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City explores potential for Heritage Conservation District on Mount Nemo Plateau

Mount Nemo Plateau
Mount Nemo Plateau

Close to 100 residents attended a public workshop Feb. 10 to explore the potential of creating a Heritage Conservation District on the Mount Nemo Plateau.

A preliminary study of Mount Nemo by Heritage Consultant Andre Scheinman found that the area had the potential to be a heritage district for both its landscape features (lot patterns, views, landscape) and its historic buildings, some of which already have formal heritage designation.

The next step in the process would be to review the public input and determine whether there is interest in proceeding to a more detailed study. Staff are expected to report back to council with a proposal. If council authorizes a study, it will take about 12-18 months before a formal bylaw would come back, outlining exactly which features would be covered by the Heritage District.

A show of hands at the public meeting was 2/3 in favour of proceeding with further discussion on a heritage conservation district. At the same time, a number of residents raised valid concerns regarding extra layers of government bureaucracy (residents already deal with greenbelt restrictions, Niagara Escarpment Commission, Conservation Halton, Halton Region and city rules, among others.) They were worried about blanket heritage designation and the impact on private homes. Some wondered whether a Heritage Conservation District would achieve the ultimate goal of protecting the landscape. These are issues that must be explored before any decisions are made.

My Take: I’m supportive of continuing the discussion about how a Heritage Conservation District might enhance our ability to protect the rural landscape. There are more questions than answers at this point. One of my questions is whether a bylaw could be scoped to apply to the landscape, and not the buildings. I’m looking forward to continued public dialogue on this issue.

Your Take: What are your views on using a Heritage Conservation District to protect the Mount Nemo plateau? Leave a comment below.

Written by 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.

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  1. As I understand it, the proposed ‘by law’ to undertake the ‘study’ is intended to a place a ONE YEAR building/alteration moratorium on the properties within the somewhat arbitrary boundaries of the ‘Mount Nemo Plateau’. Why is that necessary? It’s significantly longer then any ‘Heritage Designation’. Is that the point? To ‘lock down’ the properties without current ‘formal’ heritage designation? Seems a bit heavy-handed to me. Overall, this area is already ‘protected’ by the NEC and Greenbelt legislation, why must taxpayers spend $200,000 (budgeted) for a ANOTHER ‘heritage consultant’ to tell us what is already ‘protected’? As always, I get the sense that there is much more to this ‘City Planning’ then meets the eye. mlh

  2. Firstly how much will this adventure cost the taxpayers? Ultimately even with a designation we will require competent representation when our friendly developer decides upon a second locale for more Mcmansions that will further erode the natural character of the plateau. However it seems to work in LA as long as the architecture is considerate of the environment and well placed however it would appear from the recent buildings approved for redevelopment and infill through out Burlington that there is something amiss, just my take.

    Cheers Rob

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