No agreement reached yet on sale of waterfront land

  |   Downtown & Waterfront   |   10 Comments

Community & Corporate Services Committee, May 27, 1pm & 6:30pm, City Hall

View of lake from public path between Market & St. Paul

View of lake from public path between Market & St. Paul

In an information report L-12-14 to the May 27 Community and Corporate Services Committee, staff advise that negotiations are ongoing and expected to take at least another six months.

On Oct. 15, council voted 6-1 to sell public land along the waterfront between Market St and St. Paul St to abutting homeowners. The waterfront land is jointly owned by the city and the Ministry of Natural Resources. In order for MNR staff to consider the sale of the land to the three landowners, the landowners were required to submit individual Applications for Crown Land which were processed by MNR staff. Under MNR policies:

1. The land must be sold at market value.
2. The City owned Water Street land must be transferred to the three landowners first before the MNR lands can be transferred.

MNR has agreed to sell the property to the three landowners, provided they can agree on price and timing. They are working with the three landowners to resolve this issue. Both MNR and City policies require a fully documented appraisal process to determine the market value, and that both the City and the MNR use the same valuation method and terms of reference.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to develop “Windows-to-the-Lake” at the road ends at Market St. and St. Paul with nominal amenities (benches, signage) and improve nearby Port Nelson park at the foot of Guelph Line. The Windows-to-the-Lake concept plans will be presented to committee in the Fall.

You can register as a delegation to speak at the meeting here

My Take: Any delay to the sale of public waterfront land is welcome. I did not support the sale of public waterfront land to private homeowners, but instead advocated that the city make a nominal investment to keep this open as a public waterfront pathway. I will seek a reconsideration of this sale during the next term of council. If the sale goes through, I will advocate that the sale price be made public. Read my previous posts on this issue here

Your Take: What’s your of the impending sale of waterfront land? Leave a comment below.

  • Hans Jacobs | May 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I am against it as well.

  • Bruce Bond | May 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Why would the MNR want to sell natural resources property? That goes against everything they are supposed to protect.

  • Hal Watt | May 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Waterfront property belongs to all the residents, and should NEVER be sold to private interests, no matter the apparent inducements.

  • Rob | May 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I’d love to see Burlington develop a plan to re-acquire a small portion of property on all waterfront. They could use this to make a wonderful path for all to enjoy.

  • Brian Swinney | May 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Selling waterfront property is bad policy. We need to recapture as much of the waterfront as we can and return it to public use.

  • Linda Ploen | May 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I have just returned from New York City. The numerous walkways and bike paths lining much of the city’s plentiful shoreline are impressive. The idea that this small city of Burlington cannot safeguard waterfront access for ALL of its residents rather than a select few households is appalling. The city must start now so that future generations and “regular” folk can partake in exercising and strolling along Lake Ontario. Hamilton has this issue firmly in hand, why doesn’t Burlington? City councillors – where and what is your vision?

  • Linda Rostern | May 26, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I am against the sale. What price can you put on a waterfront public path? Once public land is lost, it is not a reversible sale. The sale of the land should not be a very large windfall to the abutting homeowners with respect to the immediate increase in value of their expanded properties as these will be waterfront and very large. The price should not be secret. If this land was for sale to the public, the price would be extremely costly.
    The city of Burlington wants to sell the land to private homeowners and ask the public to be happy with a few benches and nominal upgrades nearby in exchange. This is unreasonable.
    This is not just a Ward 2 issue. People from all wards use the waterfront areas in Burlington. The people of Burlington deserve to be heard.

  • Terry Ploen | May 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Where is the vision and fortitiude of our politicians? Chicago lakeshore park [26 mi.], West Vancouver waterfront trail, NYC waterfront trails, Stanley Park, etc. all started with a vision. Or is this Lakeshore wealth trumping the better needs of an entire City?

  • Heather | May 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Burlington does it again. Those with more, get more. How many more waterfront pieces are available for sale?

  • Tony | May 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

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