Public is getting information in dribs and drabs on those Official Plan amendments that are being appealed to LPAT

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 3rd, 2020



A source advised the Gazette that “We get our quarterly legal update on March 10th I think …. there will be something in there at least to get the ball rolling.”

Meed ward looking askance

Mayor might want to re-think that “historic day for Burlington” comment when the Official Plan amendments were made.

Why, one asks, is the ball not rolling much faster, especially after the Mayor said on February 27th, that the “City will share more information on the ICBL appeal process and timelines as they become available, as well as details about the nature of the appeals where we can.”

The documents are public. The city Clerk was the person the documents had to be given to. The Clerk bundles the data and sends it along to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) who schedule a Conference to get the process started.

Nothing confusing about that. All the city has to do is issue a Statement setting out the facts and people can settle down and wait. It may well be that LPAT has never run into a situation quite like this – 31 people appealing the Official Plan Amendment 119 and Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418 that were passed by council on January 30th, a date the Mayor said was an historic one for the city.

We learned this morning that the city has 15 days to get the Appeals it accepts (they have to accept every appeal) into the hands of the LPAT.

That means LPAT is to have the Appeal documents in hand no later than the 12th of March.

Why does the Gazette have to get this information in dribs and drabs from readers? It is when information is withheld that the public gets concerned.

LPAT flow chart

This is how the system works.

It is important to remember that the Official Plan Amendment and the changes in the zoning bylaw came out of a Land Use Study done for the city by Dillon Consulting.

That study was lengthy and full discussed and debated at Standing Committee meetings and at City Council. One of the prime objectives for the city was to come up with Official Plan Amendments that were defensible at LPAT hearings.

The consultants assured Council that in their view the changes being put forward were defensible.

There is no mention that the Gazette is aware of that had the city’s legal department giving an opinion on the defencibilty of the changes nor are we aware of any opinion from outside council on just how defensible the changes are.

Once the LPAT hearings take place we will find out if the consultant was right.

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2 comments to Public is getting information in dribs and drabs on those Official Plan amendments that are being appealed to LPAT

  • Seeing it as a battle between good and evil makes it hard for those who do not understand that we have two sides working for what they believe is the common good trying to work with a Council who have rules to follow that are set in stone in terms of process and working for the well-beng of the city. If the city has to raise taxes or cut down necessary services to defend ng the indefensible in one ward of the city to advance a self interest rather than a public interest; that is not working for the well-being of the city or representing the various viewpoints that there will always be in a community.

  • Tom Muir

    As I indicated in a previous comment the appeal documents are NOT PUBLIC until the Legals (and maybe LPAT, given the situation) say they are.

    I believe these are the rules. Anyone know better?

    This situation is really a mess and without getting a coherent handle on all the 31 appeals together, City and Council will only make the matter worse and maybe incomprehensible.

    It’s the developers who have decided to go to war with the City – they claim they didn’t get enough tribute from the approved amendments. They just want more!

    They have been at war for a couple of years and has already created a state of siege all over the City not just Downtown.

    Some people commenting here (2?) say the siege is too costly and we should open the city gates to the enemy.

    I think we should never surrender. This is just getting interesting.