Mayor makes it very clear what her views are on downtown development 'four to eight storey's is what THE Official Plan calls for.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 30th, 2019



It wasn’t just the concern over height and density that had some people upset with the way things were going in the city – it was the way the last city council pushed and pushed to “approve” an Official Plan that many just did not like.

Lisa delegation

Lisa Kearns delegating against the Official Plan that the 2014-18 city council insisted on approving. She went on to become the council member for ward 2.

Despite more than 30 delegations, some that were the best this city has heard given to a city council, the Official Plan was passed and sent to the Region as an approved document.

To the surprise of many – the Plan came back from the Region with concerns over four parts – none of which were all that critical – but that was more than enough for Mayor Meed Ward to take the position that with the “approved” Official Plan now in the hands of the city she could do more than just fix up the four deficiencies.

During her State of the City address on Monday Meed Ward put out those words – ‘four to eight storeys is more than enough for the downtown core’, that had the development community in a lather.

In a statement issued today the Mayor said: “… residents have consistently raised concerns about over-intensification and development in our City. During the 2018 election, they made their voices heard and clearly indicated the need to review the scale and intensity of planned development, especially in the new Official Plan.

Meed Ward as a delegation

Marianne Meed Ward got her start as a municipal level politician appearing as a delegation at city hall- she knows what that game is all about.

“As a result, I am bringing forward a motion to re-examine the policies of the Official Plan that was adopted, though not officially approved, in April of 2018, and review matters of height and density. Halton Region has also recently identified areas of non-conformity, so this motion seeks to gain the time to address those issues.

“Once the Region identified areas of non-conformity, that stopped the clock on approving the new Official Plan and opened the plan up for any other matters of discussion. This allows our new City Council the time to define what areas we want to study, undertake that work, consult with the community, and send back a comprehensive plan. We expect that plan to truly reflect the needs, best interests and vision of the community and it’s elected Council.

Pearl and Lakeshore

The development proposed for the corner or Pine and Lakeshore Road is reported to have gotten quite a roasting at a public presentation.

“The motion will also provide absolute clarity to staff and to the community that the City of Burlington staff are not to use the adopted 2018 plan in evaluating current/new development applications and the existing Official Plan is still in full legal force and effect. Multiple analyses by staff in assessing development applications, downtown in particular, have made it clear we do not need to over-intensify in order to meet our obligations under the Province’s Places To Grow legislation.

“Further, we will immediately discontinue use of the “Grow Bold” term and related branding to ensure we are absolutely clear on our direction.

“A timeline will be discussed at the next committee meeting.”

City staff in the Planning department have been told to stop talking about the “approved” plan – it has no status.

Times are indeed a changing.

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2 comments to Mayor makes it very clear what her views are on downtown development ‘four to eight storey’s is what THE Official Plan calls for.

  • Alfred

    Tom parts of the OP can be amended at any time. By the City or by the private sector. Roseland was declared a character area through an OP Amendment by the City.

  • Tom Muir

    Whoever wrote this needs to think again about the criticality of the 4 issues that convinced the Region to not approve the adopted OP sent to them by the City. The writer said;

    “To the surprise of many – the Plan came back from the Region with concerns over four parts – none of which were all that critical… .”

    Who was surprised?

    Are employment and employment lands not critical?

    Provincial Growth Plans specify jobs and people targets equally, so meeting these policies requires consideration of both.

    Are farmlands not critical ? This new OP may not be revised for more than 10 years.

    Is the Natural Heritage System that was fought and planned for over many years at the Region not critical?

    Are all 4 of these things together not critical?

    Well, the adopted OP is now moribund and on hold.

    To proceed as if is not “critical” to stop it does not follow.

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