The City of Burlington received notice on April 8th that the development permit conditionally approved by the Niagara Escarpment Commission for New City Park in July 2010 has been approved by the province.
Development of the 165-acre (67-hectare) park at the corner of Dundas Street and Kerns Road began in May 2010 and was being constructed in phases. The Niagara Escarpment Commission issued a permit for phase one, site grading works, in May 2010. Construction on the play fields stopped in July 2010 when a citizen appeal for the phase two of the construction was filed with the NEC.
On Oct. 5, 2010, a Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office hearing was held to consider the appeal. The hearing officer’s report and recommendations from that hearing were filed with the Ministry of Natural Resources in December 2010 for the minister’s review. The minister had the task of reviewing the recommendations of the Hearing Officer and making a decision on whether or not the development permit should be approved.
In a decision dated April 7, 2011, Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey directed the NEC to issue a development permit allowing the city’s park development to resume. Preparation to resume construction will begin next week with full construction on site expected to resume in early May .
“When completed, New City Park will be the city’s largest park, offering a stunning view of the Niagara Escarpment and a variety of active and passive recreation options,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The province’s support of the NEC decision means the city can provide this much-needed park to the people of Burlington while making use of the previously approved stimulus money.”
The city bought the lands for New City Park in 2002 in partnership with the Bruce Trail Association. In May 2009, the city applied for funding under the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Program and was successful in getting $4.6 million in senior government funding for the first phase of the new park. This was matched by $2.3 million in city funding. Under that funding arrangement, work on phases receiving Stimulus Funding must be completed by October 2011.
When completed, New City Park will include sports fields, playgrounds, trails, a pond/wetland, a pavilion, open space areas, natural areas and supporting amenities.
“The city has worked closely with the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the province at every stage of this project,” said Allan Magi, Burlington’s executive director of strategic corporate initiatives. “We are excited to resume the construction of this magnificent park which will result in much-needed additional recreation facilities for the citizens of Burlington as well as significant restoration and protection of the sensitive escarpment lands.”
For more about City Park, visit www.burlington.ca.
Tags: new city park