Hamilton’s predominant greenfield developers are taking the City of Hamilton to the Ontario Land Tribunal to force the City Council to hear their application to expand Hamilton’s urban boundary to permit the development of lands bordered by Twenty Road West, Dickenson Road, Upper James Street and Lancaster Road.

In a letter dated December 19, 2023, City of Hamilton Manager of Sustainable Communities Dave Heyworth stated a secondary plan and urban boundary application filed by the developer group was incomplete.

The City says the package lacks the required studies and professional reports, including details to complete the water and wastewater servicing master plan, karst assessment report, and a Stage 2 archaeological assessment.

The Upper West Side Landowners application seeks a Council hearing for their privately created Secondary Plan that will extend Hamilton’s urban boundary in the area from Twenty Road West to Dickerson Road.

City Council is expected to deny the urban boundary expansion. At this future point, the landowners can then appeal to the OLT to have the OLT impose a boundary expansion.

City staff’s decision that the application is incomplete prevents the developers from setting the Council hearing in motion.

Ontario Conservatives Forced Urban Expansion as Part of Greenbelt Scandal, Then Reversed

A City of Hamilton map showing the provincially imposed urban boundary expansion areas of Elfrida, White Church Road, Twenty Road East, Twenty Road West areas

The Upper West Side Landowners were given their urban boundary expansion by the Provincial Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford on November 4, 2022, when Ford gave developers across the GTHA most of what they were asking for. In Hamilton, this included overturning the Urban Hamilton Official Plan’s urban boundaries.

Ford’s decisions because of the Greenbelt scandal. In October of 2023, Ford reversed all his decisions as the corruption of the Greenbelt scandal engulfed his government.

The reversal left the Upper West Side Landowners back where they were in 2022.

The 2019 Ford Government Changes to Allow Private Urban Boundary Expansions

Ford did not reverse his 2019 decision to change Ontario’s Planning Act to allow private interests to apply for urban boundary expansion of up to 40 acres per application.

Only municipalities could initiate urban boundaries before the 2019 More Homes More Choice Act.

The Upper West Side Landowners, which includes Spallaci and Sons Limited, Oxford Road Developments,  the Parente Group, and Liv Communities, among its membership, have been lobbying for decades to have their lands placed within the urban boundary.

Some information is available on their website at: https://upperwestsidehamilton.ca/

The Motion for Complete Application is presently being processed by the OLT. No hearing dates have been set.

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Published: January 28, 2024
Last edited: January 28, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
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