Newsletter Signup

City of Burlington Staff Updates Council on Engagement Plan Related to work on the Downtown UGC/MTSA

Burlington Development & Urban Growth Centre

On August 24, 2020, Council approved the following staff direction:

Direct the Director of Community Planning to provide an engagement plan with residents, businesses and community stakeholders to Council with respect to the proposed adjustment of the downtown Urban Growth Corridor (UGC) and Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) to satisfy the regulatory and Region requirements at the September 15, 2020 Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility (CPRM) Committee meeting.

As a result of time constraints, City staff were unable to have a report prepared for the Sept. 15 CPRM Committee meeting. However, they did send a memo (COB Staff Memo Update on UGC-MTSA Engagement_Sept. 14, 2020) to members of Council as an update to the staff direction.

The public has been engaged in a discussion about the UGC/MTSA that started in 2017 during the consultation on the Adopted Official Plan 2018. Your current Burlington Council froze development in the downtown for one year specifically to study the MTSA designation downtown — that led to the conclusion the designation is not suitable and can be removed. We have subsequently received provincial support for removing the MTSA downtown from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Minister of Transportation.

Additionally, Council has been involved in a detailed review of the downtown policies in the Adopted Official Plan for a year, under the Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown process. Throughout that process issues of density arising from the MTSA and UGC have been considered.

Further, staff have provided multiple analyses on how the city is achieving the UGC density targets of 200 people or jobs. These analyses date back to the consideration of the Martha/Lakeshore development, and have been updated on multiple occupations including in 2017 during the Adopted Official Plan discussion, and more recently in August.

A further update will be provided this fall, with the bottom line being that we have always been on track to meet the UGC targets, and current projects show us achieving 213 people or jobs per hectare with current projects, whether already built, under construction, or approved.


“On September 16, 2020, Regional Council approved report No. LPS84-20 which recommends that Region of Halton staff be directed to work with the City of Burlington to develop a joint supplemental discussion paper, as part of the Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR), on matters related to the adjustment of boundaries for the Urban Growth Center and the removal of the Major Transit Station Area designation in the downtown.

The recommended supplemental discussion paper is to be prepared and tabled for Regional Council endorsement at its October meeting and it is anticipated that a public commenting window will be open for a period of 2 months afterward leading to a draft scoped Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA). Like the other Region of Halton discussion papers related to the ROPR, City staff will prepare a report to Burlington Council with comments and recommendations.”


There has been extensive consultation on the UGC/MTSA designations in the downtown, in several different ways. These matters have also been significantly studied. I support the efforts of staff at the City and Region to providing even more background and consultation as detailed in the memo.

The October meeting of Regional Council, and meeting of Burlington Council provide opportunity for the public to submit written input, or delegate to provide verbal remarks to council.

Additional opportunities for put input via a variety of other means are being developed together with the Halton Area Planning Directors and the Steering Committee (Halton Area CAOs) to ensure the approach is inclusive, open, transparent and robust.

Further Region of Halton staff anticipate scheduling a special meeting of Regional Council by year end 2020 to fulfill the statutory requirements of the Planning Act and provide an additional forum for the community to bring forward comments related to the Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR).


Receive new post notifications by email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.


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:

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Media Specialist: John Bkila