Public about to watch the last phase of a political suicide in Ward 4. Dennison takes CoA decision to OMB.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. June 15th, 2013.  He is going to do it.  City Councillor Jack Dennison has decided he will appeal the decision of the local Committee of Adjustment, which opposed his application to sever a portion of the east side of his property on Lakeshore Road.

The Committee of Adjustment hearing held at city hall May 21st, was one of its longest, adjourning at well after 11 pm.  It was also one many felt was an embarrassment to the city and its democratic processes.

The property on LAkeshore Road that City Councillor Jack Dennison wants to sever – against the wishes of many, if not most of his constituents.

The Dennison residence is in that part of the community described as Roseland, a part of the city threatened by developments that some feel is changing the character of the community.

The community is one of two that are being given a “character study” treatment by a group of consultants working for the Planning department who are in the midst of an Official Plan Review, something the city has to do every five years.

Dennison, for reasons of his own, which are more than likely financial, decides he can sever the property he has for a significant financial return.

The application to sever was lost at Committee of Adjustment (CoA) .  Everyone has the right to appeal a CoA decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.  On the last day open to Dennison to file an appeal to the does so and the CoA Clerk advises the residents who have asked to be kept informed that the application to appeal has been filed.

Letter advising Councillor Dennison that his Appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board has been received.

Now the public waits for the OMB to determine a date for the hearing. 

Roseland is one of those communities that decided earlier in the year that they did not want developers changing their community without their input and when the owners of a property on Hart sought a Committee of Adjustment ruling to sever, they too lost at CoA.  They too took their case to the OMB – where they also lost.

The Roseland residents formed the Roseland Community Association and brought in the professional talent needed to oppose and won their case at the OMB.

Dennison feels he has a strong case and is preparing to take it to the OMB.  In doing so he further alienates himself with a community that was once close to bedrock electoral support for him.  That support is now lost to Dennison.  Political suicide is not something one sees often in Burlington.

Burlington’s Committee of Adjustment. All appointed by city council to serve a four-year term. From left to right chair Ramsay, members Bailey, Newbury, Kumar and Sarraf.  Peter Thoem, also a member was absent.

The Committee of Adjustment decision was clearly split with Chair Malcolm Ramsay, members Grant Newbury and Robert Bailey voting against the application to sever and members Dave Kumar and Sam Sarraf voting for the application.  Many had serious concerns over how Kumar and Sarraf conducted themselves.

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