What does all the Greenbelt kafuffle mean to Burlington - not much unless a developer decides to get an MZO to build north of Dundas

By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2023



Wham, wham, wham, and wham and wham again.

Auditor General’s report
Integrity Commissioner’s Report
Premier and his Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing stand tough.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing resigns
And the continued drip, drip, drip from the media is as they look for a Mr. X.

What does it all mean to Burlington? Immediately not all that much – the City Planning department could use a solid definition of just what affordable housing is and what is meant by attainable ? With that information some thinking and whatever creativity there is at Planning, Council and within the community can emerge.

None of the 15 sites that were taken out of the Greenbelt were within Burlington boundaries. However, there are a number of sites in Burlington that are cleared for development – but there isn’t a shovel with in a kilometre of a GO station – which is where this City Council wants to see the growth taking place.
In what the Mayor calls he Pipeline to Permits collection of data she said:

Burlington is committed to doing our share to meet the challenges of the housing crisis – so young people, newcomers, families, seniors, and everyone can call our fine city home. Burlington has an unprecedented 38,219 units in our development pipeline — everything from pre-consultation with developers for their land, up to approved units. Of note: there are currently 3,642 approved units, with another 3,112 waiting for site plan applications from builders. There are an additional 7,948 tied up at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Currently, the City of Burlington has under active building permit review, a total of 1,863 housing units.

Does the number of appeals at the OLT add up to a good excuse for the delay in developments seeing shovels in the ground?

The CSL site to the west of the Burlington GO station has some small site plan issues that need resolving.

There were no Official Plan problems with the application – no zoning issues either. Site plan differences are supposedly holding this one up.

The Molinaro development at the intersection of Brant and Ghent has yet to see any equipment on any of the properties.

Will the need for housing result in any movement on the Eagle Height opportunity?

What about the Bronte Meadows site where Upper Middle Road become Burloak Road – will there be any movement on that site?

Will the Emshie property at Guelph Line and Harvester Road be looked at differently?  Dr. Shie has been looking for a way to develop that site for a long time. We wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t already held a meeting with his planning consultants to consider what there might be in the way of options now that the Premier and his new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has said this is a crisis and we are determined to build that 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Premier Ford with Mayor Meed Ward: He did say she was a good person but that the City’s development record was dismal.

Burlington was singled out by the Premier for its dismal development performance. The Mayor and the Premier were going to have a conversation – no word on how that went from Mayor Meed Ward.

All the players are saying that going forward decisions will be based on planning principles – not politics. Development in Ontario is now a political issue – that has to be resolved if Doug Ford expects a third term in office.

Will the changes that are going to take place give Mayor Meed Ward an opportunity to reshape her public profile and find a way to depend less on photo ops and be in a position to make announcements that can polish and restore the image ?

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing wants to see development now so that the 2031 target of 1.5 million new homes can be met. Can Burlington help?

After listening to Paul Calandra, the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing did a Q&A with Queen’s Park media one couldn’t help with the sense that any idea that is reasonable will be warmly welcomed and whatever rules or regulations are holding things up – will get a more than a hug from the province.

The provincial government needs a couple of wins and Burlington just might be where that win takes place.

In one of her statements Meed Ward said: “This is the reality on the ground in Burlington that isn’t reflected in the housing permit numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Developers are investing in Burlington in record numbers. We’ll do our part to ensure planning and permits are in place so they can build.

“Council has unanimously adopted the Province’s housing pledge of 29,000 units by 2031, and I have no doubt that we will be able to issue permits for that amount, given what’s in our pipeline.

“We’re developing a plan to accelerate our permits. We’ll have more details to come on that.”

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1 comment to What does all the Greenbelt kafuffle mean to Burlington – not much unless a developer decides to get an MZO to build north of Dundas

  • Mitch

    I asked Paul Sharman and City Staff at his May meeting: how many housing units are under construction now? No one had an answer. I then wrote to our Mayor. Ms Meed-Ward could not provide an answer. What is wrong with this picture? Some one must know. Plans and proposals are just that. So does anyone know what is actually under construction in Burlington today?