Public engagement gets the short end of the stick during debate on the flood plane smack in the middle of the east side of the downtown core

By Pepper Parr

February 15th, 2023


We are still here; want to know why?

Sharman on public engagement:

Councillor Paul Sharman: A realization had come to him.

During the debate on the flood plane problem the matter of engaging the public came up as Councillor Sharman said: “the Kearns line of questions suddenly registered with me that there are an awful lot of properties involved in this discussion.

“Have we actually had any public engagement around this report and the implication to these properties and should we not do that?  Rather than just have it sprung on them by Conservation Halton then suddenly the planning department makes choices that may not actually work very well for our community.

The implications for that entire footprint, which is all of downtown, the  GO Station area –  lots of properties in there,

City Staff have yet to release a map setting out just where the boundary is for the flood plane. In a conversation with Councillor Kearns Cary Clarke gave her rough boundary lines.

Staff came back with: “We did during the Phase 1 study identify learn that there were in the neighbourhood of eight development applications that were implicated by the study and through our regular meetings with those applicants. So in terms of impacting those major developments there have been in ongoing discussions with those individual property owners.

We have been discussing with Conservation Authority staff about the timing and content of a public meeting once the report is finalized. That is something that should be taking place early this year.

Sharman comes back with: “Presumably we’re not only talking about property for which there are applications, presumably there are dozens of other property owners who we haven’t consulted with. When does this become something of importance to our whole community and when do we get to talk about it? Before Conservation Halton make some choices on our behalf?

Cary Clarke then says: A general timeline of a public consultation meeting date has not been inserted yet. But it will happen shortly after the Conservation Halton has confirmed that mapping is acceptable to them. I can’t give you an exact date on I’m sorry.

So I just need to close the loop on this, we have to wait for a public consultation process and so this is gonna go on and on and on.

Brynn Neal, Executive Director Community Planning: “Now, with respect to this specific development application, when we have that finalized study, we will be sharing that with all the active development proposals in the area. It would not be tied to a broader public engagement exercise. That is what Conservation Halton and our engineering staff are planning.

That is the state of public engagement in Burlington:  perhaps the newly appointed Executive Director of Public Engagement will bring about some changes. She might start with a reading of the Shape Burlington report that was given unanimous support (lip service) in 2010

Over the past half century Rambo Creek has been getting more crowded with urban development. Parking lots and buildings have been built up against it, and in some cases, right over it! A good portion of the creek is buried in box culverts carrying its waters through town mostly unseen. Following it through town from Highway 403 all the way to its outlet to Lake Ontario near Lakeshore Road and Torrance Street can be challenging because it moves sporadically from forested open creek beds to long underground culverts. It winds between apartment buildings and hides behind strip malls. In some locations, it meanders through residential backyards


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2 comments to Public engagement gets the short end of the stick during debate on the flood plane smack in the middle of the east side of the downtown core

  • David

    I always was always under the impression that the ‘Upper Hager’ was installed to take water water away from the actual flood plane around Appleby Line area. The area on that map has never flooded as long as I can remember.

  • Jim Thomson

    It would be nice if Councillor Sharman could have an epiphany about the lack of public consultation related to Bateman.

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