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Ancaster condo plan still exceeds height limit

By Mike Pearson, News staff

A more intense development was approved four years ago by Hamilton councillors, but members of the Ancaster Community Committee were still reluctant to support a Garner Road condominium and townhouse development that would stretch well beyond Ancaster’s traditional 10.5-metre height limit.

Developer Anthony DiCenzo and planning consultant James Webb appeared at Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson’s advisory committee this week to present a revised plan that includes one 4.5-storey stacked condominium building with 60 units, plus an estimated 84 three-storey townhouses at 591 and 611 Garner Rd. W. The new plan, with 144 units, reduces the original plan for 169 units approved in 2008. The 2008 plan called for two 4.5 storey stacked condo buildings and an additional 3.5-storey townhouse block.

Since 2008, the developer has acquired a 0.4 hectare land parcel which will be added to the development for a new entrance, improving sightline conditions.

But the development’s maximum height of 17 metres was still a stumbling block for members of Ferguson’s advisory committee.

“This would be higher than the Ancaster max,” said Bruce Gabel, who was not part of the ACC when the project was first approved in 2008.

The developer is seeking an official plan amendment to address the added land parcel and establish townhouses as a permitted use on the site.

DiCenzo dismissed the notion the development could open the floodgates for similar projects in the Garner and Shaver Road area.

“If there was going to be a flood, it would have happened in the last four years,” said DiCenzo. “It’s already happened. The four and a half storey is already in place.”

But Ferguson, who was serving his first term on council when the first plan was approved, noted the development is beginning again with a clean slate. Since 2008, Ferguson said his council colleagues have toughened their stance on building density.

“We’ve gotten a lot wiser since then,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson urged his committee to reserve judgement on the project until city staff form a position on the official plan amendment.

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