ECoB holding an Information Rally Saturday afternoon 1-4 pm in Civic Square

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 8th, 2018.



Those engaging people at ECoB are holding an information rally on Saturday, March 10th, to remind people of several meetings they feel are critical.

City Meeting March 19, 6:30pm – City Hall
Council Meeting on the Official Plan. They are hoping people will pack the Council chamber, delegate, and support neighbours who are opposed to the draft plan.

April 3rd at both 1pm and 6:30pm there will be a Committee of the Whole that will be the last time the public can address Council before a final vote is taken on the Official Plan.

April 4th; 6:30 pm City Council meeting at which the final version of the Official Plan is to be “approved” and sent along to the Regional government.

ECoB lawn signs will be available at the Saturday rally.

ECoB apparently has some “public” art that will be on display showing a model of what they think the downtown core could look like.

In their media release ECoB said

“City Council plans to vote a proposed draft Official Plan into law on April 4 2018, to govern our City Growth to 2041.  They don’t have answers to these vital questions:

Question: Can’t we just say “no” to growth in Burlington?

We all know a healthy city grows, ECoB is not saying NO to growth, we are saying YES to balanced growth. We understand the need for development to accommodate increased population. We want the right type of development, by ensuring the supporting plans for the mobility hub and precinct definitions are in place first.

Question: What are we gaining in a rush for intensification and what tools are available to keep it under control?

We are told by the Mayor that “A new Official Plan means we can move away from the site by site negotiations and instead, bring clear expectations to our planning. This is what residents have been telling us, delaying the Official Plan approval would only create more instances where unexpected outcomes can occur; similar to the reaction which led to 421 Brant Street (Council approved 23-storey building across from City Hall).” Mayors Blog February 8, 2018

This was not an unexpected outcome; the Mayor did not make a case urging any Councillors to support his reduced recommendation of 17 storeys – the draft Official Plan height. An approval for 23 storeys was passed giving residents less retail, less office space and for many a broken trust. The opposite corner and many sites downtown now have applications that start at heights which are 3-4x the current permissions. The Mayor believes it is important to complete the critical work of approving the draft Official Plan, we believe it is important to get it right.

Can we trust Staff and current Council to get the supporting plans right? We are told in the same blog that the supporting plans cannot come in step until the Official Plan is adopted – we are being asked to wait and trust that the concerns expressed will be in the Downtown Area Specific Plan which is a more detailed plan that will include matters such as transportation, transit, cycling, parking and servicing.

Question:  What is the Population Growth required in the Downtown Burlington core to meet intensification targets? 

The City of Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040 indicates: “The city will include growth targets and their related opportunities in its Official Plan. This will be complete by the end of 2018”.  There are no established minimum population growth targets for the Uptown or Downtown areas. More importantly, once development starts there is no maximum intensification target either; the sky is literally the limit for development. How will the dozens of applications for height and density far in excess of current permissions be handled if we don’t have any limits? It is not only tall buildings, but excessive density in every neighbourhood. What happens in the Urban Growth Area’s affects us all. We will simply not get affordability with this excessive density.

Question: Is Burlington using up all of its green space?

The City of Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040 indicates: “A City that Grows demonstrates density (intensification) done well. There are green design options, less sprawl, more affordable housing choices and improved public health in a vital, diverse and safe city.”

We agree with the importance of green space in all of our communities. Planned Green Space is more essential in the designated Urban Growth Centre, where people live in tall buildings. Green space should NOT be traded with developers to gain increased height. Greenspace is not a parking lot or cement view corridor.

ECoB is working with developers and has asked City Staff to collaborate with the Province to not freeze the land from any development and to explore re-designation of some of these lands to balance residential/employment use. This could help create communities within our community and take some of the pressure off over intensification in the downtown.”

ECoB new Burlington

The ECoB flyer promoting the Saturday Information Rally.

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9 comments to ECoB holding an Information Rally Saturday afternoon 1-4 pm in Civic Square

  • Penny

    Approve the draft Official Plan when all the supporting plans for the mobility hub and precinct definitions are in place, when a 3 D Model is available to show residents what the City of Burlington will look like in 5-10 years, then we will be able to build a great future city.

    I have to wonder if the Mayor and Council who approved a development right on the Lake so many years ago would still vote to do this again?

    • James Smith

      My firm is available (at a reasonable price) to produce said 3D mode. Static 3D renders, 3D walk throughs as well as a model that could be accessed as a web based VR thing.

      Editor’s note: Would Mr. Smith care to put a price on this work – and a time line.

  • Walter Mulkewich

    Approve the draft official Plan and build a great future city.

    • Stu Parr

      With all due respect Mr. Mulkewich, I don’t believe that the current draft plan is anything but a rushed and somewhat ill-conceived document that will produce confusion, discord and political thrash for years to come. It is unfortunate that those who see intensification as critical to Burlington’s future have, generally, placed their support behind this plan – because it does not deserve it. Better to ensure that our new plan is well-conceived and truly represents the interests of the City, now and for the future.

    • William

      Thanks Walter for approving Bridgewater which became the justification for the OMB’s approval of the 26 storey building across the way.

      Many of us have higher aspirations for our city than our past and current elected representatives do; we’re no longer willing to settle for the mediocre thinking that’s emanated from City Hall for too long.

  • James Smith

    From afar I’ve been encouraged to read about the formation of a group like ECoB, but I’m a little saddened that this seems (from what I read in the Gazette ) that this group seems to have devolved into yet another NIMBY exercise; very disappointing.

    As one who has fought city hall in Burlie over the years, (won a few – lost more!) fanning the fears of both density and height are disingenuous & smack of fear mongering. The days of Burlie being the market town of Nelson Township who’s city services are paid for by new quarter acre suburban homes with 4.5 people & 1.5 cars are long gone. (BTW, In those days the ol’ folks could be heard to say “yes, but Elizabeth Gardens isn’t REALLY Burlington!”)

    Sure, by all means, ensure that intensification happens in an interesting, sustainable and respectful way. But to fan the flames of “oh such a scary, evil tall towers! Oh the horror!” is just plain lazy. I may add it was the same kind of NIMBY response that killed the relocation of Freeman Station to Spencer Smith Park.

    Former Toronto Mayor & waterfront chair David Crombie’s was in Burlie a couple of years back. At the time Mr Crombie was asked about evil multi storey lakefront buildings and he replied: “I’m not afraid of height!” Know what? Me neither!

  • “we are saying YES to balanced growth”

    The problem here is that everyone thinks they are supporting “balanced growth”.

    I’m not supporting any growth that is not directed by us for the benefit of our local community exclusively.

  • Andrea Ramirez Palma

    DON’T! The city cannot handle that amount of people safely and living enjoying what we have now. That is only to make rich people richer, expand further west or east, don’t overpopulate beautiful Burlington

  • Brian Jones

    Even a fraction of this, is HORRENDOUS