City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development
Ainslie Wood Westdale - Secondary Plan
The City of Hamilton has prepared a Secondary Plan for the Ainslie Wood and Westdale study area. This area includes the Ainslie Wood, Ainslie Wood West, Ainslie Wood East, Ainslie Wood North, Westdale North, Westdale South and Cootes Paradise “B” Neighbourhoods.
There are currently Approved Neighbourhood Plans in place for three of these Neighbourhoods, which were prepared over 25 years ago, but as the Secondary Plan was approved the neighbourhood plans are for reference. The Community Strategy enables a review of non-landuse matters, such as student housing, property standards and by-law enforcement. In addition, a By-law was created to control and limit overbuilding within the Westdale area by capping the height and gross floor area of the residential dwellings.
Ainslie Wood Westdale Secondary Plan:
Major Issues in the Ainslie Wood / Westdale Neighbourhood
There have been a number of ongoing discussions about issues in the Ainslie Wood / Westdale neighbourhoods. Some of the issues identified to date are as follows:
- Student housing, especially off-campus housing and the conversion of single family homes to student apartments, safety.
- Double student cohort in 2003-2004, with impacts beyond these years.
- Monster home by-laws introduced to limit overall height, floor area, for homes in this area.
- Use of bylaws and other tools to help prevent incompatible conversions.
- Absentee landlords outbidding potential permanent residents for houses on the market.
Property Maintenance / Property Standards
- Maintenance of buildings and property as an issue in part due to absentee landlords.
- Physical appearance and condition of neighbourhood to be maintained / improved.
- Names and contact phone numbers for property owners and City of Hamilton identified by Ainslie Wood / Westdale Community Association (AWWCA), in order for complaints to be made as needed.
- Noise, rowdiness, property damage, littering, untidiness.
- Education programs initiated by McMaster, police, City and AWWCA to control these behaviours, such as letters to students from police about enforcement of noise by-laws.
- AWWCA - Ainslie Wood / Westdale Community Association of Resident Homeowners– established in 1998, had membership of at least 400 residents in year 2000.
- Initiatives include meetings and newsletters informing members on issues, lobbying the City and McMaster for action on areas of concern, such as student housing and behaviour.
- Top issues identified in 2001 survey of members were property standards, students in community, and noise.
- On-campus – number of parking spaces provided at McMaster currently exceeds the number required by zoning by-law.
- Off-campus – front lawns being converted to parking areas – application process to regulate this.
- Parking infractions (individuals parking longer than the time limit).
- Over intensification of cars causing traffic / parking problems.
- Speeding traffic, high traffic volumes on roads in area, especially arterials, Main St. gridlock sometimes occurs.
- Traffic noise, pedestrian safety especially for children and seniors – accidents have occurred crossing Main St.
- Air quality related to heavy traffic is an issue.
- The possible relocation of some transit routes from King St. / Sterling Ave. to Main St. was considered. This proposal was withdrawn due to concerns about impacts on the Westdale B.I.A. area on King Street.
- A transit usage survey was undertaken for the Westdale B.I.A. area.
- Legislated processes exist to ensure citizen input is provided on planning applications.
- Citizens have requested additional notification regarding planning applications, to enable them to have more opportunity for input.
- Site plan control applications (development applications) are being submitted to the City for sites throughout the study area, including McMaster University.
Commercial and Social Services
- A Commercial Market Analysis study was recently undertaken for the Westdale B.I.A. area along King Street, to assess the market viability and provide an action plan for the area.
- Other commercial areas are located within the study area.
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