Former Hamilton hospital lands could have 18-storey towers

News Aug 20, 2020 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s director of planning, Steve Robichaud, says the Mountain could see several 18-storey towers on what are now the former 12.5-hectare Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands.

With the surprise move by the provincial government on Aug. 12 to expand the zoning requirements on the hospital lands, located on Fennell Avenue across the street from Mohawk College, Robichaud said during an Aug. 17 planning committee meeting that under the city’s planning principles, the owners of the property could construct “multiple” 18-storey buildings.

“There are no restrictions on the number of multiple buildings on a lot, so you could end up with a situation with multiple 18-storey buildings being developed on this property based on the minister’s zoning order,” said Robichaud.

He said that to allow the towers on the land, the developers would have to submit site plan applications, but the city would have no choice but to allow the permits for construction.

Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko, who represents the area, said there is a “fear” that the reason the province expanded the zoning on the property to include single-family, semi-detached, townhouses, street townhouses and multiple dwellings is because it has already reached a deal with a potential buyer of the lands.

“The (concern is that) the province has already a list of purchasers for the land that will go to the highest bidder,” said Danko. “(The province) has no regard to local planning for this property.”

In 2017, council approved a comprehensive review of the former psychiatric lands, which included extensive discussions with residents and stakeholder groups. The final decision for the land was to create employment lands for health care and education, while also maintaining public access to the lands and the nearby Niagara Escarpment and saving and repurposing Century Manor, the remaining part of the former hospital building.

In 2018, the city and province announced that Mohawk College had proposed to spend $9.5 million to purchase the coveted property beside St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre.

Since the provincial government’s decision, a petition has been launched by Mountain resident Leanne Pluthero on Change.org called "Save Century Manor" that has been signed by nearly 1,500 people.

Mohawk College officials stated they were “surprised” by the province’s decision and had incorporated the lands, including Century Manor, into the college's 20-year master plan. The institution had also committed to restoring Century Manor.

The city would then have used the funds to create a mixed-use tower development at 191 York Blvd. that would allocate 20 per cent for affordable housing. But after the Progressive Conservative government was elected, it backed out of the project in late 2018.

“As of now,” said Danko, “the province basically dropped a bomb on us. We really have limited options.”

General manager of planning Jason Thorne said staff are seeking “further clarification” from the province, which owns the lands, about what it plans to do with the property. The zoning expansion applies only to a portion of the property and leaves some green space and Niagara Escarpment lands untouched, said Thorne.

“They had indicated at least (that) a portion of the lands (was) to be used for a long-term-care facility,” said Thorne. “That is a priority for the provincial government.”

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Conrad Spezowka said an option for the property is “the development of long-term-care and residential housing.”

He said the zoning order “simply adds the ability for residential housing to be built, including housing for veterans, seniors and students.”

Spezowka said the zoning order does not eliminate Mohawk College’s option to purchase the land. He also stated that “no final decision has been made on the future use” of the property.

Former Hamilton hospital lands could allow 'multiple' 18-storey towers

News Aug 20, 2020 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s director of planning, Steve Robichaud, says the Mountain could see several 18-storey towers on what are now the former 12.5-hectare Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands.

With the surprise move by the provincial government on Aug. 12 to expand the zoning requirements on the hospital lands, located on Fennell Avenue across the street from Mohawk College, Robichaud said during an Aug. 17 planning committee meeting that under the city’s planning principles, the owners of the property could construct “multiple” 18-storey buildings.

“There are no restrictions on the number of multiple buildings on a lot, so you could end up with a situation with multiple 18-storey buildings being developed on this property based on the minister’s zoning order,” said Robichaud.

He said that to allow the towers on the land, the developers would have to submit site plan applications, but the city would have no choice but to allow the permits for construction.

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Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko, who represents the area, said there is a “fear” that the reason the province expanded the zoning on the property to include single-family, semi-detached, townhouses, street townhouses and multiple dwellings is because it has already reached a deal with a potential buyer of the lands.

“The (concern is that) the province has already a list of purchasers for the land that will go to the highest bidder,” said Danko. “(The province) has no regard to local planning for this property.”

In 2017, council approved a comprehensive review of the former psychiatric lands, which included extensive discussions with residents and stakeholder groups. The final decision for the land was to create employment lands for health care and education, while also maintaining public access to the lands and the nearby Niagara Escarpment and saving and repurposing Century Manor, the remaining part of the former hospital building.

In 2018, the city and province announced that Mohawk College had proposed to spend $9.5 million to purchase the coveted property beside St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre.

Since the provincial government’s decision, a petition has been launched by Mountain resident Leanne Pluthero on Change.org called "Save Century Manor" that has been signed by nearly 1,500 people.

Mohawk College officials stated they were “surprised” by the province’s decision and had incorporated the lands, including Century Manor, into the college's 20-year master plan. The institution had also committed to restoring Century Manor.

The city would then have used the funds to create a mixed-use tower development at 191 York Blvd. that would allocate 20 per cent for affordable housing. But after the Progressive Conservative government was elected, it backed out of the project in late 2018.

“As of now,” said Danko, “the province basically dropped a bomb on us. We really have limited options.”

General manager of planning Jason Thorne said staff are seeking “further clarification” from the province, which owns the lands, about what it plans to do with the property. The zoning expansion applies only to a portion of the property and leaves some green space and Niagara Escarpment lands untouched, said Thorne.

“They had indicated at least (that) a portion of the lands (was) to be used for a long-term-care facility,” said Thorne. “That is a priority for the provincial government.”

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Conrad Spezowka said an option for the property is “the development of long-term-care and residential housing.”

He said the zoning order “simply adds the ability for residential housing to be built, including housing for veterans, seniors and students.”

Spezowka said the zoning order does not eliminate Mohawk College’s option to purchase the land. He also stated that “no final decision has been made on the future use” of the property.

Former Hamilton hospital lands could allow 'multiple' 18-storey towers

News Aug 20, 2020 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s director of planning, Steve Robichaud, says the Mountain could see several 18-storey towers on what are now the former 12.5-hectare Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands.

With the surprise move by the provincial government on Aug. 12 to expand the zoning requirements on the hospital lands, located on Fennell Avenue across the street from Mohawk College, Robichaud said during an Aug. 17 planning committee meeting that under the city’s planning principles, the owners of the property could construct “multiple” 18-storey buildings.

“There are no restrictions on the number of multiple buildings on a lot, so you could end up with a situation with multiple 18-storey buildings being developed on this property based on the minister’s zoning order,” said Robichaud.

He said that to allow the towers on the land, the developers would have to submit site plan applications, but the city would have no choice but to allow the permits for construction.

Related Content

Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko, who represents the area, said there is a “fear” that the reason the province expanded the zoning on the property to include single-family, semi-detached, townhouses, street townhouses and multiple dwellings is because it has already reached a deal with a potential buyer of the lands.

“The (concern is that) the province has already a list of purchasers for the land that will go to the highest bidder,” said Danko. “(The province) has no regard to local planning for this property.”

In 2017, council approved a comprehensive review of the former psychiatric lands, which included extensive discussions with residents and stakeholder groups. The final decision for the land was to create employment lands for health care and education, while also maintaining public access to the lands and the nearby Niagara Escarpment and saving and repurposing Century Manor, the remaining part of the former hospital building.

In 2018, the city and province announced that Mohawk College had proposed to spend $9.5 million to purchase the coveted property beside St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre.

Since the provincial government’s decision, a petition has been launched by Mountain resident Leanne Pluthero on Change.org called "Save Century Manor" that has been signed by nearly 1,500 people.

Mohawk College officials stated they were “surprised” by the province’s decision and had incorporated the lands, including Century Manor, into the college's 20-year master plan. The institution had also committed to restoring Century Manor.

The city would then have used the funds to create a mixed-use tower development at 191 York Blvd. that would allocate 20 per cent for affordable housing. But after the Progressive Conservative government was elected, it backed out of the project in late 2018.

“As of now,” said Danko, “the province basically dropped a bomb on us. We really have limited options.”

General manager of planning Jason Thorne said staff are seeking “further clarification” from the province, which owns the lands, about what it plans to do with the property. The zoning expansion applies only to a portion of the property and leaves some green space and Niagara Escarpment lands untouched, said Thorne.

“They had indicated at least (that) a portion of the lands (was) to be used for a long-term-care facility,” said Thorne. “That is a priority for the provincial government.”

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Conrad Spezowka said an option for the property is “the development of long-term-care and residential housing.”

He said the zoning order “simply adds the ability for residential housing to be built, including housing for veterans, seniors and students.”

Spezowka said the zoning order does not eliminate Mohawk College’s option to purchase the land. He also stated that “no final decision has been made on the future use” of the property.