November 2017 Update

 421 – 431 Brant Street Rezoning Approved

Monday night, at the City Council meeting, the members of council voted 5-2 in favour of rezoning 421-431 Brant Street to allow for a proposed 23-storey mixed-use condo building to be built across from City Hall.

The Building would include 169 residential units, office space on the second floor and ground floor retail.  You can read the detailed staff recommendation here.

I was one of the two who voted against the proposal.

I want to thank the residents who took the time out of their busy lives to share their insight and delegated on Monday evening.

Proposed New Official Plan Open House

Burlington’s proposed new Official Plan is out for public review.

It contains additions, deletions and modifications to the draft new Officiall Plan that was released in April. Our staff received feedback from agencies,stakeholders and the public that guided in producing the new proposed OP.

We continue to ask for your input.  Please join city staff at  upcoming public meetings to review and discuss the proposed new Official Plan.  If you can’t make it ou to the public meetings, you can email newop@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7642 with your questions or concerns.

If you haven’t been following, click here for a refresher on the New Official Plan Project.

2018 Budget Overview

The Financial Overview of the 2018 Proposed Capital Budget and Forecast was presented to the Committee of the Whole – Budget Committee on November 9th.

The 2018 Proposed Capital Budget is approximately $68.6 million with a strong focus on infrastructure renewal projects reflective of the city’s commitment to the asset management plan and the Strategic Plan initiative.

Committee will review the Proposed Capital Budget on December 1, 2017, with Council approval scheduled for December 11, 2017.

The  Proposed 2018 Capital Budget Book is available now for public review.

Remembrance Day

I am proud and moved by the number of Burlington residents who joined me on Remembrance Day to show their love and support to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We had a larger than normal crowd at the Sunrise Ceremony at the Naval Ships Memorial Monument in Spencer Smith Park.  Brant Street was packed with the young and old who came to pay their respects as our veterans made their way to the Cenotaph.

2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada, including Canada 150, the 100th anniversaries of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele, and the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

I am proud and honoured to be Canadian and thankful to all our veterans who risked their lives for our freedom.

Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign

I helped kick off The Salvation Army’s  Christmas Kettle Campaign with Major Bob and three-year-old Zoey this week.

Christmas Kettles are found in over 2,000 locations across Canada and funds donated will support the work of The Salvation Army during the Christmas Season.

Major Bob tells me that he is still looking for up to 100 volunteers to be the Kettle Bell Ringers in various locations across our city.

If you can give the gift of time, it would mean more low-income families will be able to spend Christmas with special meals and presents.

To become a Kettle Bell Ringer, contact Major Bob at 905-630-5212 or sign up online.

What’s Happening Burlington?

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

The next round of committee meetings begin on November 27th.

 

Community Garden Lottery

The City of Burlington had one community garden in 2012 with 30 plots.  Today, there are five community gardens with 167 plots including thirteen raised accessible plots for those with limited mobility.

If you’d like to claim a plot for 2018, submit an application before November 30th and you will be entered into a lottery draw on December 1st.   Good Luck!

October Update

Budget Telephone Town Hall

On Wednesday, October 18th, I hosted our first ever Budget Telephone Town Hall.  We had a great turn out and received many thoughtful questions regarding Burlington. I want to thank all the residents who participated in this discussion.

Questions ranged from investing in our transit, bike lanes to managing traffic flow on our city streets. We gained a tremendous amount of feedback that we will use to create our 2018 Budget.

This video is a snapshot of the topics raised on Wednesday night.

Inspire Burlington With Moses Znaimer

The Mayor’s Inspire Burlington Series, with the President of CARP, Moses Znaimer is SOLD OUT!  We announced the event earlier this month and we’re thrilled to see that this event is one not to be missed.

Moses will share his perspective on a “New Vision of Aging for Canada”.  How baby boomers have changed in the way they age.

Our experience has shown us that even when people register to attend, they miss the event due to conflicts.  We will initiate a stand-by line for walk-ins and try our best to accommodate everyone.

Downtown Mobility Hub Draft Plan

Last month, our city staff unveiled the Downtown Mobility Hub draft New Precinct Plan and Policy Framework to members of the council.

The new Draft Precinct Plan was produced after extensive consultation with the community.  It proposes dedicating 49% of our downtown for public use and establishes where mid-rise and tall buildings should be located.

I encourage you to take a look and let me know what you think.  You can watch the entire presentation HERE or read about it HERE.

Burlington Matters Back For Another Season

 

Another season of Burlington Matters is back on Your TV (Formally TV Cogeco).

I was in the studio last week taping the season premiere.

Our first episode focuses on the Draft New Precinct Plan for Downtown Mobility Hub. Mary Lou Tanner, Director of Planning and Building and Rosa Bustamante, Manager of Mobility Hubs joined me on the show and we had a great discussion on the future of our beautiful Downtown.
Burlington Matters repeats throughout the week and you can find the full
schedule here.Tune in on Cable 23 or HD Cable 700. To suggest an episode topic, please email mayor@burlington.ca 

Live with Kelly from Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

I had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Kelly Childs, the owner of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe on Brant Street, to discuss something more personal.
I was invited to go LIVE on Kelly’s Facebook page to discuss the importance of mindfulness and the benefits of meditation. Not many of you know that I meditate on a regular basis. It allows me to pause from my very busy schedule to regroup and focus.
Thank you to Kelly and the team for a great start to my morning last week. You can watch the interview here.

Travel To Apeldoorn Netherlands!

This is a rare opportunity! Travel to Burlington’s twin city Apeldoorn Netherlands and stay with local families while you explore Amsterdam with Burlington’s Mundialization Citizen Committee! This is the best way to experience Dutch hospitality and culture.

You can learn more about the trip at upcoming information sessions or call 905-335-7600 ext. 7855 or email mundialization@burlington.ca

September 2017 Progress Report

Media Shines Spotlight on Burlington

CBC’s “The Current”

CBC’s “The Current” host Anna Maria Tremonti and producer Kristin Nelson, spent the day in Burlington to talk about how our city is adapting to climate change after being hammered by the flood of 2014.
The show features residents of Burlington and Blair Feltmate from Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation.  The episode came together exceptionally well. You can listen to it here.

Metro Morning

The producer of Metro Morning with Matt Galloway contacted my office because they were so intrigued by our Official Plan“Grow Bold”.
Especially the idea that the City of Burlington won’t build another single family home again. We’re building up, not out.  Listen to the full interview here.

 Reality on Transit

At the last Committee of the Whole Workshop, city council received news that our Transit department is operating at a level that will not meet future growth. Simply put, we haven’t made the investment needed to keep up.
Our service lacked reliability. Our maintenance team was unable to keep up with demands. Our transit staff and drivers continue to go above and beyond despite the lack of funding.
The message is loud and clear. We need significant investments in our Transit department to support a key pillar of our Strategic Plan. A City that Moves.
A report will be coming out ahead of budget schedule on how we can stabilize our system, and we’re taking this opportunity to review our entire Transit operations to make sure it meets the needs of current and future residents.

Mobility Hubs

We continue to collect public opinion on the four Mobility Hubs planned across Burlington. DowntownAldershot GOBurlington GO and Appleby GO.
I’ve attended many public meetings to listen to what residents have to say.
What do they think of the proposed concepts? Likes? Dislikes? There are a range of opinions dependent on a number of factors. Our younger residents are very supportive of more urban development while older residents prefer more traditional suburban development.
The next step on Downtown Mobility Hub is the Committee of the Whole workshop with the city council that will feature a presentation by our staff. That meeting is Thursday, September 28th at 1 pm.
I also encourage you to attend the Appleby Go Mobility Hub Concepts Public Open House on Wednesday October 11th at the Appleby Ice Centre.
No matter where you stand on the issue, your opinion is being heard and considered.

Waterfront Hotel Planning Study

On Thursday, September 14th, two community workshops were held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.
The public had the chance to study the preferred concepts for the site followed by small group discussions.
At these meetings, an emerging preferred concept was introduced along with the three original concepts used for the public survey. You can view the presentation here.
We are asking Burlington residents to continue engaging with us through this process. This is your city, your waterfront and your opinions matter. Staff will be delivering their recommendations in November. Stay tuned!

We Are An Engaging City

This is a proud moment for the City of Burlington. We have been named the Organization of the Year for being An Engaging City!
The award was handed out this month byInternational Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and it recognizes our mandate to consult and engage with residents in all matters. As one judge put it “Employees now ask how to engage — not whether”
Congratulations to the city staff, my colleagues on council and to the residents of Burlington!

Milton Logistics Hub Consultation

Canadian National Railway(CN) has chosen Milton as their preferred location to build a new logistics hub.
Currently, they are undergoing an environmental assessment to assess the project’s potential environmental and socio-economic effects.
From September 18 to October 31, CN will be consulting with Halton Region residents about the proposed mitigation measures to reduce the effects of the Milton Logistics Hub on communities and the environment. Further information about the proposed Project and the fall consultation period is available at cnmilton.ca.

Love My Hood Block Party

Have you hosted your Love My Hood event this summer?
My neighbourhood had ours this month, and it was fantastic! Our organizer Mary managed to pull out all the stops.
We collected over 3800 canned goods for the Burlington Food Bank. Our goal was 2500. They estimated that our donation was worth over $10,000!  Thank you Fortinos for giving us a head start on donations.
I also wan to thank Dairy Queen, The Coop Wicked Chicken, Turtle Jacks and Frat’s Cucina who donate their time and food for the event.

What’s Happening Burlington?

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.
The next found of committee meetings begin on Monday September 25th.

First day of fall arrived Sept. 22! As we welcome fall, another round of great festivals and events are in the works! Take a look at our calendar for all the events in your area.

May 2017 Progress Report

Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

Burlington City Council – Monday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Monday, June 26 at 1 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Tuesday, June 27 at 1 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Workshop – Thursday, June 29 at 1 p.m.

City Hall closure for Canada Day – Monday, July 3

 Airpark Update

The City of Burlington was disappointed in the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision on May 24 to allow an appeal by Burlington Airpark Inc. of the Superior Court of Justice’s order from June 30, 2016. The Superior Court of Justice’s order would have required Burlington Airpark Inc. to obtain a site alteration permit for the fill it had deposited on the Airpark site since 2008.

City staff and legal counsel will be reviewing the decision in detail and working with City Council to determine how the city will proceed forward in this matter.

In the meantime, the city will continue to use its regulatory authority, bylaw 64-2014, to require a site alteration permit for any new fill proposed to be deposited at the Airpark site. Burlington will also continue to work with its partner agencies—including Halton Region, Conservation Halton and the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change—on regulatory matters related to the deposit of fill at the Airpark site.

To learn more about the City of Burlington’s position on the Airpark, visit www.burlington.ca/airpark.

Proposed Downtown Development at 421-431 Brant Street

Approximately 100 people attended the neighbourhood meeting about the proposed mixed-use development in downtown Burlington. The proposal is for a 27-storey, 183-unit apartment building, located at 421-431 Brant St. on the northeast corner across the street from city hall.

City staff will be proceeding with a recommendation on this application In October this year, once the land-use scenario for Burlington’s downtown Mobility Hub Plan goes to Burlington City Council in September.

To learn more about my thoughts on this proposed development, please see my January/February newsletter. Read more here.

If you have feedback about this proposal, email Planner Kyle Plas at kyle.plas@burlington.ca. Please copy me at mayor@burlington.ca.

Meridian Brick to Present Final Studies in Fall 2017

Meridian Brick hosted a public meeting on Thursday, May 25 to provide an update on its planned expansion of the quarry near Westhaven Drive in the Tyandaga neighbourhood. At the meeting, Meridian presented studies for air quality and health, at-risk species, archeological and noise control. These are preliminary findings. Meridian will continue their studies into the summer and fall. The final findings from the company’s studies will be presented to the public later this year.

To learn more about the Meridian community meeting, visit www.aldershotquarry.ca.

LED Streetlights to Result in Significant Energy Savings for the City

If approved by Burlington City Council at its meeting on Monday, June 12, the project to convert the city’s high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlight fixtures to light emitting diode (LED) technology would begin in 2017 with a goal to switch 50 per cent of the streetlights by Dec. 31, 2017. This is approximately 7000 units. The remainder of the LED streetlights would be completed by the end of 2018.On May 30, staff brought forward a report (TS-03-17) requesting Council approval to single source purchase the supply and installation of LED streetlights to Burlington Hydro. Converting to LED streetlights has become increasingly common in many municipalities as a reliable and energy saving alternative.

The opportunity to partner with Burlington Hydro would results in significant benefits to the city, including:

  • A significant reduction in energy consumption – as the city’s energy services and power distribution company, Burlington Hydro is committed to meeting industry-related energy conservation targets and the LED Streetlight Replacement program represents a significant portion of the total goal.
  • A significant cost savings – Based on preliminary assumptions including the estimated cost of conversion, debt financing and energy rate changes, the estimated annual energy and maintenance savings to be achieved at full conversion is approximately $900,000.
  • A short conversion time – if approved by Council work would start in July 2017.
  • Better Quality Lighting – More even and efficient distribution of light and better quality of light resulting in increased safety

Expenses for the conversion project work in 2017 would be incurred by Burlington Hydro until the funds for the project are approved as part of the 2018 Capital Budget. At this time, all expenses would be reimbursed to Burlington Hydro.

I will be supporting this report and commend staff for identifying the opportunity to partner with Burlington Hydro. The project will help achieve one of the city’s key directions in Burlington’s Strategic Plan, A Healthy and Greener City as well as the city’s corporate energy management plan, which aims to reduce energy consumption by at least 20 per cent.

Burlington’s New Innovation Centre, TechPlace, Opens June 22

Burlington’s new innovation centre, TechPlace, will open its doors on June 22, 2017.

As first announced during my State of the City address in January this year, TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners across the public and private sectors, the new 8,600-square foot facility will provide access to space, programming, mentorship, networking and resources to help connect, develop and advance entrepreneurs at all stages. TechPlace will be home to Angel One Investor Network, one of Canada’s most active angel groups, and Haltech, Halton Region’s Regional Innovation Centre.

Congratulations to the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) for their leadership in bringing the vision for this outstanding facility to life. Approximately 40 per cent of new jobs in Canada come from companies that are less than five years old and BEDC is committed to supporting the continued growth of these companies.

TechPlace will be a physical space where companies can come together to tap into new technology, ideas, and talent to create and promote opportunities for economic growth. It is located on the 8th floor of 5500 North Service Rd. at Burloak Drive, just north of the QEW.

Registration to help celebrate the grand opening of TechPlace on June 22 is open now. Register here.

New Provincial Law Promises to Give Communities a Stronger Voice in Local Land Use Planning Decisions

On May 16, the Provincial government announced it will introduce new legislation to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The new law, if passed, would establish the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal which would function as an appeals body for major land use planning decisions.

The announcement is significant in many respects. Currently, when a municipal government makes a decision not to approve a proposed planning development, the developer has the option to appeal this decision to the Ontario Municipal Board on the basis that the municipality did not reach the best planning decision. The final decision about a development is taken out of the hands of the municipality and made by the OMB.

With the introduction of the new legislation, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal would only be able to overturn a municipal decision only if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. In cases where the tribunal does overturn a municipality’s decision, the municipality would then be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.

I am pleased to see the proposed changes put forth by the Ontario Government and would like to thank city staff and the Association for Municipalities in Ontario for all the work they have done in helping to bring about the new legislation.

These proposed changes will restore planning decisions back to municipalities where the expertise is and where the community’s values are best known. This will be especially valuable as Burlington grows over the next 20 years in areas around our GO stations and the downtown. It will also help to reduce the length and cost of hearings and create a more level playing field for all participants.

I look forward to further details about the legislation.

Input Needed as Work on the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study Continues

Thank you to everyone who took part in the May 24 meeting to discuss their vision for the redevelopment of the waterfront site at Lakeshore Road and the foot of Brant Street, including the Waterfront Hotel located at 2020 Lakeshore Rd. More than 200 people participated in two workshops to share their thoughts and ideas about what should be located on this property as the property owner considers redeveloping the site.

As I have shared previously, I am very concerned about the impact any redevelopment in this area could have on our waterfront. I believe open space in any redevelopment option needs to be considered to ensure Burlington residents continue to enjoy access to the waterfront.

More opportunities to share your feedback about the waterfront site will take place over the summer. On July 5, residents are invited to take part in a design day where participants will be divided into small working groups to explore options for things like buildings, land use, public access and open space.

Two sessions will be held on July 5 at the Waterfront Hotel in the Blue Water Ballroom. The first session starts at 1 p.m. and the second session will be held at 6 p.m. To learn more or register in advance, visit www.burlington.ca/waterfronthotelstudy.

Talking Burlington Real Estate with CFRB Radio

On May 20, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the CFRB radio program Simply Real Estate with Todd C. Slater.

Todd and I covered a range of topics from the average price of a single detached dwelling in Burlington to how our city is going to grow over the next 20 years. Listen to the full conversation here.

Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force

On May 19, I hosted the first meeting of my Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force.

The difficult issues facing seniors in our community have been of great interest to me for some time and I hope establishing a seniors’ housing task force will help to make a difference.

I have spoken to a number of people in our community who tell me they are experiencing challenges finding seniors’ housing. I have heard this from seniors who have raised their families here and want to downsize so they can stay in their community.

The challenges shared by residents are varied, from health to financial and social inclusion needs. Often, it is a combination of a number of obstacles, frustrations and factors that affect their quality of life. Adding another level of complexity to this issue is that Burlington has a higher percentage of seniors than the provincial average.

The Task Force will meet for a one-year period and is made up of representatives from many different areas of our city including non-profits, citizen committees, seniors, developers, planners, regional housing, private sector seniors housing and healthcare.

I am both confident and excited to form a task force that will benefit from the collective expertise, experience and knowledge that each person will bring so that together, we can develop some potential solutions and improvements to the issues that seniors are challenged by.

Tune in to the next Mayor’s Town Hall on CHML

Tune in to the Bill Kelly Show on 900 CHML for my monthly appearance on the Mayor’s Town Hall. Host Bill Kelly and I discuss a wide range of news and topics related to Burlington. My next Mayor’s Town Hall is set for Thursday, June 22 from 10-11 a.m. Listen on the radio or online at http://www.900chml.com/.

Burlington Matters, Season 2, Episode 12: Faith and Community

Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring, is a community television program I host on CogecoTV. In the most recent episode, I spoke to representatives from some of Burlington’s churches to learn more the different faith-based programming that exists in the community and the many ways they give back to Burlington.

My thanks to the panel of guests that participated in this discussion, including: Rev. Dr. Orville James, Minister, Wellington Square United Church; Lisa Lunski, Director, Friday Night Community, Wellington Square United Church; Anna Kiani, Program Manager, Open Doors at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church; Steve Swartwood, Community Life Pastor, Glad Tidings Church and Rishia Burke, Research Associate, Community Development Halton.

Watch the episode here.

Burlington Matters will return for a third season in the fall. If you have a show suggestion, email my office at mayor@burlington.ca.

Improving Burlington’s Open Data Portal


This spring, the city made several improvements to its open data portal in an effort to make information even easier to access and use.

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from things like copyright and patents. At the City of Burlington, we believe it is important to provide the public access to the data that is produced, collected, and used by departments across the city.  Information about parks, parking lots and the city’s budget is just some of what can be found on the open data portal.

Included in the recent improvements are:

  • A simpler, easier-to-use user interface
  • Open data sets sorted by categories
  • Updated GIS datasets with current information
  • Visualization tools to better understand the data before it is downloaded
  • New datasets including WiFi, vacant land and fire station locations.

The city views open data as an effective way to increase citizen engagement and increase transparency. There are many people who can do amazing things with the data provided including developing new applications that we can all benefit from.

Visit the open data portal at www.burlington.ca/opendata.

 

 

April 2017 Progress Report

Mayor Rick Goldring recently spent a morning learning more about city tree maintenance programs with Barbara Rabicki, Manager of Forestry Operations with the City of Burlington, and a team of forestry staff.

 

Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

Committee of the Whole – Monday, May 1 at 1 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Tuesday, May 2 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Workshop – Thursday, May 4 at 1 p.m.

Burlington City Council – Monday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Monday, May 29 at 1 p.m. and/or 6:30 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Tuesday, May 30 at 1 p.m. and/or 6:30 p.m. Continue reading