The fast-growing Metrotown downtown area as seen from Burnaby City Hall. (Dustin Godfrey / Burnaby Beacon)

Here’s what’s on the agenda at Burnaby’s June 20 city council meeting

Monday night is council night, and there are a few interesting items on the docket that Burnaby Beacon will be keeping an eye on!

By Srushti Gangdev | June 17, 2022 |2:47 pm

It’s Monday, Monday, gotta get down on Monday—
Everybody’s looking forward to the coun-cil mee-ting!

If you read the couplet above to the tune of Rebecca Black’s iconic (and ironic) jam ‘Friday,’ please know that you’re a real one.

Monday night is council night, and there are a few interesting items on the docket that Burnaby Beacon will be keeping an eye on!

Traffic trouble

A delegation will speak to council about concerns held by residents of the area around Lakefield Drive and Fourth Street. Lakefield Drive has been closed to traffic since November of 2021 as FortisBC works on the Patullo Gas Line Replacement project.

Now, the city is building new cycling and pedestrian amenities in the area and is considering closing off the section between Reigate Street and Elwell Street to vehicle traffic permanently.

Burnaby has held several pop-up events for members of the community to share their feedback, but a delegation plans to talk directly to council members about their concerns for the plan on Monday night.

Residents tell the Beacon that Lakefield Drive serves as an important connector route for their neighbourhood—especially when there are accidents on Canada Way—and they were taken by surprise when the city announced plans to potentially close off a section permanently.

A new OCP for Burnaby

The City of Burnaby’s last official community plan was established in 1998—suffice it to say we live in a different world now than we did 24 years ago.

Burnaby is embarking on the process of updating the OCP, with the intention that ‘Burnaby 2050’ will guide the city’s policies, priorities, and actions for the next two-and-a-half decades.

The plan will cover everything from growth strategies and housing affordability policies to climate action and health infrastructure.

That process will include developing a preliminary schedule and project phasing plan, deciding on the scope of the project along with objectives and desired outcomes, and identifying resource needs—the city expects the plan to be completed and ready by early 2025.

Burnaby residents will be consulted on what they believe the city’s direction should be for the next 25 years, as part of Phase 1 of the planning process.

Here are some of the broader themes the city intends to poll residents on:

  • How have Burnaby’s communities changed over time?
  • What do people value in their communities and neighbourhoods?
  • What would people like to see change in their communities and neighbourhoods?
  • What are Burnaby’s community needs now and in the future?
  • What is Burnaby’s identity and role within the region?

Phase 1 is expected to begin this summer.

Extreme heat response

Council will discuss a report from general manager of community safety Dave Critchley on how Burnaby can best support residents should another heat dome, like the one that killed 73 people in Burnaby last summer, emerge.

Burnaby has already announced plans to open cooling centres in a heat emergency and to work with community groups like Burnaby Neighbourhood House to support those at risk.

The report notes that Burnaby has a significant population of older residents in private dwellings (who were most at risk of death during last summer’s heat dome).

But health authorities have more information about who exactly is at risk.

“Unfortunately, the city does not possess information enabling an inventory of ‘at risk individuals’ complete with civic addresses, as this falls outside the role and legislative authorities of a municipal government,” Critchley’s report says.

“In the absence of this data, city emergency management staff have enhanced focused communication efforts to not only reach these individuals, but also to reach their caregivers, neighbours, family members, etc. to provide information and tools to assist during a time of need.”

Srushti Gangdev

Reporter at Burnaby Beacon

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