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Ancaster trail link delayed by approval process

By Mike Pearson, News staff

Multiple approvals are required before the city can complete a trail connection linking a passive park with a subdivision in the Garner Road and Hamilton Drive area.

The city’s approved 2013 capital budget includes $255,000 for the Shaver Neighbourhood Park development. Funds will be used to enhance public access to Shaver Estates Park, which is substantially complete. Upon full completion, the 1.68-hectare passive park at 33 Brooking Court will include a turf area, play structure, picnic tables and benches.

City landscape architect Cynthia Graham said a proposed 0.5 kilometre trail link has been proposed to facilitate pedestrian access to the park.

“The 2013 (budget) ask is for a trail connection between Shaver Estates Park and Toll Gate Drive,” Graham said.

But before the project can proceed, approvals must be granted by the Grand River Conservation Authority and the city’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas Impact Evaluation Group.

The trail link requires a fill, construction and alteration to waterways permit from the GRCA as well as an ESAIG review of concept drawings.

The trail will intersect with a neighbourhood creek, prompting the need for a raised boardwalk. Final drawings for the trail link have not yet been completed. According to a study by consulting firm Dougan and Associates, the park site forms part of the Big Creek Watershed which drains into the Grand River. The City of Hamilton owns the Shaver Estates Park land while the GRCA retains ownership of the land which will be traversed by the trail.

Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson said neighbourhood opposition to the trail has been addressed by increasing setbacks from private backyards. His office has received no recent complaints from residents regarding the proposed trail.

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