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Mayor’s Mailbag – July 2021 Roundup – Fireworks regulations, Millcroft Greens development, lifting of mask mandate & high-rises at Holland Park site

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Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – July 2021 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 – July 2021 Roundup

What are the regulations around fireworks in Burlington?

QUESTION:

“Fireworks at all hours of the night and for 4 nights in a row?! That’s ridiculous! Can the City start enforcing its bylaws?! I get celebrating a holiday, but why can’t it be limited to 1 night over a long weekend?”

ANSWER:

We empathize with the concerns from residents related to fireworks in our City. It’s an ongoing issue to manage and control appropriate use.

Burlington City Council recently updated our bylaw to restrict times, days, and sale of fireworks.

BYLAW

The sale of family fireworks is regulated by the City’s Business Licensing Bylaw. Family fireworks must be used in accordance with the City’s bylaw that regulates the setting off of fireworks:

  • The setting off of family fireworks is only permitted on Victoria Day and Canada Day.
  • Setting off of family fireworks are restricted from dusk (sunset) until 11:00 p.m.
  • No person under the age of eighteen years shall set off any firework(s).
  • No person shall use, set off any firework(s) in such a place or in such a manner as might create danger or constitute a nuisance to any person or property, or do or cause or allow any unsafe act or omission at the time and place for the setting off of any fireworks.
  • Family fireworks shall not be discharged within 10 m of buildings, structures, decks, vehicles, accessory buildings or other places where such setting off might create a danger or nuisance to any person or property.
  • Family fireworks shall only be discharged on private property. No person shall set off any fireworks on any highway, street and not on public property including city parks or school yards.

ENFORCEMENT

Enforcement of the City’s bylaws is regularly conducted, for example, several large and illegal beach parties (that included the illegal lighting of fireworks) were recently broken up in June 2021.

However, it can be difficult to isolate where fireworks across the City are coming from — which property. By the time bylaw officers arrive the fireworks are over.

HOW RESIDENTS CAN HELP?

Residents can help the City of Burlington control and stop illegal fireworks in the following ways:

  • For Noise Complaints
    • Noise complaints resulting from the discharge of fireworks can be directed to the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Non-Emergency Line: 905-825-4777
      • Calling the HRPS Non-Emergency Line helps build the database for where these fireworks are coming from, to schedule proactive patrols.
    • or the City’s bylaw office after hours answering service: 905-335-7731, press #3
    • *PLEASE NOTE: calls to police and bylaw are taken in priority, with more serious personal or property matters dealt with before noise/fireworks
  • For Fire Hazards
    • If you have a fire safety concern related to the use of fireworks, please contact the Fire Department’s Non-Emergency Line: 905-637-8253
    • Private firework displays may require permits from the Fire Chief and/or designates
    • For any fire emergency call 9-1-1
  • For Public/Personal Safety
    • If you have a personal safety concern related to fireworks, contact the HRPS Non-Emergency Line: 905-825-4777
  • For Licensing and Sale of Fireworks
    • The building bylaw section licenses and regulates the sales of fireworks.
    • If there are retail sales of fireworks and no visual business license posted please direct these complaints to: 905-335-7731, press #3 or email: building@burlington.ca

For more details about fireworks and the City of Burlington’s bylaw, please visit burlinton.ca/fireworks

 

Are there lessons from Glen Abbey for the proposed development of Millcroft Greens golf course?

QUESTION:

“Hearing news about Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Course being saved by the Ministry stepping in. Can the Ministry, our MPPs, Region and City work together with the applicant to bring a similar conclusion to protect the Millcroft Golf Course from proposed development?”

ANSWER:

We were all delighted by the news of the Province stepping up to protect Glen Abbey, and the decision on July 9 by Clublink to withdraw their appeals to the Ontario Lands Tribunal and continue operating as a golf course.

All of Regional Council, which includes all seven members of Burlington City Council, supported protecting this greenspace and seeking the Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO). We are grateful for the advocacy of local MPPs in this matter, and for Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the Hon. Steve Clark’s actions in response to community input.

The Glen Abbey application was further along than the one for Millcroft in Burlington, and it had already completed the planning review and a vote by Oakville Council.

Our planning review in Burlington for Millcroft is still underway. To date, we have not received any indication that our review can be set aside midstream, prior to a recommendation and vote by council, and replaced with consideration of other options. So, for now, the review is continuing to reach those steps.

The review will culminate in a recommendation from staff, that could include refusal, approval, or approval with conditions, and a vote by council, that could be to accept or reject the staff recommendation, or modify it.

That recommendation and vote is expected by September/October 2021.

Those steps still remain. So, for now, until we hear otherwise, these are the expected next steps and timelines on the Millcroft file. If anything changes, we will be sure to let the public know.

It is helpful to know about all the options available to city and regional council, such as an MZO, and the Minister’s willingness to use this tool — if needed — based on advocacy from local communities and fellow MPPs. We are grateful for the interest they have shown on this file, and the value they place on greenspace. Certainly, the Province’s actions are indicative of the importance they place on greenspace, and that must factor into any decision-making on any greenspace.

Please rest assured that all of Burlington Council is deeply committed to ensuring the best decision is made on the Millcroft file, especially given the significant impacts on greenspace, with a view to ensuring the best outcome in conversation with our residents, planning staff and the applicant.

There is more to come, and as we learn more news, we will be sure to share it.

 

When will the mask bylaw be lifted?

QUESTION:

“COVID-19 case numbers are low, vaccination rates are only increasing, and restrictions are being lifted — so why do I still have to wear a mask? When will the mask mandate be lifted?”

ANSWER:

Throughout the pandemic, the Mayor, Council and City of Burlington have followed the advice of our Halton Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and will continue to do so. Mask mandates and bylaws are currently in effect at the City of Burlington, the Region of Halton and the Province of Ontario.

The City’s mask bylaw and the Regional mask bylaw are currently in place until Dec. 31, 2021, unless extended further or lifted earlier.

At the Halton Regional Council meeting of July 7, 2021, Mayor Meed Ward did raise the question of when the mask bylaw could be lifted. We heard from the Halton MOH that it will still be needed for the months ahead. Click here for a video recording of the discussion at Regional Council (see the 40:20 mark).

There is currently no indication from the Province or Region that the mask mandates will be lifted soon, and the City of Burlington will be looking to lift our mask bylaw in concert with the other government bodies.

Decisions throughout the pandemic have been made and based on a multiple of health indicators, including (but not exclusive to) hospital capacity, infection rates, positivity rates and vaccination rates.

Halton Public Health continues to monitor and report on these COVID-19 indicators. To learn more about them, please call 311 or email accesshalton@halton.ca or visit the webpage here and click on the various tabs to search the information you wish to see: https://www.halton.ca/For-Residents/Immunizations-Preventable-Disease/Diseases-Infections/New-Coronavirus/Status-of-COVID-19-Cases-in-Halton

For now, it is critically important to keep masks as another layer of protection.

If you would like to discuss the Provincial mask mandate with your local MPPs, their contact information can be found here:

 

What can you tell us about the high-rises proposed at the former Holland Park site?

QUESTION:

“I see several new high-rise buildings are coming to the site of where Holland Park used to sit. How was this approved? How can this developer build as high and tall as they want?”

ANSWER:

We know the development at 2243, 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane is significant and has raised many questions and concerns in the community. People are asking when or if council will approve this. The applicant has applied for a Site Plan application that complies with the land use, height, and density requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.

There is no ability for council or staff to impose a height or density restriction on this site-specific file.

The City Zoning Bylaw in this area has no maximum height limit. In 2019, we implemented an Interim Control Bylaw to freeze development around the Burlington GO station and downtown Burlington, which are designated Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA), to study these areas more closely. We completed that work in 2020 by adding new policies to the OP and Zoning for both the downtown and the Burlington GO MTSA.

One of those policies limits height to six storeys within 10 m of Fairview Street, Brant Street and Drury Lane, with taller buildings permitted beyond 10 m, but no height cap. The form of tall buildings is managed through design features, floor plate, distance separators and other technical factors which staff continue to evaluate.

The location of the development application is currently within a Primary Growth Area and within an MTSA on a Priority Transit Corridor with planned frequent transit service by way of Regional Express Rail. All three of the GO stations (Aldershot, Appleby and Burlington) are envisioned to accommodate significant future growth, including taller buildings, residential and employment density, and mixed uses, including public amenities and parkland.

The application requires site plan approval — that has been undelegated from staff and will come to council for technical review and approval. The approval authority for the proposed Site Plan application was “undelegated” from the Director of Community Planning back to Council. Despite this, Council cannot make a decision that conflicts with the permissions of the City’s Zoning By-law.

A site plan review does not change heights. The community can provide input on site plan matters (layout, landscaping, and so forth) when the site plan does come to council for review. In the meantime, please continue to send your comments to staff and Council (contacts below).

Residents can find up-to-date and background information about this Site Plan application at https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/clv-group-developments-2243-2269-fairview-st-and-864-drury-lane.asp. You can subscribe to receive email notifications when any of the above webpages are updated by clicking the “subscribe” button on the right-hand side of the webpage. Questions and feedback can be directed to the planner on file, whose contact information is on the webpage. You can also directly connect with the Ward Councillor at ward2@burlington.ca for more information on the public engagement that has occurred to date, and to share your questions and feedback. You are welcome to continue to share questions and feedback with the Mayor’s Office at mayor@burlington.ca

Please note, since this development is a Site Plan application, the supporting studies and documents are not posted online compared to a Rezoning/Official Plan Amendment, which are public processes. However, the City has posted the Site Plan Information Report, as well as a Community Meeting Presentation hosted by the Ward Councillor that occurred on April 21, 2021. You can also access the April 21, 2021 community meeting recordingpresentation and notes, on the Ward 2 Events page at: https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/ward-2-meetings-and-events.asp

MORE BACKGROUND:

It is important to note the Province’s Growth Plan requires that Halton plan to accommodate 1.1 million people and 500,000 jobs by the year 2051, and planning for this now will ensure sustainable and livable communities. Halton’s review of its Regional Official Plan will ensure it aligns with Provincial policies and remains responsive to changing social, economic, environmental and demographic conditions. Each Growth Concept helps answer questions about the future of the region and our city.

On June 15, it was announced that the Province has approved our request to adjust the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre (UGC), allowing us to move the designation that was once centered on our downtown core to focus instead on our Burlington GO Station and thereby direct future development with height and density to where it belongs: near mass transit, or in other words, the Mass Transit Station Areas (MTSA) designated areas (including Aldershot and Appleby GO station, although Burlington GO is designated as the UGC).

 

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

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600