Hamilton City Council’s Planning Committee went behind closed doors for nearly an hour Wednesday afternoon and emerged with a recommendation to City Council.
Officially, “the recommendation shall remain confidential until such time as Council approval”.
Councillor Terry Whitehead, following the closed session was asked to move a motion. His motion was for City staff to conduct a comprehensive review of regulations for residential care facilities and radial separation.
“I believe on that motion you already indicated no further action in regards to an appeal,” said Whitehead in reference to the confidential recommendation passed moments before.
A series of on-mic and off-mic comments were exchange between Whitehead, the clerk, and Planning Committee chair Jason Farr.
“That’s not what I recollect,” said Farr as he tried to steer the committee back to it’s script. The clerk directed Whitehead that the recommendation not to appeal is to remain confidential until Council ratifies next Wednesday.
The decision that followed, with committee voting to review radial separate – with a clear intent to replace it with regulations that comply with the Human Rights Code – made clear the “confidential” recommendation.
After the meeting, Whitehead – who consistently supported Lynwood Charlton Hall – was asked if he supported the “confidential” recommendation. He stated “Yes”.
Council will vote September 11 on the recommendation.
Reviewing Radial Separation
Whitehead, seconded by Ward 9 Councillor Brad Clark, moved for staff to report to Planning Committee “with a comprehensive review of residential care facilities in the context of the provincial policy regarding special needs and the human rights code.”
The motion was supported by committee with only Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins opposed. Collins, who does not support radial separation, saying “I’m not interested in wasting time and resources in light of the [OMB] decision.”
Clark says the review will enable the City to determine how to best integrate residential care facilities in communities and review best practices of other municipalities.
The new Urban Hamilton Official Plan will allow residential care facilities across the City. Presently, some suburban areas have zoning bans in place against RCFs that have contributed to saturation of RCFs in other neighbourhoods.
Whitehead says Council has a responsibility to review how to ensure the right balance for RCFs in communities.
No timeline is yet in place for completion of the review*.*