Major new approach to housing development in the works - city wants to get in on the game

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 9th, 2021


Part 4 of a 4 part series

Last night there was a two hour Zoom event on the Housing Strategy your city council wants to put in place.

The city uses its Get Involved web site  program to spread the word. If you know about that part of the city web site – you can keep up to date with what the city is doing in terms of projects.

HS The panel

These are some of the people who took part in the Zoom event Monday evening. But that is not what this story is about.

The city doesn’t do a particularly good job of promoting that site.

Mostly of the members of Council did very little directing people to the event.

The Gazette  covered the event  and will report back to you.

But that is not what this story is about.

The Housing Strategy is one part of what the Burlington Lands Project (BLP) is all about. Never heard of the Lands Project? That doesn’t surprise us. It too has been poorly promoted

There is a link at the bottom of this article telling you what we know about the Project.

A few weeks ago there was a bit of a scramble by members of Council to get a seat on the BLP Steering Committee, where much of the grunt work is expected to get done.

The final decision on any development will be made by city council. The concern was this – would every idea get taken to city council or only those that the Steering Committee felt had merit and were worth taking to council?

Council couldn’t decide who the members of the BLP Steering Committee would be several weeks ago – it was left with the City Manager and the City Solicitor to come back with some suggestions.

Tim-Commisso-finger-up-hard-eyesCity Manager Tim Commisso reported last week that he talked to everyone involved and was not able to arrive at a consensus as to who should be on that Steering Committee and suggested Council discuss it.

The feeling that came out of Council was that the Mayor should be there along with the Chair of the Standing Committee the Steering Committee would report to. WHICH ONE

That didn’t go down all that well with ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman who really wanted to be on that Steering Committee. Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, the strongest talker on the Affordable Housing file, had a passionate hunger to be on the Steering Committee and argued that given that she was going to be the incoming chair of the Standing Committee the Steering Committee would be reporting to – she too should be on the Steering Committee to give it a sense of continuity,

Sharman was not impressed with Stolte’s bonafides and basically trashed her.

Commisso stareCommisso thought he might see every member of Council wanting to be on the Steering Committee – not something he was on for.

Here is how they settled it. None of the members of Council would be on the Steering Committee BUT every proposal and idea that came forward would be taken to council.

The Steering might rank their development preferences but Council would know everything that was discussed.
It will be interesting to see how that works out.

What you, the weary tax paying citizen can do is look in on the Zoom meeting this evening and give a listen and contribute your ideas on the affordable housing file.

The BLP is not just about housing – it wants to do more about getting more shovel ready sites in place for future job site.

The Economic Development people talk in terms of having 50 hectares of land shovel ready for development – there are less than 20 l hectares 0f shovel readyproperty at this point.

While there isn’t a lot of land left for employment sites – there are some sites that are zoned employment lands – the owners of those properties want to upgrade the zoning for residential.

Related news stories

The first we heard of the BLP

Just what is the Burlington Lands Project.

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