Planning a Community

Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

Decorative banner for Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

The City of Hamilton has initiated the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study for the Study Area. 

The purpose of the study

  • To conduct a land use policy review of the local and provincial policy framework, including past LPAT (OMB) Decisions, in order to make recommendations for modifications to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan to incorporate the Pleasantview Area lands. The recommended modifications will also ensure the local framework is in conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans.                                             
  • To review the existing zoning regulations in place on the Pleasantview Area lands and recommend appropriate zones and regulations to be included in the City of Hamilton Zoning By-law No. 05-200.

Location: bounded to the east by Highway 6, to the north by Patterson Road, to the west by York Road and Valley Road and to the south by the Canadian National Rail Line and Old Guelph Road.

Map of the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study

The Pleasantview Area (Area) of Dundas is approximately ±413.5 hectares (1021.78 acres) in size and is situated below the brow of the Niagara Escarpment west of Highway No. 6 and North of Highway 403. The lands are bounded to the east by Highway 6, to the north by Patterson Road, to the west by York Road and Valley Road and to the south by the Canadian National Rail Line and Old Guelph Road. The lands contain a variety of land uses and are in public, private, institutional and corporate ownership. The Area has important natural heritage significance including several Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) that form an important link between Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment.

The Pleasantview Area of Dundas has had more than 45 years of layered Provincial and local-level planning policy and regulations directing development in the area. The Area remains subject to the provisions of the Official Plan of the former Town of Dundas as set out by the Ontario Municipal Board Decision dated June 28, 1995, and is still regulated by the former Town of Dundas Zoning By-law 3581-86, as amended by By-law 4066-93.

In 2013, through Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment (NEPA) No. 179 the NEC included the Area within the Niagara Escarpment Plan and designated the various lands as Escarpment Rural, Natural and Protection. In addition, NEPA 179 included a Special Policy Area (Policy 2.2.21) which reflects the planning framework from the 1995 OMB Decision.

The lands continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Parkway Belt West Plan and the Former Town of Dundas Official Plan. The Rural Hamilton Official Plan contains a reference to the Study Area through a Special Policy Area (SPA A – Pleasantview), which largely serves to identify the lands as still being subject to the provisions of the Town of Dundas Official Plan and the aforementioned OMB Decision from 1995.

Notwithstanding the addition of the lands to the Niagara Escarpment Plan through NEPA 179, as the lands are not within the NEC’s Area of Development Control, the lands continue to be regulated by the Town of Dundas Zoning By-law No. 3581-86.

An Interim Control By-law (ICBL) is a special zoning tool provided by the Ontario Planning Act, which allows municipalities to supersede existing zoning rights for a short period of time. It can be used to temporarily restrict development in an area while a study or review related to land use planning policy is completed. It is often referred to as a temporary “freeze” on development.  Regulations for ICBLs can be found in Section 38 of the Planning Act. 

An interim control by-law is not necessarily a blanket freeze on all development.  Rather, Section 38 of the Planning Act permits municipalities to restrict or prohibit the use of land, buildings or structures within the area of the by-law, “except for such purposes as are set out in the by-law.” Therefore, the by-law’s text can identify what is permitted and what is not while it is in effect. 

Hamilton City Council, at its meeting of September 10, 2020 passed By-law 20-186 (PDF, 521 KB), an Interim Control By-law for the Pleasant View Lands in the former Town of Dundas. The Interim Control By-law was passed to give time to complete the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study and bring forward the necessary policy amendments to the municipal framework to clarify policy direction for the Area and to ensure conformity with the applicable Provincial Plans in effect in the Area. The Interim Control By-law is in effect until September 10, 2021. City Council may extend the duration of the by-law beyond this date should additional time be required to complete the Land Use Study.

The Interim Control by-law temporarily halts most development in the Study Area until the by-law expires or is rescinded. However, some development is permitted to occur as follows:

  • expansions of existing buildings to a maximum of 20% of the gross floor area;
  • changes to facades or interiors of existing structures;
  • reconstruction or replacement should a fire, accident or natural disaster occur; and,
  • construction of new accessory buildings or structures.

In addition, building permits may be issued in accordance with minor variances, consents, site specific zoning and site plans approved after October 28, 2013 (the date of Ministerial approval of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment No. 179).”

Ontario Regulation 826/90 under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (NEPDA) describes lands within the Niagara Escarpment Planning Area that are designated as an area of development control. Lands located within the area of development control could require a Development Permit from the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) for certain types of development. Ontario Regulation 828/90, under the NEPDA, lists the classes of development that are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a Development Permit from the NEC.  Examples may include the maintenance, repair, replacement or decommission of a private sewage disposal system or roof mounted solar panels. By placing the Pleasantview Area Lands under NEC development control, development would be regulated primarily by the NEC through the issuance of Development Permits.

On September 11, 2019, City Council directed staff to work with the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) staff to petition the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to put the Pleasantview survey lands under development control (Regulation 826/90) as soon as possible. View the City Council meeting minutes.

On September 19, 2019, the Niagara Escarpment Commission approved an NEC Staff recommendation that “the Niagara Escarpment Commission support staff in pursuing the application of Development Control within the Pleasant View Survey Area”.

This work between the City, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Niagara Escarpment Commission is ongoing.

Timeline

Timeline for the Pleasantview Area Land Use Study identifying key phase of the study from March 2021 to September 2021

Contact us

For questions/comments about the study or to join the project email list, contact:
Spencer Skidmore, MCIP, RPP
Planner I, Community Planning & GIS
71 Main Street West, 5th Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1274
Email: [email protected]