Halton Region is currently reviewing policies to consider provincial and municipal planning priorities around transit, growth and development in Downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO Major Transit Station Area and is asking for community input on the proposed changes by Dec. 22.
The Burlington Urban Growth Centre and Major Transit Station Areas are strategic growth areas that are planned for greater population and job growth and higher rates of development than other areas in the City and Region, which is why they are being addressed in the Official Plan Review.
As part of the review, the Region is reviewing land-use policies to advance provincial and municipal planning priorities through the Integrated Growth Management Strategy.
The Provincial Growth Plan (2019) requires the Halton Region to plan for 1.1 million people and 500,000 jobs by 2051.
On August 24, 2020, through its Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Regional Official Plan, Burlington City Council requested that Halton Region adjust the boundary of the Downtown Burlington Urban Growth Centre as well as remove the Major Transit Station Area designation from the John Street Bus Terminal.
To address this request as well as facilitate a community discussion on the changes being sought out, Halton Region has worked with the City to develop a joint Supplemental Discussion Paper.
Additionally, identified by the Growth Plan, 2019, an Urban Growth Centre is an existing or emerging downtown area and provides strong policy guidance for the transit-supportive, mixed-use development of Halton Region’s three Urban Growth Centres.
The Province developed guiding principles to identify the boundaries of Urban Growth Centres as an area that is able to accommodate growth and intensification, with the potential to form complete communities as well as an area that can accommodate population density requirements consistent with growth projections.
Additionally, it identified it as an area that ensures growth can happen in a way that complements existing built form and includes at least one higher-order transit hub and has good access to major transportation routes.
The Urban Growth Centre in its existing configuration has been beneficial to the City of Burlington as it has generated investments that will ultimately help develop a healthy mix of jobs, local stores, access to existing community services, housing and transportation options to support population growth and development.
The reason for directing population and job growth to areas around transit stations ensures the efficient use of existing land and municipal infrastructure.
This form of planning encourages development around accessible public transit, reduces reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, helps reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions and protects vital agricultural and natural areas from the pressure of development.
Residents are invited to help shape how and where the community grows by providing feedback from now until Dec. 22.