By Mike Pearson, News staff
In a decision Ancaster’s councillor called shameful, a proposal for a 338,000 square-foot development has been partially denied by the Ontario Municipal Board.
The project by Trinity Development Group included a plan for a Lowe’s home improvement retailer as the project’s anchor tenant. While a home improvement retailer remains among the list of permitted uses for the development, the OMB decision released last week limits the range of retail establishments for the proposed plaza at 1125-1143 Wilson St. W.
Ferguson, who supported the Trinity Development, was disappointed that the project will not proceed as planned after the project won the support of city planning staff and councillors.
“It’s shameful that the OMB would turn something down that was approved approved by council and fully approved by our planning staff,” said Ferguson.
Known as the Lowe’s Centre according to Trinity’s website, the development was planned to include a major grocery and apparel retailer, but both uses are now forbidden following the OMB ruling.
As an arterial commercial development, the Trinity project cannot include department stores, food stores, residential buildings or retailers selling primarily apparel, housewares, electronics, sporting goods or general merchandise.
Stefan Savelli, vice president of development for Trinity, was not immediately available for comment.
The Trinity project was appealed by Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. at an OMB hearing earlier this year. In submissions to the board, Calloway representative Dennis Wood argued the property is industrial land. As such, the city is not entitled to permit the commercial use of the property, Wood said. Calloway controls a nearby commercial plaza at 1051 Garner Rd. W. which includes Canadian Tire and Walmart.
The development site was subject to a controversial 2008 city council decision which removed the land from an employment land designation for the purposes of the urban Hamilton official plan.
A separate appeal filed by Canadian Tire was withdrawn.
The OMB decision upholds a list of uses permitted by the arterial commercial designation of the urban Hamilton official plan.
Commercial uses include, but are not limited to banquet halls, restaurants, garden centres, veterinary clinics, furniture stores, funeral homes, home improvement and building supply stores, gas bars and automotive related businesses.
An arterial commercial designation would also include adult entertainment establishments and body rub parlours, although Ferguson noted both would be unacceptable according to secondary plan regulations.