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Mayor’s Mailbag – January 2024 Roundup – John St. Empty Lot; Standing Committee Format; & Public Notice Policy

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward Mailbag

Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – January 2024 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 mayor@burlington.ca 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 – January 2024 Roundup

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EMPTY LOT AT 515 JOHN ST.

QUESTION:

“What has happened at the empty lot at 515 John St., on the southeast corner of John and Caroline streets?”

ANSWER:

The site at 515 John St. was the subject of a development application that was approved in 2009/2010 for a 17-storey condo, and a 6-8 storey garage, with 6-8 storey medical building. The 17-storey condo was built and is occupied, however, the balance of the block was never completed. There is currently no timeline for the remaining portions, and the City of Burlington has no mechanism to compel construction to begin on those pieces.

The site had recently been used as a construction staging area for the building being finished at Brant and John streets. The construction staging is no longer required.

Community members have expressed concerns about the unkempt nature of the site, and the surrounding sidewalk, the hoarding blocked parts of the sidewalk, and the elimination of on-street parking. Those issues have been addressed with the removal of hoarding.

For now, until such time as development occurs on the site, and in an attempt to clean up the site and make use of the area, it has been converted into a temporary paid parking lot. Starting in January 2024, this lot is now a paid lot that the City’s Municipal Parking Operations Team will administrate through the Honk Mobile (the City’s pay-by app).

The City’s parking officers check if vehicles have paid for parking by checking the license plates, since there is no pay-parking machine and no paper permits to place on a vehicle’s dashboard. Drivers can extend their parking permit using the HONK Mobile app on their phone if they need to park for a longer period of time.

Paid parking is in effect from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Parking is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends and holidays. For more information on where to park in downtown Burlington, please visit: https://www.burlington.ca/en/roads-parking-and-traffic/parking-in-downtown-burlington.aspx

City staff are also looking into applying some beautification to the area around the temporary parking lot, including potential planters and/or trees to be installed in season.

To view more details and information about the John Street development, please click/tap here: https://mariannemeedward.ca/council-update-john-st-development-tall-building-guidelines-budget-2018-1million-jobrant-museum-living-wage-study-active-aging-plan/

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STANDING COMMITTEE CHANGES

QUESTION:

“Three Burlington standing committees were merged into a single Committee of the Whole – why the change?”

ANSWER:

The City of Burlington’s Committee of the Whole meeting is part of a new standing committee structure intended to help streamline Council business.

The Committee of the Whole takes over the roles of three previous standing committees: the Community Planning, Regulation, and Mobility (CPRM) Committee; the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk, and Accountability (CSSRA) Committee; and the Environment, Infrastructure, and Community Services (EICS) Committee.

Committee of the Whole meetings will be comprised of distinct sections reflecting the previous three standing committees.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will open the meeting, oversee any delegations, complete all consent items, and then pass the gavel to the Councillors who continue to serve as Chairs of the segments of the meeting dealing with CSSRA, CPRM and EICS regular agenda items.

Please see below a breakdown of this year’s chairs and vice-chairs for these segments:

  • For CSSRA regular items at Committee of the Whole: Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan (chair), and Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte (vice-chair);
  • For EICS regular items at Committee of the Whole: Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns (chair), and Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith (vice-chair); and
  • For CPRM regular items at Committee of the Whole: Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte (chair), and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns (vice-chair).

We appreciate the public’s patience as Council and City staff work through this new process. Community members are encouraged to share their feedback with the City, the Mayor and their Ward Councillor over the coming months on what works in the new standing committee structure for them and what they feel may need some improvement. All feedback is shared with Senior Staff and the Clerks Department.

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CHANGES TO CITY’S PUBLIC NOTICE POLICY

QUESTION:

“As a result of the Burlington Post ceasing its print publications, how has the City of Burlington’s Public Notice Policy changed?”

ANSWER:

The print version of the Burlington Post, the City of Burlington’s newspaper of record, was discontinued in September 2023. As a result, the City of Burlington has amended its Public Notice Policy. Council approved the policy as amended on Dec. 12, 2023.

The changes include:

  • Where the Municipal Act, 2001 does not require a printed public notice in a newspaper, notices may be shared through the City’s Public Notice newsfeed on burlington.ca, and/or in an online publication; and
  • Where legislation requires a printed public notice in a newspaper, for example The Planning Act and The Heritage Act, the City of Burlington’s new newspaper of record is The Hamilton Spectator.

The Hamilton Spectator is a daily newspaper and meets the public notice requirements under the definition of a newspaper in the Legislation Act, 2006.

If you have any questions about the amendments to the Public Notice Policy, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at clerks@burlington.ca.

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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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