If you missed our Burlington City Council meeting on Monday, June 18, here are some of the highlights of what we did — for a full recap of all the recommendations carried by Council from the June 11 Planning and Development Committee (P&D), please click the link: Post-Meeting Minutes – Planning and Development Committee_Jun11_2019 / Post-Meeting Minutes – Regular Meeting of Council_Jun17_2019
• Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force Update — Moved by myself (motion to receive and file was carried at Committee and ratified by Council)
I submitted a receive and file report to the P&D Committee and Council, updating them on what the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force has been up to since its launch and what deliverables are coming up next. Read the full report here: MO-02-19 Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force Update; and see MO-02-19 – Appendix A – All blog posts from the Mayor’s blog recapping past Red Tape Red Carpet activity and insights.
We started this task force with goal of giving those who are doing business here the ability to do it more efficiently and create an environment that encourages people to do business in Burlington. The task force was struck to distill the information garnered from the town halls and focus group sessions with local business owners and stakeholders, and create detailed recommendations to be brought before Committee and Council sometime in July. We will not be expecting Committee and Council to make decisions on these recommendations by the July Council meeting, but rather allow ample time for all stakeholders to go through the recommendations, share feedback and come back in September to make informed decisions.
Discussions have centred around what’s working, what are some of the challenges and, most important of all, what business owners and stakeholders suggest or recommend we change to achieve our goal of getting more businesses to Burlington and those who already exist here working faster and more efficiently.
• Memo from Councillor Rory Nisan regarding options for panhandling in the city — Moved by Councillor Nisan
The Council Information Package of May 10, 2019 included a memo from staff related to a staff direction to deal with options on panhandlers and safety. This PD-03-19 Memo from Councillor Nisan re options for panhandling provided an update based on a staff direction approved at the December 17, 2018 meeting of Council. Here is Councillor Nisan’s motion, which was carried at Committee and ratified by Council:
Direct the Director of City Building to report back to the Planning and Development Committee meeting of September 10, 2019 with additional options, including communication methods, to assist the City of Burlington in addressing panhandling.
There are two distinct issues here: the first is how to direct the community to donate to charities that are better equipped to assist individuals who may take to panhandling. My concern, as a separate issue, is panhandling at intersections — I would never want to ban panhandling and take the opportunity from someone to ask for money somewhere safer. I would like to see options from other municipalities with respect to placing signs and looking at options for positive communications related to panhandling.
• Civic Square renewal and Brant Street improvements, referral from Committee of the Whole meeting of June 10, 2019 — Moved by myself
Currently, at City Hall, projects under a certain amount typically are not brought to Committee/Council for approval as a way to make our processes more efficient. The Civic Square renewal was one such project, and only happened to come to Committee because the tender came in above budget. That gave Committee the chance to review the artist renderings and planned designs.
Here is the staff report on: CW-39-19 Tender Civic Square Renewal
I was not particularly happy with some of the aspects of the design and plan, and so I put forward the following motion, which was carried at Committee and ratified at Council:
Refer capital works department report CW-39-19 regarding civic square renewal and Brant Street improvements back to staff.
This motion refers the project back to staff, asks us to stand down from the current tender and allows Council time to provide input on a redesign of this. It also allows us the opportunity to redo the process by which we arrive at these decisions. I want to thank city staff for the hard work they put into this project, but this is my feedback:
We’re taking out trees at a time when we’re considering implementing a city-wide tree bylaw. We are not leading by example and out residents expect more of us. I don’t like where the flag poles are positioned, as keeping them on Brant Street gives them more visibility. I don’t like the barriers to the fountain and I’d like to look at chain structures that are removable. We definitely need more greenery on the site. On the north side of the project, I’d like to see those trees moved closer to the pathways leading to City Hall with a rain or shade structure over those pathways.
I understand this request is a do-over and I feel very badly that we are where we are. However, in an era of climate change, we need to see this as a signature project and I’d rather run the risk of losing funding from upper levels of government for the chance to create something our community and residents can really enjoy and get behind. I’d like to see something back by the end of this year, so we can tee it up for next year’s capital budget. I understand we may lose provincial funding, but we can’t afford to be penny-wise with this.
• Information report only for application at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Rd. and 383-385 Pearl St. — Moved by myself
A Statutory Public Meeting to receive and file a development application at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Road and 383-385 Pearl Street was held on Tuesday, June 11 at Burlington City Hall.
The applicant, Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc./Carriage Gate Homes, is applying to build a 29 storey mixed-use building with 280 residential units with 675 m² ground floor commercial retail space fronting onto Lakeshore Road and Pearl Street. Parking for the proposed building is located within five levels of underground (280 spaces) and at grade parking (11 spaces). Car access is proposed from Lakeshore Road and loading access is proposed from Pearl Street.
Staff presented an information report only at the meeting, at the City of Burlington is under an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) — this application has gone as far as it can in the process, until the ICBL is lifted.
Read the full staff report on this project here: PB-22-19 2069 Lakeshore Road Carriage Gate – OPA, RZ Statutory Public Meeting; and see appendices PB-22-19 Appendix D – Public Comments and PB-43-19 Appendix 3- Public Comments
I have received some comments from the public as to why the City is still accepting development applications while under an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL). To clarify, anyone can still submit an application and staff will process that right up until receiving public comments if the location of the development falls under the ICBL boundaries. No decision will be made until we complete the ICBL. The application is then considered in light of the work that comes out of the ICBL. With respect to this particular application, I think it is much too high for the area.