Burlington Planning Process – City of Burlington

1. Technical pre-consultation meeting

When a Burlington property owner has an idea for a proposed new development, they first meet with City and Halton Region staff at a pre-technical consultation meeting. Learn how to submit a development request and book a meeting.

At this meeting, City staff will advise the owner of the type of development applications required for their proposal and the technical studies (such as environmental or traffic impacts) that will be required.

2. Pre-application community meeting organized by the property owner/developer

After meeting with municipal and regional staff, the owner/developer will arrange a consultation meeting for residents and businesses in the immediate area. The owner prepares notices with meeting details and sends them out to be mailed before the meeting date.

At the community meeting, the owner will share the proposed plans with the community and gather their input and feedback to make adjustments to the proposal before a development application is submitted to the City.

3. Development request is submitted

The owner/developer submits a development application to the City, along with the required fees and preliminary studies. Once the City has reviewed the application and determined that it is complete, the owner/developer must post a sign on the property that describes the proposed development and indicates how to find more information about the proposed development.

4. Notification to neighboring owners

Once a development application is received by the City, the Designated Planner will create a notification letter to be sent to all properties within 120 meters of the proposed development property (300 meters in a rural area).

The public notice provides details of the development proposal and requests written comments, which can be sent to the City by mail or email. People interested in the proposed development can also choose to be added to a mailing list. This helps attendees stay informed about the progress of the application.

5. Dissemination of the application to the agencies

The application planner sends information about the development application to local external agencies, including Conservation Halton and relevant internal municipal departments. These agencies are invited to share their comments and identify the conditions that the proposed development must respect. Staff reviews technical studies with the application and may request additional information from the applicant.

6. Statutory Public Meeting and Recommendation Report #1

Following the first broadcasts, there will be a statutory public meeting and recommendation report, which is required by the Ontario Planning Act. At this meeting, staff present the application, relevant policies, and technical and community feedback to City Council. Staff will either recommend to Council that requests be denied within the time limits prescribed by law, or recommend that City staff continue to process the request. The public is invited to delegate to the Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee, a standing committee of Council. The committee will then discuss the proposal and provide guidelines on how applications should proceed.

7. Recommendation Report #2 (if required)

If the committee directs staff to continue to work with applicants to resolve outstanding issues, further refinements to the development application may be made in response to public and technical comments. Planners will meet with the applicant to suggest changes that may correct technical issues or address public concerns. The applicant may submit a revised proposal to address these concerns and technical issues. If the revisions are significant, another notification letter may be sent and another neighborhood meeting may be held. There may be more than one round of revisions as the applicant and City staff continue to evaluate the proposal.

The Planner will continue to listen to public input and address any land use impact issues through plan amendments, discussion in the report and recommendations to Council.

Following this review, there would be a 2nd committee meeting, where the planning staff would present a second and final recommendation report to the committee to approve, modify or deny the request. Both Committee meetings are public meetings and the public is invited to delegate to the Committee and provide input. The City will mail a notification letter and an invitation to attend the statutory public meeting to landowners located within 120 meters of the proposed development (300 meters in a rural area). The letter explains how members of the public can register to speak at the meeting as a “delegation”. Delegates have up to 10 minutes to speak.

8. Board meeting

Following committee meetings, the staff recommendation report will be presented to City Council for decision. City council meetings are also public meetings, where the public can delegate and make their voices heard.

9. Notice of Board Decision

Once the Burlington City Council has made a decision to approve, modify, or deny a development application, all individuals who have submitted comments, delegated, or requested to be added to a mailing list to receive updates will receive a letter informing them of the board’s decision.

The letter includes information on how to appeal the decision to the Ontario Lands Tribunal.

10. Appeal Period

Within 20 days of the date of Council’s notice of decision, an applicant or individual may appeal Council’s decision on a development application. The Ontario Lands Tribunal adjudicates matters relating to land use planning, environmental and natural features and heritage protection, property assessment, property compensation, municipal finance and related matters .

Louisa R. Loomis