City Council has been asked by citizens to stand up for what the election was all about: citizen led development.

saltlogo1By Pepper Parr

January 7th, 2020



Burlington is fortunate to have the community organizations it has. Three that were formed within the last three years have brought about profound change.

Bus shelter - John Street

A bus snazzy bus shelter does not equal a transit hub – even if there is a tiny ticket office across the street.

ECoB (Engaged Citizens of Burlington) organized debates in every ward of the city during the 2018 municipal election, with precious little help from the city’s administration.

We Love Burlington worked with We Love Oakville to ensure that the Provincial Review of local government was made public and that a Burlington voice was heard. The “Lovelies” would very much like to see the report to the Minister which appears to be what dissuaded him from making any changes to the organization structure of the Region of Halton.

Plan B - Waterfront looking up Brant

Plan B wants to make sure that the entrance to Spencer Smith Park is as grand as the view of the lake – and that a replacement for the aged Waterfront Hotel doesn’t gobble up all that space.

Plan B is focused on what gets done with the land the Waterfront Hotel is located on. There are plans to demolish the hotel and erect something a lot higher. Plan B wants to ensure that the interests of the citizens of the city are protected; they were not convinced that the city council in place when the development application was filed would ensure that there was a clear sight line from Brant Street through to the Pier and Lake Ontario nor do they appear to believe that the Planning department is going to do what anyone you ask would want to see.

All three organization have written an Open Letter to city Council and the provincial elected officials setting out their argument for changes in the Staff report that is going to a Statutory meeting on January 14th.

Open letter logo

That report is complex and there is some doubt in the mind of this writer that every member of Council has actually read the report and that they understand its implications.

The Open Letter is pretty direct, makes a lot of sense and is very well argued.

The community organizations, ECoB in particular, were one of the, if not the biggest, citizen groups that got this city council elected.  It behooves Council to listen very closely to ensure that the Planning department understands what the will of council means.

As an aside, there was a point when Mayor Meed Ward had to state publicly that the Planning department Grow Bold concept was no longer on the table and that Planning staff were not to refer to the concept in the future.

The expiry date for the Interim Control ByLaw (ICBL) is early March. An extension is possible but would be exceptionally unfair to the development community. One developer has experienced a revenue delay of millions due to a site approval that could not be given due to the bylaw.

The Open Letter asks council to defer the Land Use report; should council do so it must be for a very very short period of time to ensure that the ICBL is lifted before early March.

All the gains that were made with the election of a significantly different city council will be lost if the matters pointed out in the Open Letter are not dealt with. The election of the new city council was a turning point for the city – let us not lose what has been gained.

Related news stories:

The Open Letter

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3 comments to City Council has been asked by citizens to stand up for what the election was all about: citizen led development.

  • anneandavegmailcom

    Elan did you read Jane McKenna’s letter that clearly states Council inaction has put us where we are. Stop knocking those who have diligently put forward the wishes of the people and the evidence that the mess we have is failure to address the way to proceed to put things right since the 2014-2018 got what those they serve at the will of the people DEAD WRONG. These groups will one day we are sure get standing ovations for their persistence for a very difficult task.

  • Elan

    I believe Council wants the same things. Before going for the pitchforks, let’s have some faith. There is definitely more than meets the eye on this issue.

  • Kudos to this group. They have thoroughly understood what many of us know but are unable to summarize as well as they have..