Mayor Goldring gets an earful at his Reverse Town Hall; four of the seven member council fail to show up for what was really a face the music meeting.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2018



They gave him a lot to think about.

Their concern was that they weren’t at all certain he knows how to listen.

News anal REDThe Mayor held a Reverse Town Hall at the Art Gallery – an audience of about 150 came to voice their concerns. The Mayor stressed that he was not there to explain very much – even though he did –he said “this is your meeting, I am here to listen.

He got more than an ear full.

Of the 20 plus people who rose to speak – one was positive about a structure that has citizens close to up in arms – he owns a bar that will benefit from more traffic.

Three of the developers were in the room, the Molinaro Group, New Horizons and Carriage Gate sat quietly together.

Two of the seven members of Council were in the room: Marianne Meed Ward and Jack Dennison and the Mayor. Councillors John Taylor, Paul Sharman, Blair Lancaster and Rick Craven did not make an appearance – all four voted for the 421 Brant development that will see a 23 storey condominium rise opposite city hall.


Voted for the 23 storey condo – didn’t attend a “face the music” meeting

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about - civic engagement

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster voted for the condo – didn’t attend the Mayor’s meeting.

Rick Craven

Councillor Craven voted for the condominium

The theme that was consistent was the building was just too much, it was not what the vast majority of those in attendance wanted for their city. Development was not their issue, it was the height that had gotten to people – and they didn’t think high rise buildings were appropriate for the Brant – Lakeshore Road part of the city.

Transit was a concern and parking was another and the rate at which the Official Plan was being “rammed down our throats” was mentioned by several.

The meeting started with the Mayor trying to put some rules in place – he wanted people to be respectful of each other and then suggested that clapping might not be appropriate. He lost that one – people clapped loudly when a good point was made. Larry Griffiths, a 70 year old ward 4 resident said the intensification being done was going to drastically change the city and we are in jeopardy of losing what we have”. Griffith referred to Port Credit that has the feel Burlington residents want to keep.

This is a city wide issue said Griffith’s who wants the Official Plan put to a referendum which the Mayor said was going to be discussed at a council meeting next week – January 23rd.

“What do you want” asked the Mayor. Griffiths had no problem answering that question – “the Official Plan permits 12 storeys, stick to that.”


Rick Burgess, a past candidate for the Office of Mayor asks the current Mayor to stick with the height limits set out in the current Official Plan

Rick Burgess who once ran for Mayor and has served as an advisor for Goldring said he wanted the city to respect the heights set out in the existing Official Plan.

A woman who operates a hair salon on Brant said “we are feeling the pinch and the parking is hurting us”.
The operator of Martini House told the Mayor “we are in trouble” and told the audience that “some people are buying up the visitor spots in the condominiums at $30,000 a spot”.

Commercial rents were a concern. The audience were told that $45 a square foot is what business people should expect.

A New Street resident wanted to know how the Planning department got from putting out Tall Building Guide Lines in March of 2017 and then recommending a 23 storey building in November.

At a number of points during the two hour meeting the Mayor interjected and explained what the city has been doing. He said that 30 years ago the city began investing in the Downtown core with the Discovery Centre and Spencer Smith Park.

He explained that the Greenbelt plan prevents development north of the Hwy 407 – Dundas and that the provinces Places to Grow Plan made it clear that suburban sprawl had come to an end and the communities were going to have to accept some part of the growing population. Burlington is reacting to those two provincial plans.

For reasons that many just don’t understand or accept is the amount of intensification that is taking place on the lower part of Brant Street.

The developers are just reacting to the demand – the condominium units are selling. The Mayor has been known to talk about people he meets who bought a unit and can’t wait to move in.

What disturbs most people is that they feel this just crept up on them – that they weren’t aware and that the city hasn’t communicated with them.

It would be fair to say that residents haven’t been paying close attention. The Gazette has been reporting on the planning department and the Mobility Hubs for more than a year.


Development was approved at four storeys – developer goes back to Planning department for an additional two storeys.

Residents have difficulty with a project, the Saxony, that was approved for four storeys, construction begins and the developer decides to go back to city hall and ask for two additional storeys. The irony with the Saxony development is that they could have gotten five floors but said at a public meeting that they were happy with four storeys.

Ron Parker, a ward 4 resident said he learned about the plans to redevelop the Waterfront Hotel with a friend while playing golf. He said he had no idea that there were plans to redevelop the site. He said “there is no strategy and we don’t know where we are going … we are in damage control stumbling from decision to decision to decision”.

The audience was a mix of people who discovered the city, fell in love with it and moved to Burlington and those who have been here for a long time. One speaker has lived in Burlington for 73 of his 76 years.

One speaker mentioned the five emails he sent the Mayor – didn’t get a response. He wanted to know how people were expected to read and absorb a 2500 page document which another resident said has “No numbers in it”.

Reverse town hall 2

Part of the Reverse Town Hall meeting hosted by the Mayor.

People were in the room waiting for answers expecting someone to explain what had happened and why.

It was at that point that Lisa Kearns arrived. She had been at the Engaged Citizens of Burlington ECoB meeting and had a six questions she put to the Mayor:

What is the rush to push forward the Official Plan? Residents find the precinct plans difficult to find, analyze, and understand the impacts in all wards. This is still not clear.

Is the City doing enough to defend Zoning and Official Plan limits? Why are the rules changing and why is Development forcing special considerations – profitability?

What are we gaining in the rush for intensification and what tools are available to keep it in control? Is this the City we want to live in?

Why did the City begin engagement on the Official Plan when the supporting plans are not complete, this is not a complete strategy or Plan? We need to see the impact of the: Transit Plan, Transportation Plan, and Mobility Hubs. What is the rush?

Why is downtown an Area Specific Plan if a Character Study was not done on the neighbouring St. Luke’s Precinct and Emerald Neighbourhood? Have the concerns with specific residents who border on the growth areas been adequately addressed? What about uptown?

Do you want to live amongst tall buildings in your neighbourhood? The City of Burlington is changing the rules to turn into a big city intensified with big tall buildings? This is not a provincially mandated Mobility Hub.

Reverse town hall 3

A staffer from the Mayors office captured everything that was said – expect to see much of it in the Mayor’s blog.

Kearns was getting enthusiastic rounds of applause before she finished reading out the questions which the Mayor said he would respond to in his blog.

Many of the people in the room felt that at last there was someone who was speaking for them and was doing something to bring about a change which most of the people listening to the Mayor wanted.

Reverse town hall 1

The Mayor and a Reverse Town Hall participant.

One senior resident told the Mayor that he had lost the trust of the people.

A resident wondered if the city could create a model of what their city is going to look like going forward – people wanted to know what was coming their way. The person with this idea said the city might try having a good visual made showing what the streets would look like.

Lisa Kearns asked if what had taken place that evening was part of the record – was it something the city would include in its thinking. No said the Mayor, the evening was his occasion to listen to the people. He did add that members of Council would certainly now be aware of how people feel. How was that possible of four of the seven weren’t even in the room?

The Mayor closed with a remark former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once made when asked how a meeting had gone. “This has been a good meeting” Trudeau is said to have said “Everyone is pissed off, that’s a good place to start”.

We will let the Mayors closing comment stand on its own.

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19 comments to Mayor Goldring gets an earful at his Reverse Town Hall; four of the seven member council fail to show up for what was really a face the music meeting.

  • Josie

    Well said Stephen and Phillip! If Bernstein and Paulson need some facts, here are 2 facts for them:
    1: City Council had already approved 23-storey building on Brant Street before the approval of the new Official Plan!
    2. Overwhelming majority of those who attended the Reverse Town Hall clearly stated they do not want tall buildings downtown but do understand growth and change are inevitable.

    Even us non-experts can see how this is a problem. It appears that our planning department has a vision that’s very far removed from what is acceptable to most of us. I listened to many people speak very passionately about this city Thursday night. As Phillip says, we are not going away!

  • Jeremy Skinner

    Thank you, Brian Paulson for your insights. I enclose the following URLs for those who wish to research further.
    About Mobility Hubs
    The Big Move 2008 ed.
    Mobility Hubs Backgrounder 2008 ed.
    Mobility Hub Guidelines 2011 ed
    Burlington Downtown Mobility Hub (Anchor) Profile 2015 ed
    Burlington GO Mobility Hub (Gateway) 2015 ed
    Discussion Paper for the next Regional Transportation Plan 2016 ed
    Draft 2041 Regional Plan

  • Jane

    “In 2008 the Big Move designated 51 locations as mobility hubs. 18 of those were deemed to be Anchor Mobility Hubs”
    It is my understanding as Mayor Goldring answered on Thursday evening it was the City of Burlington who decided before 2008, where they would have a mobility hub and they were asked to give these designated locations to the Province when the Province and Metro-Link were putting together The Big Move.The City of Burlington at that time,suggested Burlington Go Station and the downtown Bus Station. No one had knowledge the impact this would bring 10 years later.

  • Bernstein

    Hear hear! to Mr. Paulson’s detailed comments above. I especially agree with his last two paragraphs. The development contemplated by the new official plan is realistically going to only occur on sites where redevelopment potential makes sense, and is going to be spread out over the next 15 to 30 yrs or longer, if for no other reason that the same local developer names we see so often on this blog own a lot of the realistic development sites. These developers don’t have the capacity to have more than one maybe two projects on the go at once. It is going to take a long time to build out. 30 yrs is a long time. Think back to 1987. No world wide web. Gas was 20 or 30 something cents a litre. No electric vehicles. No uber. No smartphones. My point is that our world can change a whole lot in 30 yrs. In fact I would hazard a guess that most of the people complaining about the new official plan will be long gone by then.

    I think Mr. Paulson also touches upon an interesting phenomenon that has arisen through the increased use of social media, blogs etc. Misinformation gets repeated over and over by people that don’t know all that much about the details or subject matter – they just know what easily understood digestible soundbite they like or don’t like. Then, a clever person or people harness this building storm of misinformation in order to advance their own individual goals and perspectives. The new reality of politics.

    If we no longer trust the experts and public servants that are paid to do the right thing on behalf of our different levels of government, then we had better take the time to go and learn and research it all ourselves, as opposed to getting suckered into soundbites and positions meant to advance or protect individual interests.

    • Stephen White

      Sorry, but your point isn’t clear. How is it “misinformation”? Residents are attending meetings, participating in discussions, reading materials posted on the City’s website, reviewing comments on the Burlington Gazette, and reaching their own conclusions. Are you saying all of these sources are spreading “misinformation”? I suppose next you’ll tell us this is all “fake news”.

      As someone who has attended over 45 meetings on Mobility Hubs, Grow Bold, Council Meetings, etc. over the past year I am aghast at the inability of municipal Planning officials to: 1) convey information in a logical and discernible format; 2) address real issues and concerns posited by residents; 3) meaningfully engage in an intelligent dialogue on the issues without dismissing as “NIMBY”. By contrast, I attended a public meeting January 11th on Flood Control hosted by Councillors Sharman and Dennison with representatives of the City and the Region in attendance. The meeting was informative and animated with substantive questions asked and detailed information provided. It’s a pity our Planning Department can’t emulate the example provided by public servants like Cary Clark and Jim Harnum.

      I’ve lived in Burlington 43 years…long enough to realize that I live in a community with talented, smart, educated and informed citizens. Burlingtonians aren’t sheep, they aren’t idiots, and they do not need or deserve to be treated like recalcitrant three year olds by municipal officials or politicians because they raise real issues and ask real questions and identify real problems. Those of us who oppose these initiatives are not anti-development, but we are genuinely concerned with the impact that these developments can and will have on the environment, traffic, commercial development, etc. We ask questions but we receive no substantive answers. We also understand that things change…quelle surprise!

      What we probably don’t understand are people who blithely accept everything they are told, accept naively, and challenge nothing. That’s not just unfortunate…it’s pitiful!

      • Phillip

        Stephen, an excellent rebuttal to the pro-development lobby who have consistently–and FALSELY, portrayed the many Burlingtonians as misinformed or anti-change. I have bad news for the Bernsteins of this world–this is a democracy and we aren’t going away! We intend to fight for our city and put it back on a path to smart, intelligent progress.

        • Bernstein

          Stephen- when I referred to misinformation, I am referring to some of the statements I have read by the commenters of both this blog and to ward2news, and comments I’ve watched being made to committee on the webcasts. An example of this is the comment that Brant street will be a canyon of 17 to 20 something storey buildings from the lake to Fairview (when in actual fact existing buildings of varying heights combined with varying lot sizes and property ownership, and tall building setbacks will create a much more varied structure. Combine that with the reality that full build out of this plan will take decades or more to come to fruition). Another is that the City can meet its growth plan obligations with the existing OP designations (when in actual fact, the planning reports to council have indicated that the City will meet its 2031 targets through existing and future development applications that amend the OP and zoning to increase height above the existing permissions, in some cases significantly. And, even More density accommodation necessary for the 2041 plan as I understand it). Comments like those get stated as fact on social media by people who heard it from someone else. Someone else reads the comment, and without any context or correction or fact check, passes that comment along and feeds that narrative, because it aligns with their preconceived base view of the matter- I like Burlington the way it is and don’t want tall buildings downtown. Savvy individuals and groups then try to encourage and keep that message going – if something is repeated so many times, it may have some truth to it for some people- in order to advance their personal and/or political agendas.

          I have no doubt that there are many people in the areas nearby and in downtown that don’t want tall buildings in the downtown. That is just their bottom line, and as a result, they are willing to cite misinformation (in some to many cases, unknowingly) in order to advance and justify their position.

          I think it was telling that the City appears to have felt it necessary to now do fact check briefings on its social media. They should have done this at the beginning of the process, not so late in the game.

          In my view the City’s communication on the whole OP has been woeful. I think we are on the same page on that count Stephen. They are in part the masters of their own misfortune on this issue. They have been completely outplayed by the ECOB group and the no tall buildings crowd. I think part of the issue is that a lot of this is pretty complex stuff with a lot of moving parts. It’s not as simple as do you want tall buildings in the downtown or not. That’s no excuse however for not being able to explain complex concepts to the citizens of Burlington over the last year or so.

          You note that in your experience Burlington is a community filled with talented smart informed and educated people. I think you are absolutely right, especially in the neighbourhoods in and around downtown, roseland, shoreacres, Aldershot. These areas are filled with older people that have or have had successful professional careers. People that have had much power and influence in their careers. However, it’s my sense that this is a group of people that are used of getting their way. I am all for not being a sheep and not following the crowd and critically assessing what is being spun. While unrealistic, I wish everyone would take the time to learn about the issues and not simply say no tall buildings or density in the downtown.

          Philip- while there is no doubt a pro development lobby out there, I wouldn’t count myself as part of it. Obviously, democracy is not bad news. I hope you still feel the same way at the end of 2018 or when /if Council votes in favour of the OP. We do agree on one thing – we both want a City on a path to smart, intelligent progress. I would implore you to take a look at the work and opinion of those currently studying and planning for the future of mid size and/or suburban cities in North America.

      • Michael Drake

        As a long-time resident of Burlington, I appreciate your comment Stephen, and your willingness to participate. An engaged citizenry is critically important, now more than ever.

        I would like to ask Brian Paulson and “Bernstein” if they are even residents of Burlington because, quite frankly, their comment history makes them appear to be meat puppets. I would also ask them if they have anything personally to gain from the ongoing urban intensification of my city. If someone has a hidden agenda and is shilling for government, or a developer, or for personal gain, it sure would be nice if they laid their cards on the table (wouldn’t want my opinion to be swayed by a “clever person”, right “Bernie”?)

        I am a 40+ year resident of Aldershot. My “research” indicates that the planning department intends to shoehorn an additional +30,000 residents into my small community (that’s a conservative estimate by the way). I didn’t get this information from social media or Alex Jones, I got it from the COB website and pages like this one…

        The target for our “mobility hub” alone is 27,200 additional residents.

        That means 15-20 more years of construction and development on top of the 20 we’ve already lived through. If this comes to pass, 10,000+ more cars in a gridlocked Aldershot seems like a realistic estimate of the “Plains Rd vision” to me.

        Rational people might consider that unreasonable. I know I do.

        You’re right “Bernie”, 30 years is a long time, and I may well be gone by then, same goes for you. I fervently hope however, that my children are alive and well and raising their own families. It’s just too bad that it won’t be in Burlington because we will have ruined it. Sorry if that comes off as “complaining” to you.

        “The Big Move” should not be a vehicle for developers to increase density in order to maximize profit. Existing provincial growth targets fly in the face of reality and must be re-evaluated after this year’s election. Good luck to the ECOB folks – if you want to see what’s in store for the downtown, come see the unbridled feeding frenzy that has been visited upon Aldershot and the “Plains Road Corridor.” Developers only see dollar signs and, like a shark with blood in the water, they will not stop until we’re picked clean.

        Spread the word – tell your friends about The Gazette, get involved if you have a chance, and vote accordingly in 2018. Put the brakes on “The Big Move” before it’s too late.

        • Bernstein


          No need for name calling. We are all interested in Burlington being a great city. We are on the same page regarding engaged citizenry. And while I am not sure what the reference to meat puppets is about, I am most certainly a resident of Burlington (13 yrs). I most certainly do not have any hidden agenda or financial interest, or speak for any government or developer, or anyone but me for that matter. The only interest I have is the same as you and everyone else taking the time to read and comment on here – we want Burlington to continue to be a great city in the near future and beyond. My comments may be in the minority here, but I think this space is better when people have a range of opinions to consider.

          I agree with you that the target seems high, and somewhat unlikely to actually happen that way. That said, I think the concept is the right one. The existing beautiful low rise areas get protected and growth is directed to Plains. To me the ideal end result would be people living within walking distance to the go station for commuting to their jobs, or even better, walking down to Plains and hopping on a bus in a dedicated lane or at least a frequent 10 min or so service, and heading to their job within walking distance of when they get off somewhere along Fairview. But the City needs a significant transit commitment to support this. On that point, I agree with ECOb that the transit plan needs to be considered before the new OP.

          • Michael Drake

            Fair enough Bernstein, I’ll take you at your word. Certainly all views are welcome if honestly articulated, especially from a fellow resident. A meat puppet is another name for someone who shills using an online alias by the way.

            I fundamentally disagree with you regarding the “concept” of the Plains Rd vision. In practice, it is shaping up to be a disaster.
            Cars aren’t going anywhere (literally and figuratively). Wishing them away won’t solve our problems. New residents come with cars. Provincial neglect and mismanagement has added fuel to the fire – drivers avoid the 403/QEW junction at all costs and flood onto the Plains Rd commuter corridor. Locals, and many commuters, avoid Plains Rd and transit through residential areas. Council responds with speed bumps and nonsensical calls for road diets.

            Sadly I also have to disagree with you about the target numbers… I anticipate +40,000 new residents crammed into Aldershot before this is all over, unless we stop it now. From the Jan 2018 Ward 1 newsletter… proposed OP and Zoning Bylaw amendments will likely see the owner of the Gold get his wish for 10 and 12 story buildings on the property. That’s 450 apartments and 552 parking spaces. The Bingo Hall property owner wants 2 eight story buildings and 117 townhouses. That’s 397 new residences and 452 more parking spots. Also, say goodbye to our only hardware store, guess I’ll just jump on the bus to Waterdown when I need a box of nails (nail salons are another matter, I think we’re all good there). Wow, looks like about 1,000 new cars and 2,000 residents, that didn’t take long. And this is just the beginning.

            I chuckled when I read this in your comment… “However, it’s my sense that this is a group of people that are used (to) getting their way.”

            If I had my way, the term “urban intensification” would be replaced by “sensible and prudent development”, Drewlo never would’ve happened, and Councillor Craven would be working as a Walmart greeter (hey, he could take the bus to work!)

            Our good councillor’s most recent missive.

  • Frank Smith

    great coverage on the mayor’s meeting.When will he get out of his bubble re intensification and transportation?

  • Brian Paulson

    It appears that there were two clear messages coming from the public at last night’s Mayor’s reverse town hall;
    1)There is a lack of parking available.
    2)There is not a clear understanding of what is intended by mobility hubs, the downtown one in particular and its new precincts.

    There seems to be a double-edged sword regarding the parking. With the general purpose of a mobility hub being to intensify people and jobs within the area to support businesses within walking distance, businesses should benefit from this. These new developments are intended to encourage less dependence on cars, therefore come with lower per unit parking requirements than for single detached homes. Environmentally, this is good, however, as attested by some, it appears that the “lack” of parking for residents causes a spillover into the public parking lots. This reduces the availability of parking for the clients and customers for downtown businesses, thus impacting their businesses.

    There may not be a clear answer for this, and perhaps this is not something that can be addressed through the mobility hub/precinct plans, however it is something that needs to be considered for the downtown to function vibrantly for both residents and businesses.

    Perhaps the most apparent issue was the confusion regarding the Down Mobility Hub, its associated precincts and the possible growth within. Many even questioning if the downtown is an actual mobility hub.

    In 2008 the Big Move designated 51 locations as mobility hubs. 18 of those were deemed to be Anchor Mobility Hubs. These were 17 major transit stations areas within an Urban Growth Centre, along with Pearson Airport (not just Burlington, the airport and Union Station). Downtown Burlington was one of those Anchor Mobility Hubs. Some Anchor Mobility Hubs are on Rail lines, which appears to be what most feel should define a mobility hub, however there are some, like Burlington, that are not directly on rail lines; Mississauga City Centre, North York Centre and Downtown Oshawa, for example. North York Centre and Downtown Oshawa are very similar to Downtown Burlington in that they have Gateway Hubs in close proximity to them, similar to the Burlington GO Mobility Hub.

    One thing that seems to hang people up with this designation for Burlington is the size of the Major Transit Station. Understandable, however there are two things to note to better understand this designation;
    1) It is a Major Transit Station due to both Local and Regional (Greyhound) services currently provided to/from there.
    2) The designation is not only about the current situation but also about the future or planned services and area growth. The Big Move indicates a planned rapid transit connection from the Downtown Hub to the Burlington GO Hub, within 15 years (by 2023) and an extension of that up to Dundas along Brant within its 25-year plan (by 2033).

    Therefore, due to the existence of the Urban Growth Centre and the Major Transit Station, Downtown Burlington was designated (Provincially) as an Anchor Mobility Hub within the Big Move in 2008.

    Where the Urban Growth Centre is a high-level designation, primarily directing where growth should occur (within a boundary) and what density target it has to achieve (a minimum of 200 people and jobs per Hectare), the Mobility Hub designation is to provide more drilled down direction in controlling how and where the growth should occur, primarily within a 10-minute walk (800 metre) of the major transit station. This evolved into the precincts.

    Although it has not been communicated this way, it seems apparent that certain precincts were set up to protect or limit areas from major growth; being Parks and Promenades, Public Service, St. Luke’s/Emerald and Bates. The Mid-Rise and Tall precincts already have these types of buildings, and have very limited sites available for further growth within them (the 490-492 Brock proposal is one). In looking at a map, the precincts that remain (Brant, Old Lakeshore, Downtown, Cannery and Upper Brant) are somewhat buffered from the established neighbourhoods by the other precincts (some exceptions North of Caroline), and these are the areas most likely to accommodate growth.

    In looking at the lands within each of these 5 precincts, there already exist some tall buildings with some others under construction. There also are some properties that are very likely to be redeveloped in the next few years, due to their uses and/or some recent renovations (Bell Switching Building, Smith’s and the Acura dealership, for example) while others have a heritage designation. There may be some 20 or so sites that have a potential for development, which includes several where applications have already been submitted.

    It is important to note that the downtown is not going to be bulldozed down for a complete rebuild. It seems that this is an image that has been propagated either from interpretation or through presentation. It is simply not so. Keep in mind that building heights already exist in the current Official Plan and By-Law and not all buildings have been built up to the allowable height. On the flip side, if you were to look at all the buildings taller than 4-storeys in the Downtown area, probably all of them, including City Hall I might add, required an application to amend as they were higher than what was set out in the Official Plan and By-Law at that time.

    What I possibly see as happening is that some or most (but perhaps not all) of these 20 or so sites will be developed over the next 15 to 20 years, probably as tall buildings. They will be interspersed among existing buildings, maintaining some of the character that currently exists. Just look at the stretch of Brant from Lakeshore to James to get an idea. There has been recent redevelopment along this stretch, while some of the older buildings with character remain.

    It seems that the lack of communication has led to some misinformation. This misinformation is getting repeated to a point where the facts have been distorted and hyperbole has ensued. Just because someone states something as a “fact” does not make it one, myself included. Go and research it. The information is available.

    • William

      The comment includes lots of qualified language: “I possibly see”; “perhaps not all”; “it seems apparent”, “it appears that”.

      We need to go beyond soft, speculative language to hard evidence.

      You say “may be some 20 or so sites that have a potential for development” “over the next 15 to 20 years, probably as tall buildings”.

      Presently, at least 5 areas in the downtown have been assembled; 6 have been approved or are under construction; 3 applications are under review, four areas are identified as high potential development areas, and one application is at the OMB.

      This is before the new official plan is approved.

      What evidence do you have downtown development will slow down? If anything it’s accelerating under Mary Lou Tanner’s leadership.

      Further, most downtown heritage is not designated and is under threat with this plan. Three examples: the property at Maria and Elizabeth is targeted for 17 storeys; as is the property at James and Elizabeth; and the Lakeshore and John property is targeted for 22 storeys.

      Go and research it. The information is available.

  • Luke

    Legally anymore than 4 councillors would constitute a Quorum and therefore have to be recorded for legal reasons.

    Despite this I’m sure that four or more get together more often than we are aware.
    Shameful to be sure.

  • J D Adams

    As mentioned, the residents of Burlington have not been concerned with what is happening in their own City, until recently. But this is why we elect a Mayor and Council we hope will consider residents concerns and looks to the future while following the rules as presently laid out. Stop using Intensification and the Provincial Government as your scapegoat. We meet those guidelines with what is already approved in the downtown core area. The Province mandates new Official Plans every 5 yrs., but with no deadline. Clearly our elected officials are not following the present OP as they are continually allowing for added height when requested. We are very lucky to have shoreline, yet Council seems bound to follow Toronto’s lead where along the Gardiner it is nothing but high rise condos. This is an election year, why is Council rushing to get the new OP passed by April, before the election. Why should we live with this when they may not be re-elected?

  • Penny

    There is a huge difference between listening and being heard. I have to wonder what the Mayor’s Reverse Town hall meeting was really all about? As Mayor of Burlington has he not been listening for the last 7 years to what the residents have been saying? When 4 councillors don’t show up I have to ask why? Is it because they have already made up their minds and have no intention of “wasting” their time listening to the residents, or that most of the over-intensification is not happening in their Wards ( for the time being), or have they decided not to run in the next election?

    Hopefully change is in the wind and there will be new faces at Council in October 2018, but only you, the resident,can make this happen. Get involved. Campaign for new candidates who are prepared to put themselves in the race. Make the right choice on election day. The question one needs to ask themselves is if the person you vote for is effective? Just because someone is a nice person it doesn’t mean they should get your vote.

  • Stephen White

    Very, very disappointing that only two members of Council showed up besides the Mayor. It speaks volumes about the lack of responsiveness.

    Good to see Rick Burgess in attendance and taking a stand. It would be great if he would consider running for Council. We need more business professionals on Council who combine technical acumen with an appreciation of the community.

    Re: the comment about residents not paying attention. I think there are three issues impacting this. First, there are many new residents, and most aren’t fully integrated yet into the community and do not fully understand the issues. In most of the meetings I am attending 80% or more of attendees are over age 50 and long-time residents. Second, the Burlington Post, which once upon a time actually provided a useful public service and reported conscientiously on local issues, no longer does. Delivery of the paper is haphazard at best and is stuffed with advertisements. It is now down to one issue a week. Its’ eventual demise is a matter of time. Finally, I suspect many people aren’t fully attuned or aware of the availability and reporting provided by the Burlington Gazette. Truly a shame because the Gazette has done a stellar job of raising public awareness on this and other issues.

    Pity the politicians don’t read, listen and learn.

  • Lynn Crosby

    Why exactly does the Mayor think he accomplished something and learned something here? All this was said at the November council meeting by numerous delegates and has been said repeatedly since. We know they are following what ECOB is doing, since they schedule meetings at the same time and the City Manager threatens to sue them. ECOB wouldn’t exist if people were happy with what the City is doing.

    When the Mayor told us that the place to be heard is to delegate next week, the entire room must have been thinking “didn’t we already do that before? Why are we speaking here again tonight?”

    Of course now we are getting closer to an election. That’s what the supposed listening is all about.

    No surprise about the 4 councillors who didn’t show up. Shameful, but not surprising.

  • Sylvia and Patrick Lennon

    The idea of a visual model is such an important one….why could it not be located in the foyer of city hall for all to see?
    It seems like such a disjointed venture with little focus on estetics!! PLEASE!!!