A rendering of a plan six-storey development at 11 Robert Street in Hamilton Credit: HANDOUT / Linteck Architects

Parking, everyone has an opinion on parking. Opposition to new developments, and adaption of existing ones, often focuses upon parking. The complaints are usually that there is already a lack of parking in the area or new residents competing for “free” on-street parking.

I wish to highlight a reasonable, brief, and to the point letter regarding a proposed development at 11 Robert Street in the Beasley neighbourhood of Downtown Hamilton.

Hello, I’m a resident who lives on Hughson St. North, right around the corner from this
potential development and I think it’s a great idea for this neglected spot. More density is
important and my partner and I think the scale of the development is great.

The concern I have is parking… where would these tenants + visitors park?

The area is already busting at the seams for space to park, especially when restaurants and businesses are fully running. It’s a constant fight to find a spot on the street. Not even a parking permit for Hughson St. N ensures that you and your kids can park near your home?!?

I can’t imagine what would happen if the even half of people in the 28 units required
parking!?! That’s an additional 14 cars vying for space. Sounds like a nightmare.

Is there a way to ensure people on Hughson St. North get spots and no one else do??

Or can the municipal lot be sold to the developer for parking?

Why doesn’t the developer dig down and add some spots? Or use one of those elevator car, stacking thingy’s??

Anyways, best of luck as you wrestle with this decision

Here is why this is a good letter to the Hamilton Committee of Adjustment regarding a new 28 unit building at 11 Robert Street with no parking.

The person states their interest and how the potential decision effects them.

In the opening paragraph, they begin with the positives of the proposed development and clearly express what they support about the development.

They state the reasons for their concerns regarding parking, and ask questions to see if they can find resolution to their concerns.

Parking in this area, the heart of the James Street North restaurant district and home to the Canadian Forces Reserve Armoury, is very competitive and in-demand.

But Joey, they ask is there is a way for them to get exclusivity to on-street parking on their street to the exclusion of everyone else. Is that not entitlement?

Come on Joey, there is no such thing as free parking, people should not expect to be able to store their car on public streets, and other similar reasons why on-street parking is not the best use of valuable land in a downtown area.

The reality as Downtown Hamilton transitions, on street parking will continue to exist on non-arterial streets as the transition to more people living without cars continues.

The letter writer asks legitimate questions. We need people to express themselves in our democracy.

Importantly, in the closing sentence, the write acknowledges the challenge facing the decision makers on the Committee of Adjustment – balancing various interests in a transitioning downtown.

Mid-density mixed-use developments on slender lots are needed to support this transition to a walkable community, complete with more grocery options and commercial amenities. Developments of this nature will bring rental housing on market, and will create some (arguably minimal) demand for parking.

Decision makers need to hear from competing interests to inform policies. Kudos to this letter writer for a honest and comprehensive letter.