Filing of an appeal against the city decision to approve the construction of a 23 storey tower opposite city hall is said to be imminent.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2017



The first meeting of the ECoB Engaged Citizens of Burlington ended with a commitment to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Beard to set aside the decision made by city council on a 5-2 to approve a 23 storey structure across Brant from the city hall.

No word yet on the filing of the appeal “imminent” was the latest we had from the ECoB group who are working feverishly to get things in place for the next meeting which is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th from 7-9 pm- at the Burlington Baptist Church- 2225 New Street- next to Dodsworth & Brown.

While the OMB appeal of the 421 Brant Street project was at the top of the task list – they were up against a ticking clock on this one – the bigger picture is to create an organization that can serve as an umbrella for the numerous community groups in the city that have concerns with the way city hall is handling the issues that are important to them.

There isn’t a complete list yet of just who those groups are. Shoreacres, Bluewater, Roseland, TEC and Plan B are among those that are expected to attend on the 13th.

The ECoB objective is to have an organization that can hold the current city council accountable and able to direct staff to deliver on what the residents want.

ECOB founding Nov 25 back of heads

ECOB founding meeting November 25th 2017

Few hesitate to express their concern over the make up of the current city council and their desire to see some changes on the makeup of the current city council in the next municipal; election to take place in October of 2018.

The current council was elected in 2010, re-elected in 2014 – most appear to be in the 2018 race. They Mayor has already held his first photo-op of his campaign.

ECoB expects to make extensive use of social media to get their message out to the public.

They have part of the team that did an astounding social media job for the Central high school parents who fought the recommendation to close their school leading the creation of social media, a web site and a Facebook page.

ECoB poster

Posters distributed by ECoB are about as direct as one can get.

The group urged citizens to turn out for the November 30th Standing Committee meeting that was thought by many to be one of the most important Standing Committee meeting at city hall this year.

The meeting was seen as a turning point and sharpen the difference between Councillor Meed Ward who is expected to run for the office of Mayor next October and the current Mayor Rick Goldring who has already declared that he will be running for a third term as Mayor.

The Mayor has stayed pretty close to the positions Meed Ward has taken and on a number of occasions joined her in a vote against a motion.

The tipping point for many was the November 13th council vote to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

A significant number of very vocal people believe city council is wrong and that the Planner is not in tune with the people who live in the downtown core.

Using the acronym ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington, the group easily raised the first $5000 needed to launch the appeal at their inaugural meeting earlier in the month.

Lancaster as Dep Mayor Sept 28-15

Councillor Lancaster got to serve as the Acting Mayor for an evening. She kind of liked the chair and invited her Mother to join her for a photo-op. Will we see this on an election poster?

Blair Lancaster, Councillor for ward 6 who has supported the residents in her ward over one of the ADI developments that is now at the Ontario Municipal Board, said in her Newsletter that:
“During our most recent rounds of public consultation we heard many comments from residents. While they understand the need for growth they are concerned that:

• Burlington will turn into a big city with big tall buildings.
• Heard from specific residents who border on the growth areas
• Residents found the precinct plans difficult to analyze and understand the impacts.

“As a result of these comments, staff will be meeting with the residents in order to resolve some of their specific concerns and will be working on the communications for the concepts that will be easier to understand.

“Burlington residents should know that the process was visionary, thorough and involved thousands of stakeholders. Lancaster has asked for feedback which she will happily include it in the process for Council consideration.”

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5 comments to Filing of an appeal against the city decision to approve the construction of a 23 storey tower opposite city hall is said to be imminent.

  • Pauline

    Does anyone know if and when the appeal letter will be made public?

  • William

    Classic condescending attitude from Lancaster. Yes, the planning department has done a terrible job of communicating their intentions for the downtown. Their communication strategy was to lull residents through slogans (Grow Bold) and misleading statistics (only 5% will be affected), which council happily parroted.

    Not once did they clearly and directly say, “our plan is to double or quadruple height in the downtown”.

    Now that we’re on to their plan, they feel the solution is to work on the communications, so the “concepts…will be easier to understand” for us simple-minded folk.

    Their plan is not visionary, thorough and did not involve thousands of stakeholders – only a select few who have drunk the intensification kool-aid. They have provided no justification for the height increases; their plan is to turn the downtown into little more than massive warehousing of people with crappy retail, no heritage, and no attempt to create true mixed use with more employers.

    I naively believed government had the back of its people, and worked for them. Our City Hall is turning me into a Reaganite, now understanding that “government is the problem”.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Short and sweet why so many precincts? End result a city inundated with tall building that are 17 to 25 storeys high. Official Plan should be shelved until after the election.

  • Phillip

    Is Blair Lancaster for real? In this article, she says she is concerned about citizen feedback and concerns and yet in the 421 Brant St. debacle, she apparently ignored them and voted in favour of the skyscraper. Am I missing something here?

  • Penny

    Burlington has won an award for Engaging the Public. There is a definite difference between listening and being heard.

    Perhaps staff and some council members should remember this.