New Maximum Possible Permissible Height Map in the Hamilton Downtown Secondary Plan Final Draft Credit: City of Hamilton / Handout

City of Hamilton planning lawyer Joanne Wise verbally informed the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal that the City of Hamilton will be seeking an order from the Tribunal to put into effect the Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan (DTSP) with the exception of the portions under appeal.

There are three appeals, one of which the City is seeking to strike. The other two appeals are site specific appeals. One related to prohibitions on any new shadows onto Prince’s Square park in front of the Old Wentworth County Courthouse, and the other is a site specific appeal against the height limit.

Even if the City is successful at severing the appeals form the entirely of the plan, this would mean that even if the site specific height limit appeal were successful, the height limit would remain for the rest of the DTSP area.

Concurrent with the motion to place the DTSP into effect, the City will be moving to have the appeal of the late Victor Veri dismissed.

The Tribunal stated in a teleconference case management hearing today that Veri’s Estate contacted the Tribunal stating the Estate plans to carry forth with his appeal. The motion to dismiss the Veri appeal will be dealt with as a written hearing. The Public Record is requesting copies of the written arguments.

Fengate and Brown Wharf Appeals

The Fengate appeal is solely to remove the restriction on new shadows shading Prince’s Square.

The DTSP incorporated best practices from urban planning around the world, which includes ensuring that urban parks have sufficient sunlight to ensure healthy vegetation, and to maximize sunlight for the enjoyable of urban residents.

Fengate is objecting to Section of the plan:
Downtown Hamilton contains a number of primary gathering spaces where civic life occurs. The quality, image, and amenity of these spaces strongly affect how people perceive the Downtown. Notwithstanding Policy B. and Policy B., development shall not cast any net new shadow between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. as measured from March 21st to September 21st on the following parks, squares, plazas and open spaces areas that serve as Downtown’s key civic gathering spaces:
a)Gore Park;
b)Prince’s Square (50 Main Street East);
c)Hamilton City Hall Forecourt (71 Main Street West);
d)Whitehern Museum (41 Jackson Street West); and,
e)Ferguson Station (244, 248 King Street East).

Fengate is considering a future redevelopment of the large block bound by Main Street, Hughson Street, Jackson Street, and James Street. The block contains a large parking lot, two heritage buildings, and two other commercial structures. In the past, there were serious talks with McMaster University to build a graduate residence. (McMaster has entered into a public-private partnership to build a graduate residence elsewhere downtown)

City of Hamilton lawyer Joanne Wice asked for the Tribunal to put off a pre-hearing decision on how to proceed with the Fengate appeal at a hearing, stating that the City and Fengate are having progress in private mediation discussions. The lawyer for Fengate concurred, and the Tribunal decided to grant a future Case Management Conference if the two sides do not reach an agreement.

Brown Wharf is listed on City documents has owning a series of properties along Main Street West between Queen Street and Hess Street. The LPAT documents do not state if the site-specific appeal is for this site.

The Brown Wharf appeal is solely against the height restriction. If the Main West site is the subject of the appeal, due to the elevation of the site on top of the Iroquois Sandbar, the escarpment height restriction is more pronounced.

The Tribunal asked if the City and Brown Wharf could benefit from Tribunal assisted mediation. City lawyer Wice declined medication, stated that the City and Brown Wharf are far apart on the issue of height, and that she expects “the matter will proceed to a contested hearing”.

The lawyer for Brown Wharf requested mediation, and the Tribunal directed both parties to provide scheduled to the Tribunal to schedule a discussion on if mediation is appropriate.

The Tribunal will set a date for a future Case Management Conference. The Public Record will attend.

The Public Record has requested the City of Hamilton to comment on the date they plan to file their motion to dismiss the Veri appeal. As of this publication, the City has not responded.

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