City Continues Settlement Negotiations with OMB Appellants on new Commercial Mixed Use Zoning

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Joey Coleman/The Public Record

Hamilton's Downtown as viewed from James Street South

The City of Hamilton is negotiating with over 20 parties who appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board against the City’s new Commercial Mixed Use Zoning.

Hamilton’s Chief Planner Steve Robichaud told the City’s Development Industry Liaison Committee that his staff continue to meet with various appellants to resolve their appeals without a full OMB hearing.

Robichaud told DILC that implementation of the new zoning will not be done until all appeals are settled.

In similar past city-wide zoning amendments, the City successfully sought OMB orders to implement the zoning exclusive of appellant properties.

The City recently implemented Transit-Oriented Corridor Zoning by OMB order with the exemption of the Fortino’s Plaza on Dundurn, the No Frills property at Main and Tisdale, and the former No Frills site at The Delta – the owner of these properties being the only appellant against the new zoning. The City continues to negotiate with them, and the OMB has not scheduled any further hearings at this time.

During the February Business Improvement Area Advisory Committee meeting, multiple BIA coordinators expressed disappointment that the new zoning will be delayed. The Stoney Creek, Barton, and International Village BIAs all stated they need the new zoning to enable new business ideas to open.

Under Hamilton’s outdated zoning bylaws, many modern business uses are prohibited because the language of Hamilton’s old bylaws is restrictive use. The new zoning bylaw uses permissive language, allowing for a wider ranges of uses.

The outdated bylaws mean that many businesses require rezoning applications, costing tens of thousands of dollars, or minor variances, costing thousands of dollars, to open.

At present, the OMB has not scheduled a pre-hearing to begin organizing the appeals hearing.

The Public Record registered with the OMB to receive notice of the hearing and will provide coverage from the OMB hearings when they occur.

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