Proposed provincial changes to the Planning Act might help Burlington transit and bring an end to five years reviews of the Official Plan

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 5, 2015


Ontario is proposing reforms to the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act that would give residents a greater say in how their communities grow and would provide more opportunities to fund community services like transit and recycling.

At some point all the data and all the public input gets placed in front of Burlington's Planner, Bruce Kruselniiki - who will issue a report and city council will make decisions.  Creating the downtown the city wants and needs has not been an easy process for Burlington.

City planner Bruce Bruce Krushelnicki will undoubtedly applaud the proposal the have Official Plan Reviews done every ten years instead of the current five.

The proposed Planning Act changes, if passed, would:

Ensure residents are better consulted at the beginning of the planning process for new developments.
Encourage residents to provide feedback on the future of their communities.
Help municipalities resolve potential planning disputes earlier, reducing involvement of the Ontario Municipal Board in local disputes.
Extend the review of new municipal official plans to 10 years, instead of the current five-year cycle.

Bfast Transit group logoIf passed the Bfast people (Burlington for Accessible Transit) will burst with Joy! – and probably have to have Pacemakers installed to still their beating hearts.

Burlington has always had a confusing relationship with transit – most people don’t use it – and council doesn’t like spending for a service that isn’t used all that much

Changes to the Development Charges Act, if passed, would:

Help municipalities recover costs for transit services and waste diversion.
Create clear reporting requirements for capital projects municipalities financed though development charges, as well as section 37 of the Planning Act related to density bonusing and parkland dedication.

Working groups of stakeholders will review and consider further more complex land use planning and development charges issues, and propose solutions.

The proposed amendments are based on input from across Ontario including more than 20 public workshops and stakeholder meetings held from October 2013 to January 2014.

More than 1,200 submissions on the land use planning and appeal system, and the development charges system were received during the reviews.
Approximately 200 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities use development charges.

Bus station 1

Province appears to want more public input on transit decisions – might mean crating a new transit Advisory Committee. We scrapped the one we had.

The announcement from the provincial government this morning are proposals that will have to be debated and it will take some time for them to work their way into the way business is done in the province.  If passed they have the potential to make significant changes in the way transit development gets done and the rile the public can play.

The question left hanging for Burlington on this one is:  Will we have our Official Plan revised and voted on before the province makes these proposals law?

Ten years between Official Plan reviews must have resulted in huge sighs of relief in the city’s planning department.





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1 comment to Proposed provincial changes to the Planning Act might help Burlington transit and bring an end to five years reviews of the Official Plan

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “…council doesn’t like spending for a service that isn’t used all that much” – That principle doesn’t seem to apply to (for example) bicycle lanes does it? Something that is usable for only about 9 months of the year has an effective cost of 1/3 more than if it were usable all year, but that never seems to be a consideration. There is also an issue of redundancy, where bicycle lanes are painted on a road (Upper Middle comes to mind) that already has a nice, dedicated cycling path alongside it. The bottom line is that apparently there is spending going on that a cost conscious organization would not support.