Hamiltonians for Progressive Development has just launched an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal against the City of Hamilton over the recent Council decision to rezone a parcel of employment land in Winona to allow "big box" commercial development.
This follows an OMB appeal in August over another industrial employment land conversion to big box retail near Centennial Parkway and the QEW Highway.
According to HPD, these developments "contradict Ontario's Smart Growth initiatives, the principles of Vision 2020, and the recently-approved first Official Plan of the City of Hamilton."
The citizens action group gained notoriety in 2006 when their OMB appeal over the city's planned Airport Employment Growth District. The OMB concluded that the city had not conducted the necessary development studies before rezoning 1,254 hectares of rural land around Hamilton International Airport.
As a result, the city converted the employment lands to a "Study Area", increased its size, and launched a public consultation that has been dogged by controversy.
The city has used a method to calculate the land requirement for the employment lands around the airport that are far in excess of the size calculated by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The city has acknowledged the discrepancy, but its insistence that Hamilton needs more employment lands around the airport flies in the face of its two decisions this year to rezone existing employment lands for low-density commercial use.
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