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City Hall Plan Radically Changes Canada’s Best Mid-sized City

Vote on January 16th

On January 16th, city staff want approval to fundamentally alter Burlington’s downtown by adding height and density throughout the downtown. 

Height will go from 4-8 storeys in the Downtown Core Precinct to up to 17. This area covers most of the east side of Brant from James to Pine over to Pearl.

North of Blairholm to Graham’s Lane & Prospect in the new Upper Brant Precinct, height will increase from 4–8 storeys to 25 storeys. 

The urban growth centre boundaries have changed to include parts of stable neighbourhoods, including the Lion’s Club park and neighbourhood to the north between Pearl and Martha. This area will see possible density increases to 200 people or jobs per hectare.

Planning staff also recommends permitting semi-detached homes in the St Luke’s and Emerald Precincts, and all low-density downtown neighbourhoods. Protection to limit semis to the same lot coverage as single family homes, at 25%, and the same Floor Area Ratio, to avoid monster semis covering most of the lot will be considered later.

The downtown is already on track to meet its growth targets with the current plan

This is a bad deal for Burlington – by giving away height and density – the city gets nothing new –  just tall buildings and more congestion.

Tell council to vote no on January 16th.

Canada’s best mid-sized city deserves a better plan.

To read the details in greater depth, click here

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.


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  1. I want to express my concerns regarding the new height proposals being considered by Burlington City Council. I have enjoyed the last 4 years living on Lakeshore Rd in the downtown area. One of the many reason I have enjoyed the area is the low level landscape that is in place now. Bigger is not always better. Burlington is well know for the Waterfront look and the planning that went into what we see today. 27 plus story buildings will take way from all the positive and mindful planning from the past . Having read some others comments here…One would agree…if this surge of Radical change of height building levels, is being driven by staff ( for economic reasons ) then our Elected Representative’s must consider the feedback from the tax payers in the area involved. Do the right thing Council and listen and act accordingly .

  2. Just reading the Oakville City plan – very interesting that they have a VERY different take on their Lakeshore Area – perhaps this type of reading would be time well spent for our city staff! Annoyed YES! There is a real absence of thoughtful leadership in city hall and it is VERY annoying!

  3. I forgot to say in my previous comment, that if you look at the Downtown Precinct Plan locations and heights, you will see the Molinaro fingerprints all over.

    Brant/Ghent Medical bldg and parking lot; the whole block at the foot of Brant at Lakeshore Rd (old RBG? bank right at corner); Brock St farther west under proposal for 22/23; and I can’t say what else without looking.

    They own a lot land or options in Downtown, and they have been pushing for height and density and a new OP for years. They have been pushing for the greater than 20 stories, Now they seem to be getting it.

    At Meed Wards downtown workshops I sat at a table with a different Molinaro on 2 nights. They were adamant about changing the OP to at least 20 stories, speaking to the Brant/Lakeshore block. Now its 25.

    I asked if they would put a floor or two of office/commercial in if they were given more density as a bonus. They said no, as the “return” was not good enough. Condos are King in Burlington – at $600 a square foot or more, there is no wonder why.

    Draft Plan says they got the 20-25, maybe plus, and without any commercial that needs to be built. So they got the density for free. Who’s in charge of this racket?

    I don’t have a general problem with Molinaro, but they have undue influence, entry to city that citizens like me will never get, money to buy lobbies, and so on. I just don’t like them busting up the main street with what to me is greedy power grasping, and getting our planners to play along.

  4. Re Penny Hersh’s comments….for those of us who do not wish to be on Facebook, how do we join ENGAGED CITIZENS OF BURLINGTON?

  5. Marianne, I see that my comment is still awaiting moderation. I wonder if I said something that you find disrespectful, as per your subsequent post. If so I apologize. My point is that government is elected to carry out the wishes of the people who voted them in, via policy. We elect policymakers as well as legislators. Staff are tasked with implementing the policies and visions of the people we elect. They should not be in a position of dictating or forming policy.

    • Paula, you just expressed my sentiment perfectly. Is city hall working for us or the developers? Are the councillors (except for Marianne) not listening to the citizens.

  6. If we continue on the route, the downtown core will end up a cold, lifeless wind tunnel. They are turning Burlington into a carbon copy of downtown Toronto or Mississauga. Who really truly enjoys going to those places anymore?

  7. I took a visitor from New York City for a drive along the Lakeshore yesterday. She was so impressed with the open view until we came east of Brant and she exclaimed about the highrise being built there. She was disappointed not to see more of the shoreline. I will say too that the traffic was quite dense and that was a Sunday!!! We did find some pay parking, which spoiled the whole walk.

  8. Any/all City Staff Planners that are requesting “radical” changes of 4-8 storeys to an acceptable 20-25 storeys, need to give their heads a shake. The people of Burlington cannot continue to accept such ridiculous planning for our “small” downtown areas. It is clear to all of us that the density and intensification proposals are way beyond acceptable levels for the downtown area.

  9. Enough is enough…. council seems to just rubber-stamp recommendations from city staff. Prove me wrong… I hope I am… as well, there is always this good cop bad cop type of voting by council… that’s the way it seems to me…

    • Yup it is time to take back our city …. and where is the leadership of the Mayor on this loss of our city to rubber-stamping councillors. And why we are here. Lets take back our city.

  10. Where do I start Marianne. I believe our destiny was set in the 90’s. It coukd be different but with the inability of staff AND Council to be sensible, we are in deep trouble.
    These people are trying to ram through height and density prior to election.
    City Talk came out. Grow Bold. Says we’ve been
    out talking to shape our city. Not any of council but 1 has listened. Wow!!!
    Traffic gridlock? Lakeshore lined up west bound .
    From Guelph line 2 lane to Martha 3 lane to Brant 22 lane and back to 3 at Maple.
    New St: With road diet this traffic to go on other streets ie Woodward- Prospect
    Fairview and New again forced cars on Cumberland. I can expound more but now there are road humps all over and more in progress.
    All in all the last November City Talk is municipal government propaganda.

    I hope all your 4000 subscribers read and show their disgust. Those 4000 nust might turn into 70,000 voters
    One other thing— discussion time for larger
    Brian Jones Ward 6

  11. Are people going to fly to their homes? Perhaps helicopter pads should be constructed on the roofs of these buildings. How are we going to reach the city centre via the congested QEW or Lakeshore Road?

    • I know… I have complained about the traffic issues since before the building of those town houses on Ghent… I was told that the studies were all proving that traffic would not be impacted… well… traffic IS IMPACTED… our city is already drowning in cars… just wait if Intensification continues…

  12. Why would Council listen now? They haven’t been listening up to now. If you want your voice to be heard join ENGAGED CITIZENS OF BURLINGTON. This is a grass roots organization that has been formed to change the current culture at City Hall. This is not just about the over intensification of Brant Street, it includes all of Burlington. Councillors, staff, and residents need to stop acting as silos, we have to look at Burlington as a city. What effects the residents in one ward should be of concern to all the other residents of the city. Please visit our Facebook page ENGAGED CITIZENS OF BURLINGTON and join us in making this happen.

  13. I thought the job of staff was to implement policy determined by elected officials, not to MAKE policy. Am I missing something here?

What's your take?