Planning & EcDev presents 2021 budget, reports record-setting development activity in 2020
Hamilton, ON – Today, the 2021 Operating Budget for the Planning and Economic Development (PED) Department was presented to Hamilton City Council’s General Issues Committee. General Manager Jason Thorne presented an overview of the Department’s services, highlights from 2020, including record highs in construction activity, as well as key initiatives for 2021 that focus on future growth while building on service delivery achievements from 2020.
Together with its partners, PED brings the City’s Vision to life through effective planning for existing and future communities, processing of development applications, support for new and existing businesses, delivery of major infrastructure and development projects, support for the City’s heritage, culture and arts, and ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the public through compliance with municipal by-laws.
The preliminary PED 2021 operating budget request represents an increase of 1.7 per cent or $514,720 from 2020.
- Record year for non-residential development, industrial and commercial development in the city.
- Exceeded over $1 billion worth of construction for 10th time in the last 11 years. This important economic milestone was reached as staff adapted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the third best year on record.
- Residential construction of nearly 2,486 new housing units.
- Strong non-residential construction, including a near record-setting $228 million in new industrial construction.
- Achievement of key milestones in the future development of new housing, commercial uses and public space on the City’s West Harbour lands.
- Delivery of critical growth-related infrastructure including new and expanded roads, parking system improvements, water and wastewater infrastructure and the most significant investment ever in the City’s cycling facilities.
- Launch of the Outdoor Dining Districts program to support the culinary scene in Hamilton during the pandemic. Throughout the summer into the fall of 2020,163 patios were approved across city for outdoor dining.
- Progress updates were also provided on the City’s ongoing Open for Business initiative, which has resulted in faster development approval timelines in several key areas.
Key PED Initiatives for 2021
- Departmental plans to support climate change mitigation (e.g. green development guidelines, community energy plan, green building initiatives)
- Planning for future growth through the GRIDS2 initiative
- Growth-related infrastructure projects including new transportation facilities and water and wastewater infrastructure
- Transportation planning (e.g. new cycling facilities, Truck Route Master Plan, Parking Master Plan)
- Sector strategies and economic impact studies for key sectors including advanced manufacturing, life sciences and music
- Development of a new 2021-2025 Economic Development Action Plan
- Continuation of the Open for Business initiative
- Construction of Copps’ Pier (Pier 8 promenade) in Hamilton’s West Harbour
- Servicing of Airport Employment Growth District lands
Council will consider final approval of the City’s overall tax operating budget by late March.