Development news that was sent to a limited group of people - an open and transparent civic administration would have and could have sent the information to everyone.

By Staff

February 4th, 2020



A number of weeks ago the city mailed out notices to residents who lived within a 200 metre radius from the proposed Waterfront Hotel re-development.

There is a city bylaw in place that requires this to be done.

Given the significance of the proposed development one wonders why the mailing was not sent to every household in the city or at least everything south of Dundas.

The notice is four pages long – we are making it available.

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6 comments to Development news that was sent to a limited group of people – an open and transparent civic administration would have and could have sent the information to everyone.

  • Penny Hersh

    Typical starting prices for units in new developments in the downtown are in the range of $1,000.00 per square foot.

    The units in the development on Lakeshore and Pearl start at over $400,000:00 for less that 400 square feet. The Martha James development has units starting at $500,000.00 with no indication of size as yet.

    How many people trying to enter the housing market will be able to afford these prices? The price for the units at the proposed Waterfront Hotel site will probably be even more costly, and the owners will be responsible for The Privately Owned Public Space.

    My comments were directed at the POPS, not the proposed development at this site.

  • Hilary Durrant

    Just to say, I for one use the city’s website. It is very useful and keeps me up to date whether I am in Burlington or away.
    If the city spent thousands of dollars contacting residents by post on all major developments, the residents would be up in arms, over the cost.
    For those who cannot gain access to the site, then perhaps inform the correct office so that they can be notified via a different medium.
    When expenditure is restricted, free mediums are the best way to communicate such things to a wide audience.

    Editor’s note: The point we were making was that, given the significance of THIS particular development, a wider audience should have been reached out to. In conversations with a member of Council the suggestion was made that THIS development might be something a referendum question could be put on the ballot in October.

    • Bruce Leigh

      It’s been suggested the entire population of residents should have received the mailing. Then in the next breath it was suggested that maybe only those living south of Dundas receive the mailing. So then why not only those residents within a boundary of south of Fairview St, east of King Road, west of Guelph Line. Any boundaries are arbitrary and discriminatory. Stick to the statutory requirements.

      Each and every resident has the opportunity to receive up-dates electronically and automatically by registering for them on the specific, dedicated website set up by the City for this application.

      It has been suggested maybe a referendum be held. What would be the referendum question(s)? What level of participation or backing would be required to make a result binding? Binding upon whom?

      The OLT has already shown many times over it ignores; the wishes expressed by residents in the 2018 election, the new OP and zoning bylaws approved by Council and Regional City Council and which meet Provincial requirements. What makes anyone think a referendum would have any bearing on the OLT’s decision?

    • Hilary Durrant

      My point like Mr. Leigh’s is that how wide a population do you think should be contacted regarding this development. Everyone who passes this location in vehicles, buses and the pedestrians? Those in the immediate vicinity? All the residents in a 10k radius? All those who will be able to see it from their bedroom windows? Yes I’m now being flippant. But this list could go on, and if you under the delusion that everyone will be happy as too who is included in a referendum. You are mistaken.

      Then there is the expense of the referendum? Who is going to fund it? When it comes out of everyone’s taxes will everyone be happy? Can people really afford the extra expense of a referendum, with prices left, right and centre rising out of control.

      As Ms Hersh stated “There is so much wrong with this”. Yes, because Ms Hersh has a home. But she is dismissing those who really need a place to live, to call a home. This enterprise is offering over 500 residential units, giving over 500 people a chance to have a home.

      if I were a betting person, I would say over 90% of people who comment in this online gazette have a home.

  • Bruce Leigh

    Oh please. If the City had mailed to every resident the Gazette would have been up in arms complaining about the costs incurred. The Gazette suggests it should have been mailed to all households, or at least those south of Dundas. If you live north of Dundas how would you feel at being excluded? The City is right to stick to its legal requirements

    As with every major or downtown development application, the City has set up an application specific website accessible by all. It offers the ability to be automatically notified of any and all changes in status, additional or amended information. I assume that is how the Gazette heard of the

  • Penny Hersh

    There is so much more that residents need to know about what is being proposed.

    We have discussed POPS ( PRIVATELY OWNED PUBLIC SPACE) before:

    “This application proposes an outdoor mid-block connection from Lakeshore Road to Spencer Smith Park, in line with John Street. This PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE, PRIVATELY OWNED connection would pass beneath the fifth floor connection between two podiums”

    What this means is that this important public space that would be accessible 24/7 would fall to the owners of the condominiums to maintain and be held liable for. WHY?? There is so much wrong with this.

    A publicly accessible space should be the responsibility of the CITY to maintain and be held liable for should any accidents occur.

    Some members of council think this is great idea. It maybe great for the city but not for the residents who elected them to protect them from things like this.