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.

Help us prevent hazardous spills in our storm water system

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This week’s fuel spill in Shoreacres Creek and resultant death of two Mute Swans is disturbing, to say the least.

The City of Burlington is continuing to monitor the creek following cleanup activities over the past few days due to a fuel spill south of Spruce Avenue, between Shoreacres Road and Goodram Drive.

The source of the spill is suspected to be a catch basin on Spruce Avenue where the substance was dumped. The toxic fuel then travelled to Shoreacres Creek and downstream towards Lake Ontario

Based on observations from our staff, it is believed the substance was diesel fuel.

Although staff estimates it was only one to two litres that were emptied into the creek, the outcome was deadly for local wildlife.

Burlington Animal Services removed three Mute Swans in distress on Wednesday, April 8. The animals were taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation. Two of three swans have died.

The Ministry of Environment’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch division is responsible for investigating alleged environmental infractions. Prosecutions can result in fines, court orders and probation or jail terms.

Residents with information related to this incident can call the Ministry of Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060. More information about reporting spills to the Ministry of Environment is available at http://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/report-spill.

Burlington residents with household hazardous waste (such as paint, fuel and motor oil) for disposal can drop it off, free of charge, at the Halton Waste Management Site, located at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton, Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not using storm water drains as dumping sites for hazardous waste. Our storm water system is linked to our creeks, which ultimately connect with Lake Ontario. This body of water is our drinking water source, a habitat for aquatic life and a key part of Burlington’s ecosystem. Let’s work together to keep our city green and safe for both humans and wildlife.

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Breaking ground for the final phase of Joseph Brant Hospital

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Video courtesy of Joseph Brant Hospital.

Yesterday’s groundbreaking at Joseph Brant Hospital marks a pivotal moment in health care in Burlington.

When construction is complete in 2018, Joseph Brant Hospital will feature 172 acute inpatient beds in the patient tower, a new emergency department, a larger cancer clinic, nine new operating rooms, expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services, and much more.hospitalcropped

Joseph Brant Hospital currently treats more than 250,000 patients each year. It opened its doors in 1961, but hasn’t had a major renovation since 1971.

This project is a much-needed shot in the arm for our community. The City of Burlington is proud to have committed $60 million for this project.

I want to thank the provincial government for their significant investment in our community. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health, announced yesterday the province’s commitment of $371 million for the project.shovellargegroup

I also want to commend the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation for raising $42 million of its $60 million contribution, which includes the significant $11 million donation from philanthropist and community builder, Michael Lee-Chin.

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Finding the right balance in the Roseland Character Area Study

An aerial view of Roseland.

An aerial view of Roseland.

The Roseland Character Area Study is nearing its completion, with the fourth public consultation meeting held last night.

The city’s planning staff has outlined a list of proposed changes to the city’s Official Plan and zoning bylaw for the neighbourhood of Roseland, which consists of approximately 115 acres and 300 dwellings.

The five proposed changes listed in a brief prepared by city staff on the Character Area Study for Roseland and Indian Point include:

  • Develop Official Plan policies to protect and manage development in Character Areas.
  • Prepare amendments to the Zoning By-law for Roseland and Indian Point to reflect the existing housing stock.
  • Maintain the Site Plan Control By-law for Character Areas.
  • Develop an Urban Design Brief to evaluate Site Plan, Minor Variance and Consent applications in Character Areas.
  • Co-ordinate opportunities to plant trees on public rights-of-way as part of the Urban Forestry Management Plan.

Further details of proposed amendments within each of these five changes encompassing such aspects as setbacks, building height and lot coverage are outlined in the brief.

I know Roseland well. I grew up in the neighbourhood, so I have firsthand knowledge of its unique status and character as one of our oldest communities within Burlington. I know the people living in this neighbourhood want to preserve its uniqueness and charm.

My desired outcome of the Character Area Study is to provide the city’s planning staff with additional considerations when assessing the merits of applications for development from homeowners and developers in Roseland.

Last night, I heard from residents that the proposed directions do not go far enough compared to what was suggested in the consultant’s report. I heard the request for staff to reconsider legacy zoning. I heard the concerns about clearing vegetation and houses from lots before making applications to sever. I heard the request for a private tree bylaw – even if it starts out as a pilot project in the Roseland neighbourhood.

I have long believed a private tree bylaw would help control tree removal.

Unfortunately, there was not enough support from city council in 2013 for moving forward with a bylaw. Only I and a another member of council supported a staff direction in 2013 asking for options for a private tree bylaw. I look forward to a renewed discussion on this topic in the coming weeks.

Our planning staff also heard you last night and will be considering your suggestions.

As I stated last night, I believe our building and planning staff have been diligent throughout the process to find the best solution. It is not easy to create a balance between the need for growth and the community’s desire to stay the same. It may not be possible to arrive at a balance that satisfies everyone in the community – difficult choices will have to be made.

Staff will consider community feedback as they prepare the final report, which is expected to go to the Development and Infrastructure Committee in late March or early April.

At that time, it is ultimately up to city council to approve, modify or refuse the study recommendations.

In regards to the Indian Point study, our staff is continuing to communicate with the community about its preferred options. I have heard there is a strong will from the majority of residents in that neighbourhood to maintain the current Official Plan and zoning bylaw.

Written comments on the Character Area Study can be emailed to planner Rosa Bustamante at rosa.bustamante@burlington.ca by Monday, February 9. I welcome to you also share your thoughts and feedback with me at mayor@burlington.ca.

More details can be found on the city’s Character Area Study webpage.

 

Taking a stand against a 28-storey development on Martha Street

When I first learned of the application from Adi Development Group for a 28-storey mixed use building at the corner of Martha Street and Lakeshore Road, I was disappointed.

City staff and council have generally had a good working relationship with developers in our community. This respectful relationship has resulted in what I believe is a thoughtful and well-planned downtown core as we work to obtain growth targets set by the province.

This latest proposal came out of left field and took us by surprise.

The neighbouring community and a number of residents in the downtown core and across the city have united in saying ‘No’ to 28 storeys.

The argument that a 28-story building is inappropriate has been made clearly in correspondence to the city, at the nieghbourhood meeting held in the fall and again at last night’s public meeting at the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting.

I support that message wholeheartedly.

Council chambers were at capacity last night, with approximately 15 delegations that lasted two and a half hours.

The message was clear – we don’t want a 28-storey building downtown.

Residents expressed a long list of concerns at last night’s meeting, among which were the disregard for the Official Plan, environmental impact, emergency vehicle access, traffic on Martha Street and Lakeshore Road, pedestrian safety with the high number of seniors living in the neighbourhood, compatibility, precedent, parking, design and scale.

I appreciated hearing from many of the delegates the acceptance to have the site redeveloped. There were a number of different ideas about what height would be acceptable.

The proposal calls for a building with 226 residential units, three levels of above-ground parking, retail space on the main floor along Lakeshore Road and five levels of underground parking.

The mixed-use development proposed by Adi Development Group requires Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments. The site’s current height designation is four storeys, with a provision in the Official Plan to go up to eight storeys with community benefits.

The tallest building approved to date is the upcoming Bridgewater development, at 22 storeys, on Lakeshore Road at the base of Pearl Street. This was already identified in our Official Plan as the landmark building in downtown Burlington.

Yes, we have to intensify, but not at any cost.

City staff is expected to bring back a staff report and recommendation in March.

It is my hope the developer will work with staff before that time to propose a more appropriate development for that site.