*This column first ran online at the Burlington Post’s website Insidehalton.com, and in print on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.
We’re getting closer to recommended changes to our official plan (OP) for the downtown.
We asked for your feedback on your vision for the area — that was followed by a survey on the two concepts for the downtown that closed last week. Drop-in sessions — where the public could come and speak to a planner — were held. There was also a walking tour and four action lab interactive workshops in October and November — all designed to hear and collect your input.
We fully expect that what ultimately comes back to council for a decision won’t be either of the two concepts presented as they were, but a recommended concept that incorporates public and council feedback.
A Dec. 5 committee meeting is the next step. Council will have an opportunity to discuss the concepts and provide feedback to staff. Residents can delegate at this meeting to share their feedback with us and staff.
Staff will then present a recommended concept at the Jan. 16, 2020 committee meeting, with another chance for delegations. Your continued input is integral to our decision-making process and ensuring we get the right plan for our downtown.
My preliminary impressions of the concepts are that they still represent overdevelopment. I’ll be looking for an option that is more in line with what residents have expressed throughout the OP process that began in 2017.
I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think we can be with some modifications and that’s why your input is so important.
Here is just a snippet of the feedback I’ve consistently heard: Preserving connections and views to the waterfront; having mid- and low-rise buildings in the downtown with taller buildings toward Fairview Street; maintaining small-town character and preserving heritage in the downtown; and ensuring the downtown plan reflects the community’s vision for the area.
The Urban Growth Centre (UGC) and the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designations are a concern in the downtown. Earlier this year, council directed staff to review those designations following the completion of the scoped review of the OP.
Burlington residents don’t oppose growth, we all want it to reflect our vision for the community and ensure the right amount is in the right place.
— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward can be reached at email@example.com.
- Delegate on the Downtown Burlington Policies in Adopted OP at Dec. 5 Planning and Development Committee Meeting
*Posted by John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.