Committee and Council Meetings
Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in February, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.
Council News in Brief
As a way to further engage the community in our conversation about great city-building and keep you informed of the latest news at City Hall, I am posting highlights from committee and council meetings on my blog at www.burlingtonmayor.com. Highlights will be posted within a day or two of committee and council meetings on my blog. Please check back regularly to stay up to date. Here are the latest committee and council news items in brief for February:
Public Art Program projects for 2016-2017
Committee approved a number of recommendations related to Public Art Program Projects for 2016-2017, including: $75,000 for the Integrated Public Art Project – Cultural Nodes; $35,000 for the Burlington Mural Program – Local Artist Development Project; and $30,000 for the Park Entrance Program – Local Artist Development Project. The total amount of $140,000 will see a total of five artworks commissioned. Funding for these projects comes from the Public Art Reserve Fund. Approved by City Council on Feb. 29, 2016.
Update on development applications for 374 Martha Street
Committee approved staff’s recommendation to oppose amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law at the Ontario Municipal Board for a development proposal at 374 Martha Street. In September 2014, applications were submitted for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments for a proposed 28-storey, 226-unit mixed-use building at 374 Martha Street. Last fall, a revised application was submitted to the city for a 26-storey, 192-unit mixed-use building. The Ontario Municipal Board hearing is scheduled to start March 14, 2016.
Public meeting and information report: 4853 Thomas Alton Boulevard
A public meeting was held for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments for 691 residential units consisting of 12 back-to-back townhouse units, 21 traditional townhouse units, 160 stacked townhouse units and 498 apartment units in two 19-storey apartment towers at 4853 Thomas Alton Boulevard. A report with recommendations on this project is expected to come back to the Community and Corporate Services Committee at a future date.
Bike lanes on New Street from Martha Street to Cumberland Avenue
Mayor Rick Goldring introduced a staff direction that was approved by committee that staff report back at the next committee meeting on March 22, 2016 around options for separated bike lanes, on-road bike lanes, cycling tracks, using the boulevard and widening the road on the stretch of New Street from Martha Street to Cumberland Avenue. This stretch of street is scheduled for rehabilitation by the City and Region, providing opportunities for cycling improvements. Read the mayor’s blog post about his staff direction. Staff direction approved by City Council on Feb. 29, 2016.
Community Energy Feasibility Study
Proceeding with phase two of the Community Energy Feasibility Study was approved by committee. The study is looking at opportunities for more efficient and sustainable local generation of thermal energy with electrical generation. A report will come back to the Development and Infrastructure Committee with the results by the fourth quarter of 2016. The study aligns with the City’s goal of increasing sustainable local energy generation in Burlington, as outlined in the City of Burlington’s Community Energy Plan. Approved by City Council on Feb. 29, 2016.
Report endorsing recommendations on Shoreacres Character Study
Recommendations related to the Shoreacres Character Study went before committee. The Character Area Study for Shoreacres started in February 2015. Committee endorsed, in principle, staff’s recommendations that came from the Shoreacres study aimed at assisting with managing change in that community. Recommendations approved, in principle, by City Council on Feb. 29, 2016. The next step in the process is further community consultation.
Report endorsing recommendations on Indian Point and Roseland Character Studies
Staff recommendations outlined in a report on the Indian Point and Roseland Character Area Studies were also endorsed, in principle, by committee. The Character Area Study for these two neighbourhoods formally started in January 2013. The purpose of the study was to identify and define the character area components of Roseland and Indian Point and to develop policy and implementation tools to manage neighbourhood change. Recommendations approved, in principle, by City Council on Feb. 29, 2016. The next step in the process is further community consultation.
Public meeting and information report: 1120 Burloak Drive
A public meeting was held for a Zoning By-Law amendment for a six-storey Courtyard Marriott hotel built on site behind the existing one-storey convention centre at 1120 Burloak Drive. A report with recommendations on this project is expected to come back to the Development and Infrastructure Committee at a future date.
The City Clerk’s department provides the complete documentation of meetings, including minutes and webcasts.
Noted Urban Planner Brent Toderian comes to Burlington
What kind of city are we building?
Noted urban planner Brent Toderian came to Burlington the second week of February to work with city staff, council and connect with the public at my Inspire Burlington event to help answer that very question.
Brent is the former city planner for the City of Vancouver who is now an independent consultant with his company ToderianURBANWORKS. He works with cities around the globe on great city-building, and is a respected columnist and urban thinker.
Brent spent several days in Burlington meeting with our Planning, Building and Development leadership teams on what makes a great planning department, connecting with all staff who work on growth and development on breaking down silos, meeting with the senior leadership of the City on city-building, and engaging with the Burlington Economic Development Corporation on employment and the new economy.
Brent had a number of new ideas and observations about Burlington that he shared publicly throughout the week, among which included:
- The City of Burlington’s new Strategic Plan 2015-2040 is one of the best he has seen from a municipality.
- Good city-building can be obtained with a mix of development featuring low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise buildings.
- Burlington is having an emotional conversation about height at worst and a mathematical conversation about height at best. Brent says the city should be focused on design, not the number of floors. The variable, he notes, is design not height.
- The City of Burlington should cultivate a culture of design excellence. We need to go from Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) to Quality In My Back Yard (QIMBY).
- The City of Burlington should be having a higher level of conversation with the community about city-building. This involves new and interesting forms of public engagement on the topic of how we move forward as a community to foster a great Burlington. Brent notes I have been conducting strong community engagement on great city-building through my Inspire Burlington series and my many public speaking engagements and media opportunities like newspaper columns, radio appearances and community television show.
- The Official Plan Review the City of Burlington is embarking on in 2016/2017 is not a tweak. Brent says it is an opportunity for a rethink and is a powerful opportunity for change, with a focus on different sets of numbers, such as land economics.
- The city needs to focus on land use and transportation together. Planning for the car has a 40 to 50 year head start in Burlington. We need to prioritize cycling, walking and transit if we want to catch up. In urban places, balancing cars with other forms of transportation is not good enough, considering this deficit, he noted.
- Burlington has to answer the question about the purpose of public transit (buses). The new location, location, location is transit, transit, transit, according to Brent. The market is looking for transit. It’s a low hanging fruit, he says. There is great opportunity with public transit and our mobility hubs (Burlington, Appleby and Aldershot GO stations).
- There are significant opportunities around cycling infrastructure. The focus should be on developing a system of separated lanes on major routes that connect people to meaningful locations, Brent says.
- It is not possible to say: “I don’t want Burlington to change. No more growth.” Burlington will change. The question is whether we will be proactive or reactive to change. Do we want to be proactive and city-build a great community? Brent notes in cities where there are no-growth city councils driven by elected officials opposed to change, schools are closing, housing prices are skyrocketing, and young people and seniors looking to downsize are not staying. Shops are closing. Tax revenue streams are low. Do we want to proactively city-build a great Burlington?
Burlington is a great city, but as I have always said, we cannot rest on our laurels. Brent gave council and staff a lot of food for thought. We are at a pivotal moment in our city’s history where we need to choose how we move forward. We are not going to sprawl out, but rather focus on responsible growth in key areas. I want to ensure we have a clear, focused plan around responsible growth, meaningful improvements in alternative transportation modes (especially transit), commitment to green initiatives that keep our environment and residents healthy, and as importantly, ongoing and meaningful communication with the community every step of the way to ensure we are on the same page. It is only together that we can actively city-build an even better Burlington.
I am a proud supporter of Burlington. I was raised here, started a family and business here, and am now privileged to be our city’s mayor. I want to continue fostering a Burlington that we are proud to call home. Let’s work together to build a great city.
Great City-Building and Bike Lanes
At the Feb. 17, 2016 Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting, I was pleased to be supported by four of my colleagues on a staff direction to research bike lane options as the City and Region move forward with a $10 million street rehabilitation project in the New Street-Drury Lane area and additional streets.
I asked staff to report back at the next committee meeting on March 22, 2016 around options for separated bike lanes, on-road bike lanes, cycling tracks, using the boulevard and widening the road on the stretch of New Street from Martha Street to Cumberland Avenue.
A representative of the Burlington Cycling Committee spoke at the committee meeting in support of improved bike lanes on that section of New Street, advocating for separated bike lanes, in particular.
The report that sparked this staff direction was the recommendation to approve a tender award for water main and wastewater main replacement, along with asphalt resurfacing or replacement, and curb and sidewalk replacement, as needed, for the New Street and Drury Area, as well as a number of other streets.
The report on the roadwork states that the finished project will result in an on-road painted bike lane on the north side and sharrows (arrows painted on the road with a bicycle graphic) on the south side of New Street.
City council approved the staff direction on Feb. 29, 2016. We look forward to seeing the bike lane options from staff in the coming weeks in advance of the March 22 meeting. I will be sharing these on my blog and social media, so stay connected for updates.
Why do we want to consider better bike lanes on New Street from Martha Street to Cumberland Avenue?
- Halton Region recently released an Active Transportation Health report, which was discussed at Halton Region’s health and social services committee meeting on Feb. 8, 2016. The report states: “While the percentage of residents that were inactive during their leisure time was slightly lower in Halton, compared to Ontario (46 per cent), there is still room for improvement.” The report recommends using active transportation, including cycling, to improve health. (Read the full article: Halton residents aren’t getting enough physical activity: Halton report)
- In an article written by Vancouver-based city planner Brent Toderian – who spent the last week working with council, staff and the community on great city-building – he points out University of British Columbia Public Health research that shows painted bike-lanes reduce the risk of accidents by 50%, and separated bike-lanes reduce the risk by 90%. (Read the full article: Enough with Bikes vs Cars – It’s about Better Cities!)
- Brent Toderian also notes: “We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities, and it starts with this — it’s not about loving your bike. It’s about loving what biking does for cities. If more cars make cities worse, the opposite is true for bikes. Expanding urban biking through separated bike-lanes is about making better, fiscally smarter, healthier, more flexible and resilient cities. Bikes are hardly a silver bullet, but they can be a big part of better city-making.”
- Based on applications received to date for my Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee, applicants are saying they want better bike lanes in Burlington. We want millennials – those born in the 1980s and 1990s – to stay in Burlington. We also want them to choose to move to Burlington from other cities. With more and more young people choosing not to own a car, they will choose to live – and work – in a city where there is a commitment by staff and elected officials to cycling infrastructure. This is noteworthy as both economic development and attracting and retaining young people are priorities outlined in our new Strategic Plan.
- Ninety per cent of all trips made on a weekday within our city – which number more than 260,000 – are made by automobile. Furthermore, 50 per cent of these trips are five kilometres or less. Walkable trips are considered to be two kilometres or less. Bikable trips are considered to be within the two to five kilometre range.
- 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Burlington are from transportation including automobiles.
The City of Burlington needs to take a good look at developing a network of separated bike lanes that start and stop at meaningful places.
We have to start somewhere. Why not look at this possibility on the portion New Street, which is an ideal east-west connector street in south Burlington, when roadwork is already scheduled? This portion of the street links to the Burlington Public Library Central Branch, Central Park, Music Centre, Seniors’ Centre and Central Arena.
In the meantime, I will also be connecting with our local elected officials at the provincial and federal levels around possible funding opportunities.
Brent Toderian said great city-building takes three things: Vision, will and skill.
I believe we have all three.
I encourage you to share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak at the March 22, 2016 meeting when the bike lane options are considered by committee.
Here’s how to register to speak at the meeting.
Engaged, Informed and Connected through Social Media
As a way to further connect and engage with our community, I have number of different social media accounts that are updated frequently. Please follow me at these accounts to keep up to date with news and information from City Hall and the community:
Instagram (NEW) https://www.instagram.com/rickgoldring/
Make A Request of 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.
Mayor Goldring Invites Applications for Millennial Committee
Applications are invited for Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee.
The committee will lead projects focused on how to keep and attract residents aged 18 to 35 in Burlington.
I have heard from a number of younger residents, from students to professionals, that they want to be more engaged with their city in a meaningful way. This initiative also links to our new Strategic Plan, with a more engaged Burlington that has a higher number of youth and young families.
Applicants must be between ages 18-35 and live and/or work in Burlington.
To apply, please email email@example.com with the following information by Monday, March 7, 2016. Please note incomplete applications will not be considered.
- 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.
Committee members will serve a term of one year starting April 2016. The committee will meet the second Thursday of each month from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at rotating city facilities across Burlington.
Applicants will be selected based on their written submissions by a panel of staff in the mayor’s office. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a friendly reminder in light of this week’s snowstorm, the city provides regular snow control updates on its website during significant winter storms.
More information, including the levels of service for road and sidewalk snow clearing operations, can be found at www.burlington.ca/snow.
To report an area that has not been plowed, please contact Roads and Park Maintenance at 905-333-6166 or by email at email@example.com. Roads and Parks Maintenance asks residents to wait 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling before calling to let them know if a street has not been plowed.
Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund
The heart and essence of Burlington is our neighbourhood and communities. It’s about people and places and how they work in partnership to make great places to live and play. We’ve created the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund to inspire Burlington residents to actively champion small projects in our community to improve, build and strengthen Burlington and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Bringing neighbourhoods and communities together to make new connections and create a sense of belonging is just as important as the project itself. Learn more about the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund: www.burlington.ca/matchingfund. Application deadline: April 29, 2016. Announcements of successful applications: June 2016.
The City of Burlington is reminding residents about steps they can take to reduce the risk of conflict with coyotes in the winter months when the animals may be more visible.
Coyotes tend to be more visible at this time of year because they are looking for food and a mate which means they can be more active during the day, according to Tracey Burrows, the city’s manager of bylaw enforcement, licensing and animal services. She says the increased visibility provides a good opportunity to remind residents there are things we can all do to help ensure coyotes remain wild animals and wary of humans.
Residents can prevent coyotes from visiting their properties by following some simple precautions:
- Remove bird feeders which attract rodents, one of the coyote’s main food sources
- Store garbage, compost and pet food securely, in a place coyotes cannot access
- Install flashing lights, motion sensors and/or noise makers outside your property
- Ensure spaces around/under decks and sheds are closed off.
- The city also reminds pet owners to keep their dogs on leash at all times when walking in city parks or green spaces and to keep cats indoors.
Coyotes are very timid animals that prefer to avoid humans but they may put on warning displays if they perceive a threat to their territory, says Dave Lake, the city’s supervisor of animal services. He noted, for this reason, he would caution dog owners to keep their pets on leash at all times.
What to do if you see a coyote
If you see a coyote, keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you. If a coyote approaches:
- Stop. Pick up small children and pets
- Stand still
- Make yourself appear larger by waving your hands in the air
- Make noise by shouting “GO AWAY,” clapping your hands or blowing a whistle
- Use hazing techniques, such as popping open an umbrella, shaking your keys or throwing an object near the coyote
- Slowly back away. Never run from, or turn your back on, a coyote
If you see an aggressive, sick or injured coyote, call 905-335-3030. For all other coyote sightings, report it online.
If a coyote poses an immediate threat or risk to public safety, call 911 and alert Halton Regional Police.
Last month, I had a request from a reader to include an update in my newsletter about a development called the Saxony, which is located across the street from City Hall at 452 Locust St.
The proposed development is for a four-storey, mixed-use building consisting of 37 condominium apartments, 255 m2 of retail space and 190 m2 of office space with two levels of underground parking.
A neighbourhood meeting was held in January. The development does not require council approval as it meets the existing zoning bylaw and Official Plan designations. The project will be going to the Committee of Adjustment at a yet-to-be determined date for minor variances.
I would encourage all developers looking to build in our community to connect with me personally about their proposal to ensure we can work together to create the best outcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting.
Webpage to Assist Syrian Refugees in Burlington and Halton
An online database, www.burlingtonactionsyria.recovers.org, established by the City of Burlington to assist with Syrian refugee efforts, is helping local groups secure the people and resources they need to support refugee families coming to Burlington.
We have heard from a number of organizations across the city that www.burlingtonactionsyria.recovers.org has been an extremely valuable resource in gathering the skills and supplies they need for sponsored families. With 115 volunteers and over 140 donations listed on the site, groups can find everything from translation and accounting services to furniture, toys and appliances.
Private sponsorship group, Holy Cross Helps (www.holycrosshelps.com), recently welcomed a family of five from Syria to Burlington.
“We owe a lot of our success as a sponsorship group to the online database and generosity of the people of Burlington,” said Bill Kuehnbaum, chair of Holy Cross Helps, told the City. “We have 25 members on our sponsorship team and two thirds of these were found through the www.burlingtonactionsyria.recovers.org website. The site helps to connect people who have the time, passion and resources and want to make a difference in the life of a family.”
Groups and individuals can register at www.burlingtonactionsyria.recovers.org to look for help, donate or volunteer.
City Thanks Residents for Input in Strategic Plan
Thousands of people from across the city have been part of the draft of Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040 and have provided comments to help create the final version, which will be ready in March.
I want to say a sincere thank you to all the people who met with city staff, completed an online survey, travelled to one of the city’s recreation centres to participate in a workshop, were part of a focus group, or posted comments on the city’s Facebook page. Together, we are shaping Burlington’s future.
The draft strategic plan is the result of a year of engaging with the community. The next draft of the plan will go to the city’s Community and Corporate Services Committee meeting for discussion and direction on March 21 and to City Council for approval on April 11.
The amount of feedback has been incredible—almost overwhelming, according to City Manager James Ridge. He notes we have over 100 pages of notes from our community consultations, all of it thoughtful and constructive input.
Looking to learn more? Watch the Strategic Plan video below. For more information, please visit www.burlington.ca/strategicplan.
Staying in Touch – CHML Mayors’ Town Hall
Many readers will be aware that I am a regular guest on the Bill Kelly Show on 900 CHML for The Mayor’s Town Hall once a month from 10-11 a.m. We discuss a wide range of issues affecting Burlington after which I respond to phone calls from the listeners. Previous programs are available in podcast on the CHML website at http://www.900chml.com/. I encourage you to tune in and to call with your questions and comments at the next Mayor’s Town Hall on March 17.
Government of Canada Hiring for Census
Canada’s next census will take place in May 2016 and Statistics Canada is hiring approximately 35,000 employees across the country to work on the collection phase of the 2016 Census.
Staff is required for a variety of supervisory and non-supervisory positions between March and the end of July 2016. These non-office jobs will involve working in neighbourhoods and communities across all urban, rural and remote areas of the country.
Approximately 5,000 Crew Leaders and assistants will be hired to train, lead and supervise a team of Enumerators, while an estimated 30,000 Enumerators will be hired to distribute census questionnaires, conduct in-person interviews and follow-up with respondents in person and by phone.
The rates of pay range from $16.31 to $19.91 an hour, plus authorized expenses. Screening of applications will begin in mid-February.
Applicants must be:
- 18 years of age or older prior to start of duties
- a Canadian citizen or otherwise eligible to work in Canada
- able to commit to at least 20 hours per week, including days, evenings, weekends and holidays, as required.
Apply online at www.census.gc.ca/jobs.
Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring
Please tune in as I lead a discussion with a panel of community leaders about current news and events in the city of Burlington on my new community television program, Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring.
The show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. on TVCogeco Cable 23/HD Cable 700.
The first 10 episodes of Burlington Matters are now available online, featuring a wide variety of topics, such as economic development, federal-municipal relationships with our new Members of Parliament, environmental sustainability, and more. Stay connected with your community. To view past episodes, visit: http://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Burlington-Matters.asp.
Metrolinx Community Meeting
Metrolinx and Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon are hosting a community meeting to discuss provincial transit projects in Burlington and the Halton Region.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Robert Bateman High School, 5151 New St. Projects to be discussed include:
- Electrification of the GO Rail Network: Electrification of Metrolinx-owned rail corridors aimed at more frequent and faster train service.
- New Stations on the GO Rail Network: Today 64 GO train stations serve thousands of customers and six more are underway. Metrolinx is looking at adding more stations.
- Integrated Transit Fares: Metrolinx is working towards making crossing municipal boundaries and switching between transit systems easier.
- Regional Transportation Plan Review: Metrolinx is launching the formal review process for the Regional Transportation Plan, which guides the work being done to transform the transportation network in the GTHA.
If you are unable to attend, learn more about these projects and submit your feedback online at metrolinxengage.com.
Upcoming Event – Open Door Session with Mayor Goldring
I invite the community to connect with me at my next Open Door Session on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m.-noon at Haber Recreation Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive.
Please email to reserve a time, or drop by, to share your ideas and comments about Burlington. For more information, please contact the Office of the Mayor at 905-335-7607 or email email@example.com.
March Break Activities in Burlington
The City of Burlington offers great school break programs for children and youth of all ages and abilities. For a list of drop-in programs and camps, as well as skating and swimming schedules, please visit https://www.burlington.ca/en/live-and-play/School-Break.asp. The Burlington Public Library also has a week of activities at their various branches across the city. To learn more about library activities, visit http://www.bpl.on.ca/. Burlington Museums also offers special March Break programming. Visit them at https://museumsofburlington.com/.
Faces of Burlington
Year-round, I am pleased to recognize outstanding Burlington citizens and groups who give back to our community. As a way to further celebrate their contributions, I will highlight some of these many outstanding residents and community groups in my monthly newsletter.
I was pleased to recognize Bridget Kwakernaak, a graduate of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, in February. Bridget has been a role model to younger amputees and has helped spread the PLAYSAFE message through presentations and parades. She has met with children who have lost limbs in accidents, and also appeared in a recent War Amps public service announcement. Bridget is a positive role model and she makes Burlington proud.
I was proud to recognize John Beeden at the February council meeting. After 209 days alone at sea, John made landfall at Cairns, Australia on Sunday, December 27, 2015, becoming the first person to row solo, non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. That marked the end of a 7,400-nautical mile journey that started last June in San Francisco and ended in Australia in December. John said though his journey, he hoped to inspire others: “to feel alive and be in control of your own destiny.” We are humbled and inspired by his incredible feat that took tremendous mental and physical strength.
Inspire Burlington: Helping Seniors Plan for Tomorrow
Please join me for my next Inspire Burlington event entitled Helping Seniors Plan for Tomorrow on Friday, June 17, 2016. The keynote speaker is Karen Henderson, Founder & CEO at the Long Term Care Planning Network. Karen will be talking about the importance of long term care planning. I will also be speaking about the Halton Region Older Adults’ Tax Deferral Program. Karen and I will be giving the same presentation twice on June 17 to engage with the community in two different locations.
Friday, June 17, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Rooms 1 & 2, Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way
Friday, June 17, 1:30-3 p.m.
Auditorium, Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New Street
As with all my Inspire Burlington events, admission is FREE. Reserve your seat today by calling the Office of Mayor at 905-335-7607 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Insight Burlington
The City of Burlington is looking for residents to become a member of the Insight Burlington panel. This is a valuable tool for residents to tell city staff, the mayor and council your opinions on a variety of important issues. Members will be asked for their input into city decisions through interactive surveys and questions. Please consider joining and serving as a voice for your community. Visit www.insightburlington.com for more information or to sign up.