Councillor Craig's Current - July 2023
Hello, Ward 12 neighbours. We’re just about at the halfway point of the summer and we hope you are able to take some time for rest and relaxation. Although our office has been rotating through some vacation time, there is still much happening and we want to make sure you are informed. Please enjoy the July 2023 edition of our newsletter.
TOWN HALL SUMMARY
Thank you to everyone who attended the Ward 12 town hall in Ancaster. More than 70 of us gathered to discuss several important topics of concern to the ward. I sincerely hope the event was informative and that everyone who wished to was able to contribute to the conversation. We promised to follow up with answers to some of the questions that were asked at the meeting. You can find those answers as well as a link to the PowerPoint presentation on my website at this link.
IN-PERSON GREENBELT MEETING
Plans are underway for Ancaster to host an in-person, evening meeting to discuss the Ward 12 Greenbelt removals. The date is to-be-determined, but City Staff are targeting late August or September. Residents from across the city are invited to attend. As you already know, almost 1,900 acres of Ancaster farmland, habitat, and wetlands have lost Greenbelt protection due to a unilateral decision by the Provincial Government via Bill 23. However, it is important to know that development is not a foregone conclusion and it is vital that Hamiltonians continue to voice their opposition as we will be on the hook to pay for a lifetime of very costly infrastructure upkeep if this sprawl development goes ahead. There are several steps that need to happen before development can occur, most notably that the lands must be brought inside the urban boundary, and Council opposes this step. That means the Province would need to issue a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) and completely override local decision-making authority. Council also opposes this step.
Although not unanimous, Hamilton City Council voted in early July to direct Planning Staff to meet with the Provincial Land Development Facilitator to discuss our former Greenbelt parcels. However, all Councillors and the Mayor have made it clear that meeting with the Province did not in any way constitute an endorsement to develop the Greenbelt. In fact, the motion was worded to say we would meet the Facilitator "under protest". Hamilton Council has voted unanimously to affirm that we oppose development in both the newly expanded urban boundary areas and the in the Greenbelt.
Please spread the word and plan to attend as we need a strong chorus of voices speaking up in support of preserving our Greenbelt and against tax-raising sprawl development.
ONGOING ROAD SAFETY MEASURES
As I mentioned at the town hall, traffic calming has been in place in other parts of Hamilton for years and our office is very happy to now enable these benefits in Ward 12. We are working with the Traffic Safety Division to move ahead as quickly as possible with much-needed road safety measures across the ward. We might be playing catch-up, but rest assured our office is 100% committed to implementing traffic calming across the community as quickly as possible. For now, here is an update:
→ Improved lighting at the bus stop on McNiven near Mohawk Road
→ Signaled pedestrian crossing at Wilson Street West and Shaver Road
→ Installation of speed cushions at the following locations in Fall 2023: Panabaker Drive, Braithwaite Avenue (between Panabaker Drive and Donnelly Street), Lodor Street, Academy Street, Sulphur Springs Road (between Wilson Street and Lovers Lane), Raymond Road (between Robertson Road and Whittington Drive), Church Street.
→ Lime Kiln Road - reduced speed limit to 40km/hr
→ Lynden Road - reduced speed limit to 70km/hr as a first step. Additional traffic studies are underway.
→ Mohawk Road - dynamic speed signs to be installed westbound
→ Crosswalk on Meadowlands Drive at Holy Name of Mary Elementary School - assessment of street lighting underway
→ Stonehenge - a study of roundabout design and safety improvements is underway
→ Pedestrian crossover with flasher beacons on McNiven at Rousseaux school - design stage
→ Collaboration with Ward 13 for design improvements along Old Dundas and Old Ancaster Roads
→ Planning for improvements to traffic flow at Rousseaux Street and Wilson Street East
→ Pedestrian crossing signals going East/West - Southcote Road and Garner Road (capital project planned for 2026)
→ Powerline Road - Environmental Assessment approved in 2023 budget, planning underway to determine interim measures to improve safety in the meantime.
In addition, the Ward 12 office has forwarded requests for the installation of additional speed cushions in neighbourhoods across Ward 12. We are awaiting confirmation from the Road Safety team and will share those locations once details are confirmed.
Here’s a quick update about the ongoing work on Southcote Road.
403 to Calder Street:
This section will remain closed until the contract is complete (tentative date: Early Dec) in order to eliminate potential through traffic getting stuck in the neighborhoods
Calder Street to Stonehenge Drive:
This section is now complete and open to all residents
Stonehenge Drive to Garner Road East:
This section will be closed starting Monday, July 31st at 7:00 am
As there is extensive road excavation, please consider this entire section closed to through traffic
This section will be opened in stages as the works are completed. Updates will be supplied as they are opened.
WILSON AND ACADEMY CONDO DEVELOPMENT
On July 27, 2023, the minutes of settlement for the proposed development at the corner of Wilson St. and Academy St. in Ancaster (the site of the Marr-Philippo house) were signed, and registered participants should have received a copy. This means that the City has settled the zoning appeal filed by the applicant, pending review and approval by the OLT at the settlement hearing scheduled for August 1, 2023. Our office recognizes that this is a very contentious development in Ancaster and it’s important to note that the former Council voted against this application, but their decision was appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal. The Provincial Government even went so far as to make a specific amendment to Hamilton’s Official Plan, changing the zoning for 15 Lorne Ave from residential to ‘mixed-use’, which the development proposal requested. This is one step required to enable the Marr-Philipo house to be moved to this location. There are still 17 conditions that must be met before the house can be moved. Please visit the Development page on my website under “293-412 Wilson Street East and 15 Lorne Avenue” to learn more.
If you would like to contact Urban Solutions, the Ancaster Planning and Land Development firm representing this file, please do so under “contact us” at this link.
Thank you to everyone who continues to contact us and share your thoughts on how to make our community better! Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (X). Please share this newsletter with anyone who may be interested and encourage them to subscribe at CraigCassar.ca