Zoning map showing the location of 499 Mohawk Road East Credit: HANDOUT

New Horizon Development Group (NHDG) will have to wait until at least the middle of 2025 to learn if the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) will approve their proposal for zoning permissions to build 1,995 dwelling units on the 3.9-hectare property located at 499 Mohawk Road East on the northwest corner at Upper Sherman.

NHDG filed a non-decision appeal to the OLT in August 2023 after City of Hamilton planning staff stated they could not recommend Council approve the proposal.

City staff state the density proposed is too much for the site, that vehicle traffic could be too great for the local road network,

During a case management conference (CMC) on Tuesday, the two sides proposed dates for a contested hearing. The City and developer both stating they expect to need ten days between them to present evidence, hearing from experts, and make their case.

NHDG’s lawyer’s, Matthew Helfand of Aird & Berlis LLP, asked for the hearing to be scheduled in the fall.

City Seeks Delay Due to Cybersecurity Failure

City of Hamilton lawyer Peter Krysiak told the Tribunal that the City needs more time to prepare for hearings due to the consequences of its cybersecurity failure, which allowed ransomware to encrypt the City’s entire computer networks.

When asked for dates to schedule the hearing, Krysiak stated:

“The problem is the ongoing cyber attack that is delaying a lot of city business. And it’s also going to delay a number of hearings that the city has coming up throughout this year, or at least put pressure on us to deliver all our submissions and materials.”

“We would prefer to play it safe … March of 2025.”

OLT Member Sarah Bobka took the parties’ submissions to the OLT’s scheduling staff, and returned to say the hearing will begin on March 10, 2025 and is scheduled for ten days.

Developers Lawyer Takes on Procedural Order Drafting

Helfand offered to have his law firm complete the administrative work of creating the procedural order to implement today’s decisions by Member Bobka.

Member Bobka granted until April 9 for the procedural order to be filed.

“We’ll go with the three weeks just in case Mr. Krysiak runs into any difficulties with the situation.”

Due to the cybersecurity failure, the City of Hamilton did not file a draft procedural order on March 5, as required.

Mediation Ongoing, Settlement Possible

NHDG and the City have held two mediation sessions since the last CMC on November 15, 2023. During OLT mediation, all parties are bound to confidentiality.

Kysiak stated mediation is ongoing.

NHDG and the City can reach a settlement agreement before the March 2025 hearing. If a deal is reached, Hamilton City Council would need to approve it. City Council decides on settlements in closed session, and does not release any details before the OLT approves settlements.

15 Residents Can File Written Participant Statements

In November, the OLT approved 15 individuals’ requests for participant status in the hearing. Participants can file written submissions to the OLT.

Participants have no input at mediation sessions. If a settlement is reached, participant statements are not considered.

A Built Form diagram showing the proposed layout and heights for the redevelopment of 499 Mohawk Road East

Development Proposal

NHDG wants to construct 15 buildings: two 25-storey multiple dwellings, one 20-storey multiple dwelling, two five-storey multiple dwellings, one 13-storey multiple dwelling, two eight-storey multiple dwellings and seven three-storey townhouse dwellings.

The buildings will have 1,945 units, and the townhouses 50 units. 1,995 parking spaces are proposed. The 1,995 proposed building units include 350 bachelor units, 585 one-bedroom units, 619 one-bedroom + den units, 342 two-bedroom units and 99 three-bedroom units.

There are no commercial uses proposed.

Hamilton City Council voted in October 2023 to vigorously oppose the proposal.

Production Details
v. 1.0.0
Published: March 18, 2024
Last edited: March 18, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
Edit Record
v. 1.0.0 original version

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *