Official Plan & Zoning By-law

GRIDS 2 and Municipal Comprehensive Review Comments

DIRECTIONS TO GUIDE DEVELOPMENT

As part of the first GRIDS process, 9 Directions to Guide Development and evaluate growth options were created. These directions are referred to as GRIDS 9 Directions. Staff and stakeholders have reviewed the directions and find that they are still appropriate as a guiding framework in the evaluation of growth options as part of GRIDS 2, with some changes. 

Original GRIDS directions, with the proposed modifications by stakeholders & staff in bolded text:

  1. 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.
  2. Concentrate new development and infrastructure within existing built-up areas and within a firm urban boundary through intensification and adaptive re-use.
  3. Protect rural areas for a viable rural economy, agricultural resources, environmentally sensitive recreation and the enjoyment of the rural landscape.
  4. Design neighbourhoods to improve access to community life for all, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, gender, ability, income and spirituality.
  5. 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.
  6. Expand transportation options through the development of complete streets that encourage travel by foot, bike and transit, and enhance efficient inter-regional transportation connections.
  7. Maximize the use of existing buildings, infrastructure, and vacant or abandoned land.
  8. Protect ecological systems and the natural environment, reduce waste, improve air, land and water quality, and encourage the use of green infrastructure.
  9. Plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  10. Maintain and create attractive public and private spaces and respect the unique character of existing buildings, neighbourhoods and settlements and communities, protect cultural heritage resources, and support arts and culture as an important part of community identity.
INTENSIFICATION TARGET

The Growth Plan minimum intensification target is 50%. However, the City can plan for a higher or lower target. Here are some points to consider about the different options:

Option 1 (<50%)
Lower than the Growth Plan Target

  • More development would be shifted to greenfield areas, which may result in a need for more land to be added to the urban boundary
  • Benefits of intensification may not be fully realized including efficient use of infrastructure and community services and support of existing transit
  • Provincial approval is required and may not be received

Option 2 (=50%)
At the Growth Plan Target

  • Preliminary findings of the Residential Intensification Demand Report consider this to be a suitable aspirational target, but it will be challenging to achieve
  • There will be an opportunity to realize some benefits of intensification, including efficient use of land and infrastructure
  • If planned intensification does not occur, the City may not meet growth forecasts and financial impacts would result (eg. decreased revenues)

Option 3 (>50%)
Higher than the Growth Plan Target

  • Less development would be directed to greenfield areas, which may result in a need for less land to be added to the urban boundary
  • There will be greater opportunity to realize benefits from increased intensification, including efficient use of infrastructure and transit services
  • Will be challenging to achieve based on past trends and market outlook
  • Housing types would be comprised of more medium to high density housing forms
  • If planned intensification does not occur, the City may not meet growth forecasts and financial impacts would result (eg. decreased revenues)
4. Should we plan for an intensification target that is? *
DENSITY TARGET

The Growth Plan minimum Designated Greenfield Area (DGA) density target is 50 pjh. However, the City can plan for a higher or lower target. Here are some points to consider about the different options:

Option 1 (<50pjh)
Lower than the Growth Plan Target

  • Greenfield areas would be developed at a lower density, which may result in a need for more land to be added to the urban boundary
  • Benefits of planning for increased density may not be realized, including development of complete communities with a mix of uses and housing types
  • It is lower than the City’s current planned density (56 pjh), and the density target in the Urban Hamilton Official Plan (70 pjh)
  • Provincial approval is required and may not be received

Option 2 (=50pjh)
At the Growth Plan Target

  • Benefits of planning for increased density may not be realized, including development of complete communities with a mix of uses and housing types
  • It is lower than the City’s current planned density (56 pjh), and the density target in the Urban Hamilton Official Plan (70 pjh)

Option 3 (>50pjh)
Higher than the Growth Plan Target

  • Greenfield areas would be developed at a higher density, which may result in a need for less land to be added to the urban boundary
  • There will be greater opportunity to realize benefits from planning for increased density, including development of complete communities with a mix of uses and housing types
  • New communities will be comprised of more medium to high density housing forms
6. Should we plan for a density target that is? *
FUTURE GROWTH AREAS

If the Land Needs Assessment identifies a need to add lands to the City’s urban boundary to accommodate residential and/or employment growth, the next phase of GRIDS 2 and the MCR will be the evaluation of future growth options and areas.

The Growth Plan identifies criteria that must be satisfied prior to an urban boundary expansion occurring. The criteria include:

  • A completed Land Needs Assessment identifying the need for additional lands
  • Available existing or planned infrastructure (eg. sewers and water) and public service facilities (eg. parks, community centres, emergency services)
  • Minimization / mitigation of impacts on the water resource system and natural heritage system (eg wetlands, woodlands, habitat of endangered species, etc.)
  • Avoidance of prime agricultural areas where possible and evaluation of alternative locations

These criteria can form the basis for an evaluation tool to assist Council, staff and the public with evaluating where and how we will grow in the future.

List as many points as you would like.

Notice of Collection: The City of Hamilton collects information under authority of the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990, Chapter  p.13 (as amended). Any personal information collected for GRIDS 2/MCR will be considered as part of public input in the GRIDS 2/MCR project. Information collected for this initiative may be stored on servers located in Canada and the United States and may be subject to Canadian and/or American laws. Questions about the collection of this personal information can be directed to Senior Project Manager, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton, 71 Main Street West, 4th floor, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4Y5, 905-546-2424, ext. 4168, [email protected].