The Community Node Secondary Plan will guide land-use planning in Waterdown. – Screenshot • Google Maps
The City of Hamilton is working on a detailed land-use plan for central Waterdown, and wants residents to help create a unified vision for the area’s future.
The Waterdown Community Node secondary plan will guide land-use planning in the area approximately bordered by Victoria Street, Parkside Drive, Chudleigh Street, and a row of neighbourhoods southeast of Highway 5. The process that is just getting started, and is expected to include nearly two years of consultation and revisions.
“The overall population of Waterdown is expected to grow significantly, increasing by approximately 15,000 people,” states the city’s website.
Joanne Hickey-Evans, Hamilton’s manager of policy planning and zoning bylaw reform, told the Review that population growth is forecast by 2031.
“Changes to the area’s transportation system, such as the planned east-west bypass road to the north of the core, new bike lanes along major streets, and other proposed road connections, will also have impacts,” the city website adds. “The purpose of the Waterdown Community Node secondary plan is to create a clear vision for the area. This vision will help manage change and redevelopment by providing direction on the desired mix of uses, height, density, built form, and urban design within the node.”
The city’s website lists the following timeline for the process:
• 2019 — Project launch and visioning
• Winter 2019/2020 to Spring 2020 — Development and analysis of land use options
• Fall/Winter 2020/2021 — Develop draft recommended plan and policies
• Spring 2021 — Final secondary plan recommendations made to planning committee
After passing the planning committee, the secondary plan must be approved by city council to become part of Hamilton’s official plan. If there are any challenges, for example, if someone doesn’t agree with the land-use designation their property has received, the plan then goes to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), said Hickey-Evans.
“In that case, the LPAT will often allow the rest of the plan to come into effect while those properties are under appeal,” added city planner Melanie Pham, noting resident input is sought at each stage of the process.
Flamborough Coun. Judi Partridge says one of her main priorities for the process is to create a community-led plan to “protect downtown Waterdown from over-development and intensification, and protect its heritage aspects.
“What is it that people want to see in terms of the type of building and the type of development? It’s a great tool that gives the people who live there the opportunity to have input.”
Partridge explained that when Flamborough was absorbed into the City of Hamilton in 2001, it became clear that Waterdown was behind some of the other local municipalities in planning for future growth.
“Stoney Creek had a good secondary plan already in place, the former town of Dundas had one, Ancaster had a very partial one and Binbrook had an excellent one, but Flamborough did not really have a secondary plan,” she said. “It had been kind of an ad hoc development situation. That’s why at the corner of Hamilton and Dundas, we had a 10-storey building. On John, we have two seven-storey buildings, built 40 years ago.”
The city is planning to host a public meeting in Waterdown in October to kick off this process — and the accompanying Waterdown Community Transportation Management Study — but a date has not been set.
Feedback is already being accepted on the city’s website, which also contains maps of the area in question and information on the study’s efforts so far.