City finds itself between a rock and a hard place with its Interim Control Bylaw.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 27th,, 2020


Comment on just why the city has to keep the ICBL in place is set out below the city media release.

In a media release from city hall it was announced that

The City of Burlington continues its work to ensure land-use development is well managed as outlined in Council’s Vision to Focus 2018-2020 strategic workplan. The Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land Use Study, which froze development for one year in Downtown Burlington and at the Burlington GO station, is an important action to meet these goals.

On Jan. 30, 2020, Council approved the revised recommendations from the findings of the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land Use Study, including the approval of the proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendments resulting from the ICBL Land Use Study.

Urban growth centre

The boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre with the different precincts highlighted in different colours.

City staff presented the refined ICBL study report to Council for approval in advance of the initial one-year deadline. The official plan and zoning by-law recommendations are a result of extensive technical review by the City’s external consultants and planning staff, public input including written and oral submissions from the development industry, and Council deliberation.

Urban growth centre

The boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre with the different precincts highlighted in different colours.

The revised recommendations were based on the land-use study undertaken as a result of the ICBL, passed by City Council on March 5, 2019. The purpose of the ICBL was to restrict the development of lands within the study area for a period of one year, including the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC) and lands near the Burlington GO Station to undertake a land-use study.

As per the Planning Act, appeals to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) must be filed 20-days after notice is given. Notice of Decision for Official Plan Amendment 119 and Notice of Passing of Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418 was provided on Feb. 6, 2020. The last day of appeal was Feb. 26, 2020.

The City has received 31 appeals to the LPAT for both Official Plan Amendment 119 and Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418 which have been filed with the City Clerk. As a result, the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) remains in effect and will not end on March 5, 2020. The ICBL will remain in effect until the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has issued a final decision on each appeal of Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418.

The recommendations from the findings of the ICBL study include proposed amendments to Burlington’s current in-force-and-effect Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw. The staff recommendation report and proposed amendments can be viewed online at

The City is also working closely with Halton Region to confirm with the Province the requirements and next steps for approval of changes to the downtown UGC and Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designations. City Council has directed the Chief City Planner to report back in May 2020 with recommendations.

The City will share more information on the ICBL appeal process and timelines as they become available, as well as details about the nature of the appeals where we can.

City Executive Director Heather MacDonald said at a council meeting that the Interim Control Bylaw, put in place March 5th would be allowed to expire in March 5th, 2020.  That was the intention.

Developers impacted by the ICBL had 20 days after the end of the one year ICBL to appeal the decision that was made in 2019.

More than 30 developers chose to do just that – which meant the city could not repeal the bylaw until all the appeals were heard by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).  How long that will take is something over which the city has no control.  All the city can do is appear at the LPAT hearings and defend their original decision to put the ICBL in place back in March of 2019.

With all due respect to the person who wrote the media release – it does not explain why the ICBL has to remain in force.  It is not something the city actually did – the process made it necessary.  Once an appeal is filed – the ICBL remains alive and whatever decisions made come from the LPAT people.

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4 comments to City finds itself between a rock and a hard place with its Interim Control Bylaw.

  • There is a filed appeal contesting the jurisdiction of Council to make the decisions they did at the Special Council mtg. on January 30, 2020. If the appeal is heard first and is won, it could save a lot of time and money. We will be urging LPAT to hear it first.

    • Don Fletcher

      Can you share with us your logic for doing this and desired outcome(s)?

      • We will be providing the Gazette a copy of the filed appeal and the letter we intend to send to LPAT Monday requesting it be the first appeal heard and as soon as possible. A lot of tax dollars will be spent hearing 30 appeals that may not be necessary if LPAT agrees with us (and others who know the evidence that supports the grounds of appeal) that the Clerk and the Chief Executive Officer of Burlington (the Mayor) knew ahead of the January 30, 2020 Special Council Meeting that it was being held outside of the legal framework put in place to protect taxpayers. An LPAT Appeal is the last thing we want to do (cost and time alone). However, we believe it would be irresponsible of us to remain silent on the evidence that the City of Burlington are making multi-million dollar decisions outside of the legal framework they know exists and have repeatedly approved for the protection of taxpayers in 2014, 2016 and January 2020. We believe the appeal is sound and will produce multiple benefits for all those who pay the Burlington bills.

      • anneandavegmailcom

        After reading the latest red comment by Pepper our appeal will not make any difference to the 30 if appealing the 2019 decision to put in an ICBL our appeal affects the legitimacy of the decisions made Jan 30th still important to be done.