Please see below a media release from the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. – Aug. 12, 2019 — Earlier this year, Burlington City Council directed City staff to re-examine the downtown policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan, including the height and density of buildings. A vote to endorse any changes to the policies that will guide development in the downtown until 2031 will be made by City Council by March 2020.
To include as many voices as possible in this important conversation about the future of the downtown, the City will host a series of public engagement opportunities designed to give the community the chance to provide meaningful input, both online and in person.
“The City is committed to engaging people on issues that affect their lives and their city, and this commitment is reflected in publicly releasing the engagement and communication plan that will guide the conversation about the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan. We know the planning structure is complex when it comes to long-term planning for the downtown. The engagement plan is designed to not only provide a roadmap of the engagement activities that will take place over the next few months but also highlight and clearly define which aspects of the downtown policies the City and public can influence, so that we can have productive dialogue and provide meaningful input about changes to the downtown policies. The downtown is the core of our city and we would really like to hear from as many different voices as possible, from right across the city, to help us identify what matters most about downtown Burlington.” — Heather MacDonald, Director and Chief Planner, Department of City Building
How to Participate
Residents and others interested in the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan are encouraged to:
1. Visit www.getinvolvedburlington.ca to:
- Learn more about the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan;
- Read the engagement and communications plan supporting this project; and
- Sign up to receive project updates.
2. Lend Your Voice
To help identify what matters most about downtown Burlington, the City will host two Citizen Action Labs on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
At these in-person, public sessions, participants will work in small groups to discuss and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. The feedback gathered will be used to inform the creation of two concepts of what the downtown could look like in the future. These concepts will be shared with the public in October for further review and input.
WHAT: Citizen Action Labs: Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown
WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 22
WHERE: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd.
3. Participate online
An online survey will be available until Aug. 30 at www.getinvolvedburlington.ca to share input about what matters most about downtown Burlington.
4. Drop by a pop-up event
Throughout the month of August, City staff will be visiting a variety of locations and events in the community to talk with residents and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. A full list of locations and times will be available on www.getinvolvedburlington.ca.
A copy of the engagement and communications plan that will be used to guide the community conversation about the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan will be available to the public at www.getinvolvedburlington.ca.
- An Official Plan (OP) is a statutory document that describes the city’s long-term land use and infrastructure strategy, dealing with issues such as the form and location of new housing, industries, offices, shops and elements of complete communities like parks and open space. In April 2018, City Council adopted a new Official Plan for Burlington.
- On Feb. 7, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to re-examine the policies in Burlington’s Official Plan, adopted in April 2018.
- On Monday, March 18, 2019, City staff and members of Burlington City Council discussed the scope of the work for further study at a Committee of the Whole workshop. Through the discussion, it was identified that while Council supports many of the policies in the adopted Official Plan, an area that requires targeted reconsideration is the Downtown Precinct Plan.
- On May 27, 2019 Council approved the work plan report and the terms of reference for the scoped re-examination of the adopted Official Plan.
- On June 11, 2019, A Committee of the Whole workshop was held to assist in the creation of a community engagement plan for the re-examination of the adopted Official Plan.
Burlington residents have consistently raised concerns about over-intensification and development in our City, particularly the downtown. During the 2018 election, they made their voices heard and clearly indicated the need to review the scale and intensity of planned development, especially in the new Official Plan (OP). The review of our adopted OP is the start of getting back on track to building the future Burlington our residents want and getting feedback and input straight from our residents through these engagement events and the online survey will ensure we create policies that we can be proud of and are truly reflective of a community-based vision for our city.