April Progress Report

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It’s been a busy month! There is a lot going on in Burlington right now. To wrap it all up here is my April 2018 progress vlog.


Reports & Recommendations

Our city staff have presented reports and updates on a variety of issues this month that may be of interest to you.  Here is a list of items available for your review.

Mayor’s Inspire Burlington with Glen Murray

I’m thrilled to share that we hosted yet another successful Mayor’s Inspire Burlington event on April 25th at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Glen Murray, the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute and the former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change joined us for an insightful and educational talk about building an environmentally sustainable city.

I was inspired by the number of Burlington residents who joined us with ideas and passion about how we can work together to create a brighter future for our next generation.

I want to thank Conservation Halton, Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk, Burlington’s Sustainable Development Advisory Committee, Sustainable Hamilton Burlington, Burlington Green and 100in1Day for setting up exhibitions for our guests.

Burlington Vimy Oaks

In honour of the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we planted two “Vimy Oaks” at the Burlington Cenotaph this month.  These oaks are the direct descendants of the original oaks at Vimy Ridge.

Our veterans fought for our freedom, and our oak trees will be a constant reminder of their sacrifice.

100In1Day Coming to Burlington June 2nd

For the first time, 100in1Day is coming to Burlington!What is 100In1Day and how do you get involved? Watch the video below to find out.

Make a Request to the Office of the Mayor

My office is happy to respond to questions on various issues, requests for congratulatory letters or certificates, invitations to events or requests for a flag raising or proclamation.
There are easy-to-use online forms for each of these requests on my website.
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Report on the Meridian Quarry

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Meridian Brick’s Aldershot Quarry. Orange boundaries indicate the three elements of the quarry: Aldershot West, Aldershot Centre and Aldershot East.

The Aldershot quarry (now operated by Meridian) is preparing to excavate shale from the third, East Quarry. The site is east of King Road and west of Westhaven Drive, in the Tyandaga subdivision. The quarry lands are Provincially approved and licenced for extraction.

Understandably, the Meridian plans have created concerns in the community, especially pertaining to public health and safety.

Meridian manufactures an estimated 55% of the clay brick produced in Canada, and 45% is made here in Burlington. The quarry produces Queenston shale, and this is the only type of shale used for brick making in Ontario today. While the economic benefits cannot be overlooked, this must not be at the expense of negatively impacting the community.

Looking back on how Burlington has evolved, clearly if we were beginning to plan our City, a quarry within the urban area would not be the appropriate location. However, the Aldershot Quarry has a long history in Burlington. It has been in operation since the 1920’s and was first licenced under the Pits and Quarries Control Act in 1972 and then subsequently under the Aggregates Resource Act in June 1990.

It is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that oversees the rules governing aggregate management in Ontario by issuing licences, permits and changes to existing approvals. The Ministry also inspects aggregate operations and responds to complaints, enforces compliance and ensures rehabilitation is carried out on the site.

The site plans for the approved licence show three operational cells (quarries). The expansion into the east cell is within the approved licence area. The east quarry is 16.4 hectares in size, and approximately 10.8 hectares will be disturbed.

I have consistently stated that, as Mayor, I expect the quarry to operate with no health impact to any resident in Burlington. I will remain actively involved to ensure regulatory compliance of the quarry and that information requested by residents is provided.

I continue to speak regularly with MPP Eleanor McMahon about the quarry, and we remain committed to working together to ensure information is made available to residents.

In late January, a meeting was arranged by MPP McMahon, Councillor Craven and myself for a group of residents to come together with Meridian representatives, Provincial staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and Conservation Halton.

As a result of the meeting, there is now streamlined access to information from the Province, and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change initiated a peer review of the Meridian dust studies. Additionally, a scoped review of the noise studies was also undertaken. I understand this work is now complete and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are in the process of analyzing the results. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will determine the next steps and conduct any necessary follow-up with Meridian.

In addition to concerns about adverse impacts from noise and dust, other issues have been raised such as tree removal and endangered species just to name a few.

Minimizing the human impact on the environment is very important to me. However, tree removal on the Meridian site is an unfortunate reality. Meridian confirmed last week that their ecologist marked 7 trees for removal in March. The plans to remove trees from the forested East Quarry will occur in 6 stages over 25 years.

While Meridian Brick is required to operate in compliance with its approved Aggregate Resources Act site plan, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry confirm that Meridian has no requirement to complete any additional studies under the Aggregate Resources Act to remove trees nor do they require any tree cutting permits for this licenced aggregate site. The Act requires rehabilitation of a quarry during its operational lifetime, and Meridian’s plan for the centre and East Quarry includes the re-planting of more than 29,000 trees.

Meridian has elected to undertake surveys to assess whether species at risk exist on site. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has informed the City that Meridian will continue surveys for Jefferson Salamanders during this Spring season because of dry conditions in 2017. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be conducting a scoped review pertaining to endangered species during the Spring with results expected in Fall of 2018. Should Meridian find species at risk are likely to be impacted by their operations, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will comment with regard to compliance requirements under the Endangered Species Act.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staff have re-confirmed there is no verified presence of the Jefferson salamander on or directly adjacent to the Meridian quarry. They further advise that findings should be formally reported to the MNRF for appropriate action. I support the protection of all confirmed endangered species in our City.

There has also been a suggestion that a new use should be found for this site. That option is unlikely. It is the property owner who would have to make a decision to change the land use. Meridian’s East Quarry has approximately 25 years of supply available and it is expected that the shale will continue to be used for brick manufacturing for that time. Also, the planning framework affecting these lands is complex and protects for a quarry operation by allowing Mineral Resource Extraction. The quarry is permitted in all Provincial, Regional and City planning documents.

I have also been asked if the City would request that Meridian adopt Cornerstone Standards Certification (CSC). Cornerstone is a voluntary certification system for the responsible extraction of aggregates and it encourages a quarry to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. I believe this is an excellent suggestion and I wholeheartedly support this certification by Meridian.

Quarry regulatory and licencing questions should be directed to Mr. Mark Tyler, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Mr. Tyler can be reached at (416) 314-2208 (mark.tyler@ontario.ca).

Burlington residents have my assurance that I will continue to insist that our Community receive the information needed to confirm the satisfactory operation of the Meridian Quarry.

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Proposed Community Benefits for 421 Brant Street

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A report outlining the proposed Section 37 Community Benefits for 421 Brant Street has been released by the Planning Department. This will be presented at the Planning and Development meeting on Tuesday, April 10th.

On November 13, 2017, Council approved applications to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, as modified by staff, to permit a mixed-use development with a height up to 23 storeys at the north-east corner of Brant and James Street across from City Hall.

I did not support the approval as I believe the height is excessive for this location.

Section 37 of the Planning Act is a planning tool which allows municipalities to accept “community benefits” when granting increased density and/or height through a change in zoning or official plan policy.

The report heading to the committee next week outlines the recommended direct and indirect community benefits that Planning staff is recommending for approval, as noted below.

Direct benefit vs Indirect benefit

  • A direct community benefit is a monetary contribution.
  • An indirect community benefit has a public interest but doesn’t involve a direct monetary contribution.

The direct benefits listed below have been negotiated under Section 37 by Planning staff. The indirect benefits were identified as part of the development proposal outlined in the November Planning report in support of the approved 23 storey development.

Here is the list of community benefits that Planning staff are recommending for approval:

• To assist in the pursuit of long-term affordable housing, the Developer agrees to a discount of $300,000 to be used against the purchase price of up to 10 dwelling units within the subject development, or in the event that a purchase(s) is/are not to occur within the subject development, the Developer agrees to provide the City with a cash contribution of $300,000 prior to condominium registration. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide a direct community benefit of $150,000 towards the public art reserve fund to be used within the publicly accessible privately owned easement area referred to in subsection (v) and/or in the future Civic Square expansion area. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide a direct community benefit of a $50,000 contribution towards the future expansion of Civic Square. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide one (1) publicly accessible car share parking space (indirect community benefit assessed at $50,000) and contribute to the City’s emerging car-share network by accommodating a car-share vehicle for a minimum of two years starting from the first occupancy (indirect community benefit assessed at $50,000), or equivalent.

• The Developer agrees to provide public access by way of an easement to be registered on title for lands located at the northeast corner of Brant Street and James Streets, the minimum dimensions of which are in the form of a triangle measured at 16m by 16m (an indirect community benefit assessed at $75,000).

• The Developer agrees to provide eight (8) visitor parking spaces (indirect community benefit accessed at $400,000).

• The Developer agrees, and it is enshrined within the amending zoning by-law, that increased building setbacks, including widened sidewalks on Brant Street, James Street, and John Street, and view corridors on Brant Street and James Street to City Hall and the Cenotaph (indirect community benefit accessed at $250,000).

• The Developer agrees to implement green technology and sustainable architecture elements into the subject property in accordance with either LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development guidelines (indirect community benefit accessed at $300,000).

• The Developer agrees to implement City of Burlington Streetscape Guidelines Standards within the Brant Street, James Street, and John Street public realm areas, including the expanded building setback areas at-grade and the publicly accessible open space easement area outlined in (v) above (an indirect community benefit accessed at $150,000).

You are invited to attend the April 10th Planning and Development Committee meeting where this report will be discussed by Committee.

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Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee Update

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Guest blog by Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf, Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee.

Mayor Rick Goldring continues to provide a series of updates relevant to the vision of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee set out by Co-Chairs Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf in November 2017. This allowed committee members with an opportunity to ask questions to better understand how they can contribute to shaping their city.

Mayor Goldring identified the recent delegation by the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee requesting Holiday Transit service as an example of a ‘win’.

Burlington was one of the few municipalities in Ontario that did not offer transit service on the holidays. The Millennial Advisory Committee delegated through a written policy brief to formally identify the gap in transit service.

Effective transit service is a key area that the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee strives to influence, as greater intensification and limited space will mean more cars on Burlington’s streets and roads.

 The Millennial Perspective

Mayor Goldring explained the process of influencing council. For the Burlington Millennial perspective to carry weight, it needs to be given early in the process by engaging with relevant stakeholders before community events and workshops that precede the relevant committee and council meetings.

 A Vision Greater than Themselves

Mayor Goldring also discussed the importance of civic engagement, especially at early stages of projects within the City of Burlington. This led to a presentation by Co-Chairs Mark and Karl reiterating the three pathways for engagement the Millennial Advisory Committee is taking:

(1) Passive Engagement – Community presence and participation in Workshops;

(2) Reactionary Engagement – Delegating on contemporary topics at City Hall; and

(3) Proactive Engagement – Working with city staff to offer insightful policy critiques.

To increase the effect of the perspective of our generation in Burlington, it is increasingly more important to continue engaging at committee meetings and city workshops, but also to draft thoughtful policy proposals and send them to the proper stakeholders at City Hall.

The strategy is to lead a sustainable and influential committee of millennials in Burlington to build community engagement and provide advice and insights into policy impacting our city. This ties in with the mandate established by Mayor Goldring for the committee, “to lead projects focused on how to keep and attract residents 18-35 in Burlington.”

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee aims to be pivotal and to be perceived as the “Go To” committee for the City of Burlington to gain valuable insights into what our generation needs to continue to make Burlington the best place to live and work.

Civic Engagement

After discussing what is critical to millennials in Burlington through a collaborative approach with surveys from the Co-Chairs and workshops facilitated by Stephanie Venimore, Business Performance Advisor for the City of Burlington, the Millennial Advisory Committee has identified three key areas of engagement:

  1. Commercial and Residential Development
  2. Transportation
  3. Burlington Culture

The Millennial Advisory Committee has delegated on mixed-use developments and transportation initiatives within the City of Burlington.

On multiple occasions, the Millennial Advisory Committee has provided key insights for important cultural projects, the Museums of Burlington Joseph Brant Museum project being especially important as it represents the cultural heritage of Burlington’s founder, Joseph Brant of the Mohawk.

Our Next Meeting

Our March meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 at 7:30 PM in Room # 305, Burlington City Hall – located at 426 Brant Street. Mayor Goldring will be discussing the gaps in Burlington’s public amenities.

If you are a millennial trying to get involved, then this is a chance for you to speak out on the things you think would attract more millennials to Burlington.

Want to get involved?

To apply to be a member of the committee, please email mayor@burlington.ca with the following information.

  • Name
  • Age
  • Primary email address
  • City of current residence
  • Social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Profession/Student status
  • A 500-word (max.) response to the following question: What ideas do you have for Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee that would help meet its mandate of helping Burlington foster and retain millennial-age residents.

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee was created to develop initiatives and provide input on how to keep and attract residents aged 19 to 36 in Burlington. The Millennial Advisory Committee identifies millennials as people born from 1981 to 1998.

Why get involved?

The City of Burlington has the best reasons to get involved with any Committee or Board:

  • meet new people
  • share your talents
  • develop skills
  • address a common interest
  • make a difference in your community

Want more information?

Read the October Update from Term 2 Co-chairs Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf. You can keep up to date on the news from the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee by visiting Burlington.ca/millennials.

For more information about the committee, contact the Office of the Mayor at  mayor@burlington.ca

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Inspire Burlington featuring Glen Murray

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I am very excited to announce that Glen Murray, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, and former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change is the keynote speaker for my next Inspire Burlington series on Wednesday, April 25th at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Glen will focus on transit-supportive development that works to create multi-modal, and sustainable cities.
Please join me on April 25th at 7:30 p.m in the main auditorium at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
As with all Inspire Burlington events, admission is FREE and all are welcome!
If you’re interested, pre-register at burlington.ca/mayor
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