To council June 13: Nelson Stadium/Park Revitalization to cost $8.1m; lighting in multi-use trails; driving instruction prohibited in Drive Test route; rezoning at 2025 Guelph Ln; tree removal for Berkeley development; hotel at 1120 Burloak; and more

Below are highlights of some of the recommendations that will go to City Council June 13, arising from committee meetings May 16 & 17. Complete agendas are listed at the end.

Read reports for each agenda item here: Agendas & Minutes

Provide input at a committee or council meeting: Register to speak


Entrance to Centennial Bike Path at Martha Street.
Entrance to Centennial Bike Path at Martha Street.

Lighting considered for multi-use trails

Residents have been asking whether lighting can be installed on various trails in Burlington, so these can be used as transportation corridors in evenings or early mornings. This request fits with council’s overall goal to encourage active transportation and our Community Trails Strategy. Section C.2.5 outlines Route Lighting, criteria for where lighting of trails would be appropriate. I worked with Councillor John Taylor and Mayor Rick Goldring to put forward a staff direction, which was approved, directing staff to investigate and report back on the feasibility of installing lighting along the Centennial Multi-Use Trail and Hydro Corridor Multi-Use trail.  Staff will report back to committee by June 2017 with an information report, providing options that allow committee and council to make a decision in time to include any required funding in the 2018 budget.

Read the memo here: Path Lighting memo

Nelson Stadium/Park Revitalization to cost $8.1m, 5.3m unfunded

nelson park overview

Nelson Stadium and Park needs a facelift that could cost upwards of $8.1 million, shared among various groups that either own or use the park. Just under $3 million of that is currently funded (See breakdown below), leaving an unfunded balance of $5.3 million.

The park is jointly owned by the City of Burlington and the Halton District School Board. There are also two existing Joint Venture (JV) agreements in the park that allow organizations to have exclusive space in facilities in Nelson Park: the Burlington Braves Football Club (Braves) and the Burlington Minor Football Association (BMFA). Under the JV agreement both parties are responsible for the capital upkeep of their exclusive space and the on-going operating cost.

Several of the buildings are in poor condition, including the Baseball Building, Change Rooms and Washrooms (with a Facility Condition Index of 0.50; an FCI over 0.25 is a building in “poor” condition); BMFA)Equipment Room (FCI of 0.27); Roads & Parks Maintenance Area – Connected to BMFA (FCI of 0.38); Washroom Building – East of Stadium (FCI of 0.37); Braves Change Rooms (FCI of 0.25).

In addition, users of the stadium are seeking an enhancement of the running track from 6 to 8 lanes.

In terms of funding the upgrades or enhancements, over the next 10 years both the city and HDSB have forecasted to invest almost $0.8 million in total until 2025. City staff have identified other asset renewal in the west side of Nelson Park, with a “like-for-like” replacement  capital investment over the next 10 years of $1.99 million from 2016-2025. At the C&CS meeting, staff recommended and committee approved maintaining this investment schedule. Any additional enhancements and new features would need to be funded by the Nelson User Group organization or considered in the prioritization of future capital budget and forecasts.

Regarding the adding lanes to the running track, the Nelson User Group would be required to fund the two additional lanes as this is considered an enhancement. Staff estimated the incremental cost for two additional lanes to be $240,000-$340,000 pending the placement of the bleachers further back to accommodate the extra width. The Nelson User Group has not confirmed if they will fund the two additional lanes. Staff requested that this decision be made no later than October 2016 as HDSB is tendering the work for the track replacement.

The user group has also identified additional amenities that have not been included in either the City’s or the User Groups cost estimates including:

Nelson Park

  • Field and Lighting Renewal on Braves practice field
  • Bullpens x2 with protective screens
  • New amenity area for casual play

Nelson School Property

  • Field and lighting renewal on Tyke practice field
  • Javelin Runway 40 m
  • Safety cage for discus and hammer throw
  • Shot put area
  • Logo in turf field

As shown in the attached document Nelson Funding Chart, to meet the needs and visions of the Nelson User Group it is estimated that the project will cost $8.1 million, of which the City has budgeted $1.99 million in the 2016 capital budget and forecast, and the HDSB has budgeted $0.8 million. This results in a project shortfall of $5.3 million. The variance is allocated to each party based on whether the item is a replacement, or enhancement to the project and dependent upon property ownership.

cootes trail pixCity to contribute $15k annually for Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark

The D&I approved an annual contribution from the City of Burlington to the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System, alongside nine other partners, including: Bruce Trail Conservancy, Halton Region, Conservation Halton, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Region Conservation Authority, Hamilton Naturalists’  Club, McMaster University, and Royal Botanical Gardens.

Contributions are equal among most of the partners, starting at $15,708 in 2016 and adjusted for inflation by 2% each year to June 2021. Smaller contributions are being requested from the Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club ($1,122 each) in recognition of the more limited financial resources of these two organizations.

The funding will provide for a governance structure for the Ecopark, consisting of a Governing Council to make strategic decisions, a Management Committee to make more tactical-level decisions and a Secretariat to carry out the practical steps to implement the programs of the Ecopark System on a day-to-day basis, implementing the decisions of the two governing bodies. Under a Memorandum Of Understanding, the partner agencies provide funding support for the Secretariat, hosted by Royal Botanical Gardens.

The first MOU was signed in June 2013, which expires in June 2016. The city approved an MOU extension for a further five years. The proposed MOU extension (MOUE) will establish the following:

  • Continued recognition of the Ecopark system as a formal entity;
  • A continued system for joint decision making and collaboration;
  • A process whereby additional parties may be added to the MOUE;
  • A project work plan & joint partner funding for 2016 – June 2021.

cootes trail mapThe Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System is  a network of 3,650 hectares (9,100 acres) of significant lands naturally connecting Hamilton and Burlington at the western end of Lake Ontario. It consists of more than 1,900 hectares (4,800 acres) of permanently protected natural lands and open space, surrounded by 1,750 hectares (4,300 acres) of privately owned lands for complementary stewardship. On November 23, 2015, Council passed a resolution requesting the Province of Ontario to enact special purpose legislation to recognize the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System as an area of Provincial significance, as a priority for funding under Provincial programs to protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage and to grant the partner agencies powers to manage, protect and enhance this important area.

Similar resolutions were passed by the Region of Halton and the City of Hamilton.

Carriagegate proposal 15 city trees to be removed for Berkeley development

The D&I committee approved the removal of 15 city trees to make way for the Berkeley development at Caroline/Maria/Elizabeth/John street. The development includes a 17-storey residential condominium with rooftop amenity area facing Maria Street, an 8-storey medical office facing Caroline Street and a 6-storey above ground parking structure in between. The developer, Carriage Gate Group, will be required to provide a combination of caliper for caliper replanting and compensation fee for 448cm and equal to the value of $18,700.00. All costs for the removal of the trees will be the responsibility of Carriage Gate Group.

My Take: Too many trees are lost to developments, however in this case, I supported the removal as the trees were in poor to fair condition and will be replaced and compensated for.

burloak arialHotel coming beside Burlington Convention Centre

A six-story hotel beside the Burlington Convention Centre got the greenlight from the Development & Infrastructure committee, providing the owners secure agreements with area landowners to provide additional off-site parking. The hotel will have 135 suites, 2 meeting rooms, and a boardroom.

The site can accommodate 267 of the required 302 parking spaces for the hotel and convention centre. The balance of the spaces are being provided via agreements with adjacent office landowners. The owner of 5500 North Service Road, adjacent to the Burlington Convention Centre property and connected to it by a pedestrian bridge, has agreed to  rent 70 parking spaces at 5500 North Service Road for a five-year term, with the option to renew for one additional five-year term.

Staff also recommended and committee supported adding 20 bicycle parking spaces.

Proposed new buildings at 2025 Guelph Line; some modifications to layout have been made.
Proposed new buildings at 2025 Guelph Line; modifications to layout have been made, but location is roughly the same.

Drivethrough, two restaurants and more retail proposed for Fortinos @ Guelph Line Plaza

CP Reit, owners of the Fortinos Plaza at 2025 Guelph Line, have submitted an application to rezone their property to add three new building pads for a drivethrough, two restaurants and more retail space, mostly at the South East end of the plaza. This site was chosen because parking is less used in this area. However, local residents on Upland Drive on facing the plaza are concerned about additional traffic on their street, and noise from the patios. The Development & Infrastructure committee heard from several members of the public asking if the new buildings, especially the restaurants, could be put on the South West end of the site, facing the Guelph Line/Upper Middle intersection. This area is over a sewer main; parking for the grocery store is also in higher demand. Following a neighbourhood meeting in March CP Reit did slightly alter the orientation of the restaurant to face into the plaza, but the general location of the buildings remains the same.

No decisions have been made; the D&I received an information report about the application. Staff will come back in future with a recommendation report,  taking into consideration feedback from residents and council members.

Driving School instruction prohibited in DriveTest neighbourhoods

The city is poised to update our bylaw to prohibit driving school instruction on roads in the area of the DriveTest examination route. Burlington has one Drive Test Centre, located on Brant St at North Service Road. Area residents have expressed concerns that students and instructors routinely travel through the residential area surrounding this Drive Test Centre for the purpose of practice and training. These neighbourhoods have experienced significant traffic increase. Fourteen driving schools currently operate in Burlington. The D&I committee heard that the drive test route is also used by students from outside Burlington who are able to get an examination here earlier than area municipalities. D&I approved a change to the city bylaw to prohibit driver training on the test route, specifically on  streets within the neighbourhood bounded by Guelph Line, 407, and Industrial Street. A second recommendation from staff to license driving schools did not pass at committee, given provincial regulations already exist for driving instruction. Staff will report back to committee with further information on licensing.

park model trailerNew definitions of trailers added to city bylaw

The D&I committee approved an amendment to the Business License Bylaw to include Park Model Trailers also know as Park Model Homes in the current definition of Camping Vehicles. The amendment will clearly define and include these seasonal recreational buildings of residential occupancy in Part 41-Tourist Camps/Trailer Camps.

Read reports for each agenda item here: Agendas & Minutes

Provide input at a committee or council meeting: Register to speak

Complete Agendas:

Approved at Community & Corporate Services Committee, May 16

Consent Agenda:

  1. Report providing the City’s financial status as at March 31, 2016. (F-15-16) Pages 1 to 18
  2. Report providing the Community Energy Plan Progress report. (CW-13-16) Pages 19 to 44
  3. Report providing the Corporate Energy Management Plan Progress report. (CW-14-16) Pages 45 to 62

Regular Agenda:

  1. Report providing information on the Nelson Stadium and Nelson Park Revitalization Project (PR-05-16) Pages 63 to 73

Approved at Development & Infrastructure Committee, May 17

Consent Agenda:

  1. Report recommending removal of fifteen city trees by Carriage Gate for the redevelopment of the block of land at John-Caroline-Maria-Elizabeth. (CW-35-16) Pages 1 to 4
  2. Report recommending approval of amendments to the business license bylaw 42-2008 to include park model trailers in the definition of camping vehicles. (PB-22-16) Pages 5 to 14
  3. Report recommending approval of the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System – Extension of Partner Memorandum of Understanding Extension (MOUE). (PB-04-16) Pages 15 to 46
  4. Correspondence from the trustee of Orchard Community East Ownership Group regarding the proposed development by ADI Development Group Incorporated for 5210-5236 Dundas Street and 2500 Burloak Drive. (DI-02-16) Pages 47 to 54 (Barry Lipson will appear to speak)

Regular Agenda:

5. Report recommending approval of amendments to the business license bylaw 42-2008 to regulate driving schools. (PB-21-16) Pages 55 to 82
6. Report recommending heritage designation of 1309 Appleby Line (The Charles Fothergill House and Farm). (PB-46-16) Pages 83 to 130 (NOTE: This item was subsequently withdrawn from the agenda.)
7. Memorandum from Mayor Goldring, Councillor Taylor, and Councillor Meed Ward requesting an investigation into the feasibility of lighting multi-use trails. (DI-03-16) Pages 131 to 132
8. Report recommending approval of application to rezone 1120 Burloak Drive to facilitate the development of a six-storey hotel. (PB-24-16) Pages 133 to 168

Public Meetings:

9. Statutory public meeting and report providing information regarding a rezoning application submitted by CP REIT Ontario – Choice Properties for 2025 Guelph Line. (PB-40-16) Pages 169 to 198

a) Staff overview
b) Pre-registered delegations
c) Delegations from the floor
d) Discussion of item

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

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.

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One Comment

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  1. RE 1309 Appleby Line Homestead


    I have been a resident of Burlington for 62 years. I have watched one by one, our heritage homes and trees being destroyed – all in the sake of development!!!

    Do we not realize that these cherished assets will be gone forever and so, our past?

    It is a win for both sides to incorporate and PRESERVE our historical treasures in these new developments – NOT DESTROY THEM!!!!

    I have visited so many US town/city squares. Their town/city planners recognize the value if KEEPING their historical buildings for so many uses.

    We know more about American history just by wanting to visit and enjoy these towns and cities.

    Let our city be recognized for its wonderful past AND present.


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