That’s all you need to say in Burlington to spark a lively conversation – highrises, public access, the Pier, the Beachway, and more.
It’s a cherished community value. But how to protect and enhance it for the long term?
That issue was front-and-centre at the October 15th meeting of City Council.
The following links take you to: (1) City staff’s original report about continuing to own or selling a piece of waterfront property; and (2) the webcast of Council’s meeting.
Recommendations start at page 6 and – spoiler alert – Council chose the third option:
(1) report = http://cms.burlington.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=28441
(2) webcast = http://hosting.captual.com/burlington/1/watch/391.aspx
One beneficiary of this decision will be Port Nelson Park in Ward 4 (see photo above).
Some passionately feel the bad outweighs the good in this case. Put more dramatically, selling these public lands on the waterfront is like selling a piece of Burlington’s soul.
I don’t agree. At least, it’s not true in this instance.
Having said that, though, one thing is undeniable. Burlington’s soul is being tested.
I believe that without setting and committing to a simple fundamental policy about how the City deals with its own waterfront properties, the landscape for future decision-making can become a very slippery slope.
This matter seems to be the latest example of our City leaders heading into uncharted local waters without a compass.
Council and staff always need to start with a crystal-clear understanding of what actually comprises the overarching and definitive policy to be followed, and respected.
What is it here? Based on this decision, those waters seem to be quite murky now.
When dealing with absolutely critical issues like our precious waterfront, final decisions must be principled and visionary.
Here’s a view from the Burlington Gazette…
Who do you agree with? Have you recently walked the areas involved? Worth the effort.
A respectful, healthy exchange of ideas is exactly what our waterfront needs.
Please, SPEAK UP, so City Hall can hear you!