East end residents tell council: 'This isn't the development we expected'.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Council chamber was packed.

They were sitting in the foyer and in the room next door to the council chamber.
They were there to express their concern with a development proposal that stunned most people when it was made public.

Crowd Stat meeting

The council chamber was filled – the foyer outside the chamber had people watching the proceedings on monitors and the room next to council had people watching. Largest meeting Burlington council has seen in close to a decade.

The re-development of the Lakeshore Village Plaza in the east end of the city has a long history. The city has been involved with the developer since 2014.

What started out in November of 2015 with a visioning exercise where people were enthused, excited and optimistic turned into really sour feelings when the drawings of what was proposed by the developer.

The meeting last night was the required Statutory Public meeting at which the Planning department sets out what they have been given by the developer.
There were 14 registered delegations and another ten that were walk-ups.

The Gazette will report on those in depth.

Council listened carefully, asked good questions and were very aware that they were facing a public that was not happy.

Lucy B Stat meet

Lucy Belvedere gave a strong, detailed delegation on what was wrong with the development and where the public had not been properly engaged.

Frank Towes, a resident of Admiral’s Walk, across the road from the proposed development made the point very well when he said to Council: We elected you last fall to be the gatekeepers – keep developments like this outside the gates.

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10 comments to East end residents tell council: ‘This isn’t the development we expected’.

  • Alfred

    Tom- The reason that folks like us don’t attend these meetings on a regular basis. Is because the Provincial government has put in place, a long time ago. A process for development in Ontario. The Planning Act is the rule book by which development occurs. Council, City planning staff and yes developers must follow. The Province was also smart enough to put in place a court of last resort OMB. now called LPAT. That would review the decisions of an elected council. Which would allow it to over ride the decision of elected officials who fail to follow the Planning Act . In an attempt to get votes from Nimby’s. Forsaking the best interest of the City and it’s citizens. In an effort to enhance their chance of getting elected. Burlington in the last 6 years was voted best mid-sized Canadian city 5 times. Last year we lost to Oakville because they changed the rules on how to rank Cities. To give other Cities a chance. In return we replaced a very seasoned and experienced council. Replacing it with a group of probably nice people who’s resumes would not qualify them to run a lemonade stand. Let alone run a City. Clearly the Province has wisely put in place proper safeguards to protect the Citizens of Burlington. To over ride bad council decisions and foolish applications made by developers. Nimby’s voices fall on deaf ears here. Common sense and rules of law apply. I just stand at the finish line and wait for the winner. While I don’t believe in all this intensification. The rules and process for development have to be changed at the Provincial level.

    • Lucy

      Alfred…I believe your interpretation of the power of the The Planning Act is misguided.

      “The Planning Act is provincial legislation that sets out the GROUND RULES for land use planning in Ontario. It describes how land uses may be controlled, and who may control them. The municipalities still retain a great deal of responsibility and authority in the development within their communities. Municipal councils, landowners, developers, planners and the public play an important role in shaping a community. Community planning is aimed at identifying common community goals and balancing competing interests.

      You (THE CITIZEN) can be an important part of the land use planning process by keeping informed about what’s going on in your community and by participating in public meetings.

      Your input will help the municipal council make better decisions that affect your future. If you are concerned about all or any part of a planning proposal or policy change, you should:

      find out as much as you can about the proposal
      think about how it will affect you
      talk to your neighbours
      go to public meetings, open houses and information sessions and let council know what you think
      write to your council member or the municipal officials about your views
      work with council and municipal staff to resolve your concerns

      Finally, if you are not happy with council’s decisions on planning issues, in some instances you may appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal for a public hearing. To ensure that your appeal rights are protected, it is important that you make your views known during the municipal decision-making process.”

      “The municipality:

      makes local planning decisions that will determine the future of communities
      prepares planning documents, such as:
      an official plan, which sets out the municipality’s general planning goals and policies that will guide future land use
      zoning bylaws, which set the rules and regulations that control development as it occurs
      ensures planning decisions and planning documents are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement and conform or do not conflict with provincial plans”

      Please check out these links:
      The government links were updated January 2019 so the information is current.

      https://www.ontario.ca/document/citizens-guide-land-use-planning/planning-act (Citizen’s Guide)

      https://www.ontario.ca/document/provincial-policy-statement-2014/part-v-policies-10

  • Stephen White

    As one of those who delegated Tuesday night on behalf of ECoB against this development in its current configuration let me echo Tom’s point: if there were people who supported this proposal, why weren’t they at the meeting expressing their point of view? Was it apathy, a lack of conviction in their beliefs, and did they actually take the time to review the proposal in detail as multiple delegations did?

    The point that was made on multiple occasions Tuesday night, which has been very conveniently and incorrectly reflected, is that residents are not against redevelopment per se. We all agree Lakeside Village is a mess and is sorely in need of an upgrade. That is not in issue or doubt. We don’t oppose redeveloping part of the property for residential purposes. It is the size, scope and magnitude of this development that is the problem. As one gentleman who delegated stated, rather adroitly, this development is too: too big, too large, too overpowering, too close to Lakeshore Road, too long to develop, too congested, too many traffic problems, too little attention to the traffic problems that will be created, etc.

    Finally, I would implore those who naively perceive this as a NIMBY issue, or who think there is some orchestrated effort to simply maintain the “status quo”, to please review the comments from various delegations in their entirety. Even the Mayor, Councillors and City staff at the meeting looked stunned as delegation after delegation highlighted a litany of problems, concerns, issues, inconsistencies and oversights. When one person tells you there is a problem you can dismiss it out of hand. When two or three tell you something is wrong you should sit up and take notice. When hundreds pack the Council Chambers and adjacent rooms and hallways to express their concerns (none of whom, by the way, who supported the developers’ plans) then perhaps it’s time to set aside your prejudices and interpretations long enough to actually listen to what is being said.

  • Lucy

    The residents who attended this meeting did not have a NIMBY attitude. The delegations at this meeting repeatedly said redevelopment is welcome for this site. It was about getting redevelopment that will enhance our neighbourhood. Seniors may have greater time to do the research and prepare for these delegations. They can more easily attend without worries about needing babysitters or being too tired after a hard days work, etc., but so many senior concerns are family concerns also. All age groups were represented at this meeting…residents with young families also delegated voicing their worries about traffic and safety issues. It is great that concerns for both children and seniors were echoed by many. Our east-end community is not anti-development, but we want smart, reasonable development that will meet the needs of families who are at all different stages of their lives…young, old, and those in between. This original proposal did not meet those needs. Council was receptive to the many intelligent ideas presented to improve this proposal. The Developer’s planner expressed a willingness to work towards a better plan for this site that will be more suited to the surrounding neighbourhood. Many left with the satisfaction of being heard and now feel hopeful that improvements will be made to the proposal that will eventually result in a wonderful, new Lakeside Village Plaza!

  • Tom Muir

    These city meetings, and the LPAT procedures, are all NIMBY by definition. This should be of no surprise if you have any experience in these matters. It’s been this way for a long time.

    The city only sends notices of the applications to those who live within 150 meters or so of the proposed project. Farther away and you get no official notice – so the NIMBY is built right in – you know “back yard”!.

    At the LPAT, the same kinds of distance from the project considerations are brought to bear in deciding who can participate. Although not strictly 150 meters measured, if you live too far away (say 2 or three blocks from my experience) you can be deemed by the lawyers or the LPAT Chair to live too far away to have any material concerns.

    And calling all the people in the picture “old folks”, and the “only” folks opposed to intensification, misses an important point that these are the people that live there and will be directly affected. From the story there were 25 who showed up to speak to Council, which is their right, and the place was packed.

    They are also the people that can afford to live there, but some commenters here want them to stand down so the younger folks, who cannot afford to live here according to them, can maybe catch a break at the expense of the oldies.

    I think that James, Alfred, Vera and Jim should have showed up to speak for themselves and the others who support this kind of proposal. Identify yourself in person so you can be asked what your interest is, and provide some arguments to support what you say.

    I see two or three of the names commenting here for years, but have never seen any of their names at city hall.

    Step up folks and identify yourself.

  • Louise F.

    James – You make some valid points but in this situation I think you’re wrong. That part of Burlington is residential heavy. I truly believe the traffic congestion would be detrimental to the area. Intensification is one thing, these people are against OVER-intensification.
    I’d say there is way more NIMBY’ism downtown. You’ve even got people who are residents of the condo towers that are complaining about more condo towers. It’s DOWNTOWN people!!!
    I hear lots of people whine about their children not being able to afford to live in Burlington where they grew up. Cry me a river. I’d like to live in Roseland but that’s not happening unless I win the lottery.

  • Jim Ridley

    Lakeshore Village Plaza is currently an eyesore; it’s ripe for redevelopment. I would imagine that after completion the proposed design would enhance local residents lives, offering new stores and restaurants etc.

    It’s time to stop the knee jerk reactions to any change in the offing.

  • Vera-D.

    I actually love the new proposal. First you have massive condos blocking the waterfront, across the street but “they’re all right, Jack.” Second the proposal has no loss of commercial space, it is way more pedestrian friendly with building up to the sidewalk, not a giant parking lot to navigate. It will hopefully bring more young people in. People forget that 30 years ago Halton was not about what old people want, it was about young families. I’m 60 and development should not be about me, it should be about youth and vibrancy. What they did in Bronte Village is awful as it removed much of the retail and the target demo is seniors – not a good mix. South Oakville Centre is going to lose 50% of the retail replaced with retirement residences – nothing for the young. So the mayor you turfed, actually had vision

  • Alfred

    Quick a City wide interim Control By-law. No neighborhood should be without one. The nimbys now want, no development from Aldershot to the Oakville border. If I can make a suggestion it’s time to start telling the Developers what you do want and not what you don’t want. Clearly your wish list has to conform with the Provincial guidelines, This would probably be a good start. Otherwise the developers would and should circumvent council and all these silly meetings completely. Go straight to OMB. LPAT They appear to be winning most of the decisions and getting what they want there. At the end of the day this is all fluff. The proposal that most closely follows the Provincial guidelines wins.

  • James

    In other words… NIMBY. I wish people would just admit it and call it what it is.

    Look at that photo and estimate the average age of those opposed to intensification. Yes I’m generalizing but I’m willing to bet the demographics at any public meeting where people show up in opposition to development are similar. I fully respect my elders, but that respect needs to be reciprocated. They were fine with development when they needed housing. They were fine with development when they needed roads, services, jobs, shopping, etc… so what’s changed? They got theirs, and then they got comfortable. Burlington was far enough away from Toronto to avoid feeling the wave of intensification for many years, but that wave has finally reached us. Times have changed. The market has changed. The need for housing has changed. None of this would be happening if the market wasn’t demanding it. The anti-development sentiment in this city has become toxic. At some point this city must stop punishing future generations in order to appease an aging population that won’t be around to suffer the consequences of the decisions being made today. Burlington can’t stay this way forever. The sooner we all accept that reality, the better.

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