Dundas cemetery at Parkside fits with surrounding properties

News Jan 27, 2016 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Turning the former Parkside Secondary School property into a municipal cemetery provides the best opportunity for the City of Hamilton to protect the site and have some control over its future use, according to Dundas councillor Arlene VanderBeek.

VanderBeek told her community council Tuesday night the city’s effort makes a lot of sense and provides a “made in Dundas” solution to a couple of challenges.

“It’s my focus to protect the integrity of the immediate neighbourhood, the park, and the vistas of the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

She noted Grove Cemetery, which is nearing capacity, is on the other side of Dundas Driving Park – making the additional cemetery space convenient for maintenance.

“It will provide perpetual ownership for the city – and an ability to have some control over what happens there,” VanderBeek said.

She noted that all city departments were given an opportunity to express interest in acquiring the Parkside site after the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board circulated it for sale in November to the list of 10 preferred agencies, on which the City of Hamilton is ranked ninth. All agencies have a 90-day window, which opened Nov. 12, to make offers. Any offers must be considered by the board in the order of the institution’s ranking on the list.

Housing services and parks expressed no interest in acquiring the site – only the section that runs cemeteries stepped forward to say they could use the  property.

Ray Kessler, the city’s director of real estate, said the former school’s “age and condition”  resulted in no feasibility analysis of the building for residential purposes.

VanderBeek said a group of residents who put forward a proposal to renovate the building into affordable housing have agreed to take a step back while the city moves ahead with its bid on the site.

Bob James of Dundas Works said the group will support VanderBeek and the city's bid to buy the land.

"It would be better to have a cemetery than large homes," James said. "We are aware that the city right now has the best bet of keeping that land out of the hands of the developers."

He said they will continue to promote an affordable housing option, but not in a way that undermines VanderBeek and the city effort.

Craig Murdoch, the city’s director of environmental services, said the search for additional cemetery space in Dundas has been ongoing for more than a year.

“We’ve known we’d be looking for space,” Murdoch said.

In a report last fall, staff said the city needed to acquire property in Dundas for additional cemetery space within five years. Dundas’ only active cemetery, Grove Cemetery, is nearing capacity.

According to Murdoch, the search for cemetery space has turned up one option so far.

“Parkside is the first viable property that has come to our attention,” he said, adding they’ll keep looking if the bid isn’t successful – but currently have no other options on the table.

“Dundas is very space-limited,” Murdoch said. “It’s pretty much built out.”

VanderBeek said she and former councillor Russ Powers were aware of the growing need for cemetery space in Dundas several years ago.

And addressing that need with the Parkside site is a plan she can easily support.

“For me, it’s about what fits not only into the neighbourhood, but next to the park and the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

The motion approved by the city’s school board properties sub-committee directs staff to make a bona-fide offer for Parkside, for a cemetery use, and sell any section of the land that might be surplus to the cemetery use. The motion must be approved by general issues committee on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and then city council.

 

Dundas cemetery at Parkside fits with surrounding properties

Affordable housing idea takes back seat to city plan for now

News Jan 27, 2016 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Turning the former Parkside Secondary School property into a municipal cemetery provides the best opportunity for the City of Hamilton to protect the site and have some control over its future use, according to Dundas councillor Arlene VanderBeek.

VanderBeek told her community council Tuesday night the city’s effort makes a lot of sense and provides a “made in Dundas” solution to a couple of challenges.

“It’s my focus to protect the integrity of the immediate neighbourhood, the park, and the vistas of the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

She noted Grove Cemetery, which is nearing capacity, is on the other side of Dundas Driving Park – making the additional cemetery space convenient for maintenance.

“It will provide perpetual ownership for the city – and an ability to have some control over what happens there,” VanderBeek said.

She noted that all city departments were given an opportunity to express interest in acquiring the Parkside site after the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board circulated it for sale in November to the list of 10 preferred agencies, on which the City of Hamilton is ranked ninth. All agencies have a 90-day window, which opened Nov. 12, to make offers. Any offers must be considered by the board in the order of the institution’s ranking on the list.

Housing services and parks expressed no interest in acquiring the site – only the section that runs cemeteries stepped forward to say they could use the  property.

Ray Kessler, the city’s director of real estate, said the former school’s “age and condition”  resulted in no feasibility analysis of the building for residential purposes.

VanderBeek said a group of residents who put forward a proposal to renovate the building into affordable housing have agreed to take a step back while the city moves ahead with its bid on the site.

Bob James of Dundas Works said the group will support VanderBeek and the city's bid to buy the land.

"It would be better to have a cemetery than large homes," James said. "We are aware that the city right now has the best bet of keeping that land out of the hands of the developers."

He said they will continue to promote an affordable housing option, but not in a way that undermines VanderBeek and the city effort.

Craig Murdoch, the city’s director of environmental services, said the search for additional cemetery space in Dundas has been ongoing for more than a year.

“We’ve known we’d be looking for space,” Murdoch said.

In a report last fall, staff said the city needed to acquire property in Dundas for additional cemetery space within five years. Dundas’ only active cemetery, Grove Cemetery, is nearing capacity.

According to Murdoch, the search for cemetery space has turned up one option so far.

“Parkside is the first viable property that has come to our attention,” he said, adding they’ll keep looking if the bid isn’t successful – but currently have no other options on the table.

“Dundas is very space-limited,” Murdoch said. “It’s pretty much built out.”

VanderBeek said she and former councillor Russ Powers were aware of the growing need for cemetery space in Dundas several years ago.

And addressing that need with the Parkside site is a plan she can easily support.

“For me, it’s about what fits not only into the neighbourhood, but next to the park and the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

The motion approved by the city’s school board properties sub-committee directs staff to make a bona-fide offer for Parkside, for a cemetery use, and sell any section of the land that might be surplus to the cemetery use. The motion must be approved by general issues committee on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and then city council.

 

Dundas cemetery at Parkside fits with surrounding properties

Affordable housing idea takes back seat to city plan for now

News Jan 27, 2016 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Turning the former Parkside Secondary School property into a municipal cemetery provides the best opportunity for the City of Hamilton to protect the site and have some control over its future use, according to Dundas councillor Arlene VanderBeek.

VanderBeek told her community council Tuesday night the city’s effort makes a lot of sense and provides a “made in Dundas” solution to a couple of challenges.

“It’s my focus to protect the integrity of the immediate neighbourhood, the park, and the vistas of the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

She noted Grove Cemetery, which is nearing capacity, is on the other side of Dundas Driving Park – making the additional cemetery space convenient for maintenance.

“It will provide perpetual ownership for the city – and an ability to have some control over what happens there,” VanderBeek said.

She noted that all city departments were given an opportunity to express interest in acquiring the Parkside site after the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board circulated it for sale in November to the list of 10 preferred agencies, on which the City of Hamilton is ranked ninth. All agencies have a 90-day window, which opened Nov. 12, to make offers. Any offers must be considered by the board in the order of the institution’s ranking on the list.

Housing services and parks expressed no interest in acquiring the site – only the section that runs cemeteries stepped forward to say they could use the  property.

Ray Kessler, the city’s director of real estate, said the former school’s “age and condition”  resulted in no feasibility analysis of the building for residential purposes.

VanderBeek said a group of residents who put forward a proposal to renovate the building into affordable housing have agreed to take a step back while the city moves ahead with its bid on the site.

Bob James of Dundas Works said the group will support VanderBeek and the city's bid to buy the land.

"It would be better to have a cemetery than large homes," James said. "We are aware that the city right now has the best bet of keeping that land out of the hands of the developers."

He said they will continue to promote an affordable housing option, but not in a way that undermines VanderBeek and the city effort.

Craig Murdoch, the city’s director of environmental services, said the search for additional cemetery space in Dundas has been ongoing for more than a year.

“We’ve known we’d be looking for space,” Murdoch said.

In a report last fall, staff said the city needed to acquire property in Dundas for additional cemetery space within five years. Dundas’ only active cemetery, Grove Cemetery, is nearing capacity.

According to Murdoch, the search for cemetery space has turned up one option so far.

“Parkside is the first viable property that has come to our attention,” he said, adding they’ll keep looking if the bid isn’t successful – but currently have no other options on the table.

“Dundas is very space-limited,” Murdoch said. “It’s pretty much built out.”

VanderBeek said she and former councillor Russ Powers were aware of the growing need for cemetery space in Dundas several years ago.

And addressing that need with the Parkside site is a plan she can easily support.

“For me, it’s about what fits not only into the neighbourhood, but next to the park and the escarpment,” VanderBeek said.

The motion approved by the city’s school board properties sub-committee directs staff to make a bona-fide offer for Parkside, for a cemetery use, and sell any section of the land that might be surplus to the cemetery use. The motion must be approved by general issues committee on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and then city council.