Events

What Next For Barton-Tiffany?

Suddenly and without any public discussion, the City wants to rezone Barton-Tiffany for commercial use.

By Sheri Selway
Published September 11, 2011

The area between Barton Street and the Harbour and between Queen Steet and Bay Steet is commonly known as Barton-Tiffany. Currently, much of the land is owned by the City. Houses sit vacant, Rheem abandoned; boarded up property is fenced off with "Keep Out" signs.

Satellite view of Barton-Tiffany
Satellite view of Barton-Tiffany

However, three modern manufacturing plants still operate, houses have been built up to the sides of the area and White Star Group is still waiting to build on Bay Street.

In September 2002, the City issued a "notice of study commencement and Public Consultation" on the West Harbour called Setting Sail. This became a lengthy planning process.

A list of "planning principles" was drawn up including: "Ensure new development respects and enhances the character of the neighbourhoods" and "Generally avoid expropriation of residential and commercial properties."

For over two years, a Community Liaison Committee made up of residents and stakeholders worked intensively to analyze the issues, provide guidance to City staff and consultants, and interact with residents. The CLC itself conducted research, hosted public meetings and attended all the City Public Information Centres.

The result was Setting Sail [PDF], a secondary plan for the North End, Barton-Tiffany, and Barton-Ferguson.

In March 2005, Setting Sail was approved by the City. Immediately, two appeals were launched to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

One, by the North End Neighbourhood Association (NEN), appealed only the traffic management issues arising in Setting Sail.

The other, by CN, appealed the residential designation of Barton-Tiffany. NEN agreed to support the City in this appeal, to secure the residential intensification in Setting Sail. Also involved in this OMB appeal is White Star, who have been waiting for years for the issue to be resolved so building can begin.

However, in July 2011, the lawyer for NEN was advised that the City had changed its mind. Without public consultation, the city wants to change the zoning of about half the land to commercial to settle with CN without another OMB hearing.

Commercial? What does that mean? Small businesses? Cute restaurants? Box stores? Walmart? A mall? At a recent OMB pre-hearing, the City had no answers.

And what do "downtown" (Jackson Square, King, James) businessed think of that? How would "commercial" affect their businesses?

What happened to intensification? Already, the nearby Barton-Ferguson is another parking lot [PDF] and is subject to its own OMB appeal.

More people living in the centre of our city means more support for businesses and public amenities. Residential intensification makes our schools, churches and recreation centres stronger and safer from closures.

It is possible for the rail yard and new residents to co-exist in Barton-Tiffany - just as they do at C.P. Rail's Aberdeen Yard in the southwest near the Chedoke Golf course.

This decision by the City would make a very large piece of land in Barton-Tiffany off limits for residential uses.

This is a major change to the Setting Sail Secondary Plan - yet the City maintains there is no need to have a public discussion.

We do not agree. Residential intensification is a major, city-wide issue and is crucial to the future of central Hamilton.

For this reason, we have organized an information and discussion session for September 13, 7 PM at Workers Arts and Heritage Centre 51, Stuart Street. All are welcome.

Sheri Selway is a long time resident of the North End and current President of North End Neighbours. A retired elementary public school teacher in central Hamilton, Sheri currently is a fitness instructor at the YWCA Hamilton.

68 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 21:14:05

It's the summer of undemocratic (and so far, horrible) planning decisions in Hamilton. Thanks for bringing this issue to the public and for organizing the meeting.

Many strong rumours have been flying out of city hall in recent weeks that a big box developer such as Smart Centres may be in talks with the city about this land.
I would fully expect the mayor to side with the the NEN on this one, as he was the most vocal of anyone on council last term about the potential damage to downtown that large scale commercial development here would cause:

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1644/brat...

In Toronto they managed to arrange a deal with CN to build condo towers next to the rail yard. No reason we can't here. The city needs to continue with the original goals of the OMB hearing, and they need to absolutely stick with the plan that was put in place after years of public consultation.

http://thetorontoblog.com/wp-content/upl...

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 21:46:14

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 12, 2011 at 07:23:39 in reply to Comment 69395

You can't always get what you want but if you try some time you might find you get what you need

Which in the context of diplomacy is known as appeasement. Lovely.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 22:02:10 in reply to Comment 69395

pushing for residential next to CN tracks has been done in cities all over the country. Why should Hamilton have to settle for less??

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 11, 2011 at 22:50:40

Why commercial? Do they know something we don't? Is there a new plan for the area that hasn't been announced, but seeems solid enough to change the legislated land use for? That might seem the logical conclusion, though we all know these decisions are often far from logical. Look at the Pearl Company - they ran up a six-figure rezoning bill despite the fact that the building had never lived up to its (new) zoning definition, gained while derelict.

If residential zoning here is really too restrictive, then why not institute an intermediate "neutral" zoning status for brownfields?

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 23:13:42

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 23:18:31 in reply to Comment 69399

actually, sticking to a well-developed, mixed-use plan will increase it's value and (get ready for it) the value of surrounding properties as well. We plan our city based on what is best for OUR city, not some box store company.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:32:07 in reply to Comment 69400

The city has been doing that downtown for the last 30 years. How's that working out. Not too well from the looks of it.

The city can set all the guidlines they want, but if there isn't a developer out there willing to abide by those guidlines we end up with more of what we already have, parking lots.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:58:33 in reply to Comment 69544

Actually, the city has spent the last 30 years taking the lowest common denominator approach that you are advocating. How's that working out?

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-09-13 12:58:58

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By Bob (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:21:15 in reply to Comment 69400

Really Jason. Have you forgot how OUR city made decisions based on the Tiger-Cats? They are not a box store company, but the scenario sounds eerily similar to me.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:40:47 in reply to Comment 69433

No, the Ti-Cats aren't a box store company.... but their development partners for the east mountain and any other location outside west harbour sure were.

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 07:01:35

mixed use

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 07:04:35

I think IT is wonderful that NENA has hurriedly arranged a town hall to inform the public about this urgent matter.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 07:54:14

Sheri:

Your article raises a number of valid questions that are difficult for Hamiltonians to assess at this time due to the lack of public disclosure on the apparent amended plans to commercially develop the Barton-Tiffany lands:

My opinion was that the following approach would have been a good one:

  1. Build the Pan Am stadium and velodrome on the Barton-Tiffany brownfield. Given that the stadium would probably only be used to its maximum capacity less than 30 days per year, the neighbourhood would have been able to function “as is” for the remaining 335 days or more of each year;

  2. Create an impressive, contiguous urban park owned and accessible by all Hamiltonians in perpetuity from the south end of Central Park (at Cannon and Caroline Streets) through Pan Am Park and eventually connected to Bayfront Park by a pedestrian bridge/green roof over the railway lines;

  3. Once there was a sense that the waterfront and downtown were connected by the public park, it would make residential intensification more attractive in the area bounded by Cannon and Main and Bay to Queen Streets and the city could have prioritized this goal. This would have allowed the neighbourhood near Barton-Tiffany to continue applying the Setting Sails concept and keep the residential development at a more moderate level of intensity than that of the area south of Central Park;

  4. The residential intensification in the Cannon-Main-Bay-Queen area of downtown would have eventually benefited the new stadium, the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Jackson Square, Copps Coliseum and the downtown commercial district in general.

Steps 1 and 2 could have been accomplished within the next four years. Of course, now that city council has all but “sealed the deal” on building the stadium at the Ivor Wynne Stadium site, it remains to be seen what use will be made of the Barton-Tiffany lands, how long it will take to develop, and, if it becomes a box store, how it will impact upon the neighbourhood as well as the downtown commercial area.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-12 07:55:17

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:46:11 in reply to Comment 69412

insult spam deleted

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 13:16:53 in reply to Comment 69437

This is so true. We saw firsthand on Saturday what happens when a large number of people try to get to a site downtown: total traffic chaos, gridlock for hours.

No, wait. Traffic on Saturday was fine, 50,000 people had no problem getting to Supercrawl. The gridlock was a few weeks ago when thousands of people all tried to drive on a highway to the Ancaster Fairgrounds.

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By Bob (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 15:58:40 in reply to Comment 69455

Glad I was sitting down when I read your post z Jones because I would have hurt myself when I fell down laughing!!! Good one.

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By JM (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:49:43 in reply to Comment 69437

i still don't understand how a stadium can be "guaranteed to fail"

the fans come to the games to see the team - NOT the stadium! regardless of the "parking scenario", ivor wynne has still been able to attract large crowds. but remember, this goes hand in hand with the teams performance... when they were shit, attendance was low.

that's how it works folks. you don't need to be an expert to determine that.

and the team still needs to remember that the CITY owns the stadium... not them

ok thats enough. im getting deja vu from last summer all over again

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By theOther (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 20:13:24 in reply to Comment 69451

JM: The stadium is not necessarily "guaranteed to fail". But rest assured that as soon as Hamilton commits to the project, the 'legacy tenant' is undoubtedly 'too big to fail', as our governments deemed some financial institutions and manufacturers about 3 years ago. Once we commit to this dinky little stadium in that default location (sorry, Larry), Hamilton's citizens and ratepayers become wedded to the fate of its perpetually mediocre football club for decades going forward. If BY still owns the team by 2015, I and others will be mightily surprised. Better bet: it will be either Senator Braley (assuming he has dumped the BC Lions) or all of US. And if these sound like the words of a hater to you: up until this season, I have been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder. But I was so much older then ....

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:58:07 in reply to Comment 69451

insult spam deleted

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 13:18:07 in reply to Comment 69453

The team would have moved there and everyone knows it. They had nowhere else to go but they guessed (correctly) that the city would cave if they tried bluffing.

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 14:05:38 in reply to Comment 69456

insult spam deleted

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 14:29:02 in reply to Comment 69463

If you honestly believe Uncle Bobby was ACTUALLY going to build us that amphitheater at the WH if we gave him the stadium on the East Mtn or Confed Park you're dreaming in technicolour!

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 19:19:32 in reply to Comment 69465

why would someone spend money on an ampitheatre when they won't spend it on their own stadium??

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 16:35:22 in reply to Comment 69465

insult spam deleted

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 14:03:20 in reply to Comment 69482

Truthfully Ryan, I don't recall this being "insult spam". So why delete it? Me calling BY "Uncle Bobby" is more insulting then what WOW wrote.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2011 at 14:12:25 in reply to Comment 69551

"wow" is Allan Taylor, who has been banned from this site for relentless trolling and abuse.

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 14:17:34 in reply to Comment 69554

ahhhh. now it makes sense.
Thank you

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 15:08:29 in reply to Comment 69465

Access would have been better than Ivor Wynne because of the EASY changes that would have been made. He bluffed us and won, a complete rebuild shows that.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 19:20:14 in reply to Comment 69469

He didn't bluff anyone (well, one person). Mayor Fred bluntly said 'I'll call their bluff'.

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 16:34:14 in reply to Comment 69469

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By Rolly (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 21:25:23 in reply to Comment 69481

Allen, weren't you banned?

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 16:42:46 in reply to Comment 69501

I prefer 'blocked'. www.jungledrops.com/drops/Block!%20Block!.mp3

Comment edited by jason on 2011-09-14 16:43:30

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 18:06:31 in reply to Comment 69481

If you actually took the time to research how profitable sports teams around the world do things it's pretty obvious, without changing anything, how to make the traffic flow. One way everything in before the game (not really necessary but....) and one way everything out after the game/event to the nearest artery. Most stadia in Europe doesn't allow cars within a km or more and they all seem to survive. Small minded thinking gets us know where .

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By WayToGoSheri (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 08:13:22

That's what you and the North End Neighbours get for blocking the Stadium and Velodrome, Ms Selway!
This is all your and the NEN's fault so deal with the consequences!

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 09:15:32 in reply to Comment 69413

Do you really think NEN had anything to do with stopping the WH stadium? That decision came right out of 1 Jarvis Street, Suite 1.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:17:08 in reply to Comment 69417

Stadium tab on NEN

As for WaytogoSheri, it's one thing to have a stadium grandfathered into a neighborhood, but would you want one plopped in yours? It's something some didn't want and they fought for it as they should big box.

We should be zoning all of downtown not Big Box. I can't believe they are looking at Innovation Park as well. It's bad enough we are allowing this at Centre Mall and likely a Walmart plopped at the end of Ottawa Street. It's disgusting. 5 is already too many but now we are looking at one in Winona and one at The Centre and what 2 more downtown (Barton-Tiffany and Innovation Park perhaps?

Forget individual petitions for specific Walmart locations - we need a blanket one to not allow any more within at least, the downtown spanning from say 403 to Centennial or beyond. Let's include West Hamilton and Dundas in there too.

I wish I could come by to show my support tomorrow but you have my support either way NEN.

Everyone is so quick to blame Bob Young for all this mess but now you are seeing this twist and turn and talks of re-zoning these lands and speculated interest from Smart Centres. Doesn't this stink beyond the Tiger-Cats for others as well?

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By WayToGoSheri (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 16:53:37 in reply to Comment 69431

As a North-ender, YES! I would have loved to be able to walk to and from TiCats games. Watch concerts, or simply listen to them from my backyard (which I can currently hear when festivals are held at Bayfront Park).

I would have mostly loved to see an abandoned, toxic dump site cleaned and reused as an athletics park of sorts, complete with community field and velodrome. A safe area for our kids to play, learn and possibly work.

As a Northender, I am ashamed that Ms Selway claims to represent us, when really all she represents is the personal interests of herself and the other closed-minded, one-way thinkers that make up the NEN.

1 Jarvis may have had a strong influence, but it was Sheri Selway's campaign of "Think of the Children" that the TiCats based the majority of their arguments on (ie: "don't build a stadium next to a residential neighbourhood").
Had the NEN adopted PanAm precinct plans, the TiCats argument would be moot and all they would have is their actual agenda: Monopolizing any and every revenue stream.

So again, as a Northender, I blame the North End Neighbours (the organization, not the actual neighbours).

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:48:47 in reply to Comment 69431

Larry,

"Everyone is so quick to blame Bob Young for all this mess but now you are seeing this twist and turn and talks of re-zoning these lands and speculated interest from Smart Centers. Doesn't this stink beyond the Tiger-Cats for others as well?"

I think Bob Young ran the blocking scheme for the sweep play that is taking place. IMO Bob Young was given marching orders from others to protect the West Harbour for developers. How do the Ti-Cats protect and preserve the WH for developers... by a sudden turnaround on their willingness to play there. All that acreage is now open for a Smart Center. I will also bet that BY or a company of his will eventually invest in some kind of developement project in the West Harbour.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-09-12 12:49:20

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By JM (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:52:09 in reply to Comment 69450

perfect, because we don't have enough Wal-Marts in this City

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By Steve (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 14:11:33 in reply to Comment 69452

Another one "Coming Soon" HM/B - 11:69 http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/1F57...

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By Luftballons (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 08:45:29

http://kirkendallhood.ca/2007/12/big-box-retail-on-research-and-development-land

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:19:31 in reply to Comment 69415

I love this quote by Sean Burak:

Research parks will create high tech, long term, well paying jobs. They are true employment lands, and represent exactly the type of development we should be striving for in order to move our city forward under the stresses of a shrinking manufacturing industry base. Trinity has appealed to the OMB to have these land use restrictions removed.

Let me restate the point to ensure it is obvious and clear: Retail development does not offer long-term financial or social benefits to the city.

Retail, especially in big box form, offers short-term cash in terms of taxes paid to the city. But at the same time, it sucks money from the local shoppers and funnels the meat of the profits to large corporations based in other cities, or in most cases, other countries.

Locally, retail offers little back to the community: taxes and short-term, low-paying jobs with no benefits. It also creates seas of parking which are not only ugly to look at, but put undue stress on our wastewater management systems.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:16:27

For those just joining this 'big box' discussion, the Innovation Park project was killed and the developer withdrew their attempts to build there. The city was able to keep them out by sticking with the long term plans for the Innovation District. Now, it's the NEN who are going to attempt to keep out the big box developers by insisting that the city stick with the long term plans for the West Harbour.... amazing how much progress from the last term has been lost in 1 year.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 15:11:20

We have to get rid of this Mayor, it's the cities only hope to move forward in a positive direction.

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By Mag Wag (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 15:23:06 in reply to Comment 69470

1,140 days to the 2014 vote.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 12, 2011 at 15:39:37

Okay, I honestly don't have much of a problem with a SmartCentre development downtown (except for the parking lot, I really don't want to see more sprawling parking lots in the city).

I have a simpler problem: this realestate overlooks the water and lies close to the parklands the city has invested tremendous amounts of money upon. Isn't that kind of a waste to plonk a sprawling 1-storey anything there?

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 17:00:26

need more information.

"However, in July 2011, the lawyer for NEN was advised that the City had changed its mind. Without public consultation, the city wants to change the zoning of about half the land to commercial to settle with CN without another OMB hearing."

has this actually happened? Has the zoning been changed? All the plans I've seen have been mixed use, medium density. And what does 'commercial' mean? There are a number of zoning designations that have commercial in their titles; some are mixed use some are not.

You seem to be against this whatever the result is, which may be because the NEN wants nothing but residential development. I'm sure many residents would be very happy for mixed use commercial here, up to and including some big stores.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2011 at 06:26:00 in reply to Comment 69483

has this actually happened? Has the zoning been changed? All the plans I've seen have been mixed use, medium density. And what does 'commercial' mean? There are a number of zoning designations that have commercial in their titles; some are mixed use some are not.

I was at the NEN meeting last night...and it certainly was an eye-opening experience, given the information that was presented.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 06:53:43 in reply to Comment 69585

an eye-opening experience

If that were true, I would expect you to share that revelation or at least an opinion, rather than squeezing into a threaded conversation with no additional information.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2011 at 09:18:37 in reply to Comment 69587

If that were true, I would expect you to share that revelation or at least an opinion, rather than squeezing into a threaded conversation with no additional information.

Oh, Mr. CrankyFlakes...

LOL

I've already spoken with Ryan about an article pairing up the experience with the GIC meeting.

For the time being, let's just say this: everything I've been yammering on about re: 'town hall meetings' was confirmed, that there are a ton of passionate, intelligent residents out there, and that we need better pathways for information when it comes to situations such as Barton-Tiffany.

More later...

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 10:07:59 in reply to Comment 69590

A recap would be amazing. I was unable to attend.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:01:32 in reply to Comment 69594

A recap would be amazing.

Well, understanding that a) I'm not a resident and b) I couldn't do as thorough a job of laying everything out as Sheri or Shawn Selway...

Shawn presented an update of what's going on re: the City's apparent about-face. (Covered in Sheri's article, basically). The slides provided a timeline, some context, and were succinct and effective.

There was some discussion amongst the sixty-or-so participants...and this is where I was most affected. A lot of frustration, a lot of passion, a lot of determination...but most of all, a sense of 'What do we do next?!?'

The immediate answer was to 'pass' two (three, in the end) 'motions' declaring the attendees' (and NEN by extension) displeasure at what appears to be unfolding; one would be available to all who want to send it on/delivered to the OMB, the other to City Council.

(And now, back to that article for Ryan...)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-14 11:27:04

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:10:18 in reply to Comment 69598

much appreciated. Thx

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 19:22:34 in reply to Comment 69483

I don't want to put words in Sheri's mouth, but I think the NEN would be fine with condo towers on top of commercial podiums. As far as I know, the previous 'residential' designation allowed for this. Changing it to 'commercial' WITH the strong rumblings from city hall about a big box developer, WITH the track record of this current administration is more than enough to worry all of us.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-09-12 19:22:57

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:08:52 in reply to Comment 69496

I don't think so. Residential only allows residential, no commercial. 'Local Commercial', 'district commercial' and 'mixed use commercial' all allow residential.

As for the 'current administration', these changes were clearly not effected by them.

Can you explain the 'strong rumblings' about a big box store?

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 13:30:43 in reply to Comment 69523

unfortunately, no. Other than to say, some connected folks tipped me off to the possibility that a box developer could be one of various firms being spoken to by the city. I then contacted Sheri who informed me about all of this info she has written about above. I had no clue the land designation was changed.

That's about it. Sorry I can't be more specific.

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By bob lee (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 15:02:20 in reply to Comment 69550

ok, well I just read Shaker's piece which filled in a lot of these gaps - to anyone for whom this article makes no sense, read that one first!

I can foresee the worst happening here as well just as you and the NEN do. But on the other hand this change is in no way a diversion from Setting Sail. That plan made much of the Barton Tiffany lands commercial, especially along Barton, and envisioned a zoning change to allow this. That could be the entire explanation for this change. Despite what others said in the Shaker article comments about the government's disdain for planning, the OMB is not going anywhere, and any big box development would be a sure loser. Plus I can't see a Wal-Mart being interested in the spot, for similar reasons as the Ti-Cats.

The key thing now is to maintain pressure on council to follow that plan. There is nothing in there about a sports field or stadium, that was all dreamt up last minute and never fit. It should be mixed use, condos and stores. There are enough parks in the neighbourhood. The city now owns the land and has locked Setting Sail in a criminal amount of red tape, which pain White Star has felt. We should pay the costs of remediation, zone it by the official plan, sell off the land, and let the market take over.

What we should not do is put our feet down singlemindedly for moving Brian Timmis or maintaining residential zoning out.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 10:06:59 in reply to Comment 69561

It's Brian Timmins.

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By Mayor Bob (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 10:40:54 in reply to Comment 69593

(head explodes)

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 20:12:51

insult spam deleted

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By sselway (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 23:16:18

My understanding is that this issue will be dealt with at the OMB - the city's proposed change of zoning to appease CN. They will have a lot of cases, and expert opinions to support their side. If CN accepts the City's changes, no OMB appeal, case over --unless White Star cannot reach a deal with CN. Could be won/lost through mediation.

There is one more pre-hearing and a mediation session scheduled.

NEN has not been prepared to take this on independently. We had agreed to support the City in the OMB against CN to put residential there.

Our interest is in residential intensification. We need more people living in central Hamilton!

IF I was to choose to buy a condo by a rail yard, I would be aware there might be noise! (Actually I like trains) I cannot fathom what all the fuss is about for CN. If they get complaints about the noise, can't they just file them in the circular file?

Why should CN write our land use policies?

Can't architects and contractors deal with most of it? Granted you don't want your windows shaking. . . .

The Witton Lofts on Murray had to jump through hoops, as I understand it, to satisfy CN.

And the great landscape, sloping from Bay street would make great terraced dwellings.

Although my understanding is that there aren't complaints at the Chedoke site across from CP's Aberdeen yard,it would be great to have other examples. If anyone knows of any, please share them.

But the purpose of bringing up this subject was not just to repeat what we think, but to try to push the city to do some public consultation to find out what other people in the area and across the city think!

Are we willing to "settle for" box stores and parking lots? What is happening with clean up at the property between Hess and Queen, if anything? Why isn't something being done about the boarded up city-owned houses on Barton? What is the actual cost of remediation of the soil in Barton Tiffany? etc etc

Sheri

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By Hopeful (registered) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 00:43:10

If Walmart wins, at least make sure it's a "green" one. I still won't shop there.

Good luck in your battle.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2011 at 02:02:57

I live near the tracks in question. It shakes my house, I can hear my shelves rattle and feel it in my bedsprings. This is likely why I didn't notice the recent earthquake. Nothing my old (and poorly maintained) home can't handle, but certainly something worth noting. I can hear squealing right now, and I'm blocks from the yard. As for why CN's siging these deals, it probably has as much to do with their land interests, present and future. But if you're going to buy a condo nearby, you should at least spend a night or two within earshot

As for reasons why we might not want a Wal Mart or similar Smart Centres development in our backyards, one need only walk east until you've seen enough ruined husks of our former manufacturing industry and downtown retail trade to convince you. In the US right now the popular statistic from a recent study alleging that Wal Marts cost 3 jobs for every 2 they create. How about a retail establishment that might actually stock things we make in or around Hamilton?

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By Gabriel (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2011 at 14:20:45

Last winter I was bored, so I went and shot myself in front of the expropriated houses on Barton West.

http://twitpic.com/3yegsl

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By Luftballons (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 15:31:42

If the proposed GO Train platform is located to the west of James and Murray, a parking lot within five minutes' walk would be really handy. And think of the money to be saved on remediation!

http://emedia.900chml.com/Podcasts/1260/091411_-_Bob_Bratina_.mp3

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 14, 2011 at 22:30:35

Tonight, Hamilton city council voted 11 to 4 in favour of repealing the Hamilton store hours by-law to give retailers more flexibility in setting their hours to compete with stores in other municipalities. Here is the recent staff report which recommended the change:

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/947C...

And here is a related article titled "Shop late and legal" by Matthew Van Dongen on thespec.com tonight:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

One would gather that more flexible store hours will be a boost to many Hamilton retailers. It will be particularly interesting to see whether it provides a much needed positive impact to downtown retail businesses. From another perspective, if a box store with extended hours finds its way onto half of the Barton-Tiffany lands as some have speculated, it could create some unanticipated and undesirable results for the surrounding neighbourhood.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-14 23:09:34

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By Wish I could fix it (anonymous) | Posted September 21, 2011 at 17:48:24

If you really want to see what should be done with West harbour do a Google Search on South bank in Brisbane Australia. What this area in brisbane used to be is pretty much what West harbour is now. They took an old industrial area of The Brisbane River and Turned it into a large park and Mixed use area including a convention center and preforming area center.

I am lucky enough to have been tehre and seen this incredible space.

But don't take my word for it, take a good and youtube search.

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