Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – December 2022 roundup.
The Mayor’s Monday Mailbag is a weekly initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Mayor’s social media platforms.
At the end of the month, we publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.
Mayor’s Mailbag – December 2022 Roundup
- “What is the City of Burlington doing about the Province’s Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022?”
- “I want to help improve my neighbourhood and I have an idea for a project. What can the City of Burlington do to help?”
- “When a winter storm hits, how can I stay informed and get in touch with the City of Burlington with any related concerns?”
“What is the City of Burlington doing about the Province’s Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022?”
The Mayor’s Office has received numerous feedback and concerns from the public regarding Bill 23. Mayor Meed Ward is continually advocating for Burlington in how it, like other municipalities, will be negatively impacted by the Bill on the various tables she sits at and is sharing her thoughts on her various social media channels and with the media who have reached out for interviews.
- The City of Burlington most recently published a news release outlining the impacts of Bill 23 on our city.
- Mayor Meed Ward also recently spoke to Bill 23 during her Weekly Mayor’s Update with YourTV Halton News — Click here to watch the media clip
- The Mayor’s website has been sharing several posts related to Bill 23 since it was announced by the Province back in October. She has raised concerns about the proposal to shift growth costs from for-profit developers to taxpayers, and how additional fulsome consultations with municipalities are needed. The City of Burlington is already doing our share and will continue to address supply, that will help overall affordability. We have 21,000 housing units under review toward the 29,000 units assigned to us by the Province. These will largely be around our Major Transit Station Areas (3 GO stations), aging retail plazas, and other select growth nodes. You can read more about our MTSA work here: https://www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/mtsa
- Burlington City Council and Regional Council unanimously endorsed resolutions raising concerns about Bill 23. The Mayor mentions the potential consequences will be devastating to the environment, to coordinated planning and to taxpayers — “downloading the costs of growth from for-profit developers to you, the taxpayer. It is chaotic and the wrong kind of disruption. I have little doubt that this will lead to unintended consequences that will, at the end of the day, make it harder to build homes faster. As such, it works against the goal of what we all want to achieve. We stand ready to work with the Province as an equal partner.”
- The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) board and Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) caucus have raised the same concerns around downloading costs related to new developments to taxpayers, and estimated the cost to municipalities at $1 billion per year. The only way to make that up will be in raising taxes, which doesn’t help affordability.
- As a member of the Conservation Halton Board, along with the Mayors of Oakville and Milton, Mayor Meed Ward co-signed a letter to the Province urging the government to press pause on Bill 23. Read more here.
- The Mayor also added her voice to the concerns of the Small Urban GTHA Mayors in their letter to the Province. The Small Urban GTHA Mayors letter mentioned that they “agree that housing availability and affordability is a priority issue in each of their municipalities. Although we collectively agree with some aspects of the Bill, there are several unprecedented implications for small urban communities that need to be discussed.”
- In addition, Mayor Meed Ward penned a letter to share her, Council’s and the Burlington’s concerns with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, mentioning that “building housing for Ontarians is too important to rush, therefore, Bill 23 should be paused and more fulsome dialogue with municipalities is needed.” The letter outlines concerns of Ontario’s Big City Mayors, as well as specific impacts to Burlington, sharing further concerns around funding cuts and accountability. Please read more here. As the Mayor also outlined in her letter, there is no guarantee that savings will be passed on to buyers.
The Mayor has added her voice to advocacy, asking the Province to “press pause” on Bill 23. This will give municipalities and Conservation Authorities time to work with the Province on the best way forward. Planning for the immediate and future housing needs for Ontario, needs to be done in such a way that it has no negative impacts on the environment (wetlands, stormwater catch basins, etc.) or on municipalities’ ability to collect the needed Development Charges (DCs) to build infrastructure and provide services to the residents in these new homes. While we recognize that housing affordability needs to be addressed, Burlington has a Housing Strategy to look at tools to address affordability including crediting DCs for “affordable” units and inclusionary zoning for affordable units around MTSAs. You can read more about our affordability strategy here: https://www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/housingstrategy
The actions the Mayor and Council are taking are in an effort to provide mechanisms for more affordable and attainable housing, to ensure that municipalities’ voices are considered when planning for the future and to protect our natural environment.
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“I want to help improve my neighbourhood and I have an idea for a project. What can the City of Burlington do to help?”
We are always appreciative when residents have ideas to help strengthen the community and make our city even better! To help residents turn their big ideas into a reality, the City of Burlington is currently accepting applications for our Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund until Feb. 28, 2023.
The Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund helps residents implement new projects in Burlington that aim to enhance the quality of life and foster community pride. Community groups and neighbourhoods can come together around their idea, create a team, develop a budget, project plan and submit their application and relevant documents to the City. Groups that have their projects approved can receive up to 50% of the funding for the project from the City of Burlington, up to a maximum of $10,000!
Our goal is to help inspire community led initiatives and support residents to help their vision come to life. The City is looking for projects that help enhance infrastructure amenities in areas that are accessible to the public, such as parks and gardens. Some previously-approved projects have included community gardens, a Junior Lawn Bowling program, and new parkettes.
If you have an idea for a project for your community, check out the City’s Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund webpage for more information on applications, criteria, past projects and more.
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“When a winter storm hits, how can I stay informed and get in touch with the City of Burlington with any related concerns?”
The City of Burlington’s winter control program has several ways for residents to find the information they’re looking for and get in touch with the City if they have any storm-related concerns.
GENERAL SNOW-CLEARING/MAINTENANCE INFO
General information on snow clearing and winter maintenance service levels are available on the City’s website at: https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/snow-removal.asp
The Service Burlington customer service portal is the City’s primary point of contact for residents to ensure all requests are handled efficiently and are tracked in one central location. Service requests and general inquiries regarding winter maintenance standards and related services, can be directed to 905-335-7777 or by email to email@example.com. We encourage all requests to be sent via this method so we can accurately track inquiries and issue relevant reports.
URGENT AFTER-HOURS CONCERNS
After-hour urgent (safety related) concerns can also be directed to the City’s main line at 905-335-7777 and the option selected to report an urgent matter that will be reported immediately to City operations staff.
STAYING INFORMED: SNOW EVENT DECLARATIONS/CLOSURES/PROGRAM CHANGES
Residents wanting to stay informed on Snow Event declarations, facility closures/re-openings and recreation program changes due to inclement weather should subscribe to the respective newsfeed at www.burlington.ca/subscribe and follow the City on Facebook and/or Twitter.
During a Snow Event, road clearing updates will be sent to Snow Control Update subscribers at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
SNOW PLOW TRACKER
Our Plow Tracker application is active and available at burlington.focus511.com. The tracker provides close to real-time snow clearing updates using GPS technology to track the progress of City’s plows as they clear roads during a Snow Event.
When plows pass over a road, the colour of the road on the map changes to indicate a plow is operating in the area. As the clean-up continues, roads throughout the city will change colour until all plowing is complete.
DRIVEWAY WINDROW SNOW REMOVAL PROGRAM
Registration for the Driveway Windrow Snow Removal Program is now closed with 200 participants. If you need assistance with plowing your driveway, please connect with your neighbours. We have heard wonderful and heart-warming stories of community members helping out their neighbours with snow-clearing, particularly seniors and those with disabilities.
Regarding community mailboxes, please note that the City of Burlington does not provide maintenance services at pre-existing or new community mailbox locations. Canada Post is responsible for clearing snow at the mailbox and any dedicated walkways. Any concerns or inquiries should be sent through Canada Post’s customer service line at 1-866-607-6301.
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- Mayor’s Mailbag – November 2022 Roundup – Plains Road Protected Bikeway Project & What to do with Fallen Leaves
- Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2022 Roundup – Bateman Site Update & Deterring Feeding of Wildlife
- Mayor’s Mailbag – September 2022 Roundup – Aggressive Coyotes & Bus Stop Pads Upgrades
- Mayor’s Mailbag – August 2022 Roundup – City Development Projects Webpage, Pickleball, & Tobyn Park Condo Update
- Mayor’s Mailbag – July 2022 Roundup – Millcroft OLT Appeal, Public EV Charging Stations, & Burlington Canal Piers
- Mayor’s Mailbag – June 2022 Roundup – Central High School Site; 535-551 Brant St. Development; & Mountainside Pool Reopening
- Mayor’s Mailbag – May 2022 Roundup – Twin City Agreements; LaSalle Park Community Marina; & Hydro Companies Removing Vegetation
- Mayor’s Mailbag – April 2022 Roundup – Support for Ukrainian Refugees; Burlington Taking on Climate Change
- Mayor’s Mailbag – March 2022 Roundup – Private Tree Bylaw, Masks, & Accessible Parking in Older Buildings
- Mayor’s Mailbag – February 2022 Roundup – Virtual Meeting Participation, Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund, & Accommodating Growth in Halton
- Mayor’s Mailbag – January 2022 Roundup – Parks’ Upgrades, Windrows When Snow Clearing