Live 5pm: City Council

Council’s agenda tonight is light with only two standing committee reports for the past two weeks and one new motion. Items of note include Delta Secondary School’s heritage designation, the Airport Employment Growth District boundaries, and a proposed mid-rise at Garth and Rymal. Live video starts at 5 p.m.

Delta Secondary School

Delta Secondary School will be a heritage building when Council ratifies the Planning Committee report. The school – Hamilton’s oldest secondary school still in operation – was built in 1924.

The school is on Main Street East between Kenilworth and Ottawa Streets. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board voted to close the school in favour of a new lower city high school. The school will close in 2016.

Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla publicly stated there are developers looking to convert the building into residential when it closes.

Airport Employment Growth District

Council will look at the Planning Committee’s Closed Session decision on the new boundaries of the AEGD, commonly known as the Aerotropolis.

Following an Ontario Municipal Board decision, Council must scale back the AEGD urban boundary expansion by 107 hectures to a expansion of 555 net hectures.

The response from property owners in the 107 hectures now excluded is not positive, with numerous landowners suggesting alternatives to the consultants proposed new boundary.

The urban boundary expansion is for the creation of new commercial lands around the airport for growth of airport related and businesses looking for highway access along Highway 6.

Just before approving the AEGD expansion in 2010, Council voted to include lands owned by Ancaster Christian Reform Church in the expansion. The Church plans to offer services such as retreats and offices for Christian organizations. The retreat is intended to be national and the airport proximity is a key part of the plan. The proposed new boundary does not include the Church.

The stakes are high for landowners, being included in the urban boundary means a higher land value and the ability to develop.

A series of letters from neighbours in the area expresses concerns that Starward Homes is seeking to redesign its lands in the area of the airport to residential.

Opponents of the urban boundary expansion expressed concern that if the commercial developments do not occur, the land can eventually be rezoned for new suburban residential development.

1670 Garth mid-rise development

A proposed 14-storey resident mid-rise development on the southwest corner of Garth and Rymal with ground floor commercial will be scaled back to 10-storeys if Council approves the Planning Committee report.

The development is attracting opposition from neighbours, with traffic being a consistent concern.

Both Garth and Rymal are single-lane roads in each direction in the area, despite significant growth in the past decade.

Both roads are slated for urbanization by the City.