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Upcoming Burlington Committee and Council Meetings on Interim Control Bylaw and Preferred Concept for Downtown

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We’re moving further along in the processes for our Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land-Use Study and a preferred concept for the downtown in our Official Plan (OP).

Discussions on a report by independent planning consultant Dillon (, part of the ICBL study, and the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted OP will take place at committee meetings, starting next week, and will head for approval votes at council meetings later this month.

Please see below a break down of the meetings, when they’re happening, what items are on the agenda and how you can engage in the process.

Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility CommitteeTuesday, Jan. 14, 20209:30 a.m. to noon (12 p.m.), reconvenes 1-4 p.m., and reconvenes 6:30-10 p.m.Statutory Public Meeting — Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land-Use Study and Consultant’s Report
  • Delegations (pre-register** or from the floor, 10 mins./speaker)
  • Planning Staff
  • Consultant attendance
Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee — Official PlanThursday, Jan. 16, 20201-4 p.m., reconvenes 6:30-10 p.m.Preferred concept for the downtown part of the re-examination of policies in adopted Official Plan (OP)
  • Delegations (10 mins./speaker)**
  • Planning Staff
  • Consultant attendance
Regular Meeting of CouncilMonday, Jan. 27, 20206:30-10 p.m.Ratification Council votes for preferred concept for the downtown + all other standing committee items, excluding ICBL item
  • Delegations (5 mins./speaker) — pre-registration only**
  • Staff
Special Council Meeting — Interim Control BylawThursday, Jan. 30, 20209:30 noon (12 p.m.), reconvenes 1-4 p.m.Ratification Council vote for Interim Control Bylaw Land-Use Study and Consultant’s Report
  • Delegations (5 mins./speaker) — pre-registration only**
  • Staff

**Delegates, please pre-register at Please note agendas (and corresponding reports and appendices) for each meeting will be made available on (check back regularly).

More information on the Interim Control Bylaw Land-Use Study and the Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown process, please click the respective links to the dedicated webpages on the City of Burlington’s website.



The bottom line of the consultant’s report is that the downtown John Street bus terminal “does not function as a major bus depot” and that’s unlikely to change without future improvements and enhancements, and the MTSA downtown “is not expected to be a significant driver for intensification beyond that which is required by the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC)” (p. 99-100 of the report). Meanwhile, the Burlington GO station has the potential to accommodate much more transit ridership than it does presently.

Only the Region and Province can change MTSA designations and until that happens Burlington needs to update its Official Plan policies and Zoning Bylaw before the development freeze ends on March 5 to better define and control the impact in each area.

We are on track to meet that deadline with upcoming discussions at committee Jan. 14 and a special meeting of council Jan. 30, followed by a 20-day appeal period.

Strengthening our OP is one more milestone on the journey to reclaiming a community vision for downtown.

The next step includes an outstanding staff direction to review the appropriateness of the MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) designations for the downtown at the end of the ICBL and OP review studies.

The work of the ICBL has been completed with the delivery of the study and proposed updates to the existing OP, therefore the ICBL is not proposed to be extended.

We appreciate the concerns residents may have with this process and with updating the OP with stronger MTSA language prior to reviewing the designations themselves. However, it has been important to ground our discussions about the designations in planning rationale.

The consultant’s report positions us with solid planning rationale for these conversations with the Region and Province.

In the meantime, updating our OP protects residents’ interests while we embark on the next step. Many of the suggested changes are simply good policy in their own right.

We have asked staff to provide a broader timeline to the public at next week’s meeting for the next steps in the process of ensuring a community vision for the downtown, and how the staff direction fits in.

I will also be bring some modifications to the staff report at committee, so stay tuned.

OP and Downtown Concept

There are some really good changes staff have made to the proposed concept, including protections for Brant Street and Lakeshore, as well as for Village Square with three storeys and 20 metre setbacks. However, there is still too much height on the downtown east side and I’ll be working at addressing that next week at committee.

— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

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

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