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Revised Official Plan released; Statutory public meeting Feb. 27

The new OP is not a done deal; have your say

Burlington’s revised new Official Plan (February 2018) has now been released and is available online here: Official Plan Feb. 2018.

The revised Official Plan contains additions, deletions and modifications to the proposed version that was released in November 2017.  Feedback received from agencies, stakeholders and the public at the Nov. 30 Statutory Public Meeting and Jan. 23 Public Meeting, and through additional written submissions, was considered in undertaking revisions to the proposed new Official Plan.

The February version also contains the proposed new Downtown Precinct Plan and associated polices, resulting from the Downtown Mobility Hub Area Specific Planning process. Please visit the Downtown Mobility Hub webpage for more information.

Additional information on the new Official Plan is available for review on the city’s website: www.burlington.ca/newop.

Subsequent to the release of the proposed new Official Plan (February 2018), the city is holding second Statutory Public Meeting Feb. 27 (drop in Open Houses were held Feb. 12 and 15).

The purpose of the Statutory Public Meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to provide comments to Council on the proposed new Official Plan.  A staff report concerning the proposed new Official Plan, as well as other supporting documents are available on the agenda here P&D Feb. 27.  The staff report provides an overview of the key revisions to the proposed new Official Plan (February 2018) and will include staff responses to feedback received on the proposed new Official Plan (November 2017).

The proposed new Official Plan will be presented to the Planning and Development Committee on:
 
Tuesday, Feb. 27
1 pm and 6:30 pm
City Hall, Council Chambers, Level 2
426 Brant St.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. To connect to the webcast, look up the date of the meeting on the City calendar and click through to the HTML “agenda;” the webcast will appear when the meeting starts, and be archived in the “minutes” of the meeting.

Delegations are invited to register but are not required to register in advance to speak. Those who pre-register will be heard first: Register as a Delegation

Adoption

The staff report recommending adoption of the proposed new Official Plan is scheduled for consideration at the April 4, 2018 Planning and Development Committee meeting (1 & 6:30pm, City Hall), followed by adoption at council April 23 (6:30pm, City Hall).

Residents can attend and register to speak at both meetings.

For more information on the Official Plan Project and how you can get involved:

Contact planning staff at: newop@burlington.ca or 905-335-7642

My Take:

The revisions to the Official Plan that were made between November and January are an improvement – thank goodness it wasn’t rushed through on the original timeline of Jan. 16.

But we still have a long way to go to ensure the best plan for the best mid-sized city in Canada. Current policies, particularly in the downtown, will lead to overintensification rather than balanced growth. Overintensification is not required to meet provincial growth minimum targets. In addition, the policies related to the Mobility Hubs at the three GO stations – which call for 20,000-plus people at each – are not yet included in the plan.

The revisions to the plan reveal the importance of taking the time to work with the community, and incorporate improvements that come from your feedback. So what’s the rush? The existing plan will be in effect for at least 12-18 months due to the requirement for Regional approval. We have time to get it right.

What can you do?

  • The new OP is not a done deal; new motions can still come forward February 27, April 4 and 23. Have your say at the Statutory public meeting or in writing to the OP email address.
  • Policies to the downtown could be reconsidered, with a 5-2 vote – unlikely perhaps, but possible. Only someone who voted in the majority can bring a reconsideration motion. Continue to share your views about these policies with elected officials.
  • Make this an election issue. The new OP will not be in force until it receives Regional approval, some 12-18 months from now, as part of the Region’s own Official Plan Review beginning in 2019. Ask all candidates for election or re-election if they will support changes to the plan to ensure reasonable, balanced growth, not overintensification.

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