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Burlington Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study Documents Available to Public


Over the past eight months, City of Burlington staff have been working on the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land Use Study with third-party consultant Dillon Consulting.

At a statutory public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at 9:30 a.m., staff will be bringing forward a staff recommendation report, along with a proposed Official Plan (OP) amendment to the current OP and a proposed zoning bylaw amendment, as a result of the study.

The purpose of the proposed OP and Zoning Bylaw Amendments are to:

  • Strengthen the integration between land use and transit by introducing policies related to transit-supportive development;
  • Introduce the concept of Major Transit Station Areas into the Official Plan and establish a policy framework;
  • Introduce development criteria for development applications within the study area;
  • Update or add definitions to the OP to align with Provincial policy documents and/or assist in the interpretation of OP policies; and,
  • Introduce additional permitted uses and heights on lands in proximity to the Burlington GO Station.

The ICBL restricts the development of lands within the study area for a period of one year, including the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC) and lands near the Burlington GO Station.

Links to the staff report and accompanying appendices from the ICBL study that will be presented by staff at the Jan. 14 meeting are available below and also online at

“The recommendation to implement an ICBL was brought forward by City staff in response to two primary concerns, including growth pressures that continue to emerge for the lands in the study area and a need to review the role and function of the John Street Bus Terminal as a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA). With the findings of the study in hand, City staff will come back to City Council on Jan. 14 with proposed amendments to the current in-force-and-effect Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw that will make it possible for new development in the identified study area to be better informed by the City’s transit, transportation and land use vision.”  — Heather MacDonald, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility

The dedicated ICBL webpage on the City’s website ( also includes some Q-and-A’s about the ICBL and how you can register to speak as a delegate at the Jan. 14, 2020 committee meeting.


Anyone who would like to delegate at the statutory public meeting on Jan. 14, 2020 are not required to register in advance. However, if you wish to arrange to speak at the meeting prior to Jan. 14, please register online at or contact the committee clerk, Jo-Anne Rudy by phone at 905-335-7600, ext. 7413 or email at

Please note, any presentation materials must be submitted to the committee clerk by noon (12 p.m.) on Jan. 13, 2020, so that they may be reviewed by members of Council before the meeting on Jan. 14.


  • An interim control bylaw (ICBL) is a tool available to Ontario municipalities as part of the Planning Act. An ICBL places a temporary “freeze” on the development of certain lands while a municipality is studying or reviewing its land use policies. The restrictions can only be imposed for one year, with a maximum extension of a second year. An ICBL may not be appealed when it is first passed, however the extension of the ICBL to a second year may be appealed.
  • Developments in the study area that submitted applications for site plan approval, in accordance with the approved zoning bylaw, prior to March 5, 2019, are exempt from the ICBL study area.
  • During the one-year “freeze” on development in the study area, the ICBL Land Use Study:
    • Assessed the role and function of the downtown bus terminal and the Burlington GO station on Fairview Street as Major Transit Station Areas
    • Examined the planning structure, land use mix and intensity for the lands identified in the study area
    • Proposed updates to the Official Plan and Zoning bylaw regulations as needed for the lands identified in the study area.


I will be reading the staff report and accompanying appendices overt the holidays and will have more to say in January. I welcome the public participation. This is another step in the process to get the community’s vision reflected in our downtown. We are well on track to completing this work when the one-year deadline on our ICBL is up.

Some folks have come to me and my office with questions as to why these plans are around and include the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designation on the downtown. Staff has to plan with the MTSA included because our downtown currently has that designation and to plan with the MTSA included would leave us vulnerable in any appeals, if they are to occur. The OP and ICBL work position us well as we go into discussions on whether the downtown should be an UGC and MTSA. There’s an outstanding staff direction to review those designations at the end of the OP/ICBL work.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward


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

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