Burlington mayor addresses concerns over applications for new developments

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Published June 28, 2021 at 3:49 pm

A Burlington resident recently expressed concerns regarding the city’s consideration process when it comes to applications that have been submitted for new developments.

The concern was posted to Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward’s “Monday Mailbag,” an initiative that was launched to answer questions from the public that the office has received.

“When the City of Burlington receives an application for a new development, we are legally bound to process any development applications and provide the developer with a decision on the application within 120 days of the application being deemed complete,” said Meed Ward.

“All of these applications are assigned a planner who reviews the documents and feedback from residents and presents a recommendation to committee and Council on how the application should proceed — that recommendation can either be denying the application, approving it, or approving it with certain conditions.”

According to the mayor, should the City of Burlington fail to provide a decision to the developer within the 120-day time frame, the developer then has the right to approach the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), previously known as the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) and request a decision be made on whether or not they are allowed to proceed with their plans.

The mayor explained that when this happens, it costs the city money for legal fees and representation at the OLT while also taking the decision-making process away from both the city and city council.

“In other words, projects that are not acceptable to our residents and City planning officials could go ahead and our residents would be very limited in their ability to provide input on how their neighbourhoods are structured,” said the mayor.

“It is the City’s obligation to its residents to ensure we are able to provide them with the opportunity to be a part of the planning process for the neighbourhoods. Planning affects all of us as it determines where we live, work, play and raise a family, and that is why the City encourages residents to get involved in this process.”

The mayor also confirmed that if a member of the public believes that a planning decision should be re-examined, they can appeal the decision to the OLT, who has the authority to refer a decision back to council for reconsideration.

“If a subsequent appeal of the second Council decision is made, then the OLT has the authority to approve, change or refuse the application and override the decision made by the Municipal Council,” concluded the mayor.

Currently, there are 10 major development applications at the OLT, 4 appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions, as well as 31 appeals of our changes to our Official related to GO station policies and 44 appeals to our new Official Plan.

For more information on the Planning Process, click here.

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