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Heritage Burlington needs you

Public meeting: April 25, time/place TBA

464 Locust Burlington Richard Cole house designated
Richard Cole house at 464 Locust. Ontario Heritage Act designated property built in 1896. One of Burlington’s early brick structures from the Victorian era of architecture.

For a number of months, our community has been engaged in a conversation about how to protect heritage while balancing property rights, culminating in a community heritage workshop last fall.

The workshop generated a report containing a number of recommendations and areas for further dialogue (available here). This week, city council directed Heritage Burlington, a volunteer citizen’s advisory committee, to address the key issues identified in the report, and engage the broader community to bring a set of recommendations back to council for implementation in June 2012.

The recommendations will cover such items as the “why” behind heritage preservation, the heritage registry, alterations, heritage designation criteria and process, incentives for preservation, and decision-making roles.

Council also directed that the membership of Heritage Burlington be expanded to include a diversity of perspectives on heritage. Four new members, to replace currently vacant spots, will be presented to council next week for approval.

You don’t need to be a member of Heritage Burlington to attend meetings and participate in discussion. Meetings are open to the public and generally held the second Tuesday of each month, 7pm, at City Hall. The next meeting is Tues. March 18, 7pm, Rm 247 at City Hall. For more information, or to obtain agendas and minutes, contact committee clerk, Danielle Pitoscia at 905-335-7600, ext. 7375 or pitosciad@burlington.ca

There will be multiple opportunities for public input as the recommendations are being developed, including online feedback and a public meeting the evening of April 25 (time and place to be announced. Email me at meedwardm@burlington.ca to sign up to receive regular electronic updates and opportunities to provide your input.

My take: As the council representative on Heritage Burlington I’m thrilled to work with a diverse range of residents on this task. This is an exciting opportunity for the entire community to work together to build a made-in-Burlington approach to heritage conservation.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?