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Rotary joins downtown parkette effort

By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

The Dundas Rotary Club will spearhead efforts to fund a new downtown parkette on Creekside Drive.

Rotarian Thie Convery said last week she will chair the parkette steering committee.

“There will be ample opportunity for the broader community to get involved, from providing feedback on design to assisting with fundraising or making contributions,” Convery said.

For two years, the empty property at 2555 Creekside Dr. – near the corner of Hatt and Ogilvie streets – was targeted by The Alterra Group for a seven storey condominium development. Strong neighbourhood opposition lead to city council denying required re-zoning and variance applications.

Alterra appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, but negotiations lead by Dundas councillor Russ Powers resulted in the City of Hamilton purchasing the land from Alterra to develop a neighbourhood parkette.

Financial and planning support was quickly offered by the four Creekside building’s condominium boards, and neighbouring Amica Mature Lifestyles retirement home.

By jumping in to take a leadership role, the Dundas Rotary Club becomes the sixth partner in the project.

“Notwithstanding it’s in the Creekside neighbourhood, it’s a new park in the downtown,” Powers told his community council last week, acknowledging residents beyond the five residential buildings have a role to play in creating the parkette.

He said a public “charette” will be held sometime in the next couple of months to discuss possible plans for the park.

Powers noted that neighbouring Amica retirement home – which supports the parkette development – does have approved plans in place to eventually expand their building at —- Hatt St. No timeline is confirmed for expansion, but it isn’t anticipated until 2014 at the earliest. The goal is to complete the parkette before the end of 2013.

“We’re working to make sure Amica and the parkette are complimentary with each other,” Powers said.

Amica representatives were not available for comment before deadline.

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