A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

I support retaining the existing single-family zoning in St. Luke’s precinct. Any change to the zoning will threaten the long-term vision for the area as an oasis of single family homes in a sea of downtown intensification. Rezoning would set a precedent and encourage for future assemblies and conversions to semis or other non-detached forms of housing.

It is good to see this project reach completion. This is your pier, you paid for it, so I encourage you to visit and take time to enjoy it.
The next step in this process will be to resolve the outstanding legal issues with the original engineering firm, construction contractor, and other parties.

Recommendation report & decision in Sept/Oct Buying up 30 homes near Beachway Park would cost up to $10 million, to gain an additional 1% of greenspace, according to a report on the park released in April. Beachway Park is part of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park, which includes Spencer Smith Park in downtown Burlington. …

Beachway Report: removing residents will cost $10M for 1% more park Read More »

Google maps tells the story. If Council approves the 58 towns on Ghent, we’ll lose our largest stand of trees in Ward 2. Some 100 trees and bushes and 4 city trees will be removed with 60 saplings as replacement: net loss of 40.

The job of protecting the rural area has already been done on our behalf by decree from the province, under the Places to Grow Act. We can’t take the credit for that, nor is that within our control. The rural area is protected, period. Our job, and what city council and staff do control, is how we will intensify the urban area in response.

The city is making strides forward on clear language and early notification. We have some areas for improvement, particularly in respect , listening with an open mind, and ensuring delegations are treated with respect.

Staff will conduct a review of municipalities that currently enforce smoke free events, and subject to the outcome of the review; it is the intention to have all events smoke free in 2014.

The top rated places for cultural activity in the city, as identified by residents, are (in order of priority): parks & open spaces, the waterfront, library system, community centres, boards (Performing Arts Centre, Burlington Arts Centre, Museums), and festivals.

The project is too dense for the site, and will compromise greenspace and the character of the Ghent community.

The majority – 87% – of this year’s requests were approved, either as additions to the base budget or draws on reserves. We need to be more disciplined about saying no and focusing on need to haves, especially in light of the current economic climate.

I’m concerned about the delay in refocusing the BEDC structure to meet the targets set by the city for economic development. We must keep driving the momentum forward. Yes, it is important to plan then act – ready, aim, fire, as the expression goes. But let’s ensure that doesn’t become “ready, ready, and more getting ready to get ready.”

Tax breaks, office attraction, supporting mid-rise developments to meet growth targets, partnering with developers to build parking, and bringing a farmer’s market downtown are just some of the recommendations from the Downtown Task Group to improve the vibrancy of the heart of the city.

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My take: The approval is welcome and long awaited news for our community. As a citizen member of the hospital board of governors since 2008, and now the city council representative on the board, I know the importance of this redevelopment for the health of our residents. Our hospital is a priority for our community. To meet our funding commitment will require an evaluation of all spending, with a focus on core activities. It’s a privilege to be part of making the redevelopment happen – a once in a generation experience that hundreds of residents, staff and community leaders have worked to achieve. My thanks to all involved – this is the first step in a journey to better health for Burlington.

Read updates on Freeman Station, campaign expenses, naming of a new school, Burlington’s strategic plan. Plus, find out about upcoming meetings and events: Freeman Station fundraiser, community cleanup, Ward 2 advisory committee.

The pier is over-budget and more than two years behind schedule. We need solutions not inaction or lawsuits.

City Hall is increasing taxes at 3 times the rate of inflation to pay for nice-to-have capital projects like the pier. City Hall needs to limit spending: and ideas on how we could rein it in.

City Hall is approving out of scale downtown development to meet urban intensification targets; but more importantly because they need developer revenue. We must balance developer interests with the community’s interests.

Burlington’s downtown businesses and residents are paying the price for City Hall’s inadequate plan to address the parking shortage.