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ECoB - Engaged citizens of Burlington have lawn signs ready - beginning to set out their position on downtown development..

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The ECoB people are beginning to dialogue with at least one member of city council.

They have always had the ear of ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward but they have had problems getting time and attention from the rest of Council.

While ECoB and Meed Ward are on the same page the ECoB people made a point of telling people that they weren’t a front for Meed Ward – they just happen to support each other in terms of the objective, which was to take a hard realistic look at what is happening to the downtown core of Burlington.

During a meeting with Councillor Taylor two ECoB people met and set out what they feel Councillors are not hearing from the Planning department.

ECoB is a small organization – not more than a handful of people. With the idea developed, after some missteps getting themselves off the ground, there is now a clear direction. The organization is now reaching out for volunteers to take part in getting the message out and further developing the resistance to what is coming out of the Planning department.

The group is holding a Volunteer Recruitment Workshop on Thursday January 18th at Wellington Square Church, 2121 Caroline Avenue from 7-9 PM.

ecob sign

ECoB lawn sign.

Their lawns signs are now ready for those who want to show their support for the group in a more visual way. Signs are $5 – covers the cost – and will be available at the Thursday meeting,

ECoB can be reached electronically at: info@engagedburlington.ca

In summarizing their conversation with Taylor Lisa Kearns and Penny Hersh report that Taylor is now aware ECoB believes the “planned growth for Brant Street is not providing vibrancy, culture or character, but will in fact price out families or those under the top 2% in wage earners.

The women refer to a Toronto Star article that references Toronto real estate prices and what they believe will be the cost of commercial property on Brant Street.

Lisa Kierns ECOB Dec 13

Lisa Kierns ECoB member

They believe there is a housing bubble “that is going to burst at some point and that at some point we will be left with a decimated character for downtown Brant Street, potentially unfinished or vacant condos, and a false promise of vibrancy. This is indeed a grim picture for the gem we have been fortunate enough to enjoy.”

“You must know” said the ECoB team, “as Planning does, that the properties on Brant have been land massed with a bet that the low density will be exchanged for incredible profit – most of which is backed by foreign money – if you don’t know this, it is time to start asking some very serious questions.

ECoB believes the city is “giving away height for nothing in return. Nothing. If the other Precincts can absorb the required growth and Brant Street is off limits, then those areas will be as valuable as Brant – the opposite is true, if Brant is available then the value of the other buildings will be reduced. This means there is a way to offer housing while still protecting Brant Street.”

Tanner and Taylor at June 21-17 workshop

Councillor Taylor on discussion with former Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner who is now the Deputy city manager.

“The creators of the problem – vacant stores, no leasehold improvements, short term leases and sky high rents have caused the problems we have downtown – these same individuals are proposing the solution as condo level retail and offices. This is not the solution, there is no soul or feel to commerce in those properties, and if the value of the property is assessed more factually – as 2-4 storey’s then the opportunity for true vibrant and exciting retail and services can flourish. Awesome businesses are dying to get downtown but are forced out because the property’s must be unencumbered to develop.

“There is so much more to this conversation that ECoB will continue to bring forward and we need to rely on those that can affect change in a positive way to ensure our heart and core is protected. Please be part of this change.”

Taylor listened, as he usually does.

Downtown development sites App A

Where the development is taking place in the city.

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3 comments to ECoB – Engaged citizens of Burlington have lawn signs ready – beginning to set out their position on downtown development..

  • Lonely Taxpayer

    I honestly do not understand the purpose of jam packing 100,000 more people into Burlington?

    All citizens currently living here either (a) spent years to create this wonderful city or (b) were attracted to it and decided to move here – choosing Burlington over ANY other place on earth.

    Some came here (myself included) after being displaced from their previous home-town as it was bulldozed and rebuilt with monstrous condos and dense-pack metal shoeboxes in the sky.

    Intensification should be built in towns that want MORE population – like Windsor, Sarnia, North Bay, Sudbury, & many others.

    The slow, steady, measured growth we have experienced here wins the race.

  • Engaged Citizens of Burlington

    Ken,
    We would love your involvement, Alton Village is being classified as the Uptown Urban Centre see Schedule O-4.
    https://www.burlington.ca/uploads/21466/Doc_636458175165165581.pdf

    The Downtown and Uptown are identified as the city’s two Urban Centres.
    Per Official Plan Proposes – CHAPTER 8 – LAND USE POLICIES – URBAN AREA:
    Urban Centres will be priority locations for the following, not limited to:
    S.8.1.1.(2) e:
    (i) land assembly;
    (ii) infrastructure and public service facilities improvements;
    (iii) creation and application of financial, regulatory and other incentives;
    (iv) new public service facilities;
    (v) creation and application of brownfield and greyfield development
    strategies;
    (vi) preparation of comprehensive traffic, transportation demand
    management and parking studies and strategies; and
    (vii) frequent transit corridors.

    While ECoB knows it is not only downtown that will fundamentally change without controls in place to manage the intensification, we certainly need support from all neighbours.

    Please visit http://www.engagedburlington.ca or email us.

    It is very important to understand that the only opportunity to delegate on record is January 23, 2018 at one of the two sessions – 1pm and 6:30pm.

    There will be a second statutory public meeting held on February 27 for anyone who wishes to speak regarding any matter pertaining to the Official Plan.

  • Ken

    It will certainly be my interest to let ECOB know that it’s not only downtown that’s under assault.

    Alton Village has over 1000 units planned at the corner of Appleby and Thomas Alton. Two nineteen story towers and another development of 412 units approved side by side.

    If you’re a friend of unbridled development the wind is at your back here in Burlington.