As expected, City Councillors voted down a proposal from Shoppers Drug Mart to redevelop their Main and Dundurn plaza location. However, the developer hints he’s about to make a new offer to City Council this fall.
“The proposed development does not represent an example of transit oriented development that supports public transit and pedestrianism,” states City planning staff in their report calling on Council to reject a projected redevelopment of the Dundurn and King Shoppers Drug Mart / Tim Hortons plaza.
The proposed development is currently scheduled for an Ontario Municipal Board hearing that will begin on February 4, 2015.In what will be the first major challenge to the new Urban Hamilton Official Plan, the developer appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board for “non-decision” after the planning process took more than 120 days. Most files of the complexity of the Dundurn/King proposal take more than 180 days and appeals to the Ontario Municipal for “non-decision” are not common.
Developers usually go to the OMB for non-decision when facing a Council vote against their project.
This vote gives Council the opportunity to take an official position on the developer to enable the City’s legal staff to properly represent the City at the OMB hearing.
The development was submitted to the City in August 2012, staff worked with the developer to make changes to the proposal and in August 2013 a revised concept plan was submitted. During this time, the new Urban Hamilton Official Plan was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board and most provisions of the new plan were implemented.
The new Strathcona Secondary Plan was completed and approved by Council in October 2013 – the new Secondary Plan meant the developer would have to seek an amendment for the proposed use as it involved larger townhomes than zoning provisions along Head Street.
On September 16, 2013, the developer appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, bypassing the public process at City Council, under the provision requiring Council to decided within 180 days of receiving a completed application.
The plan is for a larger Shoppers Drug Mart behind the current smaller Shoppers, a moving of the Tim Hortons to the front of the property at King and Dundurn bordering the present bus stop, and the addition of eight town-home condominiums behind the Shoppers facing onto Head Street.The town-home condominiums are being opposed by staff as their height is greater than the character of Head Street.
Transit HubThis corner is a key node in the City’s east-west transit-oriented development plan. When the B-Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) line goes ahead, it will be an important transit hub.
The proposed development is not in keeping with the City’s vision for the transit hub, a factor in the staff recommendation to reject the proposal.
Further, it is already a major GO Transit bus stop.
Late in the Agenda
This item is the last public hearing item on the Planning Committee agenda and will likely not be heard until mid-afternoon.