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Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns Propose 10 Amendments to Downtown Official Plan

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UPDATE: All amendments brought forward by Mayor Meed Ward and Counc. Kearns, including an additional 10th amendment, were carried by a majority 6-1 vote at the Oct. 7 Special Meeting of Council.

For an updated version of all the amendments, please click this link: MO-W2 Motions Downtown Sept 30 FINAL.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns, whose ward encompasses downtown Burlington, are proposing nine amendments to the downtown Official Plan (OP) staff report and recommendations headed to the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility (CPRM) Committee meeting next Wednesday (Sept. 30).

These amendments are detailed below, with a link to the supporting memo from Mayor Meed Ward and Counc. Kearns.

These amendments will be considered at the Sept. 30 CPRM Committee meeting that is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Final consideration of the recommendations will take place at a Special Council Meeting on Oct. 7, also starting at 9:30 a.m.

The public can register to participate in the meeting at You can also submit correspondence via the clerks office by emailing

The CPRM Committee will be considering an entire package of changes to the Adopted OP 2018 that came out of the Taking A Closer Look at the Downtown review that has taken place over the last 18 months. You can read the staff report and supporting appendices and background studies on the dedicated Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown page here:

All materials are also available on the online agenda page for the Sept. 30 CPRM committee meeting.


The proposed amendments cover four areas in the downtown and 11 parcels – a small geography, but very important parts of the overall OP. Two additional amendments deal with general policies.

These amendments aim to protect heritage and public service uses, uphold the intent of recent approvals on specific sites, provide consistency in precincts, and add more protections for established neighbourhoods.

The rationale for the proposed amendments is drawn from:

  • the planning studies that have been done in conjunction with the OP review;
  • public input throughout the new OP process that began in 2016;
  • acknowledgement of the changing context downtown; and
  • additional considerations as detailed under each amendment.

We are in the final steps of approving a new downtown plan. With consideration for approval of these final set of motions, the entire plan will be not only better than the existing OP, but better than the Adopted 2018 OP, and more reflective of community input we heard since this journey began in 2017.

It will be a plan made better through collaboration with the community and worth supporting.


Council-initiated amendments are a standard and legitimate part of this process.

During the Adopted OP 2018, 12 OP-related council-initiated motions were brought on the floor and approved by council to be sent to Halton Region, some endorsed by staff, some not. The complete list is here: 2018 OP-Related Council-Initiated Motions. None of these council-initiated motions in 2018 formed the basis of any of the Regional concerns that sent the plan back to the city for further review.

Halton Region is the final decision maker.  These motions, and indeed the entire package of amendments to the Adopted OP being considered via report PL-16-20, will be subject to review and approval by the Region.



Direct the Director of Community Planning to amend the policy modifications to the adopted Official Plan contained in Appendices 2, 3, & 4 to Community Planning Report PL-16-20 prior to providing it to the Region of Halton for consideration for inclusion in the draft decision for the Adopted Official Plan (April 2018) as follows:

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Amendment 1:

Remove blocks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 as identified on Image 1a (to the right) from the Downtown East precinct (Appendix 3, p.5, Schedule D: Land Use – Downtown Urban Centre) to allow for further study of the Cultural Heritage Landscape 4, as identified by the ASI report.

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Amendment 2:

Remove block 5 as identified on Image 2a (to the left) from the Downtown East precinct (Appendix 3, p.5 Schedule D: Land Use – Downtown Urban Centre) and include it in the Downtown Public Service designation.

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Amendment 3:

Amend the height for blocks 1, 2, & 3 as identified on Image 3a (to the right) in the Village Square Precinct (Appendix 3, p.7 Schedule D-2: Maximum Building Heights) to up to  4 storeys, consistent with the balance of this precinct.

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Amendment 4:

Deem the most recent Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the property at 2085 Pine as appropriate for this property noted as block 4 on Image 4a (to the left) in the Village Square Precinct (Appendix 3, p.7 Schedule D-2: Maximum Building Heights).

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Amendment 5:

Amend the height for block 1 as identified on Image 5a (to the right) in the Lakeshore Precinct to be consistent with the balance of the precinct, with a 3 storey podium and step backs to up to 17 storeys. (Appendix 3, p.7 Schedule D-2: Maximum Building Heights)

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Amendment 6:

Add the words “and parking” to section 8.1.1 (3.9.2) SITE SPECIFIC POLICIES  for 2020 Caroline Street, 510 Elizabeth Street, and 2025 Maria Street, and define “substantial floor area of office development **and parking**” to mean achieving at minimum the parking and office negotiated as part of the block plan development for this site under the most recent Official Plan Amendment/Zoning Bylaw Amendment, noted as block 1 on Image 6a (to the left) in the Downtown East Precinct (Appendix 3, p.7 Schedule D-2: Maximum Building Heights)

Amendment 7: 

Strike the word “semi-detached” from 8.1.1(3.13.1) POLICIES a) (i) and insert the word “semi-detached” into 8.1.1(3.13.1) POLICIES a) (ii);

and Strike section 8.1.1(3.13.1) (d) related to development of semi-detached dwellings in the Emerald/St. Luke’s neighbourhoods in its entirety.

Amendment 8:

Amend 8.1.1(3. 2) (e) GENERAL POLICIES by inserting the words “design excellence” and “and transition to”.

Amendment 9:

Replace “should” with “shall” in Section 2.4.2 (3) c) ESTABLISHED NEIGHBOURHOOD AREAS.

The full memo from Mayor Meed Ward and Counc. Kearns can be read online here: MO-W2 OP Motions Sept 30_2020.

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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2 thoughts on “Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns Propose 10 Amendments to Downtown Official Plan”

  1. Sharon Hutchinson

    Marcus couldn’t have said it any better! Now for those who can make a difference hear your words and our full support.

  2. While the substantive damage has already been done to downtown Burlington in just 1½ decades (half a generation!), any adjustments like this are certainly welcome. Ultimately, nothing over six stories should be built; nothing that’s taller than twice the streetscape width.

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