The sharks are in the water - they smell blood. Can someone not see how ridiculous this is and push the pause button on the attempt to get the draft Official Plan adopted?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2018



It was as if there were sharks in the water who had smelled blood and they were moving in for the kill.

Tough enough that unhappy citizens were delegating and saying the equivalent of “we don’t want you to do this” – add to that some of the best legal talent that the developers are able to hire and land use planners that know their stuff.

Time and again the consultants were asking staff – “where are the supporting documents”.

The phrase – “you can’t do that” was mouthed by more than one consultant.

Staff  are on the ropes – but there wasn’t a referee in the ring to count them out and let them crawl out of the ring with their noses bloodied and their bodies bruised.

Council has been able to scoff at and denigrate the citizen delegations – they couldn’t get away with that with the professional talent that took long strips from their hides.

There is a lot of “splainin” to do.

The pace at which delegations appear – ten minutes of presentation followed by Q&A with the delegator. One delegation told the Chair that she was representing four clients – ergo – 40 minutes.

The afternoon meeting had to be extended for more than an hour – one Councillor had to leave early – health concerns dictated a break.

The Chair had to clamp down on the audience – no clapping.  One delegator came close to being asked to leave the podium – he was smacking them.

Far too often the documents weren’t on hand and at times the material was so detailed and dense in terms of content that time was needed to read it over a couple of times and think about it.

It was hard to keep up with the number of deferrals that were being asked for.

Does staff and or council not have the capacity to pause and ask: We are not there yet – is that because we are going in the wrong direction?

Not only is this embarrassing, it is so unprofessional. There are some really fine people in the Planning department who just might be freshening up their resumes – the Burlington Planning department is not the really decent place to work that it was when a different Director of Planning was in place.

And it isn’t over yet – council meets again this evening and again on Wednesday and on the 30th if need be.

Is there not a doctor in the house that can step in and put a stop to the planning carnage?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections, observations and opinions of the publisher of the Gazette

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4 comments to The sharks are in the water – they smell blood. Can someone not see how ridiculous this is and push the pause button on the attempt to get the draft Official Plan adopted?

  • Jim Young

    Over the meetings from 23 to 25 several developer delegates who wanted changes were asked very politely by councilors to provide motions for the councillors to submit for adoption. In all of the citizen delegations since November, I do not recall a single coincillor offering thar same assistance for their thoughts. Perhaps council will correct me on this?
    If not for Councillor Meed Ward, citizen voices would have gone completly ignored. Even citizens whose own ward councillors ignored them.

  • William

    This story reveals how pro-development our council is. They rush in to silence resident delegations in the name of defending staff’s honour. Yet, they’re silent – as this article describes – when staff are getting pummeled by the developers.

    Watch a handful of councillors work hard on behalf of the developers to add back the height on the few downtown buildings that were reduced in the January meeting.

    And in the midst of this, Goldring will not lead. He will simply read his text – prepared in advance by his staff – unable once again to stop the hatchet work by these rogue councillors.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Regarding supporting documents, on Oct 27 2014 on, in an article titled “Goldring wins second term as mayor of Burlington; council remains unchanged” by Tina Depko-Denver, the Mayor was quoted as saying “We’ve got a busy agenda coming up. We have an Official Plan review we need to focus on, a Transportation Master Plan …. those are just a few of the priorities we’ll be focusing on”. Why, in the ensuing 3-1/2 years, has the Mayor not produced a Transportation Master Plan as he said he would? The Transportation Master Plan is just one of the many, many supporting documents that lawyers, planners and citizens alike keep asking for before this new Official Plan is passed by this council.