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Update on Burlington OP Timelines and Processing of Development Applications as a Result of COVID-19

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*Please see below a media release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — March 27, 2020 — In these unprecedented times, it has been necessary for the City to make changes to various timelines and processes related to Planning and Building and By-law matters.

To that end, the Statutory public meeting scheduled for April 14 on the official downtown policies has been pushed to fall to better enable the public and all stakeholders an opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and Council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum.

The City is currently processing development applications and building permit applications received by March 13.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings until the end of June. As a result of COVID-19, processes for building inspections have been modified accordingly to keep both staff and the public safe.

“The City continues to process applications received prior to March 13th and City staff remain available by email and phone to connect and answer questions.  In light of the situation with COVID-19 and the rapidly changing updates from healthcare professionals and our partners across all levels of government, our priority remains on keeping staff and the public safe. Since March 16th, City Hall remains closed to the public and we will continue to do our best to ensure transparency and accountability to the public while protecting our staff and the public.” — Heather MacDonald, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility

Official Plan Update

Over the past few months, the Official Plan project team with help from planning firm, SGL Planning and Design, have been working on developing detailed policies. The endorsed land use vision and built form concept for the Downtown was largely endorsed by Council this past January.

The detailed policies were going to be available for public review during the week of March 23 and presented to Council in April 2020 as recommended modifications to the policies of the Adopted Official Plan. However, these timelines have been delayed to protect the public and City staff and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, the City has closed facilities, including City Hall.

These closures and workplace changes have had an impact on the project timeline. As a result, the public release of the detailed policies and associated reports will be delayed.

The detailed policies will now be released at the end of April and the Statutory Public Meeting will be scheduled for the fall.

The City recognizes the work of the Scoped Re-examination of the Adopted Official Plan is vitally important to continue to move forward.  The City remains committed to ensuring the public has the full ability to comment on the detailed policies and for this reason, the associated timelines have been changed.

Planning Applications

  • Development applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
  • Inquires continue to be handled by Planning staff via phone and email.
  • Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.
  • No Pre-application public meetings will be held at this time, including Millcroft Green, and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings scheduled to take place between March 16th until the end of June. The cancelled hearings will be rescheduled at a later date. Currently, hearings July onward will proceed on their scheduled date. Burlington applications affected include:

  • March 20 – HHHBA Appeal of Parking rates- first Case Management Conference
  • March 20 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- a telephone CMC
  • April 17 –  1157 Northshore Blvd (Amica)- a telephone CMC
  • April 30 – 2069 Lakeshore /Pearl Street (Carriage Gate)- first Case Management Conference
  • May 11 – OPA 107 (Evergreen)- a Case Management Conference
  • May 19 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- Hearing

There were no Burlington hearings scheduled for June.

“Our primary focus is on the safety of the public, our staff and buildings in our city when we do our building inspections.  Exterior building inspections are continuing with our normal process and the reality of COVID-19 has made us look at creative ways to deliver on interior inspections.  We have created a modified process for interior inspections to respect physical distancing and avoid the need for staff to go into buildings.  We appreciate the continued understanding of our community as we continue to address this challenge together.” — Nick Anastasopoulos, Chief Building Official and Director of Building & Bylaw

Building Permits and Inspections

  • Building permit applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
  • Staff have implemented a modified level of building inspections. Exterior building inspections continue and a modified process for interior inspections is in place that does not involve staff going into buildings and protects staff from physical contact in line with COVID-19 safety precautions.
  • Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.

Signage in Commercial Districts

  • A-frame signage on private property is still permitted in front of any business during regular business hours and no permits are required.
  • Portable sign permits and renewals are still being processed by sending necessary information to building@burlington.ca.

Business License Renewal

  • Existing business licenses that require renewal will be extended during the COVID-19 crisis.

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:

This is an extraordinary and unprecedented situation we’re facing, and we know it won’t be business as usual for some time. As a City, we’ll continue the operations we can, while putting the health and safety of our community and employees first.

Our downtown policies and Official Plan are vitally important to our entire community. We want to ensure the public and all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum. This work is appropriately put on hold till we can provide that opportunity. Releasing the policies early affords everyone significant time for review and comment, before decisions are made. This is perhaps the silver lining in this situation.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that will be updated as new information becomes available.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

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

 

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Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

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905-335-7600, ext. 7689