GRIDS 2 and Municipal Comprehensive Review
Completion of Phase 1: Conformity Review
PROJECT UPDATE - The City of Hamilton has forwarded the Council-adopted Urban Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 167 and Rural Hamilton Official Plan Amendment No. 34 to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Ministerial Approval, representing the completion of Phase 1: Conformity Review – Urban Focused Review and the GRIDS2/Municipal Comprehensive Review processes.
The City of Hamilton is updating its Growth Management Strategy, known as GRIDS 2. The City will also be completing a Municipal Comprehensive Review concurrently with GRIDS 2.
What is GRIDS?
In 2006, City Council approved the first Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy (GRIDS). GRIDS was an integrated planning process that identified a broad land use structure, associated infrastructure, economic development strategy and financial implications for growth options to serve Hamilton for 30 years. GRIDS planned for growth up to 2031.
GRIDS needs to be updated to plan for the City’s population and job growth to 2051. This update is known as GRIDS 2.
The Province of Ontario provides population and employment growth forecasts for Hamilton through the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Between the years 2021 and 2051, Hamilton is expected to grow by 236,000 people and 122,000 jobs.
Disclaimer: This video explains the GRIDS2 and MCR process but references growth forecasts to the year 2041, whereas Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan 2019 provides growth forecasts to 2051.
What is the Municipal Comprehensive Review?
A municipal comprehensive review (MCR) is a requirement of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) at the time of the City’s 5-year Official Plan review. The MCR is the process by which the City brings its Official Plans into conformity with updated policies of the various Provincial plans which apply to Hamilton (PPS, Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Greenbelt Plan). The population and job forecasts of the Growth Plan to 2051 need to be planned for and accommodated through the MCR.
Many of the studies that are required as part of the MCR are also required as part of GRIDS 2. Therefore, the City has determined that it is appropriate to combine GRIDS 2 and the MCR into one integrated process, resulting in a transparent and straightforward process in which to involve stakeholders and citizens.
One component of the MCR is the Employment Land Review which is currently underway.
GRIDS 2 is being guided by the GRIDS 2 10 Directions to Guide Development, endorsed by Council in December 2020. This will provide a tool to guide and evaluate decisions related to growth.
- Plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Encourage a compatible mix of uses in neighbourhoods, including a range of housing types and affordabilities, that provide opportunities to live, work, learn, shop and play, promoting a healthy, safe and complete community.
- Concentrate new development and infrastructure within existing built-up areas and within the urban boundary through intensification and adaptive re-use.
- Protect rural areas for a viable rural economy, agricultural resources, environmentally sensitive recreation and the enjoyment of the rural landscape.
- Design neighbourhoods to improve access to community life for all, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, gender, ability, income and spirituality.
- Retain and intensify existing employment land, attract jobs in Hamilton’s strength areas and targeted new sectors, and support access to education and training for all residents.
- Expand transportation options through the development of complete streets that encourage travel by foot, bike and transit, and enhance efficient inter-regional transportation connections.
- Maximize the use of existing buildings, infrastructure, and vacant or abandoned land.
- Protect ecological systems and the natural environment, reduce waste, improve air, land and water quality, and encourage the use of green infrastructure.
- Maintain and create attractive public and private spaces and respect the unique character of existing buildings, neighbourhoods and communities, protect cultural heritage resources, and support arts and culture as an important part of community identity.