Muir on how city council voted on the 2100 Brant development that is now at an OMB hearing.

News 100 redBy  Pepper Parr

January 3rd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The vote on what city council wanted to do with the situation they were faced with at the 2100 Brant property might provide some insight as to how this new council is perhaps likely to break out on the various decisions they have to make.

The vote was on how to respond to a confidential report from the city solicitor on legal issues that had cropped up.

Muir making a point

Aldershot resident and frequent council critic Tom Muir.

Tom Muir, an Aldershot resident who follows development applications closely, especially if they are in his community, wanted to fully understand why Councillors Sharman, Galbraith and Bentivegna voted the way they did.

Councillors Sharman, Galbraith and Bentivegna  voted to allow the settlement that was apparently in place to be the subject of the LPAT (Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) meeting.

The hearing is being heard by the LPAT but under previous Ontario Municipal Board rules because the developer filed their appeal before the LPAT rules became effective.  The appeal was asking that the OMB approve the development because the city had not approved the development within the 180 day time frame.

Aerial-of-2100 brant site

The development is to take place on one of the few pieces of develop-able land left in the city. The proposal for 233 homes was reduced to 212 – residents want to see it cut back to something in the order of 150.

Muir wanted to know more about why they voted the way they did and found that neither Galbraith or Bentivegna would say very much of what was said at an in-camera session where confidentiality prevails.

Angelo blue sports shirt

Angelo Bentivegna, Councillor for Ward 6

Sharman 2

Paul Sharman, Councillor ward 5.

Galbraith slight smile

Kelvin Galbraith, Councillor for ward 1

What Muir found odd was that Councillors Stolte, Nisan and Kearns, plus the Mayor heard the same confidential information and they were able to vote for what the city solicitor was advising.

It would appear that the two groups interpreted the confidential information the city solicitor had given them in the closed sessions differently – resulting in one of those 4-3 votes that have plagued past councils.

While no one was prepared to or able to say very much about what took place in that in-camera meeting it was learned that the financial drubbing the city took on the legal issues that cropped up when the Walmart location was opened on Fairview a number of years ago was a large part of the fear factor that  the city solicitor brought to the table.

What is equally disturbing is that the 2100 Brant development was so badly handled by the Planning department and no one has been held accountable.

Ed Dorr, a Havendale resident, speaking for the community immediately to the north of the 2100 Brant development, laid out a sorry sad tale of the various steps that the development went through – the end result being no Staff report on the development but an agreement to change an LPAT meeting from a Pre- Hearing Conference event to a Settlement agreement event.

No one has said publicly just what the legal issue is.

Muir wants to know more and he wants to know why.  Putting it colloquially, Muir wants to know which donkey we pin this tail (perhaps we should say tale) on.

Why the secrecy? What were they told? Who told them? None of this bodes well as we move ahead.

No transparency. No accountability. More secrecy?

Not a particularly sterling example of how this council is going to handle the more stickier problems.

Are we looking at a consistent 4-3 vote split with Sharman, Galbraith and Bentivegna on one side and the Mayor with Nisan, Stolte and Kearns on the other?

Related news story.

The Ed Dorr delegation

 

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4 comments to Muir on how city council voted on the 2100 Brant development that is now at an OMB hearing.

  • Marty Staz

    Since I would like to think I have some working knowledge of the 2100 Brant St. development I find the 4-3 result to be somewhat puzzling. It leaves me to wonder if the 3 that voted in favour of retaining the previous Council’s decision really gave any consideration to another precedent setting development proposal. If this proposal had been approved I can only shudder to think what Plains Rd. will become. The entire Council received the same information regarding financial implications and to the 4 that voted to send this development back for more consideration I say congratulations. To the 3 that did not I can only say, seriously???

  • Penny

    One question that comes to mind Don is if Mary Lou Tanner is the Deputy City Manager why was she not given the position of interim City Manager?

    • Don Fletcher

      I can only guess, but she would represent the “status quo” and perhaps the needed overhaul at City Hall cannot wait until a permanent City Manager is hired.

  • Don Fletcher

    Another case (ADI’s Nautique being the preeminent one) of the Planning Department not responding within 180 days? What exactly did Mary Lou Tanner accomplish in her term as Director of Planning to warrant a promotion to Deputy City Manager? As part of Citizens’ Plan B (advocates of extending Spencer Smith Park and enhancing the gateway to Lake Ontario at the foot of Brant in any Waterfront Hotel redevelopment), we requested meetings with and met with the then Mayor & several Councillors, Planning Department staff and managers and the property owner on many occasions, but Mary Lou Tanner was never in attendance. I just hope our interim City Manager has the authority to hire/ fire and the discernment to employ it effectively!

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