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.

September 2015 Progress Report

Committee and Council Meetings

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

Challenging Residents to Think Outside the Car

IMG_9363

Mayor Rick Goldring, MPP Eleanor McMahon, Councillors Jack Dennison and Blair Lancaster, and students and staff at the launch of Think Outside the Car at M.M. Robinson H.S.

I am challenging Burlington residents to leave the car at home and choose active and alternative transportation during the Think Outside the Car Challenge between September 15 and October 30.
 
Many of the trips by Burlingtonians are within a very short distance, in fact, 50 per cent of them are less than 5 km. These are the ideal distances to cycle, walk or hop on a Burlington Transit bus. These alternative modes of transportation not only promote a healthy lifestyle but also save money on the cost of gas, parking and have very little impact on our air quality.

Continue reading

Reminding drivers, students to be safe this fall

Crossing Guards_King Road-13[1]This column is scheduled to appear in the September 2015 edition of Snapd.

Fall is an exciting time of year for Burlington residents – especially for the young people who call our great city home.

For those attending elementary or secondary school, the arrival of September marks a return to the classroom and reconnecting with friends. There are also students experiencing the excitement of attending school for the first time.

For parents and commuters, fall means getting back into the old routine, or establishing a new one.

I would like to remind everyone in our community to be safe during this busy time.

Many children in our community walk, cycle, skateboard or ride their scooter to school.

Please use the marked intersections when you cross the street, wear your helmet and walk your bicycle across a roadway.

If there is a signaled intersection, push the pedestrian button; stop, look and listen for traffic; watch for turning vehicles and only cross when the road is clear.

I am also asking drivers to pay close attention and give themselves extra time to get to their destination. There are more children on the sidewalks and at crossings during this time, many of whom are excited and new to the experience of travelling to and from school.

I want to remind motorists to reduce their speed in school zones, stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard, be patient and wait for students to complete their crossing before proceeding, and to be ready to stop at all times.

The City of Burlington employs approximately 120 school crossing guards from September to June each year. I want to thank these dedicated individuals for playing a very important role in our community, ensuring children travel safely to and from school each weekday.

Please respect the crossing guards in our community.

A little extra precaution by everyone will mean a great back-to-school season.

I also encourage all students and parents to consider alternative forms of transportation when travelling to and from school. Park the car and give walking, cycling, public transit or other alternative transportation a try. You will be doing the environment, your health and your city a favour. Everyone benefits when we think outside the car.

I wish everyone in Burlington a safe and happy fall season.

Connect with Mayor Rick Goldring by phone at 905-335-7607, by email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring. Subscribe to his monthly digital newsletter by emailing mayor@burlington.ca.

July/August 2015 Progress Report

Committee and Council Meetings

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

Upcoming Meetings

No meetings are scheduled for the month of August.

Summer in Burlington

canadadayweb

Mayor Rick Goldring on Canada Day 2015 in Burlington.

Summer in Canada flies by quickly and never seems to last long enough for most people.

Here in Burlington, however, we make the most of our summer with an ambitious agenda of fun events and activities such as Car Free Street Festivals, the Sound of Music, Canada Day, Beerfest and the Burlington Downtown Car Show.

While these events provide entertainment for local residents, they also attract visitors to our city from near and far who spend money on local businesses and support many local jobs. When Canada’s largest Ribfest takes place on this Labour Day weekend at Spencer Smith Park, it will attract 175,000 attendees, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Burlington. During the Ribfest, attendees will inject approximately $800,000 into the local economy, according to Tourism Burlington. 

Special events and festivals in Burlington are both great fun and great business. Enjoy! Continue reading

Experience everything Burlington has to offer this summer

dunes.01

This column is scheduled to appear in the July edition of Snapd.

Burlington was recently named the best medium-sized city for a third year in a row in the MoneySense Magazine’s Best Places to Live 2015 rankings released in June.

The magazine also listed Burlington the third-best city overall in Canada, including the second-best place to raise children.Children's Festival Mascots and kids

Every day I meet residents who tell me how much they love our city. For some residents, they were born here and have remained in Burlington for their entire lives.

For others, it was a visit to one of our festivals or events that inspired them to relocate to Burlington, purchase a home and raise their family here.

Burlington is vibrant city that offers much to experience in all seasons – especially in summer.

With our location between Lake Ontario and the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, Burlington has a tremendous natural environment.

There is the Bruce Trail within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the world renowned Royal Botanical Gardens and the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. margaret mccallum - bruce trail

Burlington offers a lively and accessible waterfront at Spencer Smith Park with the Brant Street Pier, Discovery Landing, the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond and the Dofasco Waterjet Park.

There are beautiful parks and recreational facilities across our city that are great sites for recreation and family time.

Burlington also hosts many unique festivals and events throughout the year – with a large number of them in the summer months.

In June, hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors attended the Sound of Music Festival.

The Canada Day celebrations on July 1 are also a popular attraction.

There are numerous other festivals and events in the summer, such as the Sandcastles Festival and Children’s Festival in August and Canada’s Largest Ribfest on Labour Day weekend.Sandcastle Festival 111

Close to our waterfront are two cultural destinations: the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

History buffs can enjoy historic LaSalle Park, Ireland House and the Joseph Brant Museum, where our pioneer and aboriginal heritage have been preserved.

More information about enjoying a great summer in Burlington can be found on the City of Burlington’s website at www.burlington.ca and Tourism Burlington’s website at www.tourismburlington.com.

Have a wonderful summer – and make sure to stop and say hello when you see me at the many events around town this summer.IMG_3550

Connect with Mayor Rick Goldring by phone at 905-335-7607, by email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring. Subscribe to his monthly digital newsletter by emailing mayor@burlington.ca.