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City enhances public engagement in development applications with early notice


The City of Burlington has taken another step forward in enhancing public involvement in planning and development matters, by creating webpages for proposed development applications.

In the past, a webpage would only be created after a complete application had been submitted, yet public input starts much sooner than that in Burlington.

In our city we require developers to host a public meeting before submitting an application to seek resident input and then demonstrate how that has been incorporated into the final application once submitted.

Under the new system, by creating a website as soon as there is a public meeting or other public documents to share, residents have a reliable way to see the facts about a proposal and stay connected throughout the process. The pages will include summary details of a pending or proposed application where those have been made public by the applicant, any upcoming public meetings, any staff reports, staff directions or background information. Residents can also subscribe to receive updates whenever new information is posted.

This will allow residents to stay involved in the application as it moves through the planning process which can take many months.

The first two applications to receive this enhanced early notice treatment are the proposed Nelson Quarry Extension, and the proposed Millcroft Greens development.

You can visit and subscribe to those pages here:

Nelson Quarry Extension

Millcroft Greens Proposal

City Council has also recently approved a format for virtual public meetings for development applications, to ensure there are opportunities for public input through the COVID19 pandemic while in-person meetings are not possible due to provincial emergency orders. The Millcroft Greens proposal will be the first application to use this new approach.

The virtual public meeting will take place on Wednesday June 17 from 7-9pm. Details for how to participate can be found on the Pending Applications webpage for this proposal here: Millcroft Greens Virtual Public Meeting

My Take:


This is another great step forward to ensure public input and involvement in development applications early in the process, before applications are submitted. This is something I advocated for and practised in my eight years as the Ward 2 Councillor, hosting pre-application meetings and posting information on my webpage with the willing participation of developers (all but one who voluntarily agreed!). It’s great to see this process embraced and formalized by the city. The new webpages will give residents a reliable source of information, and a way to stay involved in proposed developments throughout the planning process.

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1 thought on “City enhances public engagement in development applications with early notice”

  1. Great! However I remember staff distinctly telling us that despite public engagement, they had the final say. Has this changed?

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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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