Burlington council motions to prevent 'overdevelopment'


After campaigning on “reasonable growth, not overdevelopment” in 2018, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward commended council on a unanimous vote at Burlington’s city council meeting.

Council passed motions that will, in part, amend the downtown plan to limit more highrises and overdevelopment.

We are in a much better place and have come a long way in regaining a community vision for downtown and managing overdevelopment,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said to council Monday. “This is much better than the adopted official plan and in some cases the existing official plan”.

Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown: Preliminary Preferred Concept

According to staff, the proposed plans also address Burlington’s climate change consideration integration. With the recommendations, the Planning Department believes higher densities will make more efficient use of land and resources and contribute to transportation network improvements. Staff also believes a mix of land uses will provide increased opportunities for people to “live, work, shop, study, and play” in downtown Burlington, reducing residents’ need to travel long distances on a daily basis.

Early in 2019, Burlington City Council directed staff to re-examine the downtown policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan, including the height and density of buildings. As part of this work, the City hosted a series of public engagement opportunities designed to give the community the chance to provide meaningful input on the community’s vision for the downtown, both online and in person.  

The first phase of public engagement, from Aug. to Sept. 2019, identified 13 themes that the public felt were important to reflect in the planning for downtown. These themes were used by SGL Planning and Design to inform the development of two concepts that show two possible ways downtown Burlington could accommodate growth and development in the future.

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