Just what is intensification going to do to Burlington - more than we have been told.

background 100By Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2018



There are decisions being made now about what this city is going to look like in five years.

With the possibility of an appeal of the city council decision to approve the 23 storey tower at Brant and James opposite city hall now dead and a building permit either issued or in the works one can ask – Is this building just a one off or is it the shape of things to come.?

Cogeco TV has a program hosted by Mark Carr – The Issue. It has a spotty audience, there was one occasion where no one called in for what was basically a one hour call in show. So – not much of an audience – but here are at times very good guests.

In a recent program Marty Staz and Mike Wallace, both realtors were talking about the matter of intensification and what it was going to do to us.

Marty Staz with Mak Carr

Mark Carr interview Marty Staz on Cogeco’s The Issue.

Marty has the look and the bearing of a serious executive – he is the vice chair of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and is currently a candidate for the ward 1 city council seat. Mike Wallace is a candidate for the office of Mayor. He is a former city councillor and Burlington’s Member of Parliament for xx terms.

This edition of The Issue is well worth watching. Staz sets out what he thinks the city is faced with. The segment runs just shy of i5 minutes – worth your time.

The October election is going to be about how the next city council deals with what we are facing.
Link to the program is HERE


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2 comments to Just what is intensification going to do to Burlington – more than we have been told.

  • Stephen White

    Both gentlemen approach the issue from a real estate perspective, understandable perhaps considering their background. However, intensification isn’t just about creating housing stock, and it isn’t exclusively an urban planning issue. It also speaks to the issue of power, and more specifically, the power imbalance that exists around every redevelopment proposal that is coming forward. But I guess if you already have power, position and prestige, and your campaigns are geared towards effectively preserving the status quo, then there’s not much need, expectation or incentive to redress imbalances.

    The reality is that the deck is clearly stacked in favour of real estate development firms. They have deep pockets, dozens of consultants, planners and lawyers on retainer, and the time, knowledge and power to push their agenda. By contrast, the average citizen or ratepayer group has limited resources. Recent experiences around the OP, the Mobility Hubs and downtown redevelopment have clearly shown that ratepayers can’t rely upon city hall officials, our councillors, and certainly not our Mayor, to “watch our backs”. One only has to go to a City Council meeting and watch the way Planning Officials and Councillors fawn over real estate developers to recognize whose side their on.

    I would expect any candidate running for municipal office this year to propose measures to redress this power imbalance. Four things I would like to see are: 1) a ratepayers’ Bill of Rights. Over and above what is mandated in the Planning Act it would provide guarantees and supports to homeowners to ensure that their needs, concerns and interests are adequately protected. It would mandate prior consultation and provide the requisite resources and supports to enable groups like ECoB to oppose and challenge redevelopment proposals; 2) a dedicated resource attached to the Planning Department such as a Community Liaison Officer whose exclusive responsibility it would be to support citizens and ratepayers’ groups when delegating or presenting before the OMB. This experienced resource would be funded by the City and their primary stakeholders would be local residents and ratepayers’ groups; 3) provide support for and establishment of ratepayers’ associations in every ward across the city. The Community Liaison Officer could act as a conduit and resource in their establishment, and would provide guidance and advice when delegating or presenting to City Council, the OMB, etc.; 4) an adequate budget to ensure items #1 – 3 above are fulfilled.

    Again, if people are intent on running for Council this year they had better do a more than just diagnose the problem. They had better come forward with some unique, original and concrete measures on how to actually fix it.

  • Stu Parr

    The issue of the new official plan and intensification is the most divisive and polarizing topic since the pier. But the results of this issue will influence the City for generations. I hope that voters in October will thoroughly research the candidates and get out to support those who represent their position and values. I also hope that they will exercise their democratic duty wisely, choosing those with the background, experience and proven commitment to deal with a highly challenging future. Fortunately, three of the four candidates for mayor have the credentials.