, as it grows in a different way than it has in the past.

The Village isn't completely built out yet - there are still pockets of construction taking place. Still room for new people.

Alton Village was a prime example of urban sprawl – the type of construction the city wants to see less of – the last of the new development in Alton is currently underway at the intersection of Walkers Line and Dundas.

The second is the significant declaration by Mayor Goldring and City Council in 2015 that Burlington is the first Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) municipality to “stop urban sprawl” and become a city that is “growing up rather than out.”  City leaders realize that for such a transformation to be successful, with resulting greater livability, quality of life, sustainability, equity, & healthy living, our city’s mobility and accessibility will need to be fundamentally rethought and rebuilt. The way we’ve been visioning, planning and designing our transportation networks as the city has grown outward has fundamentally focused on moving cars to such an extent that other mobility options are either not present, or at best are not practical.

This approach will not succeed if we are to be a city growing upward and inward.

Following these two big events, Council made two related critical decisions on July 7th of this year:

1. Council supported a new urban structure for the City with growth focused in downtown.

Mobility hubs

The city created four mobility hubs. Aldershot once appeared to be the one the city planned on starting with – that idea may have changed. The hub at the Burlington GO station linked to the hub in the downtown core may become the first to be developed.

Burlington, at our GO Stations (Mobility Hubs), and along the connecting corridors of Brant Street (between hubs) and the Plains Fairview Corridor (connecting all three GO hubs).

This smart, strategic land use facilitates, and is facilitated by, a different approach to mobility than Burlington has focused on in the past.

2.  Council approved strategic and unprecedented funding for the detailed planning and implementation of growth in the planned Mobility Hubs.  To further facilitate this turning point, and to begin the process of creating a new Transportation Plan for the City, we have prepared a DRAFT vision statement for Burlington’s new era of transportation. This Draft Vision draws from, and is inspired and directed by, existing policy, the new Strategic Plan, and recent community conversations about the future of our city. This Draft is not intended to be finished, but rather to start a conversation about what an ultimate new vision should include.

Since beginning this work, the City has released a new communications strategy relative to the preparation to a new Official Plan and Transportation Plan for Burlington. The key message in this strategy is the need for us to “Grow Bold.”

This message – this NEED – is in keeping with and is further inspiring our changing thinking around transportation. We will indeed need to grow bold in our thinking and building, and we will need to GO BOLDLY toward a better, more successful city as we grow.


Citizens meting with planners and developers to talk about how they want to see development taking place. The two meetings were held by ward 2 Councillor Marie Anne Med Ward. Her final report has yet to be released. The meetings were classic public engagement.

A plan with almost perfect vision, aspiration and policy can still fail in the “buy-in,” implementation and follow through. Indeed, disconnects between vision and implementation are the most common reason for failure of plan achievement. Failure can occur when plans aren’t given significant weight and value by Council, staff, and/or the community, and thus “sit on a shelf collecting dust.” Plans also often frequently fail when there are disconnects between plan vision/aspiration and actual budget decisions.

The goal of this Direction is to dedicate significant corporate energy and attention to ensuring that every level of follow-through, from culture change and capacity – building, to detailed levels of implementation & budgeting; is considered, and has been strategically positioned for success. This Plan will be a powerful catalyst for real change, and will not sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Next steps.

After the Council Workshop in September, the intention is to share this draft vision and 8 draft new directions with the public as a public “launch” for the new Transportation Plan. City transportation staff have coordinated closely with staff from other departments so that public engagement opportunities and efforts between the new transportation plan and the new official plan can be “piggy-backed” as much as possible.


Citizens talking amongst themselves about the kind of development they would like to see take place in their ward.

It continues to be TUW’s advice to the city that all opportunities for less formal/”traditional” engagement contact with the public should be taken advantage of. The bedrock of this way of thinking is to “go where the people already are, rather than expecting the public to come to you.” Shopping centres, schools, events, fairs & festivals, markets, “pop-up” street installations and churches should all be considered to ensure that engagement reaches the broadest possible community, including those who would not normally engage with city participation processes.

In addition to face-to -face connections, TUW recommends that individual transportation plan – related social media accounts be created (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) ASAP , bolstered by the existing citywide accounts, to help create a new brand and specialized on – line conversation for the Transportation Plan.

These will continue to be an asset after the Plan is approved, over years of implementation and review.

Our intention is to take a very proactive approach to explaining to the public the “origin story” of this draft Vision and these 8 draft New Directions. In particular, it needs to be clearly explained how they seek to “make real” the commitments in the already Council – approved Strategic Plan. In that sense, it is not our intention to ask the public for comment on whether we are generally “on the right general track.” The truth is that Council’s existing approvals have already put us on that general track. We would be honest and transparent about that.

A rapt audience listened to an overview of the 2014 budget. What they have yet to have explained to them is the desperate situation the city will be in ten years from now if something isn't done in the next few years to figure out how we are going to pay for the maintenance of the roads we have.

Can the city learn how real citizen engagement is done – or will they continue with the practice of showing the citizens what they plan to do and asking for approval?

Having said that, we WOULD be communicating to the public that the draft text is considered far from finished, and for that matter far from perfect, and thus we invite comment on whether we’ve taken the right approaches & have the right language, with the intention of using such input to produce a final version of the Vision and eight New Directions. Based on this input , New Directions may be added, removed, revised or consolidated. Further, and very importantly, we would be inviting the public to comment on/recommend specific policies, actions or changes that the city should undertake in order to realize this vision and facilitate these New Directions.


We eagerly await our opportunity to workshop these challenging and dynamic New Directions for Burlington transportation. They are inspired by, and hope to further inspire, the ambitious and bold thinking that Council has already been showing.

This is a critical and significant step for the city. While city hall feels it has done a good job of explaining its Strategic Plan to the population – we would be hard pressed to find more than 2 out of every 100 people in the city who knows what the document says and what its implications really are.

That inability to communicate is not just the fault of the city – communication is a two way street – speakers and listeners – most of Burlington hasn’t been listening – and the city doesn’t really know how to communicate with its citizens.  Many suggest that the majority of this city council don’t want to communicate – they just want to decide what should be done and then go ahead and do it.

bridgewater-cement-trucks-5-of-themThere is a construction crew working diligently on the south side of Lakeshore Road pouring concrete at an incredible rate to put up a 22 storey condominium along with a seven storey condominium and an eight story hotel. Getting that project to the point where there is a hole in the ground began back in 1985. It was approved when Walter Mulkewich was Mayor of the city.

One wonders if such a project would be approved today.getting new - yellow


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Neighbourhood character studies are on their way to becoming zoning rules and part of the Official Plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 7, 2016



They have been a long time coming. And not everyone wanted the studies in the first place but the Planning department worked their way through public meetings that were at times fascinating at other occasion almost a total waste of time.

Character studies for Roseland, Shoreacres and Indian Point have been pulled together into one omnibus report to council which, if approved, will become the zoning for properties in each neighbourhood. These zoning changes will get put into the Official Plan review that is currently underway.

Communities – perhaps better referred to as neighbourhoods wanted more control over the kind of development that took place – the residents didn’t want to lose the feel of what they had.

Anne McIlroy on the left, who served cookies to the 25+ people who attended the meeting, talks with with Andrea Smith

Anne McIlroy on the left, who often served cookies to people attending meetings, talks with with Andrea Smith

And while that “feel” was not always easy to define Anne McIlroy, the consultant brought in to handle the character study was particularly good at settling an audience and finding a way to determine just what the community wanted – not always an easy task.

Three neighbourhoods got one of those up close and very personal treatments. Roseland, Indian Point, and Shoreacres were each facing challenges of their own with small developers doing infills and on other occasions tearing down a smaller house for something bigger.  Monster homes were appearing, much to the chagrin of those living in the neighbourhood


Roseland has a number of stately dwellings that reflect the period during which it was built – many wanted to keep that look and feel.

Residents of Roseland and Shoreacres communities have for the most part reacted positively to the findings of the character studies, while some from the Indian Point community have expressed concerns (which is putting it mildly) with any proposed changes to the regulatory framework applicable to their community.


Indian Point, a small neighbourhood tucked away on the west side of the city had a character of its own that was quite mixed. There were the old-timers and the nouveaus – that didn’t speak the same language.

Indian Point is a very small neighbourhood and there were people who had bought properties and didn’t care all that much about what their neighbours thought – they knew what they wanted to do and they didn’t see the need for any meddling by the planners. At least one of the meetings got downright nasty.

City council looked at the highlights of the proposed amendments on February 17, 2016. The next step was to consolidate the proposed zoning, official plan, and site plan by-law amendments that had been proposed and make it all legal.

The development industry has reacted positively to the notion of eliminating the site plan process for low density residential areas in exchange for additional zoning regulations.

The detail is complex and at this point all we have is a draft that will be debated at the  September 12, 2016 Community and Corporate Services Standing Committee meeting.

The Gazette will report in detail on the final decision.

Set out below are the proposed zoning regulations in a graphic format.

Balcony Regulations

Balconies located above the first storey in the side and rear yard of detached dwellings are not permitted.

Front Yard Setbacks.

Properties located on the west side of Indian Road as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Maps shall have a front yard of 4 m.

Properties located within the Shoreacres Character Area as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Mapswith an R2.1 zone shall have a front yard of 9m

Lot Coverage

Floor Area Ratio

The maximum floor area ratio is 0.45:1.

Properties with a front or street side yard abutting Lakeshore Road and North Shore Boulevard and all properties south of Lakeshore Road and North Shore Boulevard (excluding Indian Point Character Area as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Maps) shall be exempt from this floor area ratio regulation. For through lots, the front building elevation shall determine the front of the lot for the purposes of this regulation.

Garage Widths and Projections

The width of a front loading attached garage shall not exceed 50% of the width of its building elevation.

An attached garage with a garage door facing the street is not permitted to project beyond the front wall on the first storey of a dwelling.


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Planner and developer plus a lawyer specializing in planning matters to discus intensification at Chamber of Commerce event.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 6, 2016


The Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a breakfast meeting at which an exchange of views on intensification and what it means for business in the city. Intensification Matters – How Will Intensification Impact Business?

Has the potential to let the business community see how different developing philosophies impact the kind of communities that cater to the growing demand for residential space in the city.

Vince Molinaro

Vince Molinaro, president of the Molinaro Group.

It should be an interesting discussion with a cast of characters that reveal a lot about where Burlington is with its growth plans and how those plans will be carried forward by the development community and the city’s planning department that is now under significantly different leadership.

Mary Lou Tanner

Mary Lou Tanner, Director of Planning for the city of Burlington.

Mary Lou Tanner, Burlington’s Director of Planning, Vince Molinaro, president of the company that is building a five structure development on Fairview right beside the GO station that will, when completed, will be home to something in the order of 2,000 people.

Lyn Townsend WeirFoulds lawyer

Lyn Townsend, Partner at WeirFoulds LLP,

They will be joined by Lyn Townsend, Lyn Townsend, Partner at WeirFoulds LLP, the law firm that is representing the ADI Development Group that is before the Ontario Municipal Board for hearings related to the controversial 26 storey, Nautique development proposed for the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

Townsend ran a leading planning law firm that was located in Oakville; that firm was either acquired or absorbed in 2013 into WeirFoulds, one of the premier law firms in the country with a pedigree that goes back more than 150 years.

The panel discussion is a Chamber of Commerce event taking place at the Holiday Inn at 7:30 am on September 15, 2016

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Tall building design guidelines to be debated next week were produced with a degree of immediacy - wonder why?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 6, 2016



What are the rules that a developer has to follow when they decide they want to put up a tall building? And do they have to follow those rules?

The Planning department commissioned a document, at a cost of $20,000, and have come out with a decent document (we aren’t qualified to say if it is a good document or an excellent document) that is well illustrated.

Tall building design - set backs and spacing

The placement of a tall building and its relationship to the street scape is set out in the Guidelines. Many will wonder if the ADI Development Group’s Nautique at Martha and Lakeshore Road meet these guidelines.

The document is described as Tall Building Guidelines – prepared by the Brook/McIlroy organization that has done a lot of work for the city during the past two – maybe three decades.

They are the group that did much, if not most, of the early design work for the Beachway Park that is in the detailed planning stage.

The development pressures of intensification and tall buildings are becoming increasingly evident. When carefully designed and located, tall buildings become a distinct and defining component of a city’s character, forging a memorable skyline and establishing city landmarks.

Tall buildings are defined as anything over 11 storeys.

Tall building guidelines play an important part in how the City grows. They will help build communities with quality of life and quality of place, and fulfill part of the new Grow Bold strategy by building up, building smart and building beautiful.

Should council endorse these tall building guidelines, they will be implemented immediately and used to evaluate all proposed tall buildings in the city. The guidelines will also be used to influence future tall building policy through the official plan review process. The planners expect these guidelines to become a living document that is updated and amended from time to time to reflect future trends in tall building design.

Design considerations will become an explicit part of all development applications.

Due to the immediacy of preparing these tall building design guidelines, staff were unable to present them at a formal meeting with the the Burlington Housing and Development Liaison Committee (HDLC).  The immediacy of preparing the document as the reason given.  Immediacy and planning are not normally words that appear in the same sentence.

Tall buildiong design - material use

The Tall Building design guidelines serve as an excellent introduction on what the city planners would like to see.

The Planning department has met individually with some tall building developers to discuss in advance of presenting the guidelines to the Development and Infrastructure Committee.

This is a document that deserves public attention – it will be referred to frequently as council discusses development applications.

The complete document is available HERE

It is on the Development and Infrastructure Standing Committee agenda for Tuesday of next week, the 13th – at 1:00 pm. This should have been a matter discussed and debated in the evening to ensure better public participation.

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City councillors return to work after long holiday - lots of significant issues to be dealt with - early draft of the budget will be on the table.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 5, 2016



Well – it was nice while it lasted.

The Region advised us to expect extreme heat and humidity on Tuesday – which is the day most of us return to our desks and ready ourselves for a fall season of doing the city’s business.

These weather announcements are made when forecast temperatures are expected to reach at least 31 degrees Celsius with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days, or when a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Normally Mayor Goldring would drive west along New Street and watch for the number of people cycling in those new bike lanes but this Tuesday he will be heading north east for the Regional office where he and the other members of city council will do their work as Regional Councillors.

They buckle down to work on city matters the week of the 12th.

On that agenda are some significant items – the budget being the most important. Fresh numbers will be available soon – hopefully the treasurer will have climbed down from the 3.5% plus increase that had been floated.

Brant at Ghent development area

Several properties at the Ghent – Brant intersection are being readied for future development.

Intensification will get more attention – sometime in September one of the major developers in the city will announce a possible four structure development at the intersection of Brant and Ghent.

The growth of Brant street is working its way south from Fairview where the Molinaro’s are doing just fine with their five structure Paradigm development. The three 19 storey structures on the north side are approach the fifth floor level.

The ADI group plans for the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road are at the ‘talking it over” stage with the planning department before it all goes back to the Ontario Municipal Board in October.

Storm water needs some public attention – there are solutions but the public hasn’t been given much to look at and consider. The HAAP program is underway assessing the vulnerability of 4,000 Burlington-area homes to flood damage.

The program will make recommendations to help homeowners avoid costly damage from extreme weather and at the same time collect the data needed to inform potential expansion of the program to communities across the province.

Burlington got chosen for the program – our 2014 flood disaster made us the most eligible.

The transit people are in bed with the Economic Development people looking for ways to provide decent transit service for parts of the city where large employers would like to see something better for their employees.

Brant Square outside looking south

Burlington Square on the west side of Brant at Ghent is going to get a major upgrade with additional density on the south end.

Mobility hubs are getting looked at very closely – at one point during the Strategic Plan deliberations it looked as if Aldershot was going to be the first such hub. That seems to have shifted due in part to the nature of the working relationship with a developer and the city.

The Paradigm development next to the GO station and the impending announcement of a large development at Brant and Ghent where Burlington Square is getting significant upgrades with the units south of the high rise becoming four storey units makes this a significant increase in housing units that will do a lot to get us to the intensification target.

The question anyone with an eye for planning is – what does the city do with the properties to the east of the GO station where there are several car dealership and a horticultural outlet with a couple of restaurants.

Fairview looking east from Leggat

Automotive dealerships, a horticulture operation and a number of restaurants dot the north side of Fairview between the GO station and Guelph Line – The time may be coming when this land can be put to much better use.

The area becomes prime commercial property – and when linked to the downtown core certainly has the makings of a transportation.

Elizabeth’s on the corner of Brant and James is reported to have been sold – the furniture operation is being moved to Fairview – that whole block is then in play – someone has something planned.

The Paradigm and the yet to be announced development at Ghent and Brant are going to being upwards of 3500 people into that community. THAT is growth – which is what this council wants – but there is a hard core of people west of Brant who don’t want quite that much development.


Ward 2 residents look at plans a developer has put forward during a workshop held by the ward Councillor.

Ward 2 city councillor Marianne Meed Ward held a series of public meeting at which people in her ward got to comment on what they wanted to see in the way of development. To her credit Meed Ward has kept herself open to ideas and has been consistent in her willingness to listen to her constituents.

Her report on what she learned from the three meetings is due sometime later in the fall.

The content of that report just might serve as the frame that sets out the issues at which point the public can decide what the appropriate lenses should be to look at what is proposed and then shape decisions that fit into the intensification requirements and the Strategic Plan.

We mustn’t forget the Official Plan review that is now getting the attention it needs – that task got put on hold until the Strategic Plan was in place.

The city is apparently working with Vince Rossi on the site plan he is required to submit – once there is a document in hand the city can then refine its contents and perhaps get to the point where there is something done with the hundreds of tonnes of landfill that was dumped on the property.

In the past four to six months conversations have taken place with interested parties who see the potential for the air park and have the necessary executive capacity to make something acceptable happen. No one is going to do anything until the site plan matter is worked out.


How many of this significant seven will decide to run for office in 2018 – and which office will they run for?

This city council is at the halfway point of its term – this is the point when municipal politicians began thinking about getting themselves re-elected.

The rules they will have to work within as candidates in 2018 are going to be a lot different than they were last time around.

Look for a lot of self-serving statement in the next 26 months.

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Air Park decides to appeal a decision that compelled them to file a site plan.

airpark 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 30th, 2016


The Airpark has served notice on the city that it is going to appeal the decision made in the Superior Court of Ontario which decided that they must file a site alteration plan for the air park where thousands of tonnes of land fill was dumped between 2003 and 2008.

And why are we not surprised?

This is what you do when you need to buy time.

Airpark aerial used by the city

The black lines show the size of the Air \Park property. The properties on the left side along Appleby Line suffered significant flooding from run off after the land fill had been dumped on Air Park property.

The Air Park had 30 days in which to decide what they wanted to do – file a site alteration plan or appeal the decision.
They chose to appeal – and if this appeal is anything like the results of the last court decision the Air Park appealed it will be a very short court case.

After speaking for close to an hour on why the original decision should be set aside (that was the decision that said the air park did have to comply with municipal bylaws) the Court of Appeal decided they didn’t have to listen to the city’s argument. They recessed for a short period of time and chose not to set aside the Superior Court decision.

This second court case had the city of Burlington asking the court to compel the Air Park to file a site plan for the city to approve – and that of course is where the rubber hits the road – what if the city doesn’t approve the site plan that is filed?

The City will now discuss next steps after learning that the Burlington Airpark Inc. has appealed the decision of Mr. Justice M.R. Gibson dated June 30, 2016 to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Vince Rossi, president of the Burlington Executive Air PArk and beleived to be the sole shareholder of the private company, met with north Burlington residents. He took all the comments made "under advisement"..

Vince Rossi, president of the Air Park and believed to be the sole shareholder of the private company, met with north Burlington residents. He took all the comments made “under advisement”.

The appeal, attached, states:

“THE APPELLANT ASKS that the judgment be set aside and judgment be granted declaring City of Burlington By-Law 64-2014 to be ultra vires, or inapplicable to the operations of the Appellant, Burlington Airpark Inc., and in particular to the placement of soils in and about aircraft runways and aircraft taxiways at the Burlington Airpark (the “Airpark”) prior to April 27, 2013.”

The City of Burlington site alteration bylaw 64-2014 regulates the placing, dumping, cutting and removal of fill or the alteration of grades or drainage on a piece of land. Individuals doing this type of work must first submit an application to the city for a site alteration permit.

Heli-pad drawings Air park June 28-14

The Air Park at one point had plans to locate a helicopter station on the property.

On June 30, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of the City of Burlington’s application to compel Burlington Airpark Inc. to submit an application for a site alteration permit to comply with the bylaw. With the court ruling, the Air Park was required to file an application for a site alteration permit for the fill deposited between 2008 and 2013 before August 31, 2016.
The court has also ordered the Airpark to pay the city’s court costs.

The Air Park itself is not the issue – it is what the current owner of the air park has dumped on the land. They have argued that the land fill was brought in to level the property for future development.

Most people took the position that the land fill was brought in because it was very profitable to do so – and indeed it appears, with what little evidence there is so far that dumping land fill on the site was profitable.

During the first court case lawyer Ian Blue, acting for Burlington, managed to get on record that there were large sums earned from the land fill that was dumped, but that the corporate records were not available to show just where those millions of dollars had gone.

All the key players in the Airpark dispute:

All the key players in the Air Park dispute: On the left standing is assistant city solicitor Blake Hurley, seated in front of him is Ian Blue, the lawyer the has hired to represent them in court. Leaning over th chairs is former city general manager Scott Stewart along with Roger Goulet, Ken Woodfruff and Monte Denis. Leaning over th three gentlemen is former ward six candidate Vanessa Warren.

At one point in these proceedings the Air Park sued three Burlington residents and a local on line newspaper (the Burlington Gazette) for libel. That case is still churning its way through the judicial system. The defendants, Denis, Warren, Parr and the Gazette have asked the Air Park to show their financial records. The Air Park has refused to do so. A Judge has heard arguments from the Air Park and the defendants on why the Air Park should make its financial records available. They are waiting for a decision.

There are people involved in economic development matters who feel the air park is an important part of what kind of development takes place on the 200 acre site. A small regional airport is seen by these people as a useful and there are reported to be people interested in acquiring the air park which is believed to be wholly owned by Vince Rossi.

There are others who feel the airport should become something owned and operated by the Region. However there does not appear to be much in the way of an appetite at the Region for them to become operators of an Air Park. There are a number of municipalities who have done just that.

Might the air park find itself with new owners? There is more than one individual interested in that possibility.

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Work at growing bold begins - city hall will be figuring out where the mobility hub focus should be and then the kind of development that they want..

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 28th, 2016


If there was any doubt as to what is going to happen to this city in the next 20 years – that doubt was dispelled in a media release issued by the city today.

We are going to grow and we are going to do it as boldly as possible.

Mary Lou Tanner

Director of Planning coined the phrase: Bolder, Smarter, Beautiful. That is how she plans to lead development in the city and has the full support of city council behind her.

Director of Planning for the city Mary Lou Tanner underlined that point at a recent city council meeting when she said we will build “Bold, Smart, Beautiful.”

City City Council approved the Official Plan Review reports that lay the foundation for how and where the City of Burlington will grow for the next 20 years, inspired by Burlington’s 2015-40 Strategic Plan.

Two Official Plan Review reports that will help establish how and where the City of Burlington will grow over the next 20 years were given the stamp of approval.

Those reports set out where growth will take place and the kind of growth that will take place. There are a couple of locations that are intended for one type of growth when the owners of the property want to do something different. Is that another “OMB here we come?”

“This is an important time for our city,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “We have the opportunity to plan the type of growth we want in the locations we want to ensure we continue to be a thriving city. We will grow responsibly, with detailed planning that will result in new neighbourhoods that provide public amenity space, walkability, cycling infrastructure and public transit options, while minimizing the carbon footprint.”

Getting all that done is critical if the city is to be the kind of place the public seems to want. Sitting in on public meetings and hearing what a developer wants and noting how much they vary with what the city has set out as its model points to some stiff battles ahead.

Air Park entrance uly 2013

The Air Park learned that a developer cannot do whatever they choose to do nor can they apply their own interpretation to the regulations.

It has been said that you can’t beat city hall and the Air Park has certainly learned that lesson. There are developers putting up impressive, large in scale projects that are well within what the city wants to see. There are others battling the planners at almost every yard. The city asked residents what to call the new direction for growth in Burlington. Two-thirds of the hundreds of people surveyed chose “Grow Bold” over the other option, which is “We Are All In.”

“After months of engagement with the community, City Council made the decision earlier this year, in the city’s Strategic Plan, that Burlington is going to grow,” said James Ridge, Burlington’s city manager. “With this direction, the city’s planning team has been hard at work updating the city’s Official Plan, the blueprint that defines where and how growth will happen over the next 20 years.”

Of the two reports approved by City Council, the Urban Structure and Intensification Policy Directions report contains a policy direction for an intensification framework that clearly outlines the parts of the city that are being targeted for growth and those areas that will not see a significant amount of development. Among the primary locations for intensification are the areas around Burlington’s GO stations, called mobility hubs.

The second report, Burlington’s Mobility Hubs: A Work Plan for Area-Specific Planning, addresses the need for a dedicated mobility hub planning team.

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

Mobility hubs at the GO stations is close to a no brainer.  Which of the four identified hubs should be first – thatis what planners will be figuring out in the immediate future.

City Council approved $2.5 million in funding for four full-time staff who will work to ensure future developments around the mobility hubs reflect the city’s vision for new neighbourhoods that are walkable, offer a variety of affordable housing choices and have easy access to transit, shopping, parks and recreation centres.

At one point it looked as if Aldershot was going to be the first mobility hub for the city. They seem to have backed away from that and are looking at all four hub locations to determine which should get the focus and attention

“We have the opportunity to plan the type of growth we want in the locations we want to ensure that Burlington is a vibrant 21st-century city,” said Mary Lou Tanner, chief planner and director of Planning and Building with the city. “We are going to grow bold, which means we are going to build up, we are going to build smart and we are going to build beautiful.”

These are exciting times for the planners. Will enough of the work have been done to have something to take to the public before the next election in 27 months?

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City planners now reviewing the revised ADI development for Martha Street - see if you can find the differences?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2016


This document has been revised since its original publication.  The addition is shown in bold below:

We are back at the ADI Development file – again.

This development was put before the public at a meeting at the Art Gallery on October 9, 2014.

Those in attendance then weren’t happy then and things never did get better.

ADI made a presentation, city planning staff gave a presentation. It was a contentious meeting.

ADI then filed their application for both zoning changes and changes to the Official Plan on property they had assembled at the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street for a structure that was to soar 28 storeys into the sky.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

A generous serving of hubris in the corporate make up. will it work for them?

Part of the first design had a small portion of the building at the upper level reaching out over the property line. At the time ADI was working on a design that had the shape of the building looking a little like a billowing sail – they were very proud of this innovative and unique look. To their credit ADI has usually come up with progressive designs that accompanied the very aggressive request for significant height and density changes.

The 28 storey application got revised to 26 storeys which asked for revised Official Plan and Rezoning applications to permit a condominium building with 240 units and 423 m2 commercial space, 6 levels of underground parking, driveway access from Martha Street and retail units that would front onto Lakeshore Road.

Rosa Bustamante was the city planner on the file and she prepared the report that went to city council. It was a very solid report – the problem was that city council didn’t manage to “appreciate” the relationship between the report and the calendar. A municipality is required to respond to an application with 180 days of the filing.

The practice has always been for some elasticity in that 180 time-frame. ADI chose not to go along with the practice and filed an application to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) claiming the city did not respond to the applications within the time-frame – they asked the OMB to decide on what would be permitted because the city had failed to do so.

The application for the original development proposal got to city council on March 30th.

Adi fence marth lking south

View from the north east corner of the site. The recently acquired bungalow property is just to the right of the last pole that once held advertising material the cit forced AI to remove.

The Official Plan and the zoning on the property allowed 4 storeys with an all but automatic upgrade to eight storeys which is what ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward wanted to see.

Everything left city hall and was sent along to the OMB. The manner with which the city handled the file was not one of their better moments. Council either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t want to pay attention to the calendar. The planning department failed to impress upon the Mayor the critical importance of that 180 day time frame.

Perhaps they all felt that ADI would follow the accepted practice – they have learned a hard lesson. ADI plays hardball.

While waiting for the OMB hearing to take place ADI appeared to realize that they did have a problem – several actually.

The resident’s didn’t like what they perceived to be a traffic problem with the entrance to the building and the underground garage being on Martha – it was never going to be on Lakeshore.

The other problem was the small bungalow that was going to be orphaned behind the structure. City hall wasn’t going to buy into that kind of behaviour.

Adi crane

The ADI boys are building a brand and have chosen a hardball, aggressive approach to the way they do business with city hall. The Martha Street development is not h only on that has problems. wrapped around it.

ADI could see the writing on the wall and so, through a series of property transfers, ADI obtained the bungalow property. They used the acquisition of that property as their argument to request a delay in the OMB hearing.

The cheek of this developer. They give the city the bums rush for a delay of a few days in dealing with a staff report and then several years later they buy a piece of property and then ask the OMB to have city staff review hat is almost a new development proposal.

Many people thought the city should have taken the position that it was a new application and asked the OMB commissioner to dismiss the ADI application. The city chose to show a level of civility that is not seen by ADI.

Elevation from city July 2016

The most recent design for the Nautique – planned for the Martha Lakeshore Road intersection.

Legal counsel for the city asked for a few days to get instructions from Burlington’s city council who went along with the ADI request for time to upgrade their plans to incorporate the bungalow property.

The sequence of events went like this:

The OMB hearing related to this application was held on March 14, 2016. At the hearing the developer told the OMB it has bought the property at 380 Martha St., 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.

On March 15, the City of Burlington informed the Chair of the OMB that the city would not oppose the developer’s request for an adjournment.

On Wednesday, March 16 at 10 a.m., the OMB hearing resumed to formally accept the adjournment and establish a timeline for the process related to the appeals before the board.

The OMB hearing regarding the application was adjourned until Feb. 21, 2017 at 10 a.m.

The OMB required ADI to file a revised development proposal no later than June 30th. They failed to do so – the new revised application didn’t get to city hall until July 12th.

There appears to be some confusion as to how the procedural requirement set out by the OMB was to be met.  City hall advised the Gazette that: “The procedural order requirement for both the submission of the revised plan and the notices resulted in a practical impossibility that was not intended by the Board or the parties.  Notice of the revised plans could not be sent out until the plans were received. The plans were received late in the afternoon of June 30th, necessitating the delivery of the notice the following week.  Legal counsel for the parties discussed the practical impossibility created by the procedural order and agreed that the intent of the order is to have the City get the notice to the public as soon as possible after receiving the revised plans and required information from Adi.”

ADI submission date

Received date is clear – document was due June 30th – th city was required to make the document public. Let us know if you find it on the city web site.

Officially, the city’s position has been:

No approvals have been given for the proposed development. A summary of the city’s position is set out in the March 30th, 2105 staff report that went to Burlington City Council on March 30, 2015.

City planners are now looking at the revised development application that still wants 26 storeys.

The revised Planning application has been submitted by ADI Developments to amend the Official Plan designation and the Zoning By-law regulations for 374 and 380 Martha Street.

This proposal is to allow a 26 storey apartment building with ground floor retail on the site. The proposed building will contain 240 residential units and 423m2 of retail/commercial use. The retail uses will front onto Lakeshore Road. The entrance to the residential units will be from Martha Street.

The proposed building will contain 6 leveIs of underground parking with a total of 241 parking spaces. Driveway access into the property will be from Martha Street. The proposed development will have a floor area ratio (coverage) of approximately 11.26 (11 x).

All units will have balconies, and outdoor terraces will be provided on the 4th and 20th storeys.

Changes July 2016 - from city

This is a bit of a stunner – they want even more density than the first proposal – twenty more parking spaces added; quite a bit more in the way of amenity space. still a very tall building.

Site Summary:
Property Size: 0.17 hectares (0.4 acres)
Surrounding Land Uses:
• South: parking lot
• East: 5 storey retirement home
• North: 3 storey townhouses
• West: 1storey medical clinic

The planners will be preparing a report to Council about the revised proposal in Fall 2016.

The next municipal election will take place in October of 2018 – is city council hoping this issue will get mired in OMB paper work and not see the light of day until after the election?

Mayor Goldring is reported to be asking people what they think of a 10 storey building.

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Hoardings are going up - three structure project construction about to begin at Caroline and John.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 12th, 2106


It has taken a long time for Nick Carnicelli to begin his project on John street south of Caroline. But the hoardings are up and some of the demolition has begun.


Seventeen plus storey condominium is part of the three structure Carriage Gate project at John and Caroline.

The project will consist of a high end condo, a parking garage and an office building that was promoted as a medical location.

The financing is in place and the sales team is working out of a smart looking office on Old Lakeshore Road.

Carriage Gate - three buidingsGetting this one to the point where the developer can start building has not been easy. There were issues over hydro lines – were they going to get buried and if they were who as going to pay for that work?

And who was going to pay for hauling the power lines all the way up from Lakeshore Road. The city certainly didn’t make it easy for this developer.

The ward Councillor wanted to see affordable housing units in the project that is made up of a parking lot, a medical office building and a condominium.

Carriag gate site - from Caroline

Hoardings are going up.

This project is one of several that are going to change the look, feel and tone of downtown Burlington. You won’t recognize the place in five years.

Bridgewater will rise 22 storeys above the lake – and right at the edge of the lake, Paradigm has the first three of the five structure project on Fairview well underway. The ADI Nautique development is mired in an OMB hearing.

The Saxony on Locust is in site clearing mode.

The sleepy quiet Burlington that many people want is going to undergo a significant change.

Are we ready for it?

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

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 11, 2016


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



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


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


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
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



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


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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