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Statement from Burlington Mayor on Proposed Interim Control Bylaw

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I have released a statement regarding the proposed interim control bylaw public staff report that is coming to the Planning and Development Committee Meeting on Tuesday, March 5.

Burlington, Ont.—March 4, 2019 — The Department of City Building has brought forward a report (PB-36-19) recommending an interim control bylaw to temporarily limit the development of certain lands within a proposed study area of the City of Burlington.

An interim control bylaw (or ICB) is a tool available to Ontario municipalities as part of the Planning Act. An ICB puts a temporary prohibition or limitation on the development of certain lands while the municipality is studying or reviewing its land use policies. The initial “freeze” can be imposed for one year, with a maximum extension of one additional year. In accordance with the Planning Act, when an ICB is first passed by City Council, there is no ability to appeal it. Any extension, however, could be appealed.

The study areas recommended in the report by the Department of City Building include the Urban Growth Centre (including Downtown Burlington) and lands in proximity to the Burlington GO Station on Fairview Street.  The rationale of the land-use study is to examine the role of existing transit, transportation and land use in our Urban Growth Center and align future decisions with our city’s Strategic Plan.

More information about the report and affected areas can be found by clicking the link: Addendum Package – Planning and Development Committee_Mar05_2019 (4)

Existing development applications that have already been approved and their related appeals processes have elapsed are proposed to be exempt from the ICB. Applications that have not yet been approved or are still in the process of appeals would be affected by the ICB.

This measure will allow us the time to better study our land-use policies in the areas specifically designated under the ICB, review and refine our goals for community growth and development, and ensure they align with the vision the people of Burlington have for our city.

Overall, I support the rationale behind this report and believe this is a very important and timely matter for City Council to consider at this time. Subject to Council approval, I want to reiterate that what is being recommended is a temporary measure, not a permanent one. It will afford us the time and opportunity to do the more detailed land-use review work needed on our vision and policies, without the pressure of reviewing applications at the same time within the study areas included in the ICB. Once the land-use study outlined in the report has been completed, and any required policy changes are made, we will be in a better position to properly evaluate applications and ensure they align with updated policies and the community’s vision for these key areas in our city.

We will consider this report at the Planning and Development Committee on Tuesday (March 5) afternoon, with a Special Council meeting to follow. A decision will be made whether or not to move forward with the recommended action laid out in the report, and at that time, more updates will be released by the City of Burlington.

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11 thoughts on “Statement from Burlington Mayor on Proposed Interim Control Bylaw”

  1. I support the use of a temporary ban on new development approvals – particularly in the downtown area. We voted for a Mayor and Council who would restrict runaway growth based on short-term gains for developers. We need time for the new OP to be developed and the opportunity to reflect changes in provincial planning policies. It will be unfortunate if plans to redevelop Maple Avenue LTC home have to go on hold. But I believe this is a time for sombre reflection before moving ahead.

  2. Chuck Wightman

    As more Burlingtonians age, the city will need MORE and BETTER transit. Free riders are not going to pay for this. The property taxes from new development and new PAYING ridership will. If you do not have new development, you will not have new tax revenue. If you have a poor system, you will not entice new ridership. If you do not have new tax revenue, those who presently enjoy Burlington will either PAY MORE or GET LESS. To pretend otherwise is to feed people the same folly that has created the poor planning, traffic congestion and poor transit we already have. Be honest about what the future needs and holds…AND PAY FOR IT.

  3. This could pose a real problem for the proposed change of location for Maple Villa Long term care home. Will council allow for exceptions when it means keeping a nursing home in Burlington as opposed to it moving as far away as St Catherines. I can’t imagine what that would do to the residents and their families. Hopefully this is not “short sighted” action being imposed here. We need to look at the “big picture”. Intensification is not the only important issue Burlington faces. With our aging population ensuring we have enough long term care right here in Burlington should be a number one priority. Let’s not have tunnel vision.

  4. I think this is a timely issue for the City to relieve the multiple development pressures immediately in these area’s to produce development and City characrter that the citizens are openly requesting. Creating a developement environment that is more balance/fair for all parties involved plus leaving a City for everyone to be proud of

  5. When an interim control by-law was proposed for the Roseland area about five years ago, the Planning Director of-the-day called such a by-law “Draconian”. It is hardly that! It is another tool in the municipal toolkit hopefully leading to orderly renewal of our downtown. Our “core commitment” should be based on sound community planning principles and not just market-driven intensification for individual sites. It is an old planning adage, but you need the picture on the front of the box in order to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

  6. It will be a difficult process with much rancor and resistance from developers.
    But we must recall it was their overreach on height and limited community benefit, with support at OMB ..LPAT that has forced city’s hand.
    A liitle more give on their part over the last twobyears may have avoided this.
    It is still not too late for developers to seek compromise solutions.
    A bold but essential move.
    We elected a new council to tackle this issue.
    Let us support them.

  7. We need a city wide multimodal transportation plan to reduce and eliminate traffic congestion first. All future developments must accommodate the plan’s infrastructure. If transportation infrastructure increases development value, then some of the increased value belongs to the city.

  8. Gary & Jill Parker

    We most enthusiastically support the recommendation in this report! Something like this was sorely needed to deal with the run-away nature of current development proposals.

  9. It seems like an appropriate thing to do while the Official Plan amendments and additions are being worked on.

  10. Chuck Wightman

    Why exactly should we be imposing a moratorium on developments next to key transit hubs such as the downtown terminal, and the main Go station? These are the places to drive development, and where it makes the most sense. Imposing a moratorium will drive up development costs up: READ INCREASE new housing costs. The lands, such as the Holland Park and Elizabeth Interiors sites, are not such that there is anything historic or aesthetic to preserve. Encourage development in sensible areas. Encourage development where it can drive transit use. Intensification of this sort, and not middle-of-nowhere sites, like Alton will help fund better, more efficient transit. Holding it up, simply delays transit improvements with no obvious gain for the city or its citizens.

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