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Hamilton approves ERASE grant to Stoney Creek Dairy developers

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

The future development of the former Stoney Creek Dairy property will begin with an environmental clean up.

Hamiltoncouncillors approved a staff recommendation providing the property owners of135-137 King Street East, and 42 Passmore with an ERASE Redevelopment grant of up to $853,000.

Politicians will vote on the motion at the Feb. 27 council meeting.

Under the grant provision, the city will provide the owners up to 80 per cent of the increase in municipality taxes on the property. The city will begin collecting the taxes in the ninth year. The city will retain about 20 per cent of the municipal tax increment, or about $27,353.59 a year for ten years.

A phase two environmental site assessment was conducted on the 1.03 hectare property between September 2011 and February 2012 by a consultant hired by the developers, revealing about 9,900 tonnes of soil will have to be removed and disposed. Bore hole testing found soil with metals are consistent with a former underground storage tank buried in the ground. In addition, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals were found in two separate areas of the property, and benzene was located in groundwater on the northeast side of the site, stated the city’s report to the government issues committee.

The removal and disposal of the soil is estimated to coast about $853,000.

Last July, councillors agreed to an Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments on the property allowing for a 93-square-meter restaurant, and 300-square-meters of office space.

The developers have stated previously they may have a dairy bar in homage to the former Stoney Creek Dairy, located on the ground floor level of the facility.

In addition, on the Passmore property, owned by Alex Kepecs, councillors approved a $20 million, five-storey, 129-unit retirement facility with eight townhouse units. The Passmore property doesn’t need any environmental remediation.

TheKing Streetproperty is owned by three individuals, Bernard Dejonge, Marinus Dejonge Jr. and Loren Goldstein.

Area residents have expressed concerns about the height, traffic, and parking issues the development will draw to their neighbourhood. The developers have compromised on the height of the building, dropping it from six storeys to five. The Ontario Municipal Board, Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark has indicated, could have increased the height up to eight storeys if an appeal had been made.

Entrances and a loading area are still planned for King Street East, and sidewalks are proposed around the facility for seniors.

Clarkhad also urged the developers to consult with the neighbourhood, including participating in a community liaison committee so homeowners would have some input into the re-development plans.

The assessment value of the properties onKing Street Eastwas just over $2 million, while the land with the single-family dwelling on Passmore was assessed in 2012 as $194,000. Taxes for the two properties last year was $73,331. Once the property is re-developed, city staff estimates the market value assessment will jump to $17 million, providing $219,630 in taxes to the city, an annual hike of about $136,767.

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