My office has recently been getting some questions around the No Frills Plaza on Brant Street and whether or not there is any development happening here.
At this time, the City of Burlington has not received any notice of a pre-application meeting or received notice of interest to redevelop through an application for an Official Plan Amendment or Zoning Bylaw Amendment. Certainly, no decisions have been made. Decisions can only occur through a significant public process, detailed below.
The Ward Councillor has asked staff for an update on this property that we can share with the public. This post will also be updated with this information once we have it.
There have been inquiries from time to time on the property and in that case staff provide information related to what the current in-force (old) Official Plan (OP) contemplates for the site, as well as what the newly approved OP (2020) calls for.
Among other things, the new OP calls for retention of a food store, as well as a community park, as part of any comprehensive redevelopment of this property. We will update this post with further details on the specifics of the Old and New OPs once gathered together. Of note, this new OP is under appeal, so it has not come into legal force and effect, though it can be used as a guide to help inform development proposals that are submitted in the meantime.
It is also important to note that any development application for an Official Plan or Zoning Bylaw Amendment received by the City must go through a significant public process before any approvals can take place.
This process occurs in the public forum and includes several opportunities and ways for residents and members of the community to participate and provide their input.
We’ve listed these steps further down this post, and presently, none of them have been initiated for this property. If that changes, the public will be updated and have opportunity to have your say.
To learn more about how to delegate at a public meeting, please head to burlington.ca/delegations. All development applications submitted to the City are listed by ward at burlington.ca/developmentprojects
Ward 2 development projects are listed here: https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/ward-two.asp
If an application for this property is submitted, information on it will be found in this Ward 2 section.
I remain committed to doing what we can to prevent overdevelopment throughout Burlington. That means using the tools that are under our control, like our new Official Plan, as well as advocating to other levels of government on areas outside our control, as we did in getting the Urban Growth Centre and Major Transit Station Area designations adjusted and removed, respectively, from our downtown. All these steps work together to better achieve reasonable development that respects our community’s vision, while allowing appropriate growth to continue to occur downtown and throughout the city.
Our goal is to ensure the right amount of growth, in the right place, at the right scale. That will vary by area. For example, we want to protect our established residential neighbourhoods from inappropriate growth, while directing the bulk of higher density development where it belongs: to our GO stations, closest to mass transit and regional express rail, as well as secondary growth areas like older retail plazas.
We have taken several steps to achieve our vision of where growth should occur, and at what scale. Learn more about them here:
- Next steps update for MTSA/UGC designations: https://mariannemeedward.ca/burlington-mayor-meed-ward-sends-letter-to-burlington-mpp-jane-mckenna-on-next-step-updates-for-mtsa-ugc-designations/
- Update on Minister’s decision on Downtown growth: https://mariannemeedward.ca/update-from-the-city-of-burlington-on-minister-clarks-decision-on-downtown-growth/
- View and provide feedback on the MTSA preliminary preferred precinct plans around our GO stations: https://mariannemeedward.ca/give-your-feedback-on-burlingtons-mtsa-preliminary-preferred-precinct-plans-around-go-station-areas/
PUBLIC PLANNING PROCESS STEPS
We want to reassure the public that any decisions made by council on any development occurs within a public process that keeps you informed and involved every step of the way, with multiple opportunities to shape the final project. You will also know how your elected representatives voted on each project, and their rationale.
Council members typically do not take a position on a development matter until receiving the staff recommendation report. This protects the fairness of the process for all parties, to ensure all information is received and considered before a position is taken.
- The process starts with a pre-application community meeting to receive public input. A dedicated webpage is created on the city website with information related to the community meeting and the initial proposal. The status of the project is listed as: “Pre-application: Complete application not yet received”
- Then a formal development application for an Official Plan or Zoning Bylaw Amendment is made to the city.
- Once the application has been deemed “complete” by staff, including receipt of all the necessary supporting documents, the dedicated webpage is updated with all relevant reports and public notices. The status of the project is listed as “Amendment Application – Under Review.”
- The city must process all applications it receives and must do so within 120 days or risk an appeal to the Ontario Lands Tribunal for “non-decision”. This would take decision-making out of the hands of staff, the community and council, so we endeavour to complete our work within this legislated time frame.
- Information about the proposal is also presented to City Council at the Community Planning Regulation and Mobility Committee. Residents can delegate to speak to share their input, or simply attend and listen to the presentation and discussion. No decisions are made at this meeting. It is to inform Council and residents and receive input to shape the proposal.
- Staff review the application and continue to receive public input, and further input from the applicant. That input shapes the future recommendation from staff.
- Staff make a recommendation to Council to approve, reject or modify the proposal. This is also done at a subsequent meeting. Residents can delegate to speak to share their input, or simply attend and listen to the presentation and discussion. This is a decision-making meeting.
- Council, at the Community Planning Regulation and Mobility Committee, votes to accept the staff recommendation, reject it, or modify it. This recommendation then goes to a subsequent Council meeting for a final decision. Residents can also attend this meeting and speak. All votes are recorded, so you will know how your representative voted on an application.
- After Council makes a decision, either an applicant or residents who are not happy with the decision can appeal to the Ontario Lands Tribunal. A hearing would be set, evidence presented, and the OLT ultimately decides. They have the authority to make a different decision than the one council has made.