Official Plan & Zoning By-law

Land Needs Assessment

Land Needs Assessment to 2051

The GRIDS 2/MCR staff report and supporting studies, including staff’s recommendation on the Land Needs Assessment are available for public review.

The Final Land Needs Assessment and related reports were considered by Council at the March 29, 2021 General Issues Committee.

At the General Issues Committee meeting on March 29, 2021, Council tabled the staff recommendation below for the Ambitious Density scenario. Rather, Council directed that additional public consultation be completed, by passing the following direction:

“That staff be directed to conduct a city-wide mail consultation with a survey on the Land Needs Assessment and the Municipal Comprehensive Review that includes the Ambitious Density Scenario, a “no boundary expansion” scenario, and that also allows residents to submit their own alternative scenario…”

Urban Growth Survey Results

A mail-out survey was distributed to households in Hamilton in late June/early July 2021 to ask for opinions about how the City of Hamilton should grow to the year 2051. The survey closed on July 23, 2021. For a summary of results of the Urban Growth Survey, and links for the associated staff report and appendices to be presented at the General Issues Committee on November 9, 2021, visit GRIDS 2/MCR Urban Growth Survey

Staff Recommendation

Following public consultation in January, Staff are recommending that Council endorse the Ambitious Density Community Area land needs scenario in the final Land Needs Assessment. The Ambitious Density scenario is based on an intensification target of 50% between 2021 and 2031, 60% between 2031 and 2041 and 70% between 2041 and 2051, and a planned density in the Designated Greenfield Area of 77 pjh in new growth areas and 60 pjh in the City’s existing designated greenfield areas. The required Community Area land need under the Ambitious Density scenario is 1,340 ha.

The LNA has identified that the City’s supply and demand of employment lands are in balance, and there is no requirement for additional Employment Area lands.

Final Land Needs Assessment Staff Report

Public Consultation

Thank you to all members of the public for participating in the public consultation on the Land Needs Assessment through the month of January. Appendix “E” to the staff report contains a full summary of the public consultation held in January, which included 2,200 visits to the Engage Hamilton webpage, 147 completed survey responses, almost 100 participants at two virtual open houses, 23 attendees at the stakeholder meeting, and numerous emails, phone calls and meetings. A summary of how the public comments were considered in the staff recommendation can be found in the Staff Report.


What is a Land Needs Assessment?

A Land Needs Assessment (LNA) is a technical study that determines how much land is needed in the City to accommodate growth. The LNA must be completed based on a methodology developed by the Province and is a required part of the City’s Municipal Comprehensive Review process (MCR). 

There are two categories of lands considered through an LNA:

  • “Community” lands - areas for population, commercial and institutional growth
  • “Employment” lands - areas specifically for employment growth like business parks and industrial lands

The LNA identifies how much of the forecasted population and job growth can be accommodated within the City’s existing urban boundary through infill/intensification in the ‘Built Up Area’ and existing Designated Greenfield Area lands. If there is more growth forecasted than can be accommodated in the City’s existing urban boundary, then the LNA determines how much urban expansion area may be required. Where this expansion might take place is not considered through the LNA.

Map outlining different lands that make up a lands new assessement

Key findings of the draft LNA for the City of Hamilton

Community Area:

  • An urban boundary expansion is needed to accommodate population growth to 2051
  • To accommodate new population growth, the City must plan for a higher percentage of residential intensification than the Growth Plan minimum target of 50%
  • Four residential intensification scenarios are presented in the Land Needs Assessment. For each of the scenarios, view the PDF for a breakdown of the calculations:
    • 'Current Trends' (PDF, 627 KB) - 40% intensification, resulting in a required land need of 3,440 hectares. 
    • 'Growth Plan Minimum' (PDF, 627 KB) - 50% intensification, resulting in a required land need of 2,200 hectares
    • ‘Increased Targets’ (PDF, 626 KB) - 50% to 2031, 55% to 2041, 60% to 2051 - resulting in a required land need of 1,670 hectares
    • ‘Ambitious Density’ (PDF, 623 KB) - 50% to 2031, 60% to 2041, 70% to 2051 - resulting in a required land need of 1,340 hectares
  • Designated Greenfield Area density will depend on the ratio of residential unit types (singles, semis, rowhouses, apartments) and how densely they develop

The ‘Increased Targets’ and ‘Ambitious Density’ intensification scenarios can be accommodated within the current Whitebelt land supply.

'Increase Targets'

Scenario #1 - 55% average intensification

'Ambitious Density'

Scenario #2 - 60% average intensification

Employment Area:

Relationship between supply and demand for employment lands

Past Reports

The reports that were presented at the December 14, 2020 General Issues Committee include:


Timeline for GRIDS 2 Land Needs Assessmenet

Comments & questions

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