Regional Council holds a very successful virtual Special meeting devoted to hearing delegation on the Official Plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2020



It was the day for the Regional Council to hear delegations on the five reports that were background for the current Review of the Official Plan.

The papers were serious stuff; well written, very well illustrated. The community has said it wishes it had had more time to review and prepare comments. But that window has closed.

Curt Benson, told Regional Council that there had been more than 200 written reports sent to his office on the papers.
The delegations covered three areas: farming, climate change

In late January perhaps February the Region will be releasing four growth concept and waiting 100 days for responses and community engagement.

That will be followed by a preferred concept probably in the Fall of 2021.

The Region is moving on two levels that are attached to each other at the same time.

Process graph

The two bottom circles relate to the Burlington MTSA and UGC issues. While part of the Regional Official Plan they will be processed separately and then wrapped into the Region’s OP

The Burlington MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) issues are being dealt with separately but are still a part of the Regional Official Plan Review.

Whatever decision gets made on the MTSA and UGC from a Burlington perspective will be included in the next version of the Official Plan that is released.

There will be a Statutory meeting on the Regional Official Plan in the fall of 2021.

The expectation is that the MTSA in Burlington will be removed.

The focus for the Regional Planning department is:

What has been heard to date?

Did we hear you?

Is this what you are saying?

The listening exercise is an ongoing process.

The delegations started with remarks from Sofina Foods which operates 11 pork processing plants in Canada and maintain that they cannot keep up with the demand for pork from the market which they export around the world.

They have major plans to develop and expand the Fearman’s operation on Harvester Road and Appleby Line and are concerned that the boundary in place for the Appleby Line GO station (which was at one time called a hub but is now an MTSA.

The Sofina spokesperson said there are 150 family farms within a three hour drive of the plant that meet some of the need but that in the not too distant future they want to expand that operation.

The question is – will an even bigger food processing operation fit into that part of Burlington?

Sofina wants to be certain that they are part of the economic development of Burlington. They are a major employer and the demand for pork grows steadily.

What was interesting was that the several people who talked about the problems the farming community has none made any mention of the part that Sofina play in the agricultural sector.

We learned that close to half the agricultural land is believed to be owned by interest other than induvial farmers; that most of the land is being banked by the development community.

The agricultural community wants a ban on the conversation of agricultural land.

Climate change was the base of close to half of the delegations – these were for the most part coming from community based organizations who advocate and lobby for more in the way of climate change efforts.

Vanessa Warren 2

Vanessa Warren, delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors.

Vanessa Warren, who always delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors said that the framework the agricultural sector has to work within cannot be fixed, “we have to bring it down”.

Warren said that a farmer can grow turnips but that they cannot process those turnips on their land under the current conditions.

Agricultural Tourism was said to need some help. Prince Edward County has figured out how that can be done very effectively – Halton isn’t there yet.

The Evergreen development that is in Burlington with the Oakville border on the other side of the road at Tremaine and Dundas was described by Burlington Mayor Meed Ward as the poster boy of the developer’s world.

Evergreen phasing

The Evergreen development would go through two phases with employment offices fronting onto the street on the east side.

They must be blushing at the corporate offices in Milton. That project started in 2007 and will consist of 1945 residences whenever it is completed.

ALOG lands

The land assembly has been in the works for some time. Whatever development plans there are have yet to hit city hall. with the Aldershot GO station a very short walk away the land is primed for growth.

The IBI Group representative brought forward concerns with a property development that includes abutting lands owned by four different corporations that is on the west side of Waterdown Road – north side of Plains Road.

They are looking for employment land conversions that would occur simultaneously with MTSA delineation, through phased ROPA.

There is much more to learn about this development.

It is big with the Emshie interests and St. Mary’s Cement involved.

The Station West development that is underway now with a number of units occupied.  When completed Station West will become a community unto itself and will need services and access to good retail.

Aldershot has wanted some strong retail – this development just might bring it to their doorstep.

The Development plans for the east side of Waterdown are inching forward.  Solid Gold, Aldershot’s ongoing embarrassment, is planned as the site for a decent coffee shop and a small supermarket if the ward Councillor can convince the Solid Gold owner that it can be made to work.

What the area is not going to have is very much in the way of parkland in the immediate area.  LaSalle Park to the south is a decent walk away. It will be under considerable pressure.

The swimming pool at Aldershot high school will see increased pressure.

There were no clashes, no major points being made by the bigger interests. For the most part they weren’t involved in the virtual event

The Regional Clerk was pressed to keep all the balls in the air – he pulled it off. Chair Carr thought Graham Milne might have a future as an air traffic controller in Chicago.

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