Comment 49556

By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2010 at 16:51:27

Hi John- we chatted for a while during the McLaren Garbage Crawl about some of these issues, but I wanted to respond a little further on these points.

  1. How will you promote the redevelopment of the former Cannon Knitting Mills building?

I believe our marketing strategy for downtown properties needs a complete rethink. The City needs to be proactive in marketing this buildings, and others such as the Federal building, to investors. We need to connect sellers with the right developers who will implement Putting People First – the downtown secondary plan. We need to make sure we provide both responsible planning review and timely decisions to ensure development happens. We need to work with the developers to utilize our financial tools such as the downtown loan programs. We need to ensure that the current development charge exemption for downtown remains. And, we need to alter the Cannon superhighway so that the CKM building is on a street that people want to live on. I know the Knitting Mills property has some contamination issues which would have to be addressed before anything takes place on that site- I'd like to offer interest-free loans for developments for remediation work on brownfield sites such as these, to make it a little more attractive to rejuvenate. It's a remarkable building in a lot of ways, and it's proximity to Beasley Park makes it a great asset.

  1. How will you ensure that the Hamilton Downtown Mosque is able to acquire the land behind their current building in order to construct their proposed school, housing complex, and mosque expansion?

There are two approaches I will take. First is to work with the Downtown Mosque to get timely approval of their plans for the entire block. Second, I will work very closely with the Police to find a suitable alternative site. Bottom line: The Downtown Mosque plan is exactly what we envision for the downtown and it will be right near the City’s new park at John and Rebecca- a real win-win scenario.

  1. Will you work to enact the measures listed below in order to make our streets safer and more liveable? If not, then what other measures do you propose?

I support making these intersections safer and more accessible for pedestrians. In some cases this will mean traffic lights; in other cases speed humps; pedestrian activated signals and still in other cases, two way conversion. This is part of my platform to build child and family friendly neighbourhoods. I believe it is critical that these decisions are made with full community input so that we put the right traffic control in the right place in a way that works for the neighbourhood. It's unacceptable to me that we have literal highways running through our downtown and dividing residential neighbourhoods. The process to calm and reroute this traffic must be ongoing.

Thanks for the questions!

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