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Committee Recommendations Approved at June 22 Burlington Council Meeting

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At the June 22 Burlington Council meeting, we approved numerous recommendations from this month’s cycle of committee meetings. Below are some of the highlights — click this link to go through the full post-meeting minutes for all recommendations that were approved: Post-Meeting Minutes – Regular Meeting of Council_Jun22_2020.

We also held three special meetings of council this month. For recaps on what we approved, please click the links at the bottom of this post.

• BILL 108 TIMELINES — Community Planning Deparment report

Direct the Director of Community Planning to process future development applications in accordance with Option One outlined in community planning department report PL06-20.

Option 1:

Recommendation Report (#1): Refusal recommendations are made within the legislated timeframeWhere an application is not supported by staff, a statutory public meeting and a recommendation for refusal will be made within the statutory timeline.
OR
Recommendation Report (#1): Recommendations
are made to direct staff to proceed to work with the applicant
Where an application has potential to be supported, but issues have not yet been sufficiently resolved, a statutory public meeting will be held, along with a staff recommendation that Council direct staff to continue to work with the applicant until outstanding issues have been resolved and an application can
be supported.Recommendation Report #1 will include a comprehensive evaluation of the application based on comments received at that time, so that Council has all information available at this
stage.Should Council wish to make a decision to approve or refuse the application at the statutory public meeting, they have the opportunity to do so within the statutory timeframe.
Recommendation Report (#2): Recommendations
are made outside the legislated timeframe
A second (final) recommendation report will be brought forward when all issues are resolved.

Pros:

  • The onus is on applicants to provide quality application submissions.
  • Where Council approves a staff recommendation to continue to work with the applicant, the applicant will be able to revise their submission based on technical and public input, and planning staff will have sufficient time to fully consider the proposal, resulting in the best planning outcome.
  • Planning staff have sufficient time to fully consider the proposal in order to provide an independent and professional recommendation to Council.
  • Applications which are not supported are dealt with within the statutory timeline.
  • The statutory meeting takes place prior to a Recommendation Report (#2), allowing an applicant to incorporate public comments in a revised submission.
  • Recommendation Report (#2) provides a second opportunity for public comments to be heard by the CPRM Committee.
  • Council retains the ability to decide on an application within the legislated timeframe, regardless of the recommendation by staff.
  • If an appeal for non-decision is launched by an applicant, the de novo hearing process means that staff will have the ability to present complete evidence of the best planning outcome to the LPAT.

Cons:

  • An iterative approach between staff and an applicant does not guarantee that issues will be sufficiently addressed by the applicant. Therefore, there is some possibility that staff will recommend refusal to Council after the legislated timeframe.
  • A Council direction that staff continue to work with an applicant is not a Council decision on the development application; therefore, an appeal for non-decision could still be made by the applicant at a later stage.
  • The City is unable to control for the timing of comments from external agencies. Therefore, fulsome comments may not have been considered in Recommendation Report #1, within the statutory time.
  • There is no opportunity for a mandatory two-stage public meeting process where the application is being refused.

Required Resources:

  • Additional staff resources may be required in Community Planning, Transportation, Capital Works and Zoning to ensure that analysis and comments can be provided within the 15-day comment period. This will be evaluated through Phase II of Evolving the Organization.

Carried unanimously by Council.

Staff report: PL-06-20 Bill 108 Timelines

MY TAKE:

This is a really important matter and one I feel really strongly about. I want to thank staff, the technical review piece before the application submission is a great option and would give the development community insight into their application for free before they submit it. I do feel Option 1 doesn’t go far enough and we can shorten the 45 days portion of the application steps to finalize a recommendation report and get it before Committee and Council.

Why is meeting the Bill 108 deadlines so important? It’s about customer service. We need to be more expeditious and get more homes built sooner — it’s public service. I’m OK with going to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) to defend a decision we made on an application; I’m not OK with going there for a non-decision (when we miss timelines). We are all diminished when applications go to the LPAT and when applications don’t get processed in the appropriate timeframe.

 

• SUBDIVISION AGREEMENT EXTENSION FOR GARDEN TRAILS SUBDIVISION — Community Planning Department report.

Main motion was: Direct the Director of Community Planning to extend the Draft Plan Approval for the Garden Trails Subdivision at 550 Genista Drive up to six months, expiring December 30, 2020.

Amend the main motion from six months to up to two months, with the extension expiring August 31, 2020; and

Direct the Chief Financial Officer and the Executive Director of Legal Services to provide a report to the August cycle of meetings, on the recovery of costs, and the financial and legal implications of a new vs existing application with respect the Draft Plan Approval for the Gardens Trails subdivision.

Carried unanimously by Council.

MY TAKE:

It’s clear to me that the application has not met conditions of OMB — they’d had 20 years to meet those conditions and they haven’t. They expire in June. What should Council do? We’ve been told by staff that so much has changed, the studies the applicant will have to do, the work all agencies will have to do is the same as a new application. We’ve been told the applicant is willing to pay fees. We don’t make handshake deals, we have an accountable fees system. We heard the applicant’s concerns is time delays, not paying the fees. I believe the right path for us is to call this application what it is and that is a new one. The timeframe for processing this, we have been told, is roughly the same. We have an obligation to the applicant to ensure things are processed in a timely manner – we have new legislation to make sure. We’ve heard concerns that the new studies will cause the delays, but there are no ways around that — those studies must be done. The facts are fairly clear on this file. This report from staff has been straightforward – the work required is that of a new application and the recommendation from them is for us to treat it as such. We need to give our planning staff the resources they need, so that Council is not the cause of any delays. A new application has protections in place for the applicant and the City.

With that said, I am OK giving a two-month extension on the deadline to hear from staff on the financial and legal implications on this file.

 

• CONSTRUCTION AND MOBILITY MANAGEMENT FOR LOW-DENSITY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT — Capital Works Department report

Approve the amendment to the Construction and Mobility Management Policy with the addition of Schedule B, as included in Appendix A to capital works report CW-15-20; and

Approve the amendment to the Grading and Drainage Clearance Certificate By-law 52- 2018 with the addition of Condition 15 (i.e.: the requirement for a construction and mobility management plan for low density residential development), in the terms and conditions of Schedule A, as included in Appendix B to capital works report CW-15-20.

Carried unanimously by Council.

Staff report: CW-15-20 Construction and Mobility Management Policy for Low Density Residential Development

MY TAKE:

This will help to better manage impacts of low-density developments in neighbourhoods, especially when multiple projects are going on in close quarters — this report is leading edge. Staff heard from the development community, in addition to residents, and this is all about managing those impacts.

 

• STORMWATER MANAGEMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES — Captial Works Department report

Approve the updated Stormwater Management Design Guidelines for the City of Burlington, attached as Appendix A to capital works department report CW-14-20.

Carried unanimously by Council.

MY TAKE:

I want to truly thank our City staff who contributed to this and updated a document from 1977 — in addition to protecting our storm drainage system, it’s about being green while doing it. This report reflects that.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

RELATED LINKS:

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

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