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Hamilton’s Planning and Economic Development Department presents 2020 operating budget

Reports record-setting development activity in the City in 2019

Hamilton, ON – Today, the 2020 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 2019, including record highs in construction activity, as well as key initiatives for 2020 that focus on future growth while building on service delivery achievements from 2019.

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 2020 operating budget request represents an increase of 1.1% or $328,540 from 2019.

2019 Highlights

  • Record years for total construction value, new housing units, industrial construction and non-residential development.
  • Exceeded $1 billion worth of construction for 9th time in the last 10 years. August 2019 marked the earliest point in the year that the City hit this significant milestone.
  • Residential construction of nearly 2700 new housing units, a record for the City.
  • Strong non-residential construction, including a record-setting $338 million in new industrial construction.
  • Continued strong growth in the culture and creative sectors with record levels of hotel stays, over 200,000 visits to the City’s civic museums, and continued strength in the film sector.
  • 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 and cycling facilities and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Progress updates were also provided on the City’s ongoing Open for Business (OFB) initiative, which has resulted in faster development approval timelines in several key areas.

Key PED Initiatives for 2020

  • Departmental plans to support climate change mitigation (e.g. 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 2021-2026 Economic Development Action Plan
  • Continuation of the Open for Business initiative
  • Construction of Copps’ Pier (Pier 8 promenade) in Hamilton’s West Harbour

Council will consider final approval of the City’s overall tax operating budget by late March.

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