Developers are behind delays of Burlington housing projects, says mayor


Published February 10, 2022 at 5:59 pm

Developers are to blame for slow housing starts by tying up the process through appeals of local government regulations, says the mayor of Burlington.

Responding to an Ontario government task force on housing that suggests public consultation periods and local government interference are the reasons behind the lack of available housing and project delays, Marianne Meed Ward said in Burlington’s case it is the developers who disagree with local decisions and bog down the process.

She said the task force report makes it appear that local governments are siding with resident groups who are against infrastructure projects and that leads to appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal – the body that adjudicates land use issues and settles disputes.

“Most of the appeals we see in Burlington…almost all of them…are developer appeals,” Meed Ward told “And they tie up the system, tie up housing, cost millions of dollars. Planning is broken in Ontario, but not for the reasons in this report.”

She added that delays at the provincial level also lead to delays at the local level when a new development is going through the approval process.

Meed Ward went on to say that many of the task force recommendations would create a housing “free-for-all” and circumvent the democratic process at the local level.

She warned that building of housing without any controls – which the task force report appears to suggest – would cause chaos.

“We just can’t build housing, we have to build services, too,” she said, pointing out that municipalities are responsible for providing the increased infrastructure that goes with additional housing such as parks, transit and utilities.

The mayor said all stakeholders, including all levels of government, have to get together to come up with a clear housing strategy, and not just have rules imposed.

“I’ve tried to encourage developers not to dismiss residents as NIMBY’s (not in my back yard proponents) and residents not to dismiss developers as greedy, profit-driven people, and to try and come together and realize they all have a part to play in building our communities,” she said.


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