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Dealing with panhandling at intersections, updates to the heritage registry on Planning & Development committee Dec. 11

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Council’s Planning & Development Committee will be discussing a motion to get more information on options to deal with panhandling at busy intersections, and recommended updates to the Municipal Heritage Registry.

Highlights, links to agendas and reports and how you can participate are below:

Planning & Development, Dec. 11:
1pm and 6:30pm
Rm 247, City Hall

Agenda and reports: P&D Dec. 11

Speak to committee: Register as a Delegation

Highlights:

Options for panhandling at intersections

Burlington residents are generous and caring, and that has contributed to an increase in panhandling at major intersections while vehicles are stopped at traffic lights. According to Halton Regional Police, no rules are being broken so long as people asking for money do not step into traffic until they are collecting a donation. However, stepping into traffic to collect a donation has created potential safety issues. Below is one sample of a number of emails my office has received on this topic:

“Although it’s the time of giving, I have recently witnessed several occasions when the traffic flow and therefore tempers have been affected by the following. When people are collecting money at traffic lights they have rushed out to the second lane to collect and are still there when the lights change to green. They try to rush back to safety but one of them will get badly hurt when a car does not wait. At the weekend one driver was so incensed he went straight through the red light after being delayed. People talk about improving the traffic flow and this is one thing that need to be looked at.”

As a result, I am bringing the following staff direction to committee for consideration:

Direct the Director of City Building to assign appropriate staff to consult with Halton Regional Police Services and the Halton Region Health and Social Services Department, and report back on options to eliminate panhandling in busy intersections in Burlington, and identify social supports available to residents in need by Q2 2019.

Updates to the Municipal Heritage Registry

Staff are recommending a series of updates to Burlington’s Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Resources, which keeps track of properties of heritage interest. These properties may or may not be formally designated for protection under the Ontario Heritage Act. As of November 23, 2018, Burlington’s Municipal Register lists 262 properties. Of these, 75 are designated and 187 are not designated.

The recommended updates to the register are:

  • Correct the legal description of 736 King Road in the designation bylaw
  • Remove 1309 Appleby Line. In Nov. 2017 the farmhouse was demolished. As the building of heritage value has been lost, staff recommend removal of this property from the Register.
  • Remove 4372 Appleby Line. This is the location of Trinity Baptist Church. On August 16, 2017, the original church building was damaged beyond repair by a fire. In November 2017, the remaining portions of the original building were legally demolished for safety reasons. The 2004 building remains on the property. As the building of heritage value has been lost, staff recommend that Council remove this property from the Register.
  • Remove 243 Malvern Road. On May 12, 2018, the house was damaged beyond repair by a fire. In late May, 2018, the remaining portions of the building were legally demolished for safety reasons. As the building of heritage value has been lost, staff recommend that Council remove this property from the Municipal Register.
  • Confirm the removal of 1437 Elgin Street from the Municipal Register, and add 470 Maple Ave. The David Bastedo house was formerly located at 1437 Elgin St and was moved to 470 Maple Ave to facilitate development on Elgin Street. This recommendation reflects the change of location of the heritage asset.
  • Confirm the addition 1433 Baldwin Street to the Municipal Register. Central High School was constructed in 1922 as Burlington’s first secondary school. Central High School and Central Public School were both added to the Register as non- designated properties, along with all other non-designated “A” and “B” properties, in 2008. At the time, both properties were listed on the Register under the same address, 638 Brant Street. This is in fact the address of Central Public School only. The address of Central High School is 1433 Baldwin Street.
    Staff recommend that Council clarify the location of Central High School by formally confirming the inclusion of 1433 Baldwin Street on the Register.

Heritage Burlington, the city’s citizen advisory committee on heritage matters, was consulted on all of the above changes and supports them.

Incentives:

The City offers incentives to encourage owners to voluntarily seek designation of their properties. These incentives are the Community Heritage Fund and the Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program.
The Community Heritage Fund provides financial assistance to owners of designated heritage properties for eligible restoration projects. This financial assistance takes the form of grants for 25% of project costs to a maximum of $15,000, and loans for 50% of project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

The Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program provides an annual rebate of 40% of property taxes for owners of residential properties that are designated.

My Take: I support the changes, and encourage owners of designated heritage properties to look into the rebate and grant assistance programs available to maintain these resources. I also encourage owners of properties on the register that are not yet designated, to consider designation to ensure protection of these properties, and receive financial incentives to assist in upkeep.

3 thoughts on “Dealing with panhandling at intersections, updates to the heritage registry on Planning & Development committee Dec. 11”

  1. I have also heard, albeit second hand, from someone speaking with one of the panhandlers, that yes, infact it is organized and they are dropped off. And apparently they are taking in $70 per hour. It is initiated in Hamilton. Someone is taking advantage of the disadvantaged and putting them out there in sub zero temperatures; which should also be addressed.

  2. We have recently witnessed people collecting money at the intersections of Brant and Fairview, Brant and Plains Road, and Brant and the North Service Road, all on the same day and time. It seemed an unlikely coincidence and we suspected that these individuals had been organized and dropped off.
    We prefer to donate through legitimate organizations.

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

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:

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