Hamilton’s Committee of Adjustment will consider 23 applications during their November 17, 2016 hearings. Here are some of the applications that drew the attention of The Public Record’s Joey Coleman.
(Note: Variance applications are often vague and without a full history of a project, it is easy for an observer to miss a file of note that is well known to neighbours of the project)
The full Committee Adjustment agenda is available on the City website here.

205 Melvin Avenue, Hamilton (George and Mary’s Tavern)

Affordable housing provider Indwell’s latest project is converting the well-known George and Mary’s Tavern building at Parkdale and Melvin in East Hamilton to affordable housing.

Indwell is asking the Committee of Adjustment to grant permission for 60 apartments of 24 square metres each, whereas Hamilton’s zoning bylaws only allow for 10 apartments on the site, and requires each apartment be a minimum of 65 square metres.
What does 24 square metres look like? Here’s a YouTube video:


10-14 James Street North

Disclosure: I may be requested to represent the Beasley Neighbourhood Association in this hearing.
Core Urban’s much anticipated redevelopment of three buildings across from Jackson Square on James Street North needs a series of variances due to the higher than allowed quality of the older buildings existing features – the ceilings are too tall, and there are too many windows. [More: Variances Required for 10-14 James Street North Highlight Absurdity of Hamilton’s Downtown Zoning Bylaw]
The developer is proposing to add two stories as part of the retrofit of the building for commercial use.
Expect this to gain the approval of the committee.

547 King Street East, Hamilton

The developer of an in-fill mixed residential and commercial project on King Street East ,just east of Tisdale directly beside The Rebel’s Rock bar, is ready to build. having received variance approvals in 2011, and City incentive financing in 2014.
As the development is within the LRT corridor, it is subject to an Interim Control By-law and requires an exception from the Committee of Adjustment to allow the issuance of a building permit.

677 Upper James

Taco Bell wants to relocate their Upper James location to the Wal-Mart plaza at Upper James and Fennell.
The owner of the plaza, Calloway REIT, wants exceptions from the requirements of its original approvals for the site from almost a decade ago to allow the restaurant to be closer to the Upper James street than permitted originally. They are asking for a setback of 2.3 metres instead of the 5.0 meters originally agreed to when Mountain Plaza Mall was demolished for the new box store development.
The variance is required to fit the Taco Bell between the Wal-Mart and Upper James.

Ainslie-Wood Variances

There are three separate properties asking for variances to allow for conversion to duplexes of single family homes in the Ainslie Wood neighbourhood.
Former Alderman Mary Kiss represents the Ainslie Wood Community Association at Committee of Adjustment and generally the AWCA opposes any expansion to existing homes or conversions to duplexes. They hope to see students living in purpose built housing rather than converted single family homes.

26 Norfolk Avenue North

One block west of McMaster University, the owner of this home is asking to build an addition which will serve as a second dwelling on the existing single family dwelling site.
The variances are required primarily for parking on site, as the building will have 15 habitable rooms and this requires six parking spots under the zoning bylaw.

160 Bowman Street

A few blocks south of McMaster University, the owner of this home is asking to convert the existing single family home into a duplex. The conversion requires parking variances and is being measured by dwelling unit – not habitable rooms – requiring two parking spots.

75 Whitney Avenue

One block west of McMaster University, the owner of this home is asking to build an addition which will serve as a second dwelling on the existing single family dwelling site.
The variance is required to allow for the home to be larger than allowed in the zoning area, and that the external appearance of the dwelling will be altered by the addition – the change of appearance is normally not allowed in duplex conversions under section 19 of the Planning Act.