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New Burlington Pipeline to Permit Housing Standing Committee Unanimously Endorsed By Council

Pipeline to Permit Committee - TW

Burlington City Council has unanimously endorsed a new Pipeline to Permit Standing Committee to help the city streamline process, by identifying and addressing gaps and opportunities, and do our part in seeing more shovels in the ground for housing, including affordable and attainable housing. This committee will also help with monthly tracking and identifying funding opportunities with upper levels of government.

Council has unanimously accepted the Province’s housing pledge of 29,000 units by 2031 and we currently have an unprecedented 38,219 housing units in our development pipeline — everything from early stage pre-consultation with developers for their land, up to approved site plans units that are ready for submission of building permit applications.

While municipalities don’t build housing – we set policy and issue various development permits – we are ready to turn this pipeline into permits. We also know we need to become more streamlined in our business processes and issue permits more quickly.

By establishing a new Standing Committee with participation from council, staff, stakeholders and the public, together we can identify opportunities and gaps to improve processes, update and amend policy and/or adjust resources to do our part to issue 29,000 permits by 2031 so developers can get shovel in the ground. A Standing Committee also ensures we can track our monthly progress and position ourselves to take advantage of funding opportunities at other levels of government. A Standing Committee provides maximum transparency and accountability to the public, provides opportunities for greater participation, and highlights the seriousness with which we approach our responsibility to do our part to tackle the need for affordable and attainable housing.

See the approved full motion and My Take below, as well as the staff report, related appendices further down this post.


  • Endorse the new Pipeline to Permit Standing Committee; and
  • Direct the Mayor and City Manager to incorporate input from Council, staff and stakeholders and bring a Terms of Reference to the Nov. 1 Corporate Services Strategy Risk & Accountability Committee for final approval at the Nov. 14 Council meeting.


This new Planning Pipeline to Permit Housing Committee will be a potential game changer with all the stakeholders we rely on to enable complete communities. I’ve been thrilled with the positive response to this new committee that we’ve received so far. This is a model we have employed very successfully with our Audit Committee — bringing in citizen members who are subject matter experts to complement the Council members on the committee. The old way of doing things won’t get us where we need to go. The world is changing much too quickly. We need to be agile and responsive and have everyone in the same room at the same time, speaking to each other and listening to each other, in order to move the dial forward. This isn’t just about housing, it’s about building complete communities. I see this new committee as acting complementary to our existing committees and will evolve as we live with it. I’m grateful to my council colleagues for endorsing this first step.

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To read the staff report and related supporting documents, please click/tap the links below:


The new Pipeline to Permit Housing Standing Committee will:

  • set clear objectives with related performance measures;
  • report out on achieving these performance measures;
  • track progress each month toward issuing permits;
  • review processing timelines and suggest improvements;
  • comment on enabling policies;
  • review human and other resource needs or requirements;
  • review and report on digital transformation opportunities including opportunities for use of AI and other technology enhancements;
  • review and track eligibility for upper level government funding programs, and report on status of applications;
  • identify appropriate advocacy opportunities to upper levels of government; and
  • provide an opportunity for members of the public to attend and provide advice regarding process or policy improvements.

The committee is proposed to meet monthly during the same week as our other Standing Committees (Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability – CSSRA; Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility – CPRM; Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services – EICS; and Audit).

The proposed co-chairs of the committee are Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Deputy Mayor for Housing Councillor Shawna Stolte, and it’s also proposed to include Council members: Deputy Mayor for Business and Red Tape Reduction Kelvin Galbraith and Deputy Mayor for Strategy and Budgets Paul Sharman. Membership is also open to the balance of Council members.

The committee will also include public and stakeholders members, such as representatives from the non-profit housing association, the Region of Halton’s Housing Department, Conservation Halton, the West End Home Builders Association (WE-HBA), the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) – Halton chapter, as well as two members of the public with relevant background and experience.

City of Burlington staff proposed for the committee include:

  • the Executive Director of Community Planning Regulation & Mobility, and relevant staff in planning to be determined;
  • the Executive Director of Environment Infrastructure & Community Services, and relevant staff involved in development matters (e.g. Site engineering, forestry, etc.) to be determined;
  • the Executive Director of Strategy, Risk and Accountability, related to process improvement and performance objectives and related key performance objectives (KPIs);
  • government relations staff lead for connectivity to policies, political advocacy support and pursuit of funding from upper levels of government \
    • Political advocacy by Council could also extend to support of building and development industry partner requests and needs (e.g. workforce training and development); and
  • Corporation Counsel
    • Burlington Economic Development
    • City Manager including Burlington Lands Partnership.


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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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