There is something fundamentally wrong with the way city council has chosen to inform its citizens about a significant downtown development project.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 16, 2015


Your city council just might be doing some thinking and getting prepared to issue some kind of a statement on just why and how the ADI Development group application for both an Official Plan change and a zoning change was managed.

ADI rendering second view from SW

Twenty six storeys on a very small lot – city council didn’t manage to formally vote against the development.

When development applications are made the city has 180 days within which to respond. This time line is in place because at one point some municipalities sat on development applications they didn’t like. Now they have to respond within 180 days.

When that time line was passed ADI took their application to the Ontario Municipal Board and asked them to make the decision the city didn’t appear to want to make.

ADI portion of the lot - hoarding

This is is the lot a developer wants to build a structure that will reach 26 storeys into the sky.

Tom Muir, an Aldershot resident, wanted to know why the city council did not vote on the application within that 180 day time frame.

He put his question to the ward Councillor and didn’t get a response. He then put the question to the Mayor and the city manager and included the ward Councillor who did get back to him.

The Mayor also got back to Muir asking for some patience and said he would get back to Muir with a “meaningful response”.

Muir never did hear from the Mayor other than to be copied on a comment he made to Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward. The developmental, to be built at the intersection of Martha Lakeshore Road is in ward 2.

John Was, another Burlington resident advised the Gazette “that all six councillors have been asked for a response regarding the 180 day timeline. The resident was also kind enough to say that our “efforts and persistence are appreciated”. At least two people like us

The one response that Was did get is disturbing:

It went as follows:

“I think Council is accountable for the end result, but responsibility for administrating this file rests with the Planning and Legal Departments.”

We have deliberately not identified the writer of that statement but will say that it was neither Councillor Meed Ward nor the Mayor.

The balance of the response went as follows:

“I still do not have a satisfactory explanation of why the timing requirements were not met and I also don’t have a complete understanding of the consequences of the late submission. I will respond back further when I have those questions answered.”

Burlington City Council Group

Which member of this council does not have “a complete understanding of the consequences of the late submission.”

The response is astounding – one of your elected official does not seem to know what may well turn out to be a very expensive Ontario Municipal Board hearing that has to potential to change significantly the way the eastern part of the downtown core works.

We will leave it to the Council member to identify himself.

On the same issue – it appears that there are efforts being made to put together something in the way of a response to the public.

Muir adds that he is “concerned that this has been going too long already, and the information being prepared appears to be for unspecified questions.” He adds: “How long is this information going to take to get to residents?

Meed Ward did say to Muir that the “city is preparing some additional information for residents in response to some of the questions that have been raised. Suggest waiting for that to determine if and whether additional correspondence or a meeting needed.”

What no one can understand is – what’s the problem? And why all this obfuscation?

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1 comment to There is something fundamentally wrong with the way city council has chosen to inform its citizens about a significant downtown development project.

  • Just name the developer … ADI! Surprise. At least the hoarding/advert boards are down. City to bill developer; developer won’t pay; … and so it goes – Carol Burnett had a wonderful running skit – listen up council, staff & OMB … AS THE STOMACH CHURNS.

    but Einstein WAS BRILLIANT! “I believe in the infinity of the universe and human stupidity. I’m not sure of the former.”