Roseland resident in a huff – feels her community is being stiffed by Heritage Burlington.

By Diane Gaudaur

BURLINGTON, ON  May 15, 2013.  I understand that Heritage Burlington met yesterday evening and that there was a 6 to 3 vote to support the severance at 3083 Lakeshore Road.

I further understand that derogatory comments were made on the record and offhand about Roseland and the Roseland Community Organization. We are duly incorporated as a non-profit organization to resist egregious development in our neighbourhood, and unapologetically so.  We have the right to exist for our own purposes. We are not ‘anti-severance’ but we are against egregious development. We have well over 100 members. We have further ‘non-member’ support from other Roseland residents.

Diane Gaudaur, president of the Roseland Community Association discusses the kind of community they want during a Neighbourhood Character Study; [part of the Official Plan Review.  The community does not see the Councillor Dennison request to sever his property as fitting in with the character of the community.

I complained earlier about Jeff Sutcliffe writing an inflammatory and erroneous letter to the editor in the Burlington Post. As a voting member of Heritage Burlington, I feel he should not be inflicting his personal views on the public when there is an active and pending Application for Minor Variance. I understand he not only voted, but was forceful in suggesting that it be brought to a vote and also made comments about our organization. When I complained about his behaviour earlier, I was told he was a private citizen expressing his views. I suggest that everyone at City Hall is a private citizen, but that there should be an appropriate code of conduct when dealing with City business.

That there seems to be none for Committee members is unacceptable. Meetings should be conducted by the Chairperson and in a professional manner. I am told that this was not the case. That there should be questions of procedural issues pertaining to voting and to whom this vote should be expressed to, is clearly unprofessional.

Mr. Sutcliffe has a clear public stance on the rights of property owners. The purpose of this committee should be to protect and respect Heritage in Burlington, not to rubber stamp demolition permits and other issues which they vote on. This Committee has long been disrespected by the public, and continues to be so by a significant number of city residents.

This decision is clearly in defiance of the Staff Report in the Application, with clear and unambiguous judgments by Planning on the appropriateness of this severance from a heritage perspective.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison discusses the “character” of the Roseland with residents who don’t want to see the severance to his property he is seeking approved.

It is difficult enough to undertake opposition to severances. It is even more challenging on many levels when the applicant is our Ward Councillor. We now proceed to the Committee of Adjustment, one of whose members I understand to be a developer and all voted in by the Ward Councillor.

I am appalled that there was no procedure in place for dealing with an application and further that it was not dealt with within the same time frame as other Staff reports. Furthermore, one’s personal agenda should not be the driving force behind the Committee’s action or non-action.

This committee needs a complete overhaul. Members should be there to protect Heritage not undermine it. If having property rights activists and developers on the Committee is for the sake of balance, I suggest that this is an approach that is not working.

The culture at City Hall should remember why they were hired, nominated or elected to be in the positions they are in. Residents and all parties deserve to be treated respectfully and fairly.

Diane Gaudaur is the President of the Roseland Community Organization.

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3 comments to Roseland resident in a huff – feels her community is being stiffed by Heritage Burlington.

  • Dean Bodkin

    As a former, and very concerned resident of Burlington’s ‘heritage’ I must respond to the previous post. This issue has absolutely little to do with whether or not Jack Dennison is ‘decent, affable and honourable’.

    To me it has everything to do with a historic area of Burlington, that must be identified in respect to the wonderful ‘history’ of Burlington, irrespective of the rapid growth that has overtaken Burlington during the past 2 or 3 decades.

    I have watched the North York area of Toronto completely over developed through the destruction of bungalow’s to be redefined into castles with little regard to any value that has accrued over the years to community life.

    There is great danger in a precedent that can be the touchstone for future development in the historic areas of Burlington.

    In the recent past Burlington has preserved the important components of its history. You should be proud of the downtown area, along with the residences that have defined Burlington. You should be proud of the waterfront, and the lakeshore area, that historically has been so reflective of the importance of the past. You should be so proud of the areas of Burlington like ‘Indian Point’ and ‘Roseland’ where every structure must be considered an historic building.

    By allowing this severance, you identify a precedent that future generations will very sadly learn of.

  • Daphne

    Did you bother reading the article? Of course he has a right. Definition of vilify: “Speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner.” How exactly would you know whether he is following the rules or not and any related transparency? His personality has nothing to do with zoning by-laws and nothing whatsoever to do with this particular opinion piece.

  • John Birch

    As I see it, Councilor Jack Dennison has every right to bring forward a zoning application and follow due process – which he has done. He should not be vilified for so doing.

    It is up to others to determine whether or not that application is accepted. However, there is nothing inappropriate in Mr Dennison’s request for consideration simply because he owns the property which he has been entirely transparent about.

    Whether his application is accepted, is entirely another matter.

    I have known Jack Dennison since 1971 when he owned Sir Pizza on Plains, and have always found him to be a decent, affable and honourable person.

    Mr Dennison is playing by the rules.

    Let process take its inexorable course.

    Kindest regards,