Critical decisions to be made by council this week.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 23, 2109



This evening council will meet to put the rubber stamp and the required signatures on the documents that rule the way we live in this city.

The Interim Control bylaw that halts all development in the Urban Growth centre of the city will be made law. It is a brutal piece of legislation that will cause significant financial stress for at least one developer and dash the hopes of another for the immediate term.

The Paradigm development on Fairview between Brant and Guelph next to the GO station which has three of the five towers in place needed a site plan approval before they could begin construction on the final two towers. The ICBL prevents that site plan from being approved.

Paradigm -3 from front

Phases 1,2 and 3 of the five tower development. Phases 4 and 5 are being delayed due to the ICBL council will approve this evening.

The Paradigm was the type of development that created the kind of housing the city needed to reach the residential targets set for the city by the province.

Due to a complicated set of agreements that were part of the purchase of the land the Paradigm is being built on the registration of the condominiums is impacted.

The Amica proposal for a large retirement home development on North Shore Blvd never did have much traction with this council. Their representative will be at council this evening pleading for an exemption to the ICBL – short of a total reversal of their position that plea is likely to fall on deaf ears.

However politics being what it is – one never knows what will get decided.

There is a Special meeting of city council the day after – it will be closed to the public so that council members can discuss freely what they have in mind in the way of a new city manager.

Special council meetingThe job is critical – if they get this right – there is a better than even chance that the mandate this council was given is one they can deliver on.

There are many who knew the city manager had to be replaced; others who think that a wholesale clean out is needed – from the City Solicitor; the Clerk, the Deputy city manager and at least one of the Directors – perhaps two of them.

Finding a City Manager that understands what council wants and what they believe they need is going to be the challenge.

Meed ward election night 1

The second step of the Meed Ward political ladder: Mayor of Burlington

Hiring talent that can lead and understand is not easy – expecting a team made up of people who have no experience doing this is asking for more than they can deliver.
Will this council choose and be able to find someone who can advise and direct them?

Franks Towes made a comment during his recent delegation on the Lakeshore Village Plaza development. “You are the gatekeepers” he said. Indeed they are – what they bring through those gates is what will determine what kind of a Burlington we have going forward.

It will determine as well just what kind of a politician Marianne Meed Ward will be – serving as Mayor is just part of the ladder she will climb.

Salt with Pepper is the opinions, reflections,musings and observations of the Gazette Publisher

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7 comments to Critical decisions to be made by council this week.

  • david barker

    Nope. My house was built in 1890. So I have not interacted with any developer to purchase a house in Burlington.

    I did very recently go to a presentation at Central High School put on by the developer proposing a 26 storey tower on the lands between Old Lakeshore Rd and Lakeshore Rd at the southern end of Martha St. The look of the tower was I have to say certainly very attractive. The developer stressed as a benefit of the development that it would provide a privately owned courtyard that would be open for use by the general public. It cited that it would include “affordable” retail space at ground level to attract both Burlington residents and visitors to the city, showing in its presentation the area to be bustling and vibrant. What “affordable” means I guess is open to interpretation. Yet the developer said that whilst the tower would have 250 condo units it would be providing only 273 parking spaces, of which 30 would be designated for visitors. When asked where additional residents cars and those of visitors to the downtown would park, the response from the developer was to all intents and purposes “well that’s the City’s problem. We are meeting the required minimum parking space to condo units ratio”.

    In general as respects all developments, where will visitors attracted to the downtown park? How will the heavier traffic be managed. That part of Lakeshore Road and the Brant/Fairview intersection are already bumper to bumper during evening rush hour. It”s not fair to make it a solely City government issue.

    Developers generally seem not to have a social conscience. As has been commented here by others, it’s all about the money!

    Even with higher development charges and tougher requirements, developers will still come to Burlington, and that’s a good thing. I’m not against high rises. I’m against development which transfers burdens created by the developers to the City and so it’s taxpayers.

    Please note I have not thrown any barbs or implied insults to any of those who have commented here. Please keep this a cordial discussion.

  • Adam

    I also find it interesting to read the words used in these comments like “getting rid of the “plague” of the TOWERS! and how people demonize real estate developers and the construction industry that make up a huge part of our economy. It sounds like we are talking about poverty, homelessness, health care, education or something actually important. Do we really believe that TOWERS are such a major problem? It is sad. Who build your house or apartment? Was it a DEVELOPER!!!! They must have been terrible people, and they probably cut all the trees down to build it as well!!!!

  • Jim Ridley

    David Barker,

    You sound like Chicken Little and the “OVER” use of adjectives is “totally” unnecessary, Really!

    “Over” intensification, the plague of “ultra” high rises. Do you really think like this?

    Really really Sad, Really!

  • Alfred

    David. People like you only care about themselves. I assume you don’t live under a rock. Did you have to pay substantially increased development fees when you bought your place. Assuming you are not renting? The cost of housing in Burlington is a disgrace and because of people with your logic that keep adding to the cost of housing . Remember any additional cost imposed on developers are passed on to the new purchasers. Your lack of concern for developers profits and the high paying jobs that they create. The workers and trades jobs that have been disrupted. Not to mention the people that have bought their units who’s lives are now upside down. Selfish thinking. As Jim pointed out. Change is coming, get used to it.

  • david barker

    @jimridley .What change is that?

    The residents of Burlington voted in this Council to stop the over intensification of our beautiful city, and end the plague of ultra high rises.

    I have no sympathy for the developers should they have financial stress as a result of the bylaw. Developers as a whole have abused Burlington and it’s residents. Burlington does not have the infrastructure (roads, parking, transit) to support the addition of all the proposed high rises. Yes, the fourth and fifth towers of the Paradigm are unfortunately temporary casualties.

    Hopefully, the City will find ways to have developers contribute more to the City by way of substantialy increased development fees and resident/visitor’s parking space requirements.

  • david barker

    My heart bleeds for the poor developers. NOT

    The two additional Paradigm towers will surely be built, just delayed. Suck it up developers you’ve had it your way too long.

  • Jim Ridley

    Unforeseen consequences!!

    Bold action by our city council has unforeseen consequences. The developer of Paradigm has financial stresses and should be consulting their lawyers, The people who paid their deposits on possibly their first homes. up to three years ago, will be wondering when they will be able to realize their dream of home ownership, probably causing them financial stress also. The workers building and finishing these apartments may be worried about their jobs.

    And what will this moratorium achieve. Potentially only a respite for city residents who don’t want to see the city that they have lived in for years change. But the change is coming, it is inevitable.