Contents: Video Sign Request – Eastport Drive,Bylaw Alternative Resolution – Mediation – Pilot, Special Noise Bylaw Unit, 250 Concession 4 West, Flamborough, 547 King West Conversion to Condo, 1100 Main West Rezoning, New Subdivision in Glanbrook: 126 Kellogg Avenue, Housekeeping Items (Attendance Report), Consented Items

The first Planning Committee of this term of Council saw Partridge named chair, Councillor table a controversial secondary use banquet centre in rural Flamborough, debate student housing parking on Main West, and the General Manager of Economic Development and Planning announce changes to his department.
Councillors deferred a decision on a sign variance at the request of the applicant, and referred a special joint bylaw and police noise enforcement proposal to the 2015 Budget debates.

Video Sign Variance Request – Eastport Drive

TABLED until Feb 3/15

Rendering of sign proposed by Neufeld Signs along Eastport Drive. Note City of Hamilton logo use
Rendering of sign proposed by Neufeld Signs along Eastport Drive. Note City of Hamilton logo use

Pandora’s Box is open. As noted in June, the approval of the Ticats QEW/RHVP video sign opened the flood gates to similar requests, and challenges to the City’s Sign Bylaw.
Neufeld Signs Ltd wants to place two electronic signs on Eastport Drive alongside the QEW on Hamilton Port Authority controlled lands.
City staff rejected the signs as not keeping with the intent or tests of the Sign Bylaw, and that the Ministry of Transportation does not allow signs within 400 metres of the QEW.
Neufeld Signs is formally appealing the City’s rejection, which is required to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Of note, Neufeld Signs has changed their rendering image of the sign to include a City of Hamilton logo. Will they appeal on the ground they are offering the City the same deal as the Ticats sign?
This item will come back to Planning Committee on February 3, 2015.

Bylaw Alternative Resolution – Mediation – Pilot

Alternative Recommendation Approved – Mediation to continue
The paved road of good intentions and mediation are not enough to get feuding neighbours to try resolving their differences.
In September 2012, Council approved funding for a pilot mediation service to refer bylaw complaints with origins in unrelated neighbour disputes to a third-party mediation.
Two years later, the pilot is not success as only 4 cases had all parties agree to mediation.
Staff chalk up the failure of parties to agree to mediation:

by the time it was identified there was a neighbour dispute and mediation was offered, the relationship between neighbours was beyond repair

Due to the low participation, City staff have deemed the program to not be a cost-effective means of resolving the problem of neighbour-dispute related bylaw complaints.
Councillors voted to continue mediation services for neighbour disputes with the City paying mediator on a fee-for-service model with a cap of $2500 in 2015. Staff are to report back in one year’s time.

Special Noise Bylaw Unit

REFERRED TO 2015 BUDGET PROCESS for consideration
Council wants something done about late night violators of Hamilton’s noise bylaw, and staff are recommending hiring a Special Duty police officers to work in partnership with Bylaw to specifically address late night noise.
The one-year cost of the project will be $142,451. Police will provide the vehicle at no added charge. The break down is $65,600 for the bylaw officer, and $76,851.84 for a special duty officer 24 hours each week.
The police officer is required for the safety of the bylaw officer.
The proposed Specialized Bylaw Enforcement Unit will operate from 9pm to 5am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
At present, bylaw enforcement is until 1am, but many complains during Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings are such that bylaw must await police assistance prior to responding to noise complaints.
After 1am, enforcement is left to the Hamilton Police Service.
This specialized bylaw enforcement will enable immediate response to noise complaints.
Noise complaints peak from 1am – 4am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings – the times when Hamilton Police are at their busiest and unable to respond to noise complaints.
In 2012, police were unable to respond to approximately 1,000 noise complaints. “Virtually all” of these unresponded calls were between 1am and 4am, the report states.
This is the followup to a June 2013 Council motion directing staff to research a solutin.
Hamilton Police Superintendent Dave Calvert told Councillors that special duty assignments are voluntary and HPS cannot guarantee the special duty position will be filled for each shift.
This means even if Councillors approve the budget, there are no guarantees police officers will volunteer to fulfill the assignment.

250 Concession 4 West, Flamborough

DEFERRED for staff and developer to negotiate related to community concerns
Landmark Group wants to rezone agricultural lands at 250 Concession 4 West in Flamborough to allow a “Agricultural Promotion Centre” considering of a restaurant, cidery, and related parking as ‘secondary to the farming operation’.
Landmark Group – which operates the Ancaster Mill, Cambridge Mill, Earth to Table and other restaurants – purchased the property a couple years ago with the goal of operating the farm to support its “Earth to Table” philosophy of sourcing sustainable food for its restaurants.
Landmark is seeking to have a restaurant and hall at this farm location, but it cannot be a primary use – and this is the matter being debated by Councillors – is the use primary or secondary?
Farms are allowed to have secondary uses such as small restaurants or market stand that help promote the sustainability of the farming operation.
The City and Ward Councillor Judi Partridge both state the Landmark Group is operating a banquet centre on the property with hosting weddings as major part of the business.
This summer there were two weddings, among numerous events.
Three separate delegations from neighbours were heard, all of them opposed to the banquet centre due to impacts to their properties from road traffic dust, water run-off, and waste.

547 King West Conversion to Condo

Councillors quickly approved the conversion of a 39-unit rental building on the southeast corner of King and Strathcona. The 1962 building contains 4 bachelor, 20 one-bedroom, and 5 two-bedroom units.
An interesting sidenote, one of the residents has lived in the building since 1965.

1100 Main West Rezoning

Councillors spent much time debating a rezoning of a commercial building on the northeast corner of Cline and Main to a multi-residential zoning.
The developer seeks to have the building used for student housing with the units have separate bedrooms sharing a common area.
It was supported by Brian McHattie and the support continued with Aidan Johnson.
Parking was the major concern with only 9 parking spaces. Councillors directed a warning clause be included in the lease agreements.
There were discussions about the nature of student housing, how to manage the units, and other matters outside the purview of zoning regulations.
Two nearby properties delegated to committee in opposition.

New Subdivision in Glanbrook: 126 Kellogg Avenue

A routine residential sub-zoning change for a new subdivision in urban Glanbrook for 45 single detached homes close to Twenty Road and Glancaster Road.
The development was quickly approved with conditions related to construction to protect neighbouring homes from mud and noise.

Housekeeping Items

As it is the first meeting of the Planning Committee, they will need to appoint a new chair and a number of vice-chairs. 1st vice-chair at the end of the last term of Council, Judi Partridge, is seeking the Chair and is expected to be confirmed.
Two items were removed from the agenda.
288 Glover Road, Stoney Creek – a proposed new subdivision of 72 townhouses and 20 maisonettes in the Fruitland-Winona area. Staff recommended denial of the subdivision for three primary reasons: the new secondary plan is under appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board. If approved by the OMB, the zoning for the sub-division is “Low Density Residential 3” and does not allow for maisonettes. Servicing methods for this area have not yet been determined, staff say there needs to be a “Block Servicing Study” prior to approving any developments in the area. The developer withdrew their applications
893,897,903 West 5th, Hamilton – this was a proposed rezoning to allow for three single family homes and two parcels for future development (which would require additional neighbouring property to be developed). The lands are subject of a series of complex land sales and OMB hearings related to a triangle wedge beside the squared main property. Staff were recommending conditional approval based upon the development paying outstanding fees to the City and transferring the triangle wedge to the City. The applicant appealed to the OMB for non-decision
Attendance: Present: Collins, Conley, Farr, Green, A. Johnson, B. Johnson, Partridge, Pasuta, Pearson. Chris Cutler, of Mayor Eisenberger’s office, attended the full meeting.
Collins, Farr, and Green left at 12pm for a CityHousing Board meeting.
Ferguson attended the hearing on 250 Concession 4 West. Landmark Groups corporate headquarters is in Ancaster.
Media Present: Matthew Van Dongen, Sam Craggs, Joey Coleman

Consented Items

  • Minutes and the 2015 Budget request for the citizen volunteer Hamilton Historical Board were received.
  • Supporting a housekeeping amendment to the Niagara Escarpment Plan related to endangered species was approved.
  • November minutes of the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee were received.
  • Amendment to the Noise Control Bylaw to change the name of the stadium to Tim Hortons Field.