It was a short pre-hearing conference at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal on Monday as the City of Hamilton’s outside counsel told the tribunal the City was not prepared to make submissions due to the election.
Without the City prepared to file an issues list, or declare if it intents to oppose Medallion’s proposal for a 20-storey residential building at 195 Wellington Street South, the LPAT scheduled another pre-hearing date for April 15, 2019 at 10am to give the City time to prepare its submissions.
Medallion is appealing for non-decision by the City of Hamilton, to preserve it’s appeal rights under the former rules of the Ontario Municipal Board which are more favourable to developers than the new rules of the LPAT.
The Niagara Escarpment Commission is a separate party to the hearing, dealing with issues related to proximity to the Escarpment, and the Escarpment’s environment. The NEC made clear they are separate from the City. Their issues list was ready, but not presented.
Five residents of the existing low-rise building attending the hearing, expressing concerns about displacement and where they will live next. They are long term residents, who stated they are on fixed incomes, and cannot afford the significantly increased rents which Hamilton has seen in the past two years.
One resident was particularly worried about registering with their name and circumstances being revealed in the hearing. They were not going to register as a participant due to this concern. The Public Record has committed to them, and the Tribunal, not to report any identifying details about them. The reason for granting this anonymity is that the person would not have participating in the hearing, and they are a vulnerable person. Granting anonymity meets with the mission statement of The Public Record.
Each of the residents who filed to be participants stated displacement as their primary concern.
The 20-storey proposal will be judged against the Urban Hamilton Official Plan, and not the new Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan. The DTSP was passed by Council after this application was made.
Re-Elected Ward 2 City Councillor Jason Farr and Medallion Properties could reach a settlement agreement during the next few months, and file the settlement to the LPAT.
Both counsel for the City and Medallion Properties stated to the LPAT Hearing Officer that settlement talks could occur.