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.
Community and Corporate Services Committee – Monday, Sept. 12
Development and Infrastructure Committee – Tuesday, Sept. 13
Burlington City Council – Monday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Premier’s Mayors and Chairs Summit – July 2016
This month, I attended the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Mayors and Chairs Summit in Toronto hosted by Premier Kathleen Wynne. This was the fourth such summit hosted by Premier Wynne.
Discussions and presentations were made on economic development with Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure; transit and transportation with Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation; and planning for growth and infrastructure with Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs.
This proved another valuable opportunity to connect directly with Premier Wynne on Burlington’s needs as a municipality. I believe we have established a good working relationship with our local MPPs, ministers and Premier Wynne that will result in ongoing prosperity for Burlington.
Council News in Brief – July 18, 2016
Home Adaptation Assessment Program (HAAP) Pilot
Burlington City Council approved $50,000 in funding for the implementation of a Home Adaptation Assessment Program (HAAP) Pilot for 2016. The program provides a simplified home evaluation that will provide information to homeowners on measures they can take to reduce the risk of flooding on their property. The pilot program in Burlington, funded largely by the provincial government, will include the assessment of approximately 500 homes in 2016. The University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation will administer the program. The pilot program will take place from August to November 2016 in select neighbourhoods in the City of Burlington. The program will be strategically coordinated with Halton Region’s current Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program as well as its Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program. More information will be available soon.
Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments for 2051-2085 Prospect St.
Council unanimously approved Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments to allow a development of 96 stacked townhouses replacing 16 townhouse units for a net increase of 80 units, near the two existing apartment buildings at 2067 and 2077 Prospect Street. There is a shortage of rental accommodation in Burlington and the increase of 80 units will help fill that void. Planning and building staff advised council approval of the applications allows growth through mid-rise housing within 200 metres of Brant Street and the Downtown Urban Growth Centre, where good access to transit and community services is available. The development will also include both a car share and bike share program. As a result of the fact that the GO station is only 1.2 km away and there are Burlington Transit routes on Brant Street, it is possible that some of the residents will not need to own a car. This development is an example of “density done well”. Council directed staff to meet with the applicant and report back to council with recommendations around community benefits.
Bike Lane Pilot on New Street – Guelph Line to Walker’s Line
Council voted 6-1 in favour of a pilot project for bike lanes on New Street between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line. The pilot project is expected to start this September.
Staff will report back at the end of the year-long pilot with the data measured, including the impact on vehicular travel time.
The pilot will see New Street between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line reduced from four lanes to three lanes, with an east lane, west lane and centre turn lane. Bike lanes separated by a wide painted buffer will be installed in each direction.
This is an ideal time for the pilot to be done as this section of road is scheduled for resurfacing in 2017. This means there will be no cost to revert the lanes if the pilot is determined to be unsuccessful by staff and ultimately, council, or keep the new lane configuration, when the road is resurfaced.
My preference for this stretch was cycle tracks, which are off-road bike lanes beside the sidewalk, and do not impact vehicular travel lanes. However, this motion was not supported by the majority of my colleagues on council.
I ultimately supported the pilot project, which was staff’s preferred recommendation. The pilot allows us to test the waters, so to speak, to see if the painted lanes result in a positive experience for people who want to ride their bicycles, while causing a minimal impact for drivers who also need to get where they are going in a timely manner.
I drive (and occasionally cycle) this stretch of road every day at various times, meaning I will experience firsthand the impact of this pilot project.
It is important to remember that this is a pilot project. As we grow as a city, we need to find ways to move people using different modes of transportation. The key measurement for me will be the impact on the automobile driver. If there are significant traffic issues as a result of this new configuration, we can simply repaint the road. This one-year test allows us to see if New Street is the right place for bike lanes. Having said that, I do not believe there will be a significant increase in cycling traffic over a one year period.
In order to significantly increase the number of people who cycle in Burlington, we need to invest in much safer cycling infrastructure in a connected manner and this will most likely not take place all at once. Our Strategic Plan outlines the objective of getting people to where they need to go with a variety of transportation options.
I look forward to listening to community feedback of this pilot project, as well as seeing the data that will be collected by staff.
Responsible Growth in Burlington
Burlington City Council approved at its July 18th meeting two Official Plan Review reports that will help establish how and where the City of Burlington will grow over the next 20 years.
After months of engagement with the community, City Council made the decision earlier this year, in the city’s Strategic Plan, that Burlington is going to grow. With this direction, the city’s planning team has been hard at work updating the city’s Official Plan, the blueprint that defines where and how growth will happen over the next 20 years.
Of the two reports approved by City Council, the Urban Structure and Intensification Policy Directions report contains a policy direction for an intensification framework that clearly outlines the parts of the city that are being targeted for growth and those areas that will not see a significant amount of development. There are four proposed areas – Primary Intensification, Secondary Intensification, Employment Intensification and Established Neighbourhoods.
Among the primary locations for intensification are the areas around Burlington’s GO stations, called mobility hubs.
The second report, Burlington’s Mobility Hubs: A Work Plan for Area-Specific Planning, addresses the need for a dedicated mobility hub planning team.
City Council approved $2.5 million in funding for four full-time staff who will work to ensure future developments around the mobility hubs reflect the city’s vision for new neighbourhoods that are walkable, connected, offer a variety of affordable housing choices and have easy access to transit, shopping, parks and recreation centres.
This is an important time for our city. We have the opportunity to plan the type of growth we want in the locations we want to ensure we continue to be a thriving city. We will grow responsibly with detailed planning that will result in new neighbourhoods that provide public amenity space, walkability, cycling infrastructure and public transit options, while minimizing the carbon footprint.
For more information, read the Urban Structure and Intensification Policy Directions and Burlington’s Mobility Hubs: A Work Plan for Area-Specific Planning reports.
Read my column on mobility hubs that appeared in last week’s Burlington Post.
Burlington ranks No. 10 among Canada’s Best Places for Business
Canadian Business and PROFIT, two Canadian business media outlets, have ranked Burlington No. 10 on the 2016 ranking of Canada’s Best Places for Business.
Burlington scored in the top 10 for Canada’s Best Places for Business, placing third in Ontario overall. Features highlighted include Burlington’s low unemployment, its strong connectivity to major markets, and its well-educated population. Sixty-five per cent of Burlington’s adult population has completed a bachelor’s degree.
Economic development is driving the future of our great city. Burlington is ideally situated in the heart of North America’s biggest market, with deep talent pools and an extensive transportation network accessible by highway, rail, air and water.
The ranking is designed to help entrepreneurs and executives make smarter decisions on where to start, expand or locate their enterprises within Canada. The methodology behind the 2016 rankings of Canada’s Best Places for Business is based on more than 20 indicators, including cost, market trends and business friendliness as collected from several sources and participating municipalities.
The municipalities on our ranking show a clear commitment to business-friendly policies and economic development, says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of Canadian Business and PROFIT. That’s good news for their business owners, entrepreneurs and residents.
The City of Burlington is asking residents how they would like to be engaged during the development and review of the city’s capital and operating budgets.
The budget is your tax dollars. It is the basis for all our city services and everyone should have the opportunity to review and provide comment before the budget is approved.
The 2017 capital and operating budgets are in the early stages of development. They are expected to go to City Council for approval in December 2016 and January 2017 respectively.
We would like to encourage more people to learn about the budget and provide feedback. This survey asks the ways citizens would like to become involved in the budget process.
Please take a moment to complete a short survey that will be available until Aug. 12, 2016 and can be found at here, through Insight Burlington and Let’s Talk Burlington. Thank you in advance for your time.
Please take a moment to complete a short survey that will be available until Aug. 12, 2016 and can be found at http://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/budget-2016.asp, through Insight Burlington and Let’s Talk Burlington. Thank you in advance for your time.
Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee
The July update from the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee is available online. The latest meeting featured a presentation by Claire Green (above left) and Anita Cassidy (right) from the Burlington Economic Development Corporation on their upcoming innovation and entrepreneurship strategy. The committee’s August meeting will feature a discussion focused on housing options for millennials with a team from the city’s Planning and Building department.
The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee was created to develop initiatives and provide input on how to keep and attract residents aged 18 to 35 in Burlington. It will also concentrate on creating opportunities to engage millennials with their community. For more information about the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee, visit burlington.ca/millennials.
Airpark Legal Update
On June 30, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of the City of Burlington’s application to compel Burlington Airpark Inc. to submit an application for a site alteration permit to comply with site alteration bylaw 64-2014. The City of Burlington will discuss next steps after learning that the Burlington Airpark Inc. has appealed the decision of Mr. Justice M.R. Gibson dated June 30, 2016 to the Ontario Court of Appeal. For more information about the city and the Burlington Executive Airpark, visit www.burlington.ca/airpark.
Work to replace the outdoor pool and splash pad at Nelson Park has begun. At its meeting on Monday, July 4, Burlington City Council approved the advancement of funding from the city’s 2017 capital budget, which will enable the construction of the new pool to start this fall.
Over the last seven months, city staff has worked hard to get this project ready for construction, securing the design work and permit approvals needed, says Allan Magi, the city’s director of capital works. The demolition phase of construction began in early July and we anticipate the work to construct the new swimming facilities will start this fall.
The new 50-metre pool, featuring eight swim lanes, will be built beside a new beach-entry wading pool and splash pad. Detailed drawings of the new swimming facility will be available online at www.burlington.ca/nelson later this summer.
At its meeting on July 4, City Council also directed city staff to investigate sponsorship opportunities for the naming of the new outdoor pool and splash pad at Nelson Park.
Similar to other municipalities, the City of Burlington is exploring ways to generate new revenue streams to help reduce the tax burden on the community, explains Chris Glenn, the city’s director of parks and recreation. He notes that based on council’s direction, city staff will look at a potential naming sponsorship for the outdoor pool replacement project. Any money generated from a sponsorship would help with the future repair and renewal needs of the facility.
For more information and updates about the replacement of the outdoor pool at Nelson Park, please visit www.burlington.ca/nelson.
Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program
The Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program in Burlington governed by the Region of Halton launched on July 1, 2016. The program offers qualifying low-income seniors who own and live in their homes in the City of Burlington a full property tax deferral with interest being paid by Halton Region.
For more information about the program and an application form, visit Halton Region’s website www.halton.ca/taxdeferral.
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:
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.
CHML Mayors’ Town Hall
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. Host Bill Kelly and I discuss a wide range of news and topics related to Burlington. Previous programs are available in podcast on the CHML website at http://www.900chml.com/. Tune into the next Mayor’s Town Hall on Friday, Aug. 19 from 10-11 a.m. Listen on the radio or online.
Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring
My community television program, Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring, on CogecoTV is returning for season 2 this fall and we are looking for show ideas. Please email email@example.com with your show and guest suggestions. You can watch all 18 episodes of Burlington Matters Season 1 anytime online at http://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Burlington-Matters.asp.
Broadcast of Tragically Hip Concert
The City of Burlington is partnering with the Burlington Downtown Business Association to present a live CBC broadcast of the Tragically Hip’s final tour concert in Kingston, Ont.
This spring, lead singer Gord Downie shared he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The free event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Families are welcome at this alcohol-free event. Donations will be accepted to the Canadian Cancer Society (Halton Branch) and Joseph Brant Hospital Cancer Clinic.
More information can be found on the City of Burlington’s calendar.
Free Summer Concerts
The City of Burlington’s 2016 Summer Concerts in the Park series is back for another year.
Free performances will be held each Wednesday and Sunday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Central Park Bandshell until Sunday, Aug. 14.
Residents are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a variety of music for all ages. A complete list of scheduled performances is available at www.burlington.ca/concerts.
Movies Under the Stars
The City of Burlington’s Movies Under the Stars, presented by Tim Hortons, features free family movie screenings in local parks every Thursday until Aug. 18.
For more information, including a list of movies and locations, park maps, movie trailers and cancellation updates, visit www.burlington.ca/movies or call 905-335-7766.
Inspire Burlington – Fall Events Announced Soon
We have two exciting Inspire Burlington events being finalized for the fall. Details of the events will be announced in the coming weeks. Be sure to subscribe to my free digital monthly newsletter to receive updates about the renowned guest speakers coming to Burlington for these free community events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to my newsletter e-mail distribution list.