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Proposed development on Appleby Line draws criticism at public meeting

Council approves application to amend zoning bylaw
Council approved an application to amend the zoning bylaw to allow two semi-detached homes at 336 Appleby Line.

A public meeting about a proposed development at 336 Appleby Line began with a professor offering to help guide city staff in how to better engage citizens.

Ancaster-based Johnsson Studio wants to demolish the existing home at 336 Appleby Line to construct two semi-detached dwellings, both two-storeys on two separate lots, fronting onto Cottonwood Drive. 

Nicole Goodman, whose mother Irene lives close to the site, presented a delegation on Feb. 6 in response to the proposed zoning bylaw amendment to allow two buildings, reduced setbacks, increased building height and reduced lot width. 

Goodman explained her qualifications to speak on matters of public engagement included a PhD in political science and her doctoral research focus on public participation.

“Practically, I have consulted governments at the local, provincial, territorial and national levels within Canada, as well as international governments and organizations on various aspects of participation and engagement,” Goodman said.

Goodman criticized the city’s public engagement in regards to the proposed development at 336 Appleby Line, saying it “adhered to the lowest echelons of public participation by simply informing residents rather than meaningfully consulting them.”

Goodman particularly pointed to the areas of transparency, public engagement and responsiveness.

“The advertised public comment period was from Dec. 19 to Jan. 5, which coincided with the busiest holiday period of the year. City of Burlington offices were closed during this period, city staff were not working, yet they expected residents to be compiling comments,” Goodman said, adding that all council member offices were closed as well.

Staff could acknowledge comments made by the public by addressing specific concerns, Goodman said after Mayor Marianne Meed Ward asked her how it could’ve been better.

Goodman offered to help City of Burlington staff on how to engage the public in a more effective way.

The zoning bylaw amendment to allow the property's redevelopment will go to council for approval on Tuesday (Feb. 12.)

With files by Julie Slack.


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Laura Broadley

About the Author: Laura Broadley

Laura Broadley has been a journalist covering local news all across southern Ontario for almost a decade
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