March 2019

What does a typical week look like as your Ward 2 Councillor?

Follow me on Social Media where I’ll be providing both daily and regular ‘ week in review’ posts. 
Posted Friday, March 8, 2019
Posted Friday, March 1, 2019
In this Issue:
BUDGET
2019 Proposed Capital Budget
  • Approved at Feb. 25, 2019 Council Meeting
  • 10-year program of $819 million
  • 72 per cent of the 10-year capital budget will be invested in renewing Burlington’s aging infrastructure in accordance with the renewal funding strategy outlined in the city’s Asset Management Plan.

A breakdown of spending for the 2019 capital budget of $96.4 million includes:
  • $49.5 million, the largest component, for roadways
  • $10.1 million for facilities and buildings
  • $8.4 million for parks and open spaces
  • $6.3 million in storm water management
  • $10.6 million towards fleet vehicles and equipment
  • $9.5 million for information technology
  • $0.9 million for local boards (Burlington Public Library, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington Museums)
  • $1.1 in parking.

Highlights of the 2019 Capital Budget include:
  • $1.9 million in funding to improve public transit with the purchase of three new conventional buses
  • $234,000 in funding to purchase one new para-transit bus
  • $550,000 in funding to build a new splash pad in Brant Hills Community Park
  • $450,000 in funding for a new sports lighting system for the ball diamond and pathways at Maple Park
  • $600,000 in funding for new amenities at Tansley Woods Park.

2019 Proposed Operating Budget
  • Final Approval at March 25 Council Meeting
  • Total Tax Rate: 2.99%

Highlights of the 2019 Operating Budget include:
·       Fare Free Transit for LICO individuals
·      Seniors Off-Peak Fare Free Pilot
·      Investment in Urban Forestry Initiatives
·      Back Water Valves Program for Flood Relief Measures
·      Randle Reef
Visit Budget Open Data for more details.
My Perspective: It is a collaborative achievement to deliver on the lowest residential tax rate in eight years. All council members spoke highly to the objectives of their wards and the priorities of their constituents. This resulted in a win-win for the city as a whole. There was use of some reserve funds, which are generally healthy (full report on status of reserves is available on the City’s website), however, I did flag that changes to the allocation of these funds may flag concerns with internal audit and on a go-forward basis, reserve funds must be used in a very thoughtful and prudent manner. It was a perfect use of the Park Reserves to fund the Brant Hills Splash Pad in Ward 3 – opening summer 2020, keep your eyes peeled as you will certainly find our family enjoying this new feature.
 
My professional background has strong experience in budgets, finance and strategic procurement, and I will be looking to lean into these as we work towards the 2020-2021 budget. The key objective is to highlight multi-year budgeting that aligns with the Strategic Business Plan. This will ensure that proactive funding sources can be identified and provide the business a sense of department needs security. 
Joseph Brant Museum
During the budget discussions there was a line of dialogue that painted the Joseph Brant Museum as an $11 million expense to the City. This is not the case, the funding was supported by all three levels of government and the City of Burlington’s commitment is ~ $4 million.

I have every confidence that this attraction will contribute to the local economy, our rich arts & culture community and healthy active living. Stay tuned for a sneak peak in April of the progress so far! The targeted opening date is July 2019.
CITY HALL NEWS
Business Meeting Registry
My promise as a Ward 2 Council Candidate was to open up City Hall to residents, I have done that though setting up a Ward 2 Business Meeting Registry. 

Residents want to re-connect with their City Hall. I’ve worked to rebuild trust through the launch of the first Ward Business Meeting Registry, so you know who is talking to your Councillor , in line with a code of conduct. This directly supports the transparency, accountability and integrity of the government decision-making process and promotes open dialogue between the many stakeholders that make up our community.

Following is an excerpt from my Ward 2 Business Meeting Registry webpage :
Burlington Adopted Official Plan
On Feb. 7, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to re-examine the policies in Burlington's Official Plan, adopted in April 2018. The motion, approved by Council, directs Burlington’s Director of City Building to immediately commence a process to re-examine the policies of the Official Plan adopted April 26, 2018 in their entirety related to matters of height and intensity and conformity with provincial density targets. 
 
Council and staff will discuss the scope of work for further study related to the Official Plan at the Mar. 18, 2019 , Committee of the Whole Council Workshop, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 2nd floor at Burlington City Hall.
 
For more information on the Committee of the Whole Workshop, please visit Burlington Calendar .  
Burlington Transit
B urlington Transit is holding drop-in sessions for future transit planning and proposed changes for 2019. Each session provides customers and future customers an opportunity to talk with staff and provide feedback which will help shape the city’s future transit system. 

March – Future Transit Planning
Seeking your input about where Burlington Transit should have increased frequency, peak and off-peak service, the destinations transit should service in Burlington and where to connect to the GTHA.
•           March 18 - 3 to 6 p.m. - City Hall, 426 Brant St.
•           March 20 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Central Arena, 519 Drury Ln.
•           March 21 – 6 to 9 p.m. – Tansley Woods, 1996 Itabashi Way
 
April – September 2019 Proposed Changes
Seeking your input on the proposed changes to many routes including moving routes to the south side of the Burlington GO Station.
•           April 8 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Central Arena, 519 Drury Ln.
•           April 9 – 3 to 6 p.m. – City Hall, 426 Brant St.
•           April 11 – 6 to 9 p.m. – Tansley Woods, 1996 Itabashi Way
Cannabis
AGCO has received an application for a cannabis store 103-4031 Fairview St.  The proposed location is one that would accommodate retail cannabis. As outlined in the AGCO regulations, the proposed location at 103-4031 Fairview St. is well outside the distance of 150m from a school and is also more than 150m away from a park, pool, arena, library or recreation centre.
  • The GTA Region now has 4/6 applications.
  • The second cannabis related payment from the Ontario Government is for $113,865 for a total of $206, 928 (first was for $93,063). Next is % of remaining $10m in provincial. funds.
  • AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Burlington City Council is in the process of creating a task force to develop a set of standard comments to provide to the AGCO, when applications come forward, that reflect community perspectives on where a store should be located. Apply for the Cannabis Task Force – e-mail me or Ward2@burlington.ca indicating your interest.

Civic Square Improvements
Have you heard? Civic Square is being updated. A provincial grant program, the Downtown Main Street Revitalization Initiative , is helping to fund some upgrades to the small gathering place in front of City Hall on Brant Street. Many of the improvements planned for Civic Square are needed and will improve accessibility, operations and vibrancy. 

In the fall of 2018, over 300 people provided feedback into the types of features and uses they’d like to see included in the design. Features included: trees and shade, accessibility, seating, public art and Wi-Fi. The top suggested uses of Civic Square included a space to sit and relax, Farmer's Market, family art night, fitness activities, ceremonies and festivals, and a place for photo opportunities.

Attend an information session to view the design concept:
  • Tuesday, Mar. 26, 1-3 p.m. at City Hall in room 247
  • Wednesday, Apr. 3, 7-9 p.m. at City Hall in room 305

The sessions will start with a small presentation from staff to show you the design concept for Civic Square, afterwhich you can meet and talk to the staff team and myself. For more information, visit Civic Square Renewal .
Construction - Road Improvements
Beaver Street – Halton Region
Wastewater Sewer Main
Expected completion summer 2019
Minor Reconstruction
Anticipated completion fall 2019
Minor Reconstruction
Anticipated completion fall 2019
Drury Lane Pedestrian Bridge
Metrolinx is working with the City of Burlington to replace the Drury Lane Pedestrian Bridge which is nearing the end of its service life.
Draft Concept Design

The new fully accessible bridge will improve connectivity over the rail corridor and provide clearance underneath for future electrified GO service. The expected completion for this project is 2023. For more information visit Metrolinx – Drury Lane , and to receive updates directly from Metrolinx on this project, please email DruryLane@metrolinx.com .
Interim Control Bylaw
At a Special meeting of Council, on Mar. 5, 2019, Burlington City Council voted in favour of a staff report recommending an interim control bylaw (ICBL). The ICBL temporarily restricts the development of lands within a study area for a period of one year, with a maximum extension of a second year.
The lands in the study area include the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC) and lands in proximity to the Burlington GO Station. During the one-year “freeze” on development in the study area, the City will complete a land-use study to:
  • Assess the role and function of the downtown bus terminal and the Burlington GO station on Fairview Street as Major Transit Station Areas
  • Examine the planning structure, land use mix and intensity for the lands identified in the study area
  • Update the Official Plan and Zoning bylaw regulations as needed for the lands identified in the study area.

Background
The recommendation to implement an ICBL was brought forward by City staff in response to two primary concerns:
  • Growth pressures that continue to emerge for the lands in the study area City staff are aware of multiple pending developments in the application review stage where the proposed intensities are significantly higher than those anticipated by the Official Plan. In addition, there are many other expressions of development interest and land assemblies taking place in the downtown Urban Growth Centre and in proximity to the Burlington GO station where the intensities being considered are substantially larger than what is proposed in the current Official Plan or the 2018 adopted Official Plan which is currently under review.

  • The role and function of the John Street Bus Terminal as a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) The John Street Bus Terminal is identified as a MTSA in the Province’s 2017 Growth Plan. Its designation as a MTSA was relied upon by the Ontario Municipal Board in its decision to allow a 26-storey development at 374 Martha St, citing that as a MTSA, the terminal could support intensities well in excess of those contained in the Official Plan. The terminal’s capacity to absorb the transit impacts of significant growth plays a critical role in shaping the mix of land uses and transit development within the downtown UGC.
Quick Facts
  1. An interim control bylaw (ICBL) is a tool available to Ontario municipalities as part of the Planning Act. An ICBL places a temporary “freeze” on the development of certain lands while a municipality is studying or reviewing its land use policies. The restrictions can only be imposed for one year, with a maximum extension of a second year. An ICBL may not be appealed when it is first passed, however the extension of the ICBL to a second year may be appealed.
  2. Work to begin the land-use study will be initiated immediately by Department of City Building
  3. Developments in the study area exempt from the ICBL are those that have submitted applications for site plan approval, in accordance with the approved zoning bylaw, prior to March 5, 2019, the date which the ICBL was approved. Exemptions in the study area include:
  • 490-492 Brock Ave.
  • 374 Martha St.
  • 421 Brant St.
  • 442 Pearl St.
 
My perspective:  As reported in the Burlington Post and Hamilton Spectator, “Seeing the growth pressures combined with the community response to these pressures, this will allow for a careful and thoughtful vision of our downtown to come forward. In general, residents have sought to be at the forefront of decisions in order to keep what is special, and welcome new residents in a sensible way”.
Mid-rise Building Guidelines
Mid-rise buildings are bigger in scale than houses but smaller than towers and have a good relationship to the street. This means that while the walls of a mid-rise are tall enough to provide lots of usable space inside the building, they are low enough to let the sun in and open the view to the sky from the street.

On Mar. 5, 2019, the Planning & Development Committee agreed with staff's recommendation for the desi gn guidelines for mixed-use and residential mid-rise buildings. These guidelines are needed to help manage intensification pressures, and to support and complement the city’s Official Plan for a desired built environment. For more details, view the Design Guidelines for Mixed-Use and Residential Mid-Rise Buildings.

Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force
On Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announced a new initiative being launched from the Mayor’s Office: the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force. The goal of the Task Force is to identify and eliminate barriers to growth and new business attraction so that Burlington’s business community can expand and thrive. The Task Force is intended to ensure the business community and business owners of Burlington feel heard, supported and enabled by the Mayor and City Council.

A Burlington Business Owner Public Town Hall will be held on Thursday, March. 28, 2019, 8-9:30 a.m. at the Waterfront Hotel. For more details and to register for free tickets, visit Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force .
Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot
The City of Burlington’s Private Tree Bylaw is now in effect within the Roseland community area, for two years. During this time, consultation will be facilitated by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department to investigate the feasibility of rolling out the bylaw city-wide. At the end of the two-year pilot, a decision will be made by council to make the bylaw city-wide as-is, make changes to the bylaw or cancel it. Visit Private Tree By-law Pilot for more detail.
Regional Government Review
In January of 2019 the provincial government announced plans to review Ontario’s 8 regional municipalities by 2 appointed special advisors with the intention of evaluating governance, decision-making and service delivery. Within the scope of this review exists the possibility of recommending a move to single-tier municipalities or amalgamation of existing municipalities. In response to this review, at its Feb. 25, 2019 meeting , Council unanimously passed the following:

Therefore, be it resolved,
That the Council of the City of Burlington endorses the current effectiveness of our two-tier municipal government as it has evolved based on mutual agreement with the Region of Halton and our partner Halton lower-tier municipalities since its inception in 1974; and
That the residents of the City of Burlington value the distinct identity of their community and do not wish to have their democratic voice diluted, within a larger and less directly accountable municipal governance structure; and
That this resolution be forwarded to all Halton municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and made publicly available.

The Province on Ontario is asking Burlington residents and businesses to provide their input on how to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery for regional governments and the municipalities that are members of regional governments. You can share your view on the regional government system in two ways:


All feedback is due by April 23, 2019. For more information about the regional review and submission guidelines, visit Ontario.ca
Winter 2019  
This winter has been particularly difficult in terms of fluctuating temperatures and weather systems. The resulting ice and frozen snow banks have been an immense challenge to residents and staff.

An added issue this year is the depletion of salt stores in municipalities across the GTA. As a result of these critically low levels, salt will only be used for primary roads, and only when absolutely necessary. For now, sanding will be used for secondary roads and city facilities until salt is once again available.

At the Mar. 4, 2019, Committee of the Whole meeting, a direction was passed to the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry to complete a review of winter operations and provide recommendations to Committee of the Whole for 2020 budget considerations. To view the specifics, visit the minutes of the Mar. 4, 2019, Committee of the Whole meeting .
DEVELOPMENT & GROWTH
2093,2097 and 2102 Old Lakeshore Road and 2096-2100 Lakeshore Road

Proposal:   26-storey, mixed-use residential development with commercial uses at the street level. Heritage building located at 2101 Old lakeshore Road would remain as part of the development.

Status: Pre-application consultation meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 26, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Burlington Central High School, cafeteria.
2082,2086 and 2090 James Street
Project : 18-storey condo apartment building, 153 units.
Status:   Info-only report to Mar. 5/19 P&D Committee; excerpt from report:
A revised submission was submitted on Feb. 1, 2019, to address outstanding technical comments. The revised application includes an increased setback to the creek block, increased amenity space, a 17-storey building (62.5m), 351m2 of office space, 164 residential units and 205 parking spaces. This revised submission is currently in review and comments have not been received by technical agencies at this time.
More information at 2082,2086 and 2090 James Street .
441 Maple Avenue
Project: Application to change OP and zoning to allow 11-storey residential apartment building, 153 units.

Status:   Public Meeting held Nov. ‘18 Comments accepted until Mar. 15/19. Visit 441 Maple Avenue for more information.
2085 Pine Street
Proposal: Residential 11-storey building, total of 40 units.
 Status:   Public Open House held Feb. 21/19. Application not yet submitted to city. For more details, visit 2085 Pine Street .
2069-2079 Lakeshore & 383-385 Pearl
Project:   Application for a 29-storey mixed-use building with 280 residential units & 675 sq. meters of ground floor commercial.
Status:  The Neighbourhood Public Meeting occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm at the AGB. Visit 2069-2079 Lakeshore for more details.
" Show of hands if you do not support this development " photo above
taken at the Jan. 29/19 Public Meeting.
 
My Perspective : Residents were very clear in not supporting the proposed application. Issues of over-intensification, lack of infrastructure, traffic congestion, access to the lakefront, parking, shadowing, wind impact, incompatibility, Official Plan and Zoning compliance, height, density, character, design, setbacks, community benefits, affordability, unit mix, green-space, and commercial space were communicated at the Neighbourhood Meeting as well as a high volume of emails to my office and the Planner on the file.
 
I will not be supporting the Application as currently submitted. I would encourage the community to continue emailing Lisa.Kearns@Burlington.ca or Ward2@Burlington.ca with your feedback. It is most helpful to identify what do you like/not like, how does this application affect you and what would you like to see.
Project:     Redevelopment – combination of standard townhouse units and back-to-back townhouse units, for a total of 34 units.
Status:    Approved at the Mar 5, 2019 P&D Meeting – onto final approval at the Mar. 25/19 Council meeting.

Visit  1335-1355 Plains Road East for more details. 
HEALTHY LIVING
Community Energy Plan
Vision = achieve a community that:

  • Uses energy efficiently and improves energy security,
  • Reduces its carbon footprint, and
  • Supports the local economy.

Visit Get Involved Burlington where you can provide your ideas and feedback about the Community Energy Plan.
COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS
Burlington’s Best Award – Acceptance of nominations is now closed. Stay tuned for details about the celebration which will be in May.

Family Sunday Open Studio & P.A. Days (free) at the Burlington Art Gallery.
Free Skating at Rotary Centennial Pond, open daily 10 to 10.
 
Maple Syrup Festival -  Bronte Creek Prov. Park, weekends in March.
 
King Road closure for annual Jefferson salamander migration starts March 18.
 
Trivia Night Fundraiser for MS , March 23 at Burlington Legion.
HRPS 9-1-1 Communicator Open House – learn about a career as a 9-1-1 Communicator. April 15 and 18. 
 
100in1Day takes place across Canada on June 1, 2019. Start planning an activity that temporarily involves a public space and demonstrates how a community might achieve more lasting positive change.
Have you donated blood lately? Visit Canadian Blood Services to book your next appointment.
Sound of Music Festival
Message from Myles D. Rusak, Executive Director:
 
Greetings Burlington from your Sound of Music Festival! We are incredibly excited to bring you a great year of music and special events as we share in our celebration of ’40 Years of Great Live Music’.
 
As SOMF’s new Executive Director, I want to use this opportunity to tell you all that there is so much to look forward to from SOMF as we begin the next chapter of our development.
 
My vision for the organization is to return to a place of community, collaboration and support. Our aim is to be defined as more than just a festival and look forward to announcing some great new initiatives around emerging artists, local performers, music education and so much more. Keep an eye on www.SoundofMusic.ca for all the latest and greatest announcements as our 40th Anniversary gets closer!  
Community Engagement
In & Around Our Community
With Karina Gould, MP, at the Reach Out Centre for Kids “ROCK” discussing the expansion of the Pearl Street location in Ward 2 is underway. This expansion will increase the number of children, youth and families that are able to receive service. 
 
ROCK will be able to provide the necessary mental health prevention and intervention programs and services in a timely fashion to those in need.

The new addition has been designed as accessible, open, family-friendly, community facility that will help to reduce the stigma associated with institution-like mental health centres of the past. 
“Working together to promote and achieve optimal mental health in kids and families”.
In Closing ...
Thank you for your support!
It’s a pleasure to bring your voice forward as we work together to make
our Burlington the best place to live, work and play!

Contact my office at any time through email, telephone, social media
or by attending my monthly Ward 2 Update meetings.

Lisa Kearns, Ward 2 Councillor
City of Burlington & Region of Halton
Lisa.Kearns@burlington.ca
Ward2@burlington.ca
905-335-7600 x7588

Let's Stay Connected!

  • Visit my Ward 2 webpage located on the city's website.
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