Public is now Taking a Closer look - some didn't like what they saw the first time.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 29th, 2019



Looks like things will get a little boisterous during the early part of December,

There are three Standing Committee meetings the week of December 2nd at which some contentious issues are going to be heard.

Alison Enns

Alison Enns, lead planner on the Taking a Closer Look Walking Tour

Timothy Walking Tour

City Planner explaining some of the locations during a Walking Tour.

The Taking a Closer Look at Downtown report that will be presented has a number of people disappointed with what the Planning team is bringing forward – they intend to delegate.

The Gazette is aware of two people – with several others wanting a little more time to think about what they want to say, registered to delegate. The report that is going to council is lengthy and at times confusing.

Alison Enns and another planner led a small group on a Walking Tour to gather thoughts and opinions from people and to answer questions.  The two were quite keen and listened intently – there were a few points where they didn’t have much in the way of background on other developments in the area – the Bridgewater being a development where they didn’t want to say a word.  What the public saw were two planners trying very hard to understand what people had to say.

Taking a look logoThe council meeting was originally intended as a Committee of the Whole, a process that does not permit delegations. The complaints about that decision were close to visceral. For reasons that still aren’t understood the Clerk’s Office vacillated between ‘it would be a COW and then it would be a Standing Committee’. Some thought that concern was over people wanting to delegate which would take up much of the time. It certainly will – delegations are for as much as ten minutes and then as much as an additional ten minutes when the seven members of council ask follow up questions of the delegator.

This is the elected listening to the electors, folks; the reason we all stood out in the cold on Remembrance Day.

The point is – there will be delegations which we thought was the reason this council wanted to serve the public – so they could listen to them.

There is some concern as well over the report the Mayor will be making on her trip to Japan – the amount spent is thought to be over what was budgeted. We cover that in a different story.

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1 comment to Public is now Taking a Closer look – some didn’t like what they saw the first time.

  • Penny Hersh

    My question – How can concepts for the downtown come to council, when according to the CITY TALK pamphlet that was in my mail box indicates that staff have yet to complete the Burlington Transit 5 Year Business Plan, they have yet to complete the Integrated Mobility Plan and Implementation Schedule, along with other studies that have not as yet been completed?

    I would like to see a “concept” that would show the residents what the downtown could look like if staff and council would work towards un designating the John Street Bus Terminal as an anchor/mobility hub and working with the Province to move the Downtown Urban Growth Centre. Residents need this information.

    It is my personal opinion that it is not good enough to simply delegate that residents don’t like either of the 2 concepts being presented by the Planning Department. The last thing we want is to start this process all over again. We need to make suggestions as to how residents can get what they want their downtown to look like.

    Jane McKenna, our MPP indicated in her newsletter in the fall and also during the election campaign that the above could be done. So why haven’t staff and council looked at this at the same time staff was putting together the 2 concepts that are coming before Council?

    It seems quite obvious that all the Action Labs, the Pop Ups, the Food for Feedback engagement opportunities, have been a waste of time, if staff used this information to produce the 2 downtown concepts. Or, is staff being transparent, and with the current designations in place these concepts are the only way the City would be able to defend itself at an LPAT appeal?

    The city will be unable to defend its Official Plan at LPAT if it does not conform to Provincial Mandates, and as long as the downtown urban growth centre remains where it is and the John Street Bus Terminal remains as an anchor/mobility hub it will not be possible to stop more high rise development in this area.

    The last thing residents need to hear is ” we listened to our residents, and our OP meets their vision, but unfortunately the Province doesn’t see it this way”. I also think that “meeting the growth targets” does not make a difference when a developer appeals to LPAT in what was designated as a “Growth Centre”.