Amendments to the draft new Official Plan

Planning & Development Committee Meeting. Tue., Jan. 23/18

It has been a busy week for both residents and Burlington City Council.

It was just over a week ago that I held the Reverse Town Hall, which was a great opportunity for me to hear from the community on the future of downtown Burlington. There were many perspectives shared, and it helped me prepare for the Planning & Development Committee meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, where we considered the Proposed Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan. Thank you to everyone who attended, you made a difference.

The concerns from residents that I heard at the Reverse Town Hall and from delegations at the Committee meeting included: building height, parking, public engagement, defer the Official Plan until after the 2018 municipal election, growth targets, downtown mobility hub and urban growth centre, and the need for balanced growth.

Many of your concerns resonated with me. I reviewed them closely, and I consulted staff to gain insight into the implications and potential opportunities.

I am pleased to provide you with a Committee update.

We listened and acted and made important amendments to the Proposed Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan.  I believe these changes significantly improve the plan and are reflective of much of the public feedback that was provided.

Downtown Precinct Map

Here is a summary of the amendments to the Proposed Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan:

  • Amend the proposed Downtown Core Precinct as follows:
    • Development shall be a maximum of 12 storeys; or
    • Development may be permitted additional storeys, subject to a site-specific zoning by-law amendment, to a maximum of 17 storeys subject to the following:
      • One additional storey for every 150 sq metre of office/employment floor space provided; or
      • One additional storey for every 8 public parking spaces provided in an underground parking structure

NOTE: I brought this motion forward because I heard loud and clear the importance of moderating the height in the area South of Victoria St. as well as the need for more parking in the east end of downtown

  • Change the north-east corner of Brant Street and Lakeshore, located in the Cannery Precinct to the Downtown Core Precinct with conditions as listed above.
  • Increase minimum tower separation requirement for tall buildings within the Downtown Mobility Hub from 25 metres to 30 metres which will create a greater feeling of openness around the buildings.
  • Include policies to allow additional density in developments that preserve heritage buildings based on square footage preserved. (I am very supportive of this. I look forward to staff providing details on how this can be implemented)
  • Direct the Director of City Building to include policy encouraging consideration of public-private parking partnerships in the Official Plan
  • Direct the Director of City Building to prepare mid-rise (6-11 storeys) building guidelines by the end of Q3 2018
  • Place targets for 2-3 bedroom units in residential buildings to accommodate families with children
  • Add the north-west corner of Burlington Avenue and Lakeshore Rd. to the special planning area to match the north-east corner.
  • Direct staff to work with the Region to review the Downtown Urban Growth Centre boundaries, and consider restoring original boundaries with the exception of Spencer Smith Park.
  • Change the rezoning application requirement for a housing impact statement for more than 200 dwelling units and add a percentage target affecting mid and high-rise residential to achieve affordable, assisted, and special needs housing, as defined in Halton Region’s Annual State of Housing report.

I also want to respond to the residents who said that approval of the Official Plan should be deferred until after the municipal election.  Council decided against this idea and here is why.

There are significant benefits to having a Council approval decision sooner rather than later. This will actually better address the significant public concern and interest for establishing greater certainty in the planning process.

A new Official Plan means we can move away from a site by site negotiation and instead bring more certainty to the application process.  This is what residents have been very clear about.

Staff confirmed that the City will be in a better position to plan within a clearly defined framework with an updated Official Plan that can be defendable by today’s standards.

Staff will be able to use the new Official Plan when working with developers even though the Official Plan won’t officially be approved by the Halton Region until some time likely in 2019.

Staff will continue to develop a detailed Downtown Area Specific Plan which includes matters such as transportation, parking and servicing.

I believe that it is not only important for the reasons I have outlined, but a responsibility of this Council to bring as much certainty as possible to our downtown planning.  Our current council has the necessary understanding of the development of the Official Plan.  It’s important that this Council complete the process.

The draft new Official Plan, with the above amendments, will be presented to the Planning and Development Committee on April 4, 2018.

State of the City Address 2017

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[Check Against Delivery]

Good morning. I would like to offer a warm welcome to the annual Mayor’s State of the City Address.

Thank you all very much for joining me this morning. It means a lot to have so many people here. I appreciate your ongoing support.

I would like to recognize the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event, as they have done for many decades.

In particular, thank you to Keith Hoey and his team, Marty Staz and the board of directors, along with the volunteers and membership. Together, you facilitate many different programs and events throughout the year that help bring the community together and build relationships that are essential to the prosperity of business in Burlington.

And thank you to today’s sponsors: Bell, Scotiabank, CN Rail, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, Union Gas and CogecoTV.

Today marks my seventh State of the City Address. Since the first time I stood before you, we have made significant progress, which I will share with you.

My colleagues from Burlington City Council are with us today. I am proud to work alongside these men and women who are deeply committed to our city.

Please welcome councillors Rick Craven, Marianne Meed Ward, John Taylor, Jack Dennison, Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster.

Our City Manager James Ridge is also here today. James is a key part of the leadership at the city along with the Burlington Leadership Team and our staff. I am proud of the dedicated staff working hard every day to make this city the best it can be.

We continue to work closely with all orders of government. Joining us this morning is Oakville North-Burlington Member of Parliament Pam Damoff, as well as Burlington Member of Provincial Parliament Eleanor McMahon, who last year was also named Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

I want to recognize Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould, who was not able to join us today, on her appointment as Minister of Democratic Institutions.

I am pleased to see Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. It is great working with you as we build strong communities and a prosperous region at Halton Regional Council.

It is a privilege and an honour to serve as Mayor of Burlington. This community means everything to me. Continue reading

Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee – July 2016 Meeting

Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee meets on Thursday, July 14 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Halton Hive, 901 Guelph Line.

The July meeting starts with a presentation on the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy for Burlington by Anita Cassidy, Manager of Special Projects, and Claire Green, Manager of Marketing and Partnerships, who are both millennials, from the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. Continue reading

Mayor Goldring and Mayor Berends of Apeldoorn sign Expression of Interest

Mayor Goldring and Mayor Berends

Media release from the Office of the Mayor

Burlington, Ont., May 31, 2016 – Mayor Rick Goldring and Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends signed an Expression of Interest today at Burlington City Hall to promote economic development opportunities between the two cities.

The Expression of Interest focuses on advancing potential partnerships in three specific areas, including:

  • Clean technology sector development;
  • Trade partnerships;
  • And an exchange and internship program for post-secondary students.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation will lead discussions on behalf of the City of Burlington.

“Based on conversations during our visit to Apeldoorn last spring, as well as meetings this week, we have agreed on three specific areas of opportunity we are looking to pursue,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Apeldoorn is a natural economic partner due to our twinning agreement, as well as its prominent clean technology sector as it relates to Burlington’s Community Energy Plan.”

Today’s signing furthers the twinning agreement established between the cities of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and Burlington, Canada on May 6, 2005. The twinning agreement states that the cities will explore economic development and new business opportunities.

“Apeldoorn is interested in furthering business with Burlington,” said Mayor John Berends. “Several of our companies are interested in Canadian partnerships, especially in a city like Burlington where we have already established a good working relationship.”

Media contact:                     

Mayor Rick Goldring, Office of the Mayor

Phone: 905-335-7607 Email: mayor@burlington.ca

Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040

Strat-Plan-CoverI am pleased to share that after almost a year of collaboration between the community, City Council and city staff, Burlington’s 2015-40 Strategic Plan is ready for review and will be going to council early in the new year for final approval.

This strategic plan marks a departure in Burlington’s history as it looks forward 25 years, rather than the next four years as is the norm in many municipalities.

Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-40 will guide this council and future councils in their decision-making by encouraging common goals and planned investment. This plan is a result of year-long engagement that saw input from residents, businesses, community groups, city staff and members of Burlington City Council.

There are four key strategic directions outlined in the new strategic plan:

  • A City That Grows – The City of Burlington is a magnet for talent, good jobs and economic opportunity while having achieved intensification and a balanced, targeted population growth for youth, families, newcomers and seniors.
  • A City That Moves – People and goods move through the city more efficiently and safely. A variety of convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation that align with regional patterns are the norm. Walkability within new/transitioning neighbourhoods and the downtown are a reality.
  • A Healthy and Greener City – The City of Burlington is a leader in the stewardship of the environment while encouraging healthy lifestyles.
  • An Engaging City – Community members are engaged, empowered, welcomed and well-served by their city. Culture and community activities thrive, creating a positive sense of place, inclusivity and community.

Short-term implementation plans and medium-term policy documents, like the Transportation Master Plan and Official Plan (5-10 year renewal), will complement the long-term policy of the strategic plan.

We want to know what you think of the city’s new strategic plan. Is the draft plan in plain language and easy to understand? Has the plan captured what’s most important to you about living in Burlington? Is anything critical that is missing? To view the strategic plan, visit www.burlington.ca/strategicplan or request a copy by contacting strategicplan@burlington.ca or 905-335-7600, ext. 7378.

The city is hosting four open houses on the Strategic Plan in December and January:

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Haber Recreation Centre
3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
Community Room 2
7 – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016
Robert Bateman High School
5151 New St.
Cafeteria
7 – 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
Burlington Public Library – Central Branch
2331 New St.
Centennial Hall
7- 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
LaSalle Park Pavilion
50 North Shore Blvd. E.
Main Hall (upper level)
7 – 9 p.m.

If you are unable to make the open houses, starting January 4th, please give your feedback online at www.burlington.ca/strategicplan. You are also welcome to email strategicplan@burlington.ca anytime with your feedback or questions.

As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter at @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring.

Note: A shortened version of this column will appear in the January edition of Snapd.