Plan give stronger ‘teeth’ to protect community

News Feb 14, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Residents will have opportunities over the next 18 months to two years to work with city planning staff defining boundaries and details of a downtown community node, secondary plan and design guidelines for future growth in Dundas.

More than 125 people packed Dundas town hall council chamber on Monday, Feb. 12 to hear a preliminary presentation from Alissa Mahood, a senior project manager in the City of Hamilton community planning department who will oversee the secondary plan, and Edward John, senior project manager in urban renewal, who will update urban design guidelines.

Urban design work will start sooner, John told the large group, while Mahood said the community won’t hear from her for a while as background information is being collected.

John said with passage of a new city-wide zoning bylaw, the same land use zonings exist in areas of downtown Dundas and downtown Stoney Creek, for example.

“No one will suggest the zone in Stoney Creek is the same as the zone in Dundas. That’s where urban design guidelines come in,” John said.

He suggested walkabouts through the community with local residents will help determine the unique character of Dundas that can be protected.

“The whole reason we’re doing this, is we anticipate change is coming,” John said. “You don’t want to accommodate change by losing what’s unique.”

Mahood said one of her first public priorities will be working with Dundas residents to actually define the boundaries of the community node itself.

“We don’t know what the boundaries will be. We’ll be working with the community on that,” she said. “That boundary is not set in stone.”

Despite the lack of boundaries, the draft node was used by the applicant, and some city planners, to support the application for a nine-storey residential development at 71 Main St. Proponents argued the property is in the node, and targeted for intensification, but that may not be the case after the boundaries are created.

“Nodes are areas we need to focus our population growth,” Mahood said. “Right now, it looks like a blob. What are the limitations and the boundaries we’ll be focusing on? We will want to work with the community on that.”

Mahood noted community nodes like Dundas’ have a density goal of 100 people and jobs per hectare.

“We know Dundas has passed that,” Mahood said. “We know there isn’t a lot of opportunity to put more population in here.”

While Mahood and John both stressed the need for community involvement — promising to set up a website with information as the process continues, suggesting a community-liaison group committed to working with city staff over the next 18 months and encouraging direct feedback from individual residents — resident Donna Nunan expressed the frustration lurking inside many of those who attended.

“Our opinion really doesn’t matter,” Nunan said, pointing to the opposition to the 71 Main project, which was supported by some city staff and several councillors. “You’re going to do what you’re going to do anyway. The big City of Hamilton won’t listen to us.”

But the two city staffers insisted there will be a variety of opportunities for residents to help mould urban design guidelines, the node and the secondary plan over the coming months.

“We do look for community champions,” Mahood said.

Dundas Coun. Arlene VanderBeek told the group that Dundas residents need to try to make the most of the opportunity.

“What we have isn’t as strong as it could be,” VanderBeek said. “We have to take the steps available to strengthen (our) voice. I truly believe we have to do everything we can to create the things in the regulations that we really want … so it grows the way we want to see it grow. If we don’t take that opportunity, I think we’ve failed Dundas.”

VanderBeek, Mahood and John all agreed a secondary plan provides stronger legal “teeth” than just the existing official plan and zoning bylaws to control and direct development.

Mahood said a developer trying to appeal or amend any element of the finalized secondary plan would have to prove to the province that the secondary plan is not consistent with the official plan.


Dundas secondary plan will give stronger 'teeth' to protect community as it grows

City staff working on design guidelines and secondary plan

News Feb 14, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Residents will have opportunities over the next 18 months to two years to work with city planning staff defining boundaries and details of a downtown community node, secondary plan and design guidelines for future growth in Dundas.

More than 125 people packed Dundas town hall council chamber on Monday, Feb. 12 to hear a preliminary presentation from Alissa Mahood, a senior project manager in the City of Hamilton community planning department who will oversee the secondary plan, and Edward John, senior project manager in urban renewal, who will update urban design guidelines.

Urban design work will start sooner, John told the large group, while Mahood said the community won’t hear from her for a while as background information is being collected.

John said with passage of a new city-wide zoning bylaw, the same land use zonings exist in areas of downtown Dundas and downtown Stoney Creek, for example.

“We know there isn’t a lot of opportunity to put more population in here.”
Alissa Mahood, planning department

“No one will suggest the zone in Stoney Creek is the same as the zone in Dundas. That’s where urban design guidelines come in,” John said.

He suggested walkabouts through the community with local residents will help determine the unique character of Dundas that can be protected.

“The whole reason we’re doing this, is we anticipate change is coming,” John said. “You don’t want to accommodate change by losing what’s unique.”

Mahood said one of her first public priorities will be working with Dundas residents to actually define the boundaries of the community node itself.

“We don’t know what the boundaries will be. We’ll be working with the community on that,” she said. “That boundary is not set in stone.”

Despite the lack of boundaries, the draft node was used by the applicant, and some city planners, to support the application for a nine-storey residential development at 71 Main St. Proponents argued the property is in the node, and targeted for intensification, but that may not be the case after the boundaries are created.

“Nodes are areas we need to focus our population growth,” Mahood said. “Right now, it looks like a blob. What are the limitations and the boundaries we’ll be focusing on? We will want to work with the community on that.”

Mahood noted community nodes like Dundas’ have a density goal of 100 people and jobs per hectare.

“We know Dundas has passed that,” Mahood said. “We know there isn’t a lot of opportunity to put more population in here.”

While Mahood and John both stressed the need for community involvement — promising to set up a website with information as the process continues, suggesting a community-liaison group committed to working with city staff over the next 18 months and encouraging direct feedback from individual residents — resident Donna Nunan expressed the frustration lurking inside many of those who attended.

“Our opinion really doesn’t matter,” Nunan said, pointing to the opposition to the 71 Main project, which was supported by some city staff and several councillors. “You’re going to do what you’re going to do anyway. The big City of Hamilton won’t listen to us.”

But the two city staffers insisted there will be a variety of opportunities for residents to help mould urban design guidelines, the node and the secondary plan over the coming months.

“We do look for community champions,” Mahood said.

Dundas Coun. Arlene VanderBeek told the group that Dundas residents need to try to make the most of the opportunity.

“What we have isn’t as strong as it could be,” VanderBeek said. “We have to take the steps available to strengthen (our) voice. I truly believe we have to do everything we can to create the things in the regulations that we really want … so it grows the way we want to see it grow. If we don’t take that opportunity, I think we’ve failed Dundas.”

VanderBeek, Mahood and John all agreed a secondary plan provides stronger legal “teeth” than just the existing official plan and zoning bylaws to control and direct development.

Mahood said a developer trying to appeal or amend any element of the finalized secondary plan would have to prove to the province that the secondary plan is not consistent with the official plan.


Dundas secondary plan will give stronger 'teeth' to protect community as it grows

City staff working on design guidelines and secondary plan

News Feb 14, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Residents will have opportunities over the next 18 months to two years to work with city planning staff defining boundaries and details of a downtown community node, secondary plan and design guidelines for future growth in Dundas.

More than 125 people packed Dundas town hall council chamber on Monday, Feb. 12 to hear a preliminary presentation from Alissa Mahood, a senior project manager in the City of Hamilton community planning department who will oversee the secondary plan, and Edward John, senior project manager in urban renewal, who will update urban design guidelines.

Urban design work will start sooner, John told the large group, while Mahood said the community won’t hear from her for a while as background information is being collected.

John said with passage of a new city-wide zoning bylaw, the same land use zonings exist in areas of downtown Dundas and downtown Stoney Creek, for example.

“We know there isn’t a lot of opportunity to put more population in here.”
Alissa Mahood, planning department

“No one will suggest the zone in Stoney Creek is the same as the zone in Dundas. That’s where urban design guidelines come in,” John said.

He suggested walkabouts through the community with local residents will help determine the unique character of Dundas that can be protected.

“The whole reason we’re doing this, is we anticipate change is coming,” John said. “You don’t want to accommodate change by losing what’s unique.”

Mahood said one of her first public priorities will be working with Dundas residents to actually define the boundaries of the community node itself.

“We don’t know what the boundaries will be. We’ll be working with the community on that,” she said. “That boundary is not set in stone.”

Despite the lack of boundaries, the draft node was used by the applicant, and some city planners, to support the application for a nine-storey residential development at 71 Main St. Proponents argued the property is in the node, and targeted for intensification, but that may not be the case after the boundaries are created.

“Nodes are areas we need to focus our population growth,” Mahood said. “Right now, it looks like a blob. What are the limitations and the boundaries we’ll be focusing on? We will want to work with the community on that.”

Mahood noted community nodes like Dundas’ have a density goal of 100 people and jobs per hectare.

“We know Dundas has passed that,” Mahood said. “We know there isn’t a lot of opportunity to put more population in here.”

While Mahood and John both stressed the need for community involvement — promising to set up a website with information as the process continues, suggesting a community-liaison group committed to working with city staff over the next 18 months and encouraging direct feedback from individual residents — resident Donna Nunan expressed the frustration lurking inside many of those who attended.

“Our opinion really doesn’t matter,” Nunan said, pointing to the opposition to the 71 Main project, which was supported by some city staff and several councillors. “You’re going to do what you’re going to do anyway. The big City of Hamilton won’t listen to us.”

But the two city staffers insisted there will be a variety of opportunities for residents to help mould urban design guidelines, the node and the secondary plan over the coming months.

“We do look for community champions,” Mahood said.

Dundas Coun. Arlene VanderBeek told the group that Dundas residents need to try to make the most of the opportunity.

“What we have isn’t as strong as it could be,” VanderBeek said. “We have to take the steps available to strengthen (our) voice. I truly believe we have to do everything we can to create the things in the regulations that we really want … so it grows the way we want to see it grow. If we don’t take that opportunity, I think we’ve failed Dundas.”

VanderBeek, Mahood and John all agreed a secondary plan provides stronger legal “teeth” than just the existing official plan and zoning bylaws to control and direct development.

Mahood said a developer trying to appeal or amend any element of the finalized secondary plan would have to prove to the province that the secondary plan is not consistent with the official plan.