Who you gonna call?

monster home example

Does the above scene look familiar? Too familiar?

How often have you seen a notice near you, like the one shown below?

notice on property

Monster homes, and even bigger concerns, are waking up quiet Burlington neighbourhoods throughout Ward 4.

Most recently, for a highly controversial development in Ward 4, City Council agreed to amend Burlington’s Official Plan. It’s an inherently flexible document which evolves with the community’s changing priorities and needs – but its rules seem to have been bent and broken so much lately, it’s becoming more like the Official Suggestion.

Click on the following link to see how the Roseland Heights Community Organization (RHCO) advocated for its members and other concerned residents:

Roseland Heights Community Organization – Delegation to City Council 3.17.2014

Regrettably, Council voted to approve a 6-storey height for the sizable apartment complex in this low-density area on New Street.

Why are local residents upset?

It’s not really about having an apartment building on those lands. It’s primarily about massing – a growing concern everywhere, as Burlington moves rapidly down the intensification path. Imagine the look-and-feel of a 6-storey structure here…..

ABC1

Another reason for this upset involves Council, particularly our Ward 4 Councillor who voted to exceed the maximum allowable height of 4-storeys.

Jack Dennison’s generic email response to constituents was comprehensive, and ultimately boiled down to this….

My job as a Councillor is to represent my 40,000 constituents of Ward 4, the City of Burlington and the Region of Halton, and I feel this proposal while not ideal for the immediate neighbours to the east is absolutely the right thing to do for the community!”

That kind of ‘greater good’ justification is often used when an elected official votes squarely against what seems to be the wishes of most constituents.

In this case, the RHCO discovered incredible frustration and dismay. “Who is our Councillor listening to?” “Did he even knock on 1 door, let alone 40,000?” “Why bother to fight this, if Council won’t listen?”

In fairness, there are 40,000 people for 1 person to represent!

You can’t blame our Councillor alone for not adequately consulting or listening to residents. Concerned citizens should take more responsibility by stepping up, getting organized and making our voices heard.

The RHCO, and another well-organized group next door, the Roseland Community Organization (RCO), reflect a viable and sustainable way to accomplish that goal.

When need arises, and residents want to get truly engaged and informed, call on YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD ASSOCIATION for help! For example….

*** Ward 4 can realistically be divided into at least 5 distinct areas….

(1) Palmer-Tansley
(2) Dynes-Rexway
(3) Roseland-Tuck Creek (represented currently by the RCO and RHCO)
(4) Longmoor
(5) Shoreacres

*** Looking for advice/assistance about getting organized in Ward 4 or elsewhere? See the contact information on the websites and Facebook pages for the RCO and RHCO (or, as I refer to them, the GRA or Greater Roseland Area):

http://www.rhco.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/roselandheights

http://roselandcommunity.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/RoselandCommunityOrganization

*** You don’t even have to spend money to form a not-for-profit corporation to get your own group off the ground! Here’s an example of some basic rules, to help set up and guide an unincorporated association with your neighbours….

Neighbourhood Association – Example of Constitution

Burlington is changing. It’s time for residents to band together on an organized basis when dealing with City Hall – including to help protect and shape the landscape and character of our established neighbourhoods.

After all, that’s what being good neighbours is all about.

Ward 4 From Sky 2013

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