Citizens’ PLAN B got a “heads-up” on Saturday of an update to the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study that would be presented on the following Tuesday at Burlington’s Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee Meeting. We read the Planning Department’s update known as PL-15-22 with concern given that they were planning on a completion timeframe of 16-17 weeks, or by early May.
The problem with this in our opinion was that the property owner of the Waterfront Hotel, had already submitted his development application on October 26th, 2021, and while the City has rejected it as INCOMPLETE, he has appealed that decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal. If Vrancor wins that appeal, then the City would be obligated to respond formally to his application within 120 days of its’ submission, which would be by February 23rd, 2022. The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study is really the only formal vehicle for the residents to have their views considered and it might not even be completed when it could count!
Our delegation was simply to ask that this study be completed on a highly accelerated basis, particularly given that part of Vrancor’s application was to eliminate the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study (a.k.a. residents’ input) as a prerequisite for the development application. We also provided ideas of how the process might be accelerated, which were to build on past milestones such as the key policy directions included in Section 3 of PB-23-18 and the Emerging Preferred Concept #3, which was the last iteration of design concepts that PLAN B was party to in early 2018. Incidentally, Plan B was the only delegation on this matter.
Both Mayor Marianne Meed Ward & Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns agreed, and tabled a motion “To direct the Director of Community Planning to complete the Waterfront Hotel Study within the statutory timeframe of processing the pending application related to the Waterfront Hotel (2020 Lakeshore Rd), so as to inform the review of any development proposal on this site in accordance with the policies of the Official Plan.” Note: statutory timeframe means the 120 days I referred to earlier.
It was approved unanimously by Council, 7-0.