The City of Burlington is excited to have a draft new Official Plan, called Grow Bold, which the Planning Department will soon be taking out to the community for further consultation.
The Official Plan is a document that contains the City’s plans for growth and development. It has been designed to recognize that Burlington is changing how it grows. Along with that, it outlines strategies for the challenges we face and a vision to 2041.
How are we changing the way we grow?
The fact is that we have no new areas or greenfield land to build more communities like Alton and Orchard, so we need to accommodate new residents and jobs with redevelopment of our existing land with higher densities. This intensification is carefully planned to occur in areas that are specifically identified in the Official Plan.
The Official Plan identifies four mobility hubs as focal points for higher density and mixed use development that will accommodate a significant share of the city’s future population and employment growth. These hubs include downtown Burlington and the areas around our three GO stations.
While the Official Plan identifies the location of the mobility hubs, the planning work for these areas is currently underway in a separate process.
The downtown is a key hub that is facing significant re-development interest. Downtown Burlington is where intensification will mean greater height and density, be transit-supportive and contribute to the overall vibrancy of the city. The Downtown Mobility Hub public consultation begins on Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lions Club Hall on Pearl Street. I look forward to seeing community members at this meeting and hearing your views during this process.
The new Official Plan continues to protect and strengthen our rural community. More than half of Burlington is greenbelt land and most people tell me they want to keep it that way.
The Plan also protects a green space system of natural areas and parks, as well as established neighbourhoods and it provides policies that will be the basis for transit network improvements. As our city grows, we need to look at transportation differently and make more targeted investments in transit.
There will be extensive engagement opportunities, including interactive public meetings, in the coming weeks on the new draft Official Plan. Read the draft new Official Plan and learn how you can provide your feedback at the website www.burlington.ca/growbold or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-335-7600, ext. 7378.
This column by Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring appears in the April 14, 2017 edition of the Burlington Post.