Ward 2
Community Update
Planning + Development
Lisa Kearns l Councillor l Burlington.ca/Ward2
April 17, 2020

Further to my recent Community Update/Notices regarding COVID-19, this newsletter will focus on Planning and Development in our ward, and will include the Provincial Government's List of Essential Services, current planning proposals and the status of large-scale construction projects.
City facilities are closed including City Hall and staff have been working remotely with the exception of services that need to be delivered under one of the following categories:
  • Are required to meet certain legislative requirements
  • Support employee and public health, safety and security
  • Enable critical community services and supports, including COVID-19 mitigation and recovery
  • Support services necessary to keep essential services operating
  • Protect and operate vital infrastructure, and
  • Fulfill contractual, legal and financial obligations
There is a great deal of collaboration happening at all levels in the City of Burlington, as well as with representatives in regional, provincial and federal government, and through our partners at organizations such as Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, local Business Improvement Area groups, Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington Hydro and beyond. Everyone is working together, day and night, 7 days a week to ensure we keep you informed, safe, and healthy.

As always, I'm here for you. The best way to reach me is through e-mail at

Keep well, Lisa
City Hall - Update
Burlington City Council
April 20, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

Items at the April 20 meeting include: 

Three-month work plan for COVID-19 Emergency Response Strategy
As the City continues to protect the health of residents and staff, it is also planning ahead to prioritize the services and resources needed to help the City deal with the on-going impacts of the virus. A report, outlining the City’s work plan to June 30, 2020, will be presented to City Council for endorsement on April 20. 

Financial impacts of COVID-19
The strategic management of the City budget and finances, including well through the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to be a priority. City Council and City staff remain committed to fiscal responsibility and accountability and are focused on offsetting all of the COVID-19 related City revenue losses to June 30, 2020 and are looking ahead past July 2020 to mitigate a shortfall at 2020 year-end. 

A report detailing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City’s budget will be presented. This report will include:
  • estimated revenue impacts of $7.6 million to June 30, 2020
  • estimated expenditure savings of $5.2 million to June 30, 2020
  • cash flow projections to June 30, 2020
  • future financial modelling to identify pressures, dependent on the length of the pandemic, and recovery scenarios. 

Municipalities are required to approve a budget that is balanced, however, the City can have a shortfall or surplus in a given year. A shortfall can be offset by:
  • using reserve funds
  • increasing taxes in the next year; or
  • reducing expenditures during the year of the anticipated shortfall. This is what Burlington is attempting to do to mitigate a shortfall at year-end. 

Virtual Delegations
City Council will consider a recommendation to allow virtual delegations from members of the public at Council meetings, beginning in May 2020. 

  • The April 20 City Council meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. to provide residents with the opportunity to watch a live stream of the meeting at a more convenient time.
  • Members of the public can view virtual Council meetings remotely using the City’s existing web streaming tool at www.burlington.ca/calendar.
  • While no delegations are currently permitted, written comments may be submitted to the City Clerk by email at clerks@burlington.ca. Received written submissions will form part of the public record and will be distributed to members of Burlington City Council.
  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, City Council meetings continue to be held virtually. During the meetings, Mayor Meed Ward is the only member of Council present in Council Chambers along with the City Clerk/designate and an information technology technician. All members of Council participate in the meetings remotely and no members of the public are in attendance.
Planning & Development - OP & ICBL
Official Plan Update
The City recognizes the work of the Scoped Re-examination of the Adopted Official Plan is vitally important to continue to move forward. In these unprecedented times, however, it has been necessary to make changes to various timelines and processes related to Planning and Building and By-law matters.

To that end, the public meeting scheduled for April 14, 2020 on the official downtown policies has been moved to the Fall to better enable the public and all stakeholders an opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and Council, as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum. The detailed policies will be released at the end of this month (April) - I will keep you updated in my newsletter.

My comments: With this most recent announcement, I share the exhaustion of many residents in bringing about greater planning control for intensification. The impacts of C-19 have disrupted the measured and strategic approach to deliver Burlington’s next Official Plan – a plan that all residents can be proud of. Council and Staff have been laser focused on doing the hard work to ground the draft policies on sound planning within the endorsed timeline. At this point, I believe that the commitment to public engagement is better served by shifting the timelines and processes.

It is well known that the disadvantage this puts the City in, is that it sets us further from the framework that will deliver community responsive growth management. It is important to note that the approved staff direction regarding any considerations for changes to the Urban Growth Center or Major Transit Station Area designations remain.

Direct the Director of City Building, after the conclusion of the studies conducted as part of (1) the scoped re-examination of the policies of the adopted Official Plan and (2) Interim Control By-law 10-2019 as amended (21-2019), to report on any changes to the Urban Growth Centre and Major Transit Station Area designations applicable to Burlington's downtown and the Burlington GO Station that could be recommended as a result of any proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments arising out of the studies.
Planning Applications
  • Development applications received prior to March 13, 2020 are being processed
  • Inquiries continue to be handled by Planning staff via phone and email
  • Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed
  • No Pre-application public meetings will be held at this time
Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)
LPAT has suspended all hearings scheduled to take place between March 16 until the end of June.

The cancelled hearings will be rescheduled at a later date. At time of writing, hearings July onward will proceed on their scheduled date. Burlington applications affected through to the end of June include:
  • HHHBA Appeal of Parking rates - first Case Management Conference (CMC)
  • 1157 Northshore Blvd (Amica) - a telephone CMC
  • 2069 Lakeshore /Pearl Street (Carriage Gate) - first CMC
  • OPA 107 (Evergreen) - a Case Management Conference
  • 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews - Hearing

Starting April 6, 2020, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) will schedule settlement hearings through teleconference or written submissions, on a case-by-case basis.
Interim Control By-law (ICBL)
February 26, 2020 marked the close of the appeal period for the planning policies that were approved by Council on January 30, 2020 for the lands in the Interim Control By-law (ICBL) boundaries. Read the Media Release .

The ICBL (development freeze) will continue as a result of appeals which prevent the policies from going into effect.

At time of writing, cases for the Tribunal related to ICBL will see scheduling into July. We can expect that the ICBL effects will remain into this period while filed cases await Case Management Conference scheduling.

This means, that in addition to pausing planning review on applications prior to March 13th due to COVID-19 policies, Planning Staff will also not be providing recommendation reports to Council for planning files within the ICBL boundary until the appeals are settled at the Tribunal.
My comments: Visit my blog at www.LisaKearnsWard2.com to read my overview and insight on the status of the Interim Control By-law.

Watch the webcast from the January 30, 2020 public meeting , noting the conversations around minute ~25 (Planning Director comments) and minute ~51 (Legal response on Appeals) and minute ~56 (my comments).  
Planning & Development - General
In light of the current situation, all incoming development applications are being accepted digitally.

Staff continue to process Zoning Clearances and are moving to a digital review process to help with a backlog. 

The City's by-laws remain in force and effect, however, there have been some relaxed and suspended enforcement activities specific to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.  As at time of writing this newsletter these include:
  • Zoning By-Law regulations remain in effect with the exception of enforcement activities related to the parking of RV’s on residential properties related to the coronavirus. There are residents or essential workers using an RV for self-isolation or quarantine purposes. These situations are being reviewed individually to ensure that no additional hazard is being created for example, an RV blocking the sidewalk or overhanging onto the roadway

  • Overdue business licenses will not be cancelled
  • To facilitate non-essential businesses that are now serving their customers in an alternate way, all Portable Sign Permits are available online, and sidewalk signs such as A-Frames and sandwich boards are permitted

  • Parking fees for the downtown have been lifted, helping to provide easier curbside pickups, drop offs and deliveries

As a business owner, if you have questions related to enforcement activities, business licenses or interactions with the city, please contact Jenna Puletto, Special Business Area Coordinator, at Jenna.Puletto@Burlington.ca or call 289 983-6308.
Planning & Development - Applications
420 Guelph Line

  • 13 storey residential building
  • 170 units
  • 220 parking spaces, within the first two levels of the proposed building, two levels of underground parking and surface parking
  • Currently under review by Planning Staff
  • Public comment period has been extended to Friday, May 1, 2020, to ensure the opportunity to provide input
  • Send comments to Melissa Morgan
  • Report with staff recommendation anticipated for Fall 2020
  • Learn more about this proposal

My comments: I have met with the applicant for this application in August per my Business Registry and expressed concerns about traffic, reduced green space, setbacks, outdoor amenity space (recognizing proximity to Centennial Path), overall density, and design is thoughtful although the transitioning elements should be improved. Unit mix should be reviewed to support a complete community (185 bedrooms within 170 individual units). See proposed site plan here. The density of this site represents 446 units/ha whereas the current zoning is permitted for 100 units/ha. Of note, the Adopted Official Plan has identified this area (Guelph Ln. / New St.) for growth opportunity that supports Sustainable Growth. Generally that means, development densities generally greater than surrounding areas. Nodes are generally located at points where two or more transit routes intersec t. The full definition is here.

I invite more resident feedback on this application as the commenting period is extended and confirm that a public meeting has not yet been scheduled due to COVID-19. I wish to thank the St. Claire Ave. Residents Association in Ward 4 for their thorough and detailed expression of their contention with the application.
2107 Old Lakeshore Road & 2119 Lakeshore Road

  • 27 storey mixed-use building
  • 150 residential units
  • Ground floor retail
  • 5 Levels of underground parking
  • Access to underground parking from Old Lakeshore Road
  • One-way driveway from Lakeshore Road for service vehicles

  • Staff are preparing an information report
  • Public comment period has been extended to Friday, April 24, 2020, to ensure the opportunity to provide input
  • Send comments to Rebecca Lau
  • As this proposal falls within the ICBL area, no decisions (staff recommendation report to Council to accept or refuse application) will be made until the ICBL has been lifted
  • Learn more about this proposal

My comments: Residents have made clear their position on height and density at our esteemed waterfront. This application would benefit from review and further consideration of the public comments made at the neighbourhood meeting.

The commenting period has been extended past April 9th and I encourage you to participate.
2294 & 2300 Queensway Drive

  • 25 townhouse units
  • 63 units per net hectare

My comments: The opportunity to provide more time and dialogue for the Developer and Staff to proceed with reviewing this file was supported by Committee. I appreciated this. I believe there is potential to refine the application to deliver a supported planning report.

Planning & Development - Site Plan Approval Review
2243 & 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane
The site is a larger parcel at 8.5-acres located at 2243 & 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane, east from the Brant and Fairview Streets main intersection (Red square) near the Burlington GO.
Proposal: Phased mixed-use development consisting of 7 towers with heights ranging from 29-37 storeys. Towers will include a combination of residential and commercial uses. Parking will be accommodated both underground and at the rear of the property in a parking structure utilizing the required 30 metre setback from the rail. The proposal features a public realm experience that includes a linear park located on top of the parking structure, public park, focal intersection at the heart of the site and POPS (privately owned public space).
Status: Site plan application has been submitted and it is now under technical review.
Pre-consultation meetings have been occurring with City Planning staff, the Burlington Urban Design Review Panel, Councillors & Mayors Office, a public site walking tour and several other informal meetings with various city departments. 

These Site Plan Applications have been received by the City and are currently being reviewed by various internal and external stakeholders.

My comments: This is one of the rare sites in the City of Burlington that does not have a Zoning By-law code. This means that a development application proceeds straight to Site Plan - which it now has - and does not follow the process many are familiar with. In contrast, when a Zoning By-law Amendment is requested, the proponent will go through community meetings, a statutory public meeting, and receive a planning recommendation report for Council to vote on. None of these steps are required for lands without defined Zoning - as is the case for the lands known as "Holland Park".
Policies deriving from the ICBL study, which these lands are part of, has now placed Zoning policies on these lands, however the applicant applied for Site Plan prior to the approval of the now in effect as voted on January 30th, subject to the appeal process.
This application was recently filed and I will seek out engagement opportunities to identify additional improvements. I am still reviewing the technical files and will give more information as soon as possible. Please send me your initial feedback. Credit is due to the CLV Group as they have shown a positive approach to this comprehensive redevelopment with a community amenity focus and on improving housing choices with significant rental opportunity.

Residents have inquired why this development is not available for public review on the City of Burlington website Current Developments - Ward 2. This is because the accustomed process is waived in the absence of a Zoning By-law Amendment and/or Official Plan Amendment. I will seek to create an information shortly.
Essential Services during COVID-19
What is an essential service?
An essential service  is defined in Federal terms as  any service, facility or activity of the Government of Canada that is or will be necessary for the safety or security of the public or a segment of the public.
Examples of government services or activities that may be considered essential include but are not limited to: border safety/security, correctional services, food inspection activities, accident safety investigations, income and social security, marine safety, national security, law enforcement, and search and rescue.  

It’s common sense. We need law and order, we need emergency services, we need groceries and home maintenance items, we need banks and telecommunication services, we need gas, and we need a supply chain of those products including trucks and drivers to deliver them. Our hospitals and emergency workers need equipment and supplies. We need continuity of government, and we need public safety and security. It’s not as easy as coming up with one definitive list, but we need to use good judgement and give our decisions a second thought.
As indicated above , the Province has set up a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The Provincial List of Essential Services includes:

What changed on the updated List of Essential Services?
The Province announced revisions to the essential services list that limited construction (see Sections 27 – 31 of the updated essential services list ) to critical provincial infrastructure, including health, transport, energy and justice sectors – this includes construction projects and services required to ensure the safe and reliable operations of these provincial assets.

Industrial activities related petrochemicals projects or manufacturing of medical devices and other identified products related to COVID-19 response also remain as essential.
Construction and maintenance related to municipal government services are explicitly included on the essential services list and activities related to their operation may continue. These include water, sewer, roads, bridges, dams, waste and environmental management, emergency management, justice and policing.

For municipal governments such as our City of Burlington, this means that works that support the delivery of services like sewage and drinking water would remain as essential. Lastly, under section 20, the maintenance or repair works to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial (ICI) and residential properties remain essential. I understand that the municipal projects beyond critical maintenance or repair (i.e. new recreation hub) would fall under the closure order for the applicable period, with the possibility of extensions.
The Provincial Government's List of Essential Services, specifically about Construction states :
Further Suspension of Noise By-law

In order to facilitate essential health care and residential construction, a regulation was passed ( Ontario Regulation 131/20 ) which limits Section 451.1 of the Municipal Act by lifting municipal noise by-laws to permit certain construction work to continue outside of the normal workday/work week. The decision to work during hours that normally would be prohibited under a noise by-law is at the discretion of the construction company. This exception applies to:

  • Construction projects and services in a municipality associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space, at any time of the day or night.
  • Any other construction activity in a municipality may operate between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • No amendments to municipal by-laws are required.

The provincial help line at 1-888-444-3659 is a resource for clarification on what municipal construction projects could be considered to be on the revised services list. That said, it may be prudent for municipal governments to consult with legal counsel for clarity on individual projects. Any of the workplaces that remain open must abide by the directives from the Chief Medical Officer or local public health units and comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Current Construction Projects
Carriage Gate – Maria, Elizabeth and Caroline

  • On July 5, 2010 a rezoning application was approved to permit a mixed-use development on an entire block with three connected buildings
  • The subject lands occupy the block bounded by John Street, Caroline Street, Elizabeth Street and Maria Street
  • The development consists of an eight-storey office building adjacent to Caroline Street, a 17-storey apartment building adjacent to Maria Street and a six-storey parking garage in the centre
  • The complex will provide retail space on the ground floor and medical office space on seven floors of the office building
  • A site plan application is currently being processed
  • On Sept. 20, 2016, construction fencing was installed around the perimeter of the site in preparation for site alteration

  • The Berkeley development has full site plan approval and is therefore not subject to the Interim Control By-law
  • Staff continue to work with the developer and encourage a timely construction of Phase 2. In the interim, staff are exploring opportunities to minimize the disruption of an unfinished construction site in the downtown
452 Locust Street
Saxony Developments Inc.

  • Seven storey mixed-use residential building
  • Ground floor commercial

Status: Awaiting final confirmation - at time of writing its probable that this is considered residential that is permitted to continue construction

421-431 Brant Street

  • 27-storey (including a 1-storey rooftop amenity area) mixed-use building
  • 1-storey rooftop amenity area
  • 183 residential units
  • 1,327 square metres of office space
  • 966 square metres of commercial retail space
  • Four levels of underground parking
  • Car access from John Street
  • Commercial/retail units with front windows facing on to Brant Street and James Street
  • Due to COVID-19 Provincial orders halting construction sites, this project is currently being secured and then halted
  • The health and safety of the public and the surrounding areas are top priority.
  • Professional recommendations confer that work continues to complete structural bracing work related to the shoring system in order to adequately secure the site for indefinite closure and to address public safety and adjacent properties
  • See notice above which has been posted at the project construction site
490-492 Brock Ave. & 1298 Ontario St.

  • 22-storey mixed use building
  • One-storey rooftop amenity area
  • 170 residential units
  • 186 square metres of ground floor retail commercial space
  • Four levels of underground parking
  • Vehicle access from Ontario Street

  • Due to COVID-19 Provincial orders halting construction sites, this project is currently being secured and then halted
  • The health and safety of the public and the surrounding areas are top priority
  • The developer Molinaro Group is aware of the Notice and promptly corresponded with the City’s Chief Building Official
  • Professional recommendations confer that this site requires that the shoring and excavation continue to ensure the integrity of the later bracing system. It is a public safety issue if left to stand idle
  • The work required to secure the site will continue through April - using every safety precaution. On completion, the site will await further word from the Provincial Government. Once secured, there will be no further work until the orders are lifted or modified
  • I do empathize with the many residents who have contacted my office regarding noise and disruption while isolating. I am sorry that you are experiencing this and the inevitable noise will begin later, at 8 a.m.
2042, 2048 and 2054 Lakeshore Rd.

  • Three mixed-use buildings
  • East building (condo A) is 22-storeys tall with approximately 100 residential units and 1170 m2 of ground floor commercial space
  • Southwest building (condo B) is seven-storeys tall with approximately 50 residential units and 750 m2 of ground floor commercial space
  • Northwest building is an eight-storey hotel with 130 hotel units and 855 m2 of ground floor commercial space
  • A large, publicly accessible courtyard with a water feature will be constructed for the centre of this development facing the lake
  • The courtyard will connect directly to an extension of the lakefront promenade

  • As per the above Provincial Essential Services list, there will be no further work at the Hotel portion of this project until the Provincial orders are lifted or modified
  • The Residential portion has been deemed essential and will continue while following all regulations
374 Martha Street
Adi Development Group Inc.

  • 26-storey condominium building
  • 240 units
  • 423 m2 commercial space
  • Six levels of underground parking
  • Driveway access from Martha Street
  • Retail units front onto Lakeshore Road

  • As per the above Provincial Essential Services list, the 374 Martha Street Project is not covered by the Provincial updated Emergency Order. The project is on complete pause
In closing
On Sunday April 19th, we are holding a Food Drive for the Burlington Food Bank. We have several front porch drop off locations. Please help those that need support right now and donate food to this great cause. Go for a Sunday drive or walk and stop with your donation at any of these no-contact drop off locations.
City Council and City Staff continue to take appropriate action to prioritize the health and well-being of our community by minimizing the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus.

Halton Region Public Health has issued a clear and direct message to our community: Stay Home .

Please forward this newsletter to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. They can subscribe here to receive this e-mail directly in their in-box as well.

Stability is good right now - home is a good place for you right now and we are working to make staying at home easy for you.
Keep well, stay calm, show kindness.

Lisa Kearns
Ward 2 Councillor
City of Burlington & Region of Halton
E-mail: Lisa.Kearns@burlington.ca or Ward2@burlington.ca

DIRECT CELL PHONE: 289-962-2679
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