Firstly, I want to thank all the volunteers who participated on the Committee Advisory Committee (CAC), to those who took the time to attend the community meeting held on May 23rd , residents who wrote, signed petitions and spoke at the June 4th planning committee.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions that have reached my office.

This boundary expansion began in the late 1990’s by the former City ofStoney Creek. In 2001, it was put on hold by the newly amalgamated City ofHamilton. In 2003, the City ofHamiltonapproved the expansion which was then challenged at the OMB. The OMB approved the revised expansion in 2007.

From 2007-2009, the process to create the secondary plan was initiated. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed. On a separate level, outside agencies such as the Hamilton Conservation Authority as well as City ofHamilton’s various departments were also asked to provide studies to confirm their opinions. After combining those studies and comments/advice, the staff had a public meeting to present the secondary plan onJune 24, 2010to residents.

Having said that, staff continued to work on this secondary plan as studies continued to be completed. They were not prepared to present it to the public until all studies were done. I know this secondary plan was worked on exhaustively and presented to the public before I came on council.  I also appreciate everybody’s frustration with the process. If it was to be done all over again, I would guarantee the outcome would be different.

In hopes to change this 6 year long process, I asked my colleagues to move the planning meeting to the Former City of Stoney Creek city hall to enable the residents to fully participate in the process. The narrow vote opposed that motion. In its place, I had a community meeting on May 23rd to show the residents what is being proposed for the area. I wanted to hear from residents their concerns and I wasn’t surprised that those concerns mirrored mine.

Prior to the June 4th meeting, I was able to address the chronic flooding within this area. Those areas are now identified and will be resolved as development occurs. Working with staff, I was also successful to have additional neighbourhood parks added to the plan.

On June 4, 2013, the secondary plan was presented to the planning committee and this 10 hour meeting allowed everyone in attendance to speak. It is unfortunate that the majority of those who spoke on June 4th were misled about the expropriation of their lands in order to demolish their homes and erect 6-story apt buildings. The planning committee spent a great deal of time reassuring those people that the city will not expropriate their lands to build apt blgs.

In response my and the resident’s concerns about the height and density, the planning committee approved the maximum height to be up to 4 stories and as low as 2 storey in the medium density area of concern along Barton Street and not 6 storey as originally planned.  

As Councillor, I opposed this report at council for the following reasons: a) height and placement of buildings will impede the fruit farming with respect to air drainage. Although the height and density was reduced at planning committee, I still wanted it lowered even further. b) the community park is too close to the newly purchased community centre west of Fruitland Road c) placement of collector road “A” has not been confirmed and the community deserves to know where and when this road is to be constructed and the reasons for that location.

To clarify the appeal process, this secondary plan will be ratified by council on June 26, at that time; notice will be done by July 5th therefore the deadline for appeals is July 25th. Please feel free to contact the clerk for the Planning Committee if you have any questions about this process. Vanessa Robicheau @ 905-546-2424 ext. 2729 or email vanessa.robicheau@hamilton.ca

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