City hall releases a statement on the adoption of an Official Plan

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 27th, 2018



Burlington City Council has adopted Grow Bold: Burlington’s new Official Plan. A report recommending adoption of the plan was presented at a meeting of the Planning and Development Committee on April 24, 25 and 26, followed by a special meeting of City Council on April 26.

The policies in the new Official Plan bring to life the key directions in Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040, approved in April 2016. Through the strategic plan, Burlington City Council made the decision to protect the city’s rural area and grow up in key parts of the urban area. In the new Official Plan, five per cent of Burlington will see growth, targeted to the Mobility Hubs – the areas around the city’s GO stations and in downtown and uptown Burlington. Fifty per cent of the city will continue to be protected rural land; 34 per cent will remain established residential neighbourhoods; and 11 per cent will be land for employment.

Mayor sitting in downtown GROW Bold

Mayor Rick Goldring sitting in on a public meeting to review the draft Official Plan

Work to revise the city’s Official Plan began in 2011. Significant community consultation in the form of 120 meetings and workshops with the public and other stakeholders helped shape and revise the policy directions in the new Official Plan. Since June 2017, four versions of the Official Plan have been released, each incorporating changes brought forward by the public, stakeholders, agencies and Council.

Next Steps

Following adoption by City Council, the new Official Plan is now subject to review and approval by Halton Region. Until the plan is approved at the regional level of government, the City of Burlington’s current Official Plan remains in effect and will be enforced. The new Official Plan will be used to inform land-use decisions.

Revisions to policies in the new Official Plan, as directed by Council at the Planning and Development Committee meeting this week, are currently being made by city staff before the Official Plan is sent to Halton Region.

Mayor Rick Goldring said:  “I want to thank all the residents and contributors who spoke to Council and shared their ideas and concerns about the new Official Plan. Conversations about how and where our city should grow can be challenging, and throughout this seven-year process Council has listened and learned a lot from those who participated. Your input has resulted in an improved Official Plan for Burlington.

Burlington ariel

A new Official Plan determines what can be built where and how high the building can rise. The picture will look a lot different in five years.

The adoption of the new Official Plan is a significant accomplishment. It marks the first time a city in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area has adopted a new Official Plan at a time when communities are saying no to urban sprawl. I am proud of Burlington City Council for showing leadership to ensure 50 per cent of our city, which includes the Niagara Escarpment, will remain protected land for years to come and for laying out a path for Burlington that will manage growth in a way that is sustainable and livable for everyone.”

Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager said:  “On behalf of the city, I would sincerely like to thank the community for their participation in the new Official Plan process. Discussions about growth are hard and while there may not be alignment on every issue, we all want the same things for the community we love – jobs, an affordable place to live and a good quality of life.

The adoption of the new Official Plan is an important step forward for Burlington but it is not the end of the planning journey. More work lies ahead to fine tune and detail how and where the city will grow in the future.

The development a new zoning bylaw and the area-specific plans for the Mobility Hubs will provide more opportunities for public engagement. I hope we will continue to hear from residents and that they will continue to ask us tough questions. It is this type of debate that will contribute to a healthy and vibrant future for Burlington.”

Quick Facts

• Burlington’s new Official Plan is the city’s community vision and will guide decision-making on how we use land, manage growth and invest in infrastructure to 2031 and beyond.

• Burlington’s population is growing. The 2016 Census data shows Burlington grew by 7,535 people between 2011 and 2016 – a 4.3% overall growth rate.

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5 comments to City hall releases a statement on the adoption of an Official Plan

  • William

    Reading Lancaster’s post reveals an explosive detail: council adoption of the OP on April 29th started the clock – with the region having to approve it within 210 days – which is November 25th. This is five days before a new council is sworn in.

    We now know why Council was rushing this through before May 1st. Their approval is a ticking time-bomb that Tanner the bomb-maker ensured would never be put to the democratic test. Council set the trigger.

    The empty sentiments they express in this press release while failing to call out this important fact reveals their duplicity.

  • CMG

    Pity. Expect people to come to Burlington, but also expect many to leave. Our children already are (leaving), as there is no place in this high-priced luxury condo village for them. Their parents will soon follow in their retirement in order to get away from a city they once enjoyed, but will no longer feel “at home” in. Change is inevitable, but change for the better, not change for the sake of compliance (to the province and the developers’ wishes) at all costs.

  • George

    To paraphrase:

    Mayor Rick Goldring said: “I want to thank all the residents and contributors who spoke to Council and shared their ideas and concerns about the new Official Plan (.)” and were ignored!

    To paraphrase Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager’s statement above: “On behalf of the (city) citizens, I we would sincerely like to thank the (community) council for their participation in the new Official Plan process.”

    We citizens wish the five supporting councillors and mayor good luck in their job quest after October 22, 2018.

  • John Sweeny

    This Release is offensive in how it manipulated the truth to fit the outcome the City Staff and this Council (with the exception of hopefully our next “Mayor” Marianne Meed Ward) wanted regardless of the facts and the wishes of the public.

    It is infuriating to read the smug statements included from our current (and hopefully on his way out) Mayor Rick Goldring and Deputy City Manager Mary Lou Tanner.

    I am so very disappointed in this process and results.

    Let’s get these people out of “power” and a new more capable team.

    • William

      Well said John. It was a very clumsy attempt at manipulation, and we are not pacified by their empty words. I was nauseated by their invocation of love for the city and their rank dishonesty that they were listening.