Region signs off on Burlington's Official Plan.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 1st, 2020



It has been a long time coming but yesterday the city received notice from the Region that the Official Plan is another step closer to being what an election was fought over in 2018.

A different way of growing a city.

Council will now take an historic step and pass the Official Plan.

Appeals are part of the process but this time it is the Region that has to accept the appeal and cover the costs of defending it.

When and How to File an Appeal

Notice of Deciision Nov 30

Region signs off on Burlington new Official Plan. Now Council has to pass it and then wait for the appeals.

Any appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal must be filed with Halton Region no later than 20 days from the date of this notice, shown above as the “Last Date of Appeal”.

The notice of appeal should be sent to the attention of the Regional Clerk at the address shown below and it must:

1) set out the reasons for the appeal,
2) set out the specific part or parts of the proposed Official Plan Amendment to which the appeal applies, and
3) be accompanied by the fee required by the Tribunal and as directed by the Tribunal.

The reasons for the appeal must include an explanation of how the proposed official plan amendment:

• is inconsistent with provincial policy statements issued under subsection 3(1) of the Planning Act;
• fails to conform with or conflicts with a provincial plan; or,
• fails to conform with the Regional Official Plan.

Council in memory

This is the council that, elected in 2018 took on the task of creating a new Official Plan and getting through two years of hard work and determined effort.

Address for Filing a Notice of Appeal
By Mail:
Office of the Regional Clerk
Regional Municipality of Halton
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville ON L6M 3L1

Submit Notice of Appeal to the attention of:
Graham Milne, Regional Clerk

By E-mail:

Who Can File an Appeal
Only individuals, corporations or public bodies may appeal a decision of the approval authority to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. A notice of appeal may not be filed by an unincorporated association or group. However, a notice of appeal may be filed in the name of an individual who is a member of the association or the group on its behalf.

No person or public body shall be added as a party to the hearing of the appeal unless, before the official plan amendment was adopted, the person or public body made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to the council or, in the opinion of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to add the person or public body as a party.

When the Decision is Final

The decision of the Regional Municipality of Halton is final if a notice of appeal is not received on or before the Last Date of Appeal.

Getting Additional Information
Additional information about the amendment and the decision is available for public inspection during regular office hours at the Office of the Regional Clerk at the address noted below.

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Private sector planner Glenn Wellings waxes eloquent over a transit station.

background graphic redBy Staff

November 29th, 2020



A small bus terminal on John Street that once had a recommendation from the Transit department to close the station that is the size of a standard classroom has had a serious impact on the way development in the downtown core took place.

The existence of the building and the designation it had, made it possible for the ADI Development Group to get their appeal of an application past the OMB.

The bus terminal that was now being called an MTSA came up recently when private sector Glenn Wellings talked about his boyhood days when he used buses; suggesting there might yet be a bigger role yet for the terminal.  Here is the way a planner saw the bus terminal meeting the interests of his client.


Private sector planner Glenn Wellings

The purpose of my delegation is to speak to concerns regarding the approach and recommendations with respect to the interim control By-Law study. I do have several concerns including modifications to the Urban Growth Centre Boundary so the transition policies however, Madam Chair given my ten-minute limit, I will restrict my comments mainly to the downtown bus terminal.

There is much…..been much discussion today and previously centered around the downtown bus terminal and several decades ago, the downtown bus terminal. I’m not sure if Council members will recall, some may not have been living in the Burlington at the time used to be located at Village Square, and that was probably about 40 years ago and the terminal at that time accommodated city buses, City of Hamilton buses, Gray Coach buses, Gray Coach is no longer with us, and also Go transit buses, and it served as a very important transit hub at a time when Village square was new, and transit was less of a priority than it is today, and how I know that is as a kid growing up in Oakville, I used to frequently take the bus between Oakville and St. Catharines. So the route I would take could be the Go bus along the Lakeshore Road and I would transfer to a Gray Coach bus at Village Square, and that Gray Coach bus would stop in Hamilton, Grimsby and on to St. Catharines, so it did at one time serve an interregional transit function.

I’ll fast-forward to today, there has been no significant investment in the downtown bus terminal. For many years, at a time when I believed the city needs to be investing in transit. It appears that these limitations and deficiencies of the existing bus terminal aren’t being used as a basis to establish updated land use policies for the downtown. A planning regime recommended by the interim control By-Law study seems to accept status-quo for the downtown bus terminal, so it doesn’t speak to possibly improving things, getting back to where it used to be and serving an interregional function. That’s not where the policy regime seems to be headed.

John Street bus terminal

Will history remember the impact the terminal had on the development of the downtown core?

So, the proposed policies do not in my reading support an enhanced role of this downtown bus terminal or even the potential of building something better, a new bus terminal and reintroduce into regional transit to the downtown. The downtown bus terminal has always had a different function than the Go station and the Go transit given the rail function at the Go station and the bus function downtown.

They’ve always had different functions so the typology being suggested and to support policies is really not much different than what we all know. Some may recall that the role bold official plan didn’t anticipate the potential for new transit terminal at 421 John Street and that’s parking lot no. 4 so, that was looked at previously.

The developed policies with no anticipated changes to the bus terminal or even looking at an enhanced role of that downtown bus terminal is not in my opinion long range planning. To me it is not consistent with the Urban Growth Centre nor its transit supportive or a reflection of the spirit and an intend of the major transit station area. Madam, I would like to ask for clarification on three areas and I believe Ms. MacDonald did provide clarification on one area but I just want to be clear of my understanding under the proposed policy regime, is it downtown Burlington will continue to be a Urban Growth Centre with a minimum density target of 200 people on jobs per hector and the downtown Burlington will continue to be a major transit station area and a mobility hub. I’m hoping I got that right but I would just ask for some clarification because there was some confusion and some of the delegations on that point.

Secondly, is Council likely aware the Mattamy application have been in process for more than two years and were filed under the current approved official plan and I would ask for confirmation through staff that the proposed policies are not intended to retro-actively apply to these applications moving forward. And you heard the delegation of Mr. Snider, he had indicated that there is Case Law and there are rules that the policies at the time of application are the ones that should be used to evaluate an application and there is much Case law on that point.

And thirdly, and I’m not sure the answer to this question. If the policies in the proposed Openna 119 are appealed, how does that reflect the timing of the new official plan? OPA, and I’m assuming that the official plan cannot be finalized and approved piecemeal without knowing what’s happening in the downtown, in the policy framework for the downtown which is a major source of the intensification that will occur in the city. So I’d ask for some clarification on that point. I’m not sure how that would evolve. And lastly, I would ask for written notification of any approvals of the OPA and zoning By-Law arising from this exercise and subject to clarification of those three points.

CLK: (Councillor Lisa Kearns) So you spoke about does the study consider an enhanced role of John Street of bus terminal with interregional long-range planning. So the section 3.4.4 transit network and demand does speak to the Burlington transit trips that do occur between Hamilton and Burlington. So I’m just wondering if you’re making statements that it hasn’t may be looked at the regional connectivity piece. I just want to know those things are in there. Are you aware of that?

GW: (Glenn Wellings) And I’m also looking at a little more broadly than that and may be if there is a better bus terminal, that it could be an airport shuttle service running from that. I think we all need to look at the possibilities of what the downtown bus terminal could be rather than what it is today.

CLK: Okay. So I’ll ask staff what the forward thinking long-range planning lens was applied to that. Thank you.

CSS: (Councillor Shawna Stolte – Chair of the meeting) Thank you. Now we have a question from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

MMW: (Mayor) So just to your clarification question, if I may, there’s no proposed changes on our agenda today to the UGC or the MTSA.

That’s been covered several times so that’s out of scope that we’re dealing with today. Just so you know. So the question is around how we enhance the transit function really throughout the City, downtown for sure. This is a very transit-friendly Council and we have added Millions in our two budgets that we have done to transit. So my question for you is…. And Go transit, of course, is provincial. We can’t tell them where to put their routes, but should a Go bus come to downtown Burlington or we get a nicer terminal and one of the recommendations was additional shelters and so forth, will the downtown ever function the same as the Go Station with 15-minute service across…. Effectively across Ontario? Would you say there is a distinction, nevertheless between those two?

GW: The GO Service just keeps on getting better and better so it does serve a great function for the City. It’s to me the only way to get downtown if you’re going to Toronto.

MMW: I agree with you on that.

GW: Yeah, so the roles have always been different and I didn’t want to suggest otherwise,

MMW: Right.

GW: But I think we can do better than what we have downtown.

MMMW: Yeah, I think we can certainly enhance that. I think… I’ll save it for my comments. We agree there is always going to be a difference between the two which means there’s a difference in ridership and land use. With respect to the Mattamy proposal that you’re representing, you raised some concerns that I was just trying to take notes about how the policy framework that we’re dealing with today, the MTSA piece, would affect that property. Do you have specific policies that you’re concerned about would somehow impact that piece?

GW: No…

MMW: you don’t want it to be retroactively applied. So I’m just wondering….

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

The Mattamy development Wellings was delegating on at Council

GW: No particular policies. It’s more of a general approach to evaluating the applications. Mattamy invested in this downtown at a time where there is a different mindset. I am not here to throw stones at anybody. There is a different mindset…. There was a different mindset than there is now, they’re struggling with that, and they’re trying to figure things out. They’re following what’s going on. They’re frustrated. They’re angry and they are just trying to figure out what’s going to apply going forward and I think they deserve that clarification.

So creating policies to respond to an application that’s been in process for two years to me is grossly unfair and prejudicial and if that’s going to occur, then the Mattamy applications made it to go to LPAT because they can’t be dealt with fairly in this room and I’m hoping that’s not the case, that that’s not where they want to go. They want to work with the City. But I would hope that we could clarify which policies are actually going to apply to them going forward.

MMW: Okay. I will ask that of staff. But the…. Certainly the understanding that is throughout the report is that once we approve new official plan policies, they will apply equally to everybody. Nobody gets special treatment. So unless there are specific aspects of the policy, I think that would be helpful for us to hear, if there are specific things that you think are not good planning, then please, you know, let us know sometime between now and the 30th of January.

GW: and through you, Madam Chair, not to belabor the point, but I would ask that you get legal advice on that point.

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Councillor and Mayor push Ministry to hold public meeting on the Quarry license application

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 25th, 2020



Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward moved a Motion at the Regional Council meeting today taking exception to the way the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) were dragging their feet on ensuring acceptable public engagement.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

The Motion was adopted unanimously.

The outcome will be a letter to the MMNRF asking that they do their job and ensure that there is access to information about the current application in a transparent and timely manner.

The legislation requires an applicant for a licence to comply with the prescribed notification and consultation procedures.

Nelson aggregates report that they have:

conducted more than 50 hours of Public Information sessions.

The mayor and councillor have conducted two other public information sessions.

Right now for three weeks, or 120 hours, Nelson Aggregates is offering any member of the public a time to speak one-on-one with our experts to address any questions or concerns they have.

And we will post the questions and answers online to transparently encourage accessible, public discussion of the issues

That is 170 hours of public consultation and information sessions. And that is way above and beyond the four hours or so that is required.

Councillor Nisan said the one-on-one phone calls that were taking place were found to be intimidating by some people.

The Motion, which is a little on the wordy side, sets out what the ward Councillor and the Mayor want the public to understand.

There is a deadline of December 14th for public comments.

Quarry map

Quarry lands and where they want to expand.

WHEREAS the MNRF issues licences for pits and quarries in the Province of Ontario;

AND WHEREAS the Aggregate Resources Act R.S.O. 1990 is the primary legislation for the management of the aggregate resources in Ontario, the control and regulation of aggregate operations; the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated, and the minimization of adverse impacts on the environment in respect of aggregate operations in the Province of Ontario;

AND WHEREAS the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for the administration of the Aggregate Resources Act;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co. owns and operates the Burlington Quarry (ARA Licence #5499) under a Class A licence for unlimited dolostone extraction, below water, in a 202.5 hectare licenced area at 2433 No. 2 Side Road in Parts of Lots 1 and 2, Concession 2 and 3 in the City of Burlington;

AND WHEREAS there has been significant public concern over Nelson Aggregate Co.’s 2004, 2006 and 2008 applications to expand the Burlington Quarry including impacts to private water wells, the natural environment, noise and air quality, blasting, traffic, rehabilitation, cumulative effects of the existing and proposed quarry operation, and the impact on the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve;

AND WHEREAS in May 2020 Nelson Aggregate Co. applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for a Category 2 (below water), Class A licence, to the Niagara Escarpment Commission for a Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment and Niagara Escarpment Plan Development Permit, to Halton Region for a Regional Official Plan Amendment, and to the City of Burlington for a Local Official Plan Amendment to expand the existing operation by 78.4 hectares with a 2,000,000 tonne extraction limit per annum to the west and south;

AND WHEREAS there is a widespread public desire to have access to information about the current application in a transparent and timely manner given the significance of potential impacts to private water wells, the natural environment, noise and air quality, blasting, traffic, rehabilitation, cumulative effects of the existing and proposed quarry operation, and the impact on the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve;

AND WHEREAS Section 11(1) of the Aggregate Resources Act provides that the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry shall require an applicant for a licence to comply with the prescribed notification and consultation procedures;

AND WHEREAS the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s prescribed standards for consultation require applicants to host a presentation to the public, in the locality of the application, outlining all details of the proposal (information session, open house, community meeting, etc.) In the past, the long-standing practice has been to hold these sessions in person;

AND WHEREAS the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry issued a bulletin in August 2020 suggesting that applicants for new aggregate licences are now permitted to post information to a public website and schedule individual appointments with members of the public in place of a public information session;

Quarry time line

License application time line

AND WHEREAS, due to COVID-19 restrictions, prescribed time periods under the Aggregate Resources Act were suspended between March 16th, 2020 and September 11th, 2020 and have resumed as of September 12th, 2020 to include the 45-day notification and consultation period for aggregate applicants to provide public notice, hold information sessions for licences and provide the public, agencies and other stakeholders an opportunity to submit written notice of objections/concerns;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co., through their Notice in the Burlington Post dated October 29, 2020, and associated mailings sent to agencies and nearby residents, have launched the 45-day review period under the Aggregate Resources Act for individuals to provide their objections and reasons for objecting, with a deadline for submissions of December 14, 2020;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co., through that Notice, indicated that a public information session will not be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and instead indicated that information will be posted to its website and Nelson is willing to

organize calls between members of the public and its consultants to discuss details and answer questions related to the application;

AND WHEREAS the bulletin issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in August 2020 is uncharacteristically vague and represents a departure from longstanding, observed protocol that directs proponents to host open public meetings as part of due process and does not recognize the prevalent availability of tools and resources to enable effective virtual public meetings during the pandemic;

AND WHEREAS Halton Regional Council does not believe that Nelson Aggregate Co.’s approach informing the public of its 2020 Burlington Quarry application meets long established and practised protocol as prescribed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry representing minimum standards for effectively engaging communities that are potentially impacted by applications under the Aggregate Resource Act;

AND WHEREAS precautions around COVID-19 have resulted in a number of changes to the way all levels of government operate and engage with the public, including moving Council meetings, public engagement and consultation into online formats;

AND WHEREAS Halton Regional Council and staff continue to stress the importance of public engagement even during the COVID-19 pandemic and, much like the significant majority of municipalities and public agencies across the Province, are currently using virtual formats for public information sessions and statutory public meetings required by the Planning Act;

AND WHEREAS Halton Region is home to 23 licensed aggregate sites, with two active aggregate applications and one impending aggregate application, it is important to ensure that the prescribed notification and public consultation process occurs in an open and transparent manner allowing for live and active verbal exchanges between parties;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Halton Region is committed to a well- functioning ARA review and approval process and encourages the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in the strongest of terms, to require aggregate applicants in Halton Region to hold online public information sessions as prescribed by the Aggregate Resources Act for new and/or expansion applications, including that of Nelson Aggregate Co.’s for its applications to expand the Burlington Quarry;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Halton Region staff be directed to contact Nelson Aggregate Co. to schedule and support the delivery of a virtual public information session;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Regional Chair write a letter outlining the above to the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and provide a copy to Association of Municipalites of Ontario, Halton’s MPPs; for their information and to the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville; and Conservation Halton for their endorsement.

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Second Virtual Regional Official Plan Review to take place this evening.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

November 25th, 2020



The process that is going to result in the removal of a designation that skewered the kind of development attracted to the downtown core and that will result in a change in the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre continues this evening as a virtual public meeting.

A meeting with the same material took place on the 19th during the day.  The event this evening is at 7:00 pm – runs for two hours and is well worth your while if you want to understand how changes get made in the city and the Region.

Aerial COB - frm Region

Where is the growth going to take place?

The Burlington MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) issues are the focus of the meeting which are part of the  Regional Official Plan Review.

Whatever decision gets made on the MTSA and UGC from a Burlington perspective will be included in the next version of the Official Plan that is released.

Several questions put forward by the Regional planners drive these virtual meetings:

Did we hear you?

Is this what you are saying?

This listening exercise is an ongoing process.

Questions from the public are a large part of the meeting.  During the first session the questions were detailed and the answers given were robust.

Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Time: 7 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 or join via Zoom Meeting ID: 980 8592 6459 | Passcode: 930488

Related news story:

First virtual meeting on the Regional Official Plan review – an event of critical importance to Burlington

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Two 20 storey towers proposed for Fairview - east of Appleby Line - virtual meeting December 3rd

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19th, 2020



Different development news: a two tower project that isn’t in the downtown core and isn’t on Brant Street.

Fairview 2 x 20 storeyThe proposed development would consist of a mixed-use development consisting of two 20-storey residential towers, with commercial and office space provided on the first two storeys. A total of 2,982.4 square metres of commercial space is proposed and a total of 390 residential units.

Location is 5041 Fairvew, east of Appleby Line.

There will be the now required pre-application virtual meeting on December 3rd, 2020 at 7 pm.

We will provide the links few days before.

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Regional Council holds a very successful virtual Special meeting devoted to hearing delegation on the Official Plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2020



It was the day for the Regional Council to hear delegations on the five reports that were background for the current Review of the Official Plan.

The papers were serious stuff; well written, very well illustrated. The community has said it wishes it had had more time to review and prepare comments. But that window has closed.

Curt Benson, told Regional Council that there had been more than 200 written reports sent to his office on the papers.
The delegations covered three areas: farming, climate change

In late January perhaps February the Region will be releasing four growth concept and waiting 100 days for responses and community engagement.

That will be followed by a preferred concept probably in the Fall of 2021.

The Region is moving on two levels that are attached to each other at the same time.

Process graph

The two bottom circles relate to the Burlington MTSA and UGC issues. While part of the Regional Official Plan they will be processed separately and then wrapped into the Region’s OP

The Burlington MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) issues are being dealt with separately but are still a part of the Regional Official Plan Review.

Whatever decision gets made on the MTSA and UGC from a Burlington perspective will be included in the next version of the Official Plan that is released.

There will be a Statutory meeting on the Regional Official Plan in the fall of 2021.

The expectation is that the MTSA in Burlington will be removed.

The focus for the Regional Planning department is:

What has been heard to date?

Did we hear you?

Is this what you are saying?

The listening exercise is an ongoing process.

The delegations started with remarks from Sofina Foods which operates 11 pork processing plants in Canada and maintain that they cannot keep up with the demand for pork from the market which they export around the world.

They have major plans to develop and expand the Fearman’s operation on Harvester Road and Appleby Line and are concerned that the boundary in place for the Appleby Line GO station (which was at one time called a hub but is now an MTSA.

The Sofina spokesperson said there are 150 family farms within a three hour drive of the plant that meet some of the need but that in the not too distant future they want to expand that operation.

The question is – will an even bigger food processing operation fit into that part of Burlington?

Sofina wants to be certain that they are part of the economic development of Burlington. They are a major employer and the demand for pork grows steadily.

What was interesting was that the several people who talked about the problems the farming community has none made any mention of the part that Sofina play in the agricultural sector.

We learned that close to half the agricultural land is believed to be owned by interest other than induvial farmers; that most of the land is being banked by the development community.

The agricultural community wants a ban on the conversation of agricultural land.

Climate change was the base of close to half of the delegations – these were for the most part coming from community based organizations who advocate and lobby for more in the way of climate change efforts.

Vanessa Warren 2

Vanessa Warren, delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors.

Vanessa Warren, who always delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors said that the framework the agricultural sector has to work within cannot be fixed, “we have to bring it down”.

Warren said that a farmer can grow turnips but that they cannot process those turnips on their land under the current conditions.

Agricultural Tourism was said to need some help. Prince Edward County has figured out how that can be done very effectively – Halton isn’t there yet.

The Evergreen development that is in Burlington with the Oakville border on the other side of the road at Tremaine and Dundas was described by Burlington Mayor Meed Ward as the poster boy of the developer’s world.

Evergreen phasing

The Evergreen development would go through two phases with employment offices fronting onto the street on the east side.

They must be blushing at the corporate offices in Milton. That project started in 2007 and will consist of 1945 residences whenever it is completed.

ALOG lands

The land assembly has been in the works for some time. Whatever development plans there are have yet to hit city hall. with the Aldershot GO station a very short walk away the land is primed for growth.

The IBI Group representative brought forward concerns with a property development that includes abutting lands owned by four different corporations that is on the west side of Waterdown Road – north side of Plains Road.

They are looking for employment land conversions that would occur simultaneously with MTSA delineation, through phased ROPA.

There is much more to learn about this development.

It is big with the Emshie interests and St. Mary’s Cement involved.

The Station West development that is underway now with a number of units occupied.  When completed Station West will become a community unto itself and will need services and access to good retail.

Aldershot has wanted some strong retail – this development just might bring it to their doorstep.

The Development plans for the east side of Waterdown are inching forward.  Solid Gold, Aldershot’s ongoing embarrassment, is planned as the site for a decent coffee shop and a small supermarket if the ward Councillor can convince the Solid Gold owner that it can be made to work.

What the area is not going to have is very much in the way of parkland in the immediate area.  LaSalle Park to the south is a decent walk away. It will be under considerable pressure.

The swimming pool at Aldershot high school will see increased pressure.

There were no clashes, no major points being made by the bigger interests. For the most part they weren’t involved in the virtual event

The Regional Clerk was pressed to keep all the balls in the air – he pulled it off. Chair Carr thought Graham Milne might have a future as an air traffic controller in Chicago.

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We comply

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 18th, 2020



In a letter from Regional Director of Planning Curt Benson to Burlington’s Director of Planning, Heather MacDonald, he told her that:

OP cover NEWWith the proposed modifications to the New Official Plan described above, and identified in Attachment #1, I am of the opinion that the City of Burlington New Official Plan conforms to, or does not conflict with,the Regional Official Plan, is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement 2020, and conforms to, or does not conflict with,the applicable Provincial Plans and policies.

The letter covers a number of issues but the gist of it all is that what city council asked of the Region it is going to get.

Just another step in this city council meeting a large large part of its election mandate.

Much more to follow, There is a 360+ page document to be waded through.

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Two virtual public meetings critical to how the city develops are taking place: On the 19th and on the 25th

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2020


The dates and Zoom participation information is at the end of this article.

What began as the core and defining issue during the 2018 municipal election has become a review of the Region’s Official Plan.

The people that supported candidate Marianne Meed Ward were not in favour of the kind of development they were seeing take place in the city.

In the 20 months since winning the election the Mayor has worked to bring about two important objectives.

Meed Ward H&S profile

Marianne Meed Ward was always crystal clear on what she wanted to achieve.

She did not believe that the John Street bus terminal was an MTSA -Major Transit Station Area and she did not believe the boundary in place for the Urban Growth Centre was the right boundary for the city.

The bus terminal situation was almost funny. Most kitchens in decent sized homes are bigger than the bus terminal – how it got the label of an MTSA attached to it was never really clear.


The Nautique – a condominium under construction at the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street.

That terminal and its labeling as an MTSA is basically the reason the Nautique is now under construction at Martha and Lakeshore Road.

There is a sad tale to be told about how all that came about. There are still planners out there arguing that the existence of the bus terminal, with its designation, is justification for building more than 20 storey’s in height.

The Mayor worked every angle she could find to rid the city of the John Street bus terminal designation and to get the Urban Growth Boundary moved.

She is close to getting what is the biggest part of her election platform

Curt Benson, the Director of Planning for the Region delegated to Council last week explaining what the Region is doing and the role the public can play in helping to arrive at a decision.

He covered a lot of ground and answered a lot of questions. Surprisingly three Councillors didn’t say a word: Councillors Bentivegna, Nisan and Stolte didn’t ask questions. Stolte was chair of the meeting but that has never stopped her from asking questions in the past.

Sharman hand up

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

Councillor Sharman was very pointed with many of his questions.

The Mayor was as supportive as she could be but made a point of asking the kind of question that supported her long term political objective.

If what Meed Ward set out to do when running for the office of Mayor is achieved it will become a significant part of the development history in the city and result in a major shift in how the city grows and where the growth takes place.

Curt Benson +

We tend to see elected and administrative people on video screens. See here are Mayor Meed Ward on the left with Regional Director of Planning Curt Benson and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

What Curt Benson had to say to Council will be covered in a separate article.

What he said that is important to people who follow this kind of municipal stuff is the two Public Information Centres (whoever came up with that name) that are taking place.

One is on the 19th of November and the other on the 25th.

Both are virtual.

The information you need to take part in these virtual events is as follows:

November 19, 2020
Time: 1 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 to listen or join via Zoom
Meeting ID: 965 8371 6047
Passcode: 930488

For Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Time: 7 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 to listen by telephone or join via Zoom
Meeting ID: 980 8592 6459
Passcode: 930488

The same material will be covered in each event.

This is important stuff and Curt Benson is a good presenter.
GO station area

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Public kept out of the loop on all season outdoor patio debate

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2020



It was a Special meeting of City Council.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor has the right to call a Special meeting of Council any time she wishes.

The Mayor has the right to call a Special meeting of Council.

The meeting had several items on the agenda.

Amendments to the Temporary Use By-law and By-law Regulating Temporary Outdoor Patios In All Seasons

The focus of this news report is the Outdoor Patio issue.

Council met on November 2nd at 1:00 pm.

There were a number of procedural matters, including the singing of the National Anthem and the Roll Call to ensure that every member of Council was attending virtually.

There was one delegation that pertained to the Amendments to the Temporary Use By-Law.

Brian Dean and the owner of Gator Teds spoke and explained how desperate things were for the restaurant sector.

Brian Dean 2 long

Brian Dean represents the interests of the downtown business community.

Dean spoke on behalf of those restaurateurs who were interested in tenting some outdoor space adjacent to the premises

At 1:48 pm Council went into a Closed Session.

The Motion to go into Closed Session which read:

Move into closed session in accordance with the following provisions under the Municipal Act, sections 239 (2)(f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, with respect to Community Planning Department report PL-60-20 regarding Amendments to Temporary Use By-law and By-law Regulating Temporary Outdoor Patios In All Seasons (PL-60-20)

Closed Session End time: 3:02 pm

When they came out of that Closed Session they passed a motion to:

Authorize Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with Director of Transportation, to approve extension of temporary restaurant patios and/or temporary retail space permissions on public property in connection with COVID-19 recovery to October 31, 2021, subject to such criteria and conditions staff deem appropriate; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry and the Director of Transportation to undertake a case by case consideration of winter patios on public property and/or rights of way in downtown Burlington and to permit winter patios on public property and rights of way, where feasible, having regard to relevant operational considerations including winter control and winter maintenance of sidewalks and roads and general public safety;

There was quite  bit more to the motion.  We have set that out at the end of this article.

I could not see anything in the motion that was passed that related to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, with respect to Community Planning Department report unless the city’s counsel was there to tell the Planning people where they might be offside.

This is really very bad politics – a city council debating internally about which streets might be made impassable because a restaurant wanted to edge out into public space.

There are a reported seven restaurants who want to talk to the city about being able to have exclusive use of public space.  I could live with that – just make the decision in a public setting

I have no problem with the restaurants getting a break – they certainly need all the help we can give them.

Every restaurant will have to meet with a Winter Patio Task Force that will meet with the restaurateur and go through all the details to protect the public interest.  The Medical Officer of Health, Dr Hamidah Meghani, will be involved.

The issue seemed to be about snow removal and the problems the city would have removing snow.  Brian Dean, speaking for the restaurateurs, said they would be prepared to take on the task of removing the snow by hand.  That was nice of them wasn’t it?

Both Dean and the restaurateurs wanted clarity on the amount of insurance that had to be provided

What this amounted to was a debate about letting some restaurants take up public space and preventing you from using that space (sidewalks are an example) that the public was not permitted to listen to.

Lisa Kearns was bleating away about how good this is for the restaurants adding that “this is a dedicated and committed Council” adding that Council knows how to work fast.  The Mayor went her one better. “This is the Help and Solutions Council”.

The public has no idea what individual Council members had to say during the hour and 14 minutes. Was it appropriate for the discussion to be in cl0sed session in the first place?  And that should be a concern.

The balance of the motion the city passed is set out below.

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with the Director of Transportation, to approve extension of temporary outdoor patios and/or temporary retail space on private property to October 31, 2021 subject to such criteria and conditions as staff deem appropriate; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility to grant or revoke such approvals, consents, agreements or other authorizations and take such other steps as may be required to give effect to the recommendations herein; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility to execute any documents and agreements necessary to implement the recommendations herein; and

Amend By-law 2020.422, a By-law to amend Zoning By-law 2020 of the City of Burlington to permit temporary outdoor patios as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts until October 31, 2021, attached as Appendix “A” to Report PL-60-20; and

Amend By-law 39-2020, a By-law to delegate authority to temporarily restrict the common law right of passage in connection with on-street restaurant patios and other on-street retail uses in Downtown Burlington to allow for temporary outdoor patios in Burlington until October 31, 2021, attached as Appendix “B” to Report PL-60-20; and

That the Director of Government Relations and Corporate Communications be directed to develop a landing site on the City of Burlington’s webpage as a resource for Operators to support consumer confidence in outdoor patios that are in compliance with municipal by-laws (SD-21-20); and

That the Mayor be directed to communicate to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), and local MPPs to request a review of provincial regulations requiring 3m setback from buildings for patio tents, and other aspects of the building code that may be an impediment to business during COVID19 (SD-22-20); and

That the City of Burlington implement a grant program to reimburse the costs of Building permit fees in the estimated amount of $5,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund for outdoor patio’s and tent structures when a building permit is required, with an expiry date of October 31, 2021 (SD-23-20)

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City will learn what Region thinks of the Official Plan sent to them recently

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 7th, 2020


OP 2018


Burlington’s New Official Plan is sailing through the Regional government bureaucracy at quite a clip
After being endorsed by Burlington City Council on October 26th, the Official Plan was bundled up in a bright new binder and sent to the Regional government.

As the approval authority, Halton Region is reviewing the City’s adopted Official Plan (2018).

City staff have collaborated extensively with Regional staff to:

• address issues of Regional and Provincial conformity,
• respond to Provincial policy updates occurring post-plan adoption,
• identify opportunities to enhance structure and readability, and
• incorporate housekeeping changes.

City staff have also requested that the Region consider the proposed modifications endorsed by City Council through the Scoped Re-examination of the adopted Official Plan in its decision.

The staff report and draft Notice of Decision will be posted to the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility agenda on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The draft Notice of Decision is the Region’s way of telling Burlington what they plan to do – Burlington gets a chance to review the draft and comment.

Assuming all the ducks line up the right way the city will be well on its way to being bale to give the final approval to the Official Plan that has been in the works for some time.

As soon as it is made final the developers can file their appeals


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The Urban Growth Boundary the City is asking the Region to approve is a massive change

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2020



The city has a boundary that is referred to as the Urban Growth Centre.  It was put in place back in 2006 and has been the subject of much debate.

The developers were comfortable with the boundary but when the city put in an Interim Control Bylaw that froze everything for a year those same developers were very unhappy.

When the developers took their case to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) that put any discussion over development plans on hold until LPAT has finished with them.

The city has put a proposal before Regional Council asking that the boundaries of the Urban growth Centre be re-drawn, arguing that the boundaries put in place way back in 2006 have served their purpose and it is time to reshape them.

In a lengthy report to the public the Region is asking for input – we will share the coordinates to get the documents below.

Our question is this – just what are the proposed new boundaries?

We asked the people at the Planning department – they don’t appear to be picking up the phones these days.

Here is what we have at this point – the graphics are not as clear as they should be.

Urban growth centre boundary

The blue boundary line is what was approved by the City Council in place in 2017 The red boundary is what the current city council has in the adopted but not yet approved or in force Official Plan

UGC Oct 2020

What is understood to be the UGC boundary the city wants the Region to approve.  The lower point appears to be at Prospect.

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Will 25 storey towers be the standard for Brant Street: Council has set their hearts on keeping it to 17

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020



We are back to the growth issue, which many in Burlington see as a height issue.

People want things to remain the same – keep the nice stuff, the streetscapes that have been in place for decades and that we are comfortable with and the shops we have known and patronized for years.

The current city council worked hard for more than a year to put in place an Official Plan that would permit the growth the province was forcing on the city and at the same time protect neighbour hoods that give the city the image it wants – a community with loads of single family residences with decent yards and well treed streets that are safe to walk along in the early evening.

Dev map city wide Oct 26-20

Each red dot identifies a development proposal that the Planning department is working on. There are close to a dozen that have yet to actually get to the Planning department.

What they, and the Planning department are up against is a daunting 30+ development plans that are somewhere between a twinkle in a developers eye and an application that is deemed complete by the Planning department.

421 Brant

The digging down deep for the four floors of underground parking is underway.

When the Carriage Gate people got the 24 storey’s they wanted (the Council at the time was prepared to give them17) that seemed to open things up for the developers; 20 plus was the going rate in terms of height and that set a value on the small two storey commercial property on Brant. The owners of those properties began to see dollar signs in their eyes and looked forward to cashing out.

Rendering - initiial Oct -20

Proposal for the property north of Caroline – next to Joe Dogs.

The Renimmob virtual preconsultation meeting earlier in the week heard the same wish – keep the retail we know and let us live in a community that accepts growth – they just don’t want it towering over them. They were asking for

A 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

Earlier in the month the Molinaro Group put forward their development proposal, a three phase development that would take three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent and see heights of 25 storeys.

Phase 1 – 774,778,782 Brant Street;
Two 25-storey residential mixed use buildings with 426 units and 420 square metres of retail space at grade.

Phase 2 – 769,779,783 Brant Street and 2023, 2027, 2031-2033 Ghent Avenue;
One 25-storey residential mixed use building with 316 units, 405 square metres of retail space at grade and 7 separate townhouse units.

Phase 3 – 747,761 Brant Street
A 6-storey residential mixed use building with 108 units and 997 square metres of retail space at grade.

Molinaro Ghent at Brant

When completed the development will take up three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

The Molinaro architect talked in terms of the development becoming the “gate to the downtown core”. Would that set the standard at 25 storeys?

The development did have a couple of pluses – the design for the high rise towers on either side of Brant is very smart – if it is to become the northern “gateway” to the city it will be very attractive.

The Molinaro people also gave up some height with the townhouses that are proposed for the east side of Brant. They are asking for six storeys when they are allowed 11 in the Official Plan the city is waiting to get approved at the Region.

Molinaro want 25; the Renimmob people want 26.

Is 25 going to become the standard should these applications get to LPAT if the city doesn’t decide it can live with something above the proposed 17 floors?

Brant street map

The distance between the proposed Molinaro development and the Renimmob  development is four city blocks.

The city wants that high growth to be clustered around the Burlington GO station where there is no limit for height at this point.

The development community does not appear to have given up on the opportunities they believe exist in the city.

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It will be a much different looking Brant Street even if the development is limited to 17 floors

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Rendering - initiial Oct -20

This is the first view the city had of the development

The opposition to the building started the day the public saw the rendering for the first time.

Renimmob Properties Limited, a developer new to Burlington bought the property from the south end of the No frills Plaza where the Bank of Nova Scotia is located south the lot that Joe Dogs is located on. The Joe Dogs site was not part of the land assembly.

The proposal is to put a 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

accessThe tower would sit on a three story podium. Vehicle access would be on a road that will have to be created – it would run between John and Brant on what is now the northern edge of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Traffic and transportation were the issues that came up again and again.  Both of which were going to be the result of the height which no one wanted.  Under the in-force Official Plan the property is zoned for four to eight storeys.  Under the Official Plan that has been adopted by Council but not yet approved by the Region, the height could be 17 storeys.

Brant Street is just two lanes at this point – there is no room to widen the road.  The developer said there would be an eight metre sidewalk in front of the development.

street view

Looking north from the Joe Dogs location – which is not part of the development.

Looking south

Looking south on Brant Street with the development on the left side. The rendering shows four lanes of traffic plus a bicycle lane. The street currently has a limit of two lanes of traffic.

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Is Joe Dogs going to be able to survive while a 26 storey tower is built next door?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Emmas logoFirst we lost Emmas and now it looks as if Joe Dogs might bite the dust –literally.

Last night the public got to see the drawings for the proposed 26 storey development on Brant immediately south of the No Frills Plaza

The southern edge of the development snuggles right up against the build Joe Dogs is in.

Snow fall - Joe Dogs Feb 2-15 001

Joe Dogs on a winter day

It would hardly be possible for the Joe Dogs operation to continue during the construction phase which is at least four years under the best of conditions.

Joe dogs owner

One of the owners of Joe Dogs

“What’s going to happen to me” asked one of the owners of Joe Dogs.” What is your plan for me? We have been in business for 23 years in this location and we don’t plan to move.

David Faletta said there had to be a construction management plan put in place which would set out what had to be done about the interests of neighbouring commercial operations.

COVID-19 took out Emma’s; construction dust just might make it impossible for Joe Dogs to operate in the same place.

Maybe Joe Dogs could move into the now vacant Emma’s building?

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It will turn out to be a defining battle for the heart and soul of Brant Street - Mayor finally goes one on one with Carriage Gate

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Is this the hill she will choose to die on?

Monday evening another of the Virtual Preconsultation meetings was held at which Renimmob Properties Limited listened to what the community thought of the plans for the property they bought on the west side of Brant street north of Caroline.


David Faletta – Renimmob Properties Limited

At one point one of the callers asked what the relationship was between Renimmob Properties Limited and the Carriage Gate Group. David Faletta, one of the Renimmob operation said said they bought the property and and then brought the Carriage Gate in as advisors on managing the preconsultation process and getting an application through the city’s Planning department.

Strategically that was a brilliant move for the Renimmob people.


Nick Carnecelli, Carriage Gate Development

If anyone has managed to get things through the Planning department it would be Carriage Gate.

They were the first developer to get shovels into the ground on Brant Street where they are in the process of digging the garage levels for the 24 story The Gallery.

The have completed The Berkeley on John Street but have yet to start on the above ground garage or the planned six story medical centre that has been beefed up to 17 storeys.

The also have an application in the works for the tallest, (so far) planned structured on the north side of Lakeshore Road slightly to the east of Bridgewater Development and to the west of the Nautique.

The ask is a reported 29 storeys.


Mayor Meed Ward listening to the speakers taking part in the Virtual Pre-consultation meeting.

The Mayor has been going head to head against what the Carriage Gate Group wants to do.

For the Renimmob people to bring Carriage Gate in as consultants suggest this one is going to be a battle royal.

Fur and feathers will fly.

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Beachway evolves from a robust community to a park waiting to be put in place.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 24th, 2020



It has been some time since we have heard anything about progress on the development of the Beachway Park.

We do know that the Region has been using their “willing buyer to willing seller” approach to buying up as many of the houses that are left in that once robust community.

Beachway - two storey + roof deck

Bought by the Region and then torn down

Beachway 1011 sold for $600k

Sold to the Region by the owner who rented the house for a few years. Then it was torn down

The Region recently released a map showing who owned what – not much left in private hands.

Beachway housing

There was a time when there was a small community made up of people with modest incomes who lived in this part of Burlington where one of the best beaches in the province exists.

Once the Region acquires a property they have it bulldozed to the ground, sprinkle some grass seed on the land and it becomes just another open space.

There are plans to turn the area into a park – not much news from the planners working on the project.

The public did get to see some renderings setting out what would be done. All there is at the moment are the six area park areas that have names attached to them.

Beachway Master plan Oct 2020A study is in the works – not a lot of detail on just what the objective of the study is.
We will see what we can pry out of the communication advisers the Region pays to keep us all well informed.

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City gets a close-up look at the process-timeline that will apply to any expansion of the Nelson quarry

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 22, 2020



With the application from Nelson Aggregates complete and accepted, the process of going through the numerous documents presented to support the request for additional licenses can begin.

The process is going to be daunting.

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require Provincial, Regional and City approval. There is a sequencing of decisions required and parallel review processes happening at the provincial, regional and city level.

It will be years before there is a decision.

Nelson quarry aerial

This site is close to being mined out – Nelson Aggregates has applied for additional licenses to expand

The City of Burlington received an application to amend the Burlington Official Plan designation of the subject lands to expand the existing Nelson quarry operation on May 14th.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan said “Council is committed to a transparent process and I look forward to the project coming before the council table. I urge Burlington residents to get involved and to ensure their opinions about this application are heard.”

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require:

Public consultation and engagement, including a statutory public meeting
Amendments to the Niagara Escarpment Plan and issuance of a Development Permit
Amendments to the Region of Halton Official Plan
Amendments to the City of Burlington Official Plan
An Aggregate License from the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the proposed expansion area

An application to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry were received at the same time the City received an application.

A conceptual flowchart showing the parallel review process for the application is set out below.  This process includes statutory timelines, application benchmarks, decision points and highlights opportunities for public consultation and engagement.

Quarry time line

An inter-agency Joint Agency Review Team (JART) framework will be used to review the application for the proposed quarry expansion to ensure coordinated review by all agencies. The JART consists of technical staff from the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton, Conservation Halton and the City of Burlington. The function of JART is to review the completeness of the application and analyze the proposal on its technical merits. JART itself does not make a recommendation on whether or not the application should be approved.

There will be regular reporting to Burlington City Council with progress updates and clarity on timing as the review process unfolds.

Prior to any decisions being made, public consultation will occur, including a statutory public meeting. The timing of the statutory public meeting has not yet been determined and will be scheduled once the technical review of the proposal has progressed further. Residents are encouraged to subscribe to the City’s Nelson Quarry Extension webpage for up to date information on the application.

MMW + Nisan + Benson on Cogeco

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward along with Regional Planner Curt Benson (top right) and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan taking part on the Cogeco cable channel. The quarry is in ward 3

Communications will go out to residents informing them about the opportunities to engage and provide their feedback on any requests for comments

Both the NEC and the MNRF will be releasing requests for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. This is anticipated to occur within 2020, and the ability for the public, the City and other agencies to comment will be open for a limited time.

Mayor Meed Ward has said: “I know residents across our city and region are watching this very carefully because it affects us all. Our primary consideration will be how this will affect the health and safety of our community and the environment of this very sensitive area. I want to credit our Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan in ensuring residents know what is happening and are informed about the process so that they can be involved.  There is a long road ahead.”

Related news story:

Residents don’t want an expansion – raising funds to oppose.

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CORE gets off to a good fund raising start: pumpkins worked the first time

News 100 greenBy Gord Pinard

October 22, 2020


There are two things we would like to share with you today.

The first is this: we raised $8140 with our Pumpkin Fundraiser! We are absolutely floored by this number. Never in our most optimistic moments did we imagine that we could raise that much money from the sale of pumpkins. Thank you so very much to all of you who donated in varying amounts to this fundraiser. We are feeling encouraged in the truest sense of the word: your generosity has given us courage to continue this fight to protect our beautiful escarpment from the permanent environmental destruction that will arise if Nelson Aggregate’s application for two more open-pit mines is approved.

Nelson quarry aerial

The existing quarry has a number of years left. Community resident want this to be the end of open pit mines on the Escarpment.

Which brings us to the second thing: CORE Burlington consists of thirteen of your neighbours who have been working our hearts out for a year now, trying in every way we know how to stop this application from succeeding. We’re researching, reading dry reports on subjects that are new to us; we’re communicating to the public via our website, social media and email, in order to educate and update; we’re calling for critical emails-to-officials as required throughout the application process—which is complicated and involves approval from five different agencies!

Quarry map

The shaded areas to the left and at the bottom are where Nelson Aggregates wants to expand

But mostly, lately, we’ve been fundraising. Unquestionably the best shot we have at beating Nelson is to counter the case put forth in the review process by their lawyers and experts, with the case put forward by ours. We’ve raised just over $50,000 thus far, which we think is incredible. But we need to raise another $50K over the next few months and additional funding in 2021/22 in order to continue funding the expert help that has already begun.

Our fundraising team needs more worker-bees. We need help with planning and doing and donating and delivering. We also need some place to store the ‘in-kind’ donations we’ve been accumulating. Our next project is likely to be a pre-order gift basket sale for Christmas. We’d like to do an online silent auction as well, since we’ve had several wonderful silent auction items donated in the past while.

Is there anything you can do to help? Are you willing and able to join the CORE Burlington fundraising team? We’ve been doing our work via phone-calls, zoom meetings, emails and outdoor, distanced meetings. It’s been challenging to do this work during a pandemic, but we’re pretty pleased with our fundraising results so far. And we’re (honestly) having fun. Doing this sort of work is not such a bad way to find light and inspiration in these darkening COVID days.

Related news story:

The CORE argument

Gord Pinard is the spokesperson for Conserving our Rural Ecosystems

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Council gets an in-depth look at what the Planning department has to manage in the next couple of years

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2020



It was one heck of a meeting, delivered in a workshop format

Angelo Bentivegna got to serve as chair; Jamie Tellier, currently the Interim Director of Community Planning, set out all the work the Planning Department has ahead of it. Councillor Stolte learned why zoning bylaw reports are numbered the way they are and city manager assured council that the 22 people that have to be added to the planning department staff will not all be taken on in one year – building the staff compliment will take about five years.

Angelo as chair

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna is in the Chair

Tellier has a delivery style that is a delight to hear – he laughs at the few mistakes he makes and chuckles frequently when he is explaining something. He is the kind of person who really puts the J in Joy. He used a number of slides to get his message across.

Wk Dev activity

The numbers startled several of the Councillors – there was more to come.

Tellier started out by telling Councillor that with the Scoped Review of the Downtown portion of the Official Plan completed and the Interim Control Bylaw in place until all the appeals at that level are completed, the planners now get on with the real job of growing the planning department so that it can cope with the work that is ahead of it.

Tellier set out the organizational structure that is in place with three different working groups set out in the graphic below.

functional design

Council has always believed that development should pay for the work the planning department has to do.  A consultant has been hired to do a Planning Application Fee Review; that report is due sometime in November.

Once full cost recovery is in place the planners will be able to bring in the staff they will need.

Tellier didn’t even try to hide his excitement over just how big a deal the passing of the Official Plan earlier in October was.  “It was the end of a very long journey,” he said.

The next phase of that journey will take place at the Region on Wednesday (today) where the matter of the Urban Growth Boundary will be reviewed as well as the boundaries for what used to be called transportation hubs. They are now described as Major Transit Service Areas. (MTSA)

Wk ugc mtsa

Urban Growth and transportation – residential housing locations will be debated at the Region on Wednesday.

The John Street bus terminal that was once called an MTSA has been deemed to be just a bus terminal – which is not defined in the the Planning Act and therefore not a concern.

At the Regional Council meeting Mayor Meed Ward expects to be vindicated for her long held position that the John Street bus terminal designation be removed.

There were those in Burlington who said this would never happen.  They were wrong.

Burlington will have three MTSAs: Burlington GO station; Aldershot Go Station and the Appleby GO station.  Boundaries have been established for all three but have yet to be made final. These MTSA’s are where the growth in residential housing is to take place.

The Gazette will report on what takes place at the Regional Council meeting in detail.

A draft version of the Regional review of the Burlington Official Plan is expected early in November.  Council will go over that document – send its comments back to the Region after which the city will have an Official Plan that will be appeal-able at LPAT.

While all this is taking place there is a Land Use Study being done by Dillon that the city expects to see in November.

The Region is also doing a phased Municipal Comprehensive Review as part of its Official Plan Review.  The MTSA and UGC questions are part of that process.

Tellier took some delight in pointing out that the fist change to an Official Plan that is yet to be fully Official is on its way.  He added that all this is very complex and can be confusing.

The work being done on what were originally known as Transportation hubs, now called MTSAs, will be referred to as Area Specific Plans. That work was started in 2017 and paused in 2019 and has now become part of the work plan for which the city is going to have to hire as many as 22 additional staff.

Tellier and City manager Tim Commisso stressed that these jobs would not be filled in the immediate future and that when they are filled the work they do will be paid for by the fees collected from the developers.  The developers will of course add those fees to the cost of the housing they build.

The Planning Department and the Office of the City Solicitor have both submitted their budget requests.

Tellier spent most of the two hours explaining the work the Planning department now had to take on.

There is to be a community housing strategy.

There is to be a review of heritage sites in the downtown core.

WK urban design

There are Guidelines for everything now.

There is the Urban Design thinking, which Tellier described as “the glue” that keeps everything together.

There is a Pre-building permit process that is being put in place – this was intended for individuals who want to build a deck or install a swimming pool who don’t have the experience or skills to work their way through the way city hall works.  The intention is to have a single person point of reference.  This is covered by the Service Review Study that has taken place.

COVID has forced the city to find a better way of getting documents filed.  Developers would come in with boxes and boxes of reports; now everything comes digitally.

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explans what is going to be built whereon the JBMH campus.

Jamie Tellier explains what is going to be built where on the Joseph Brant Hospital campus.

Tellier explained that Planning has had to lean heavily on Information Services for both direction and support.

The Core Commitment is due for a serious review as well.

Tellier gave some insight into the complexity of the work to be done.  Much of it involves liaising with legal, roads, transit, transportation and community planning.

In summing up, Tellier cheerfully said: That’s it!

Following all this is going to be a challenge.

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No consensus on the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 20th. 2020



Waterfront hotel with pier at foot

The owner of the hotel had plans to tear it down and rebuild closer to the edge of the lake

One of the deeply concerning issues for almost everyone who lives in Burlington and spends some time each year at Spencer Smith Park is what is going to get built south of Lakeshore Road where the Waterfront Hotel is now located.

Plan B page 3

The Plan B people have been consistent and insistent that the public be at the table when decisions are made about how the Waterfront Hotel is to be re-developed.

Council learned today that the Planning department has not been able to get consensus from the property owners which puts any work done on how  the site is developed gets pushed back into 2021 for pthe creation of a work plan, and figuring out what the timing will be and what will be required in the way of budget.
This is a development area that has several sets of eyes on it – not just the planners.

Plan B, a small but very very effective group of people who have come up with an alternate set of plans that have not gone away despite precious little in the way of deserved attention from a former Director of Planning who left the city.

Related news stories:

Plan B people remind the city that they are watching what happens to the Waterfront Hotel site

Mary Lou Tanner – last paragraph in the story

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