Dundas plaza neighbours oppose Canadian Tire conversion of Metro

News Oct 01, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A group of Dundas residents are frustrated over lack of opportunity for public input in a site plan review of Canadian Tire's plan to convert the Metro grocery store at University Plaza, and add a 10-bay auto service centre.

They’d like to keep a grocery store at the plaza, saying the change from a walkable food store to a Canadian Tire with auto service centre does not serve the community. They are also concerned about noise and environmental impacts a service centre may have on their neighbourhood. As of Monday morning, more than 400 people had signed a petition against the conversion.

About 50 people attended an informal neighbourhood meeting held by councillor Arlene VanderBeek on Monday, Sept. 24 at Little John Road and the rail trail, behind the plaza. Steve Robichaud, the city's director of planning, and Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development, both attended last week’s gathering to explain the process and answer questions.

Robichaud said the proposed retail and automotive repair uses are permitted under the plaza's existing zoning, and there is no formal public process for site plan review — which implements the zoning.

In order to finalize site plan approval, Canadian Tire must update and implement a noise study it provided and is currently being reviewed by the city, and get a minor variance to the existing bylaw.

Site plan approval rests solely with city staff and does not require city council approval. Changes to the zoning bylaw require at least a variance from the committee of adjustment — which involves a public hearing where residents can comment. In this case, a variance is needed for approval to provide less parking than required by the zoning bylaw — in order to accommodate the 10-bay service centre addition.

Canadian Tire's variance application is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hamilton city hall. The committee can approve the variance, deny it, defer it to another meeting, or refer the application to planning committee if it determines it isn't minor in nature. Committee of adjustment decisions can be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Robichaud said he’d contact Canadian Tire and ask it to slow the process down — that if it pushes forward with the variance application, there will be a room full of angry, opposed residents, and he’d suggest the company seriously consider meeting with residents to discuss their concerns — even though it's not required to do so.

"All I can tell you is that I will ask," Robichaud told the residents.

Robichaud did not respond to requests for comment following the meeting, but a planning department spokesperson said the Oct. 18 variance review is moving forward.

Canadian Tire declined to comment and has refused to speak publicly on the planned conversion since first reported by the Dundas Star News on March 2.

"We continue to have no comment," Canadian Tire spokesperson Joscelyn Dosanjh stated in an email Sept. 28. "When I have details to share, I will let you know."

If Robichaud did ask Canadian Tire to slow down the process and consult neighbours, it appears the company has declined to do so. Plaza owner RioCan, and Metro, have also refused to comment.

Adele Wojtowicz said the required noise study submitted by Canadian Tire includes errors and incorrect assumptions.

"The noise study is fatally flawed," she said.

Wojtowicz said the study states her house is a one-storey structure, with a sound reception point of six feet, when it is in fact equivalent to three stories.

She also questioned the study's description of the neighbourhood as a Class 1 urban area.

According to the province's environmental noise guideline, a Class 1 area is "typical of a major population centre, where the background sound level is ... often referred to as 'urban hum.' "

Neighbours pointed out how quiet the area is — a residential dead-end street leading into the rail trail.

Wojtowicz suggested the neighbourhood more appropriately fits in Class 2, defined by the province as an area that has sound qualities of both an urban area and a rural area (Class 3) depending on the time of day.

Robichaud said he would take those issues back to planning staff as they provide comments on Canadian Tire's noise study.

"I've looked at (the noise study). There are some things I'm not satisfied with," Robichaud said at the meeting.

City staff was also looking into whether it can limit an auto service centre's hours of operation.

Hamilton Conservation Authority has reviewed the site plan application and determined it doesn't require a permit.

Dundas plaza neighbours oppose Canadian Tire conversion of Metro

Minor variance application scheduled for Oct. 18

News Oct 01, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A group of Dundas residents are frustrated over lack of opportunity for public input in a site plan review of Canadian Tire's plan to convert the Metro grocery store at University Plaza, and add a 10-bay auto service centre.

They’d like to keep a grocery store at the plaza, saying the change from a walkable food store to a Canadian Tire with auto service centre does not serve the community. They are also concerned about noise and environmental impacts a service centre may have on their neighbourhood. As of Monday morning, more than 400 people had signed a petition against the conversion.

About 50 people attended an informal neighbourhood meeting held by councillor Arlene VanderBeek on Monday, Sept. 24 at Little John Road and the rail trail, behind the plaza. Steve Robichaud, the city's director of planning, and Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development, both attended last week’s gathering to explain the process and answer questions.

Robichaud said the proposed retail and automotive repair uses are permitted under the plaza's existing zoning, and there is no formal public process for site plan review — which implements the zoning.

Related Content

In order to finalize site plan approval, Canadian Tire must update and implement a noise study it provided and is currently being reviewed by the city, and get a minor variance to the existing bylaw.

Site plan approval rests solely with city staff and does not require city council approval. Changes to the zoning bylaw require at least a variance from the committee of adjustment — which involves a public hearing where residents can comment. In this case, a variance is needed for approval to provide less parking than required by the zoning bylaw — in order to accommodate the 10-bay service centre addition.

Canadian Tire's variance application is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hamilton city hall. The committee can approve the variance, deny it, defer it to another meeting, or refer the application to planning committee if it determines it isn't minor in nature. Committee of adjustment decisions can be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Robichaud said he’d contact Canadian Tire and ask it to slow the process down — that if it pushes forward with the variance application, there will be a room full of angry, opposed residents, and he’d suggest the company seriously consider meeting with residents to discuss their concerns — even though it's not required to do so.

"All I can tell you is that I will ask," Robichaud told the residents.

Robichaud did not respond to requests for comment following the meeting, but a planning department spokesperson said the Oct. 18 variance review is moving forward.

Canadian Tire declined to comment and has refused to speak publicly on the planned conversion since first reported by the Dundas Star News on March 2.

"We continue to have no comment," Canadian Tire spokesperson Joscelyn Dosanjh stated in an email Sept. 28. "When I have details to share, I will let you know."

If Robichaud did ask Canadian Tire to slow down the process and consult neighbours, it appears the company has declined to do so. Plaza owner RioCan, and Metro, have also refused to comment.

Adele Wojtowicz said the required noise study submitted by Canadian Tire includes errors and incorrect assumptions.

"The noise study is fatally flawed," she said.

Wojtowicz said the study states her house is a one-storey structure, with a sound reception point of six feet, when it is in fact equivalent to three stories.

She also questioned the study's description of the neighbourhood as a Class 1 urban area.

According to the province's environmental noise guideline, a Class 1 area is "typical of a major population centre, where the background sound level is ... often referred to as 'urban hum.' "

Neighbours pointed out how quiet the area is — a residential dead-end street leading into the rail trail.

Wojtowicz suggested the neighbourhood more appropriately fits in Class 2, defined by the province as an area that has sound qualities of both an urban area and a rural area (Class 3) depending on the time of day.

Robichaud said he would take those issues back to planning staff as they provide comments on Canadian Tire's noise study.

"I've looked at (the noise study). There are some things I'm not satisfied with," Robichaud said at the meeting.

City staff was also looking into whether it can limit an auto service centre's hours of operation.

Hamilton Conservation Authority has reviewed the site plan application and determined it doesn't require a permit.

Dundas plaza neighbours oppose Canadian Tire conversion of Metro

Minor variance application scheduled for Oct. 18

News Oct 01, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

A group of Dundas residents are frustrated over lack of opportunity for public input in a site plan review of Canadian Tire's plan to convert the Metro grocery store at University Plaza, and add a 10-bay auto service centre.

They’d like to keep a grocery store at the plaza, saying the change from a walkable food store to a Canadian Tire with auto service centre does not serve the community. They are also concerned about noise and environmental impacts a service centre may have on their neighbourhood. As of Monday morning, more than 400 people had signed a petition against the conversion.

About 50 people attended an informal neighbourhood meeting held by councillor Arlene VanderBeek on Monday, Sept. 24 at Little John Road and the rail trail, behind the plaza. Steve Robichaud, the city's director of planning, and Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development, both attended last week’s gathering to explain the process and answer questions.

Robichaud said the proposed retail and automotive repair uses are permitted under the plaza's existing zoning, and there is no formal public process for site plan review — which implements the zoning.

Related Content

In order to finalize site plan approval, Canadian Tire must update and implement a noise study it provided and is currently being reviewed by the city, and get a minor variance to the existing bylaw.

Site plan approval rests solely with city staff and does not require city council approval. Changes to the zoning bylaw require at least a variance from the committee of adjustment — which involves a public hearing where residents can comment. In this case, a variance is needed for approval to provide less parking than required by the zoning bylaw — in order to accommodate the 10-bay service centre addition.

Canadian Tire's variance application is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hamilton city hall. The committee can approve the variance, deny it, defer it to another meeting, or refer the application to planning committee if it determines it isn't minor in nature. Committee of adjustment decisions can be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Robichaud said he’d contact Canadian Tire and ask it to slow the process down — that if it pushes forward with the variance application, there will be a room full of angry, opposed residents, and he’d suggest the company seriously consider meeting with residents to discuss their concerns — even though it's not required to do so.

"All I can tell you is that I will ask," Robichaud told the residents.

Robichaud did not respond to requests for comment following the meeting, but a planning department spokesperson said the Oct. 18 variance review is moving forward.

Canadian Tire declined to comment and has refused to speak publicly on the planned conversion since first reported by the Dundas Star News on March 2.

"We continue to have no comment," Canadian Tire spokesperson Joscelyn Dosanjh stated in an email Sept. 28. "When I have details to share, I will let you know."

If Robichaud did ask Canadian Tire to slow down the process and consult neighbours, it appears the company has declined to do so. Plaza owner RioCan, and Metro, have also refused to comment.

Adele Wojtowicz said the required noise study submitted by Canadian Tire includes errors and incorrect assumptions.

"The noise study is fatally flawed," she said.

Wojtowicz said the study states her house is a one-storey structure, with a sound reception point of six feet, when it is in fact equivalent to three stories.

She also questioned the study's description of the neighbourhood as a Class 1 urban area.

According to the province's environmental noise guideline, a Class 1 area is "typical of a major population centre, where the background sound level is ... often referred to as 'urban hum.' "

Neighbours pointed out how quiet the area is — a residential dead-end street leading into the rail trail.

Wojtowicz suggested the neighbourhood more appropriately fits in Class 2, defined by the province as an area that has sound qualities of both an urban area and a rural area (Class 3) depending on the time of day.

Robichaud said he would take those issues back to planning staff as they provide comments on Canadian Tire's noise study.

"I've looked at (the noise study). There are some things I'm not satisfied with," Robichaud said at the meeting.

City staff was also looking into whether it can limit an auto service centre's hours of operation.

Hamilton Conservation Authority has reviewed the site plan application and determined it doesn't require a permit.