Tell City Council and staff: NO to their proposed Secondary Plan for downtown Hamilton
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This petition is the result of discussions that people had at an event at the Hamilton Public Library on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Over 200 Hamiltonians came out to listen to residents present their concerns about the City’s proposal to change its Secondary Plan and to discuss how those changes would impact the downtown core. These concerns were recorded and serve as the foundation for this petition.
This petition isn’t all that people had to say about their downtown and what they want for Hamilton. We have also compiled a position statement which outlines some more of the specifics and some of the reasons why people identified certain things as being important to put in a petition - they go together.
We ask you to sign this petition to let the City of Hamilton know that you support a people’s plan for downtown and the broad concerns outlined below.
We want the public meeting currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 9:30 AM to be held at a time later in the day so that more people can attend. We also ask that you structure the agenda in order to assign delegates to a specific order and set a strict start time for delegations so that people will know approximately when they will be speaking.
FRAMEWORK and GUIDELINES
We want City Council to withhold approval of the draft Secondary Plan until City staff have prepared a new draft that includes an enforceable Framework that governs the implementation of the Secondary Plan and we want a set of specific Guidelines as part of that Framework.
City staff have prepared “Tall Building Guidelines” which are meant to regulate the form of new tall buildings. In the same way, we want City staff to prepare Guidelines that address each of the following communities (see the position statement for detail on this): Accessibility, Art, Environment, Heritage, Immigration/Refugees, Music, Neighbourhoods, Social Agencies, Small Business, and Tenants.
It may be useful for some of this to come in the form of Sustainability and Accessibility Guidelines and for some of this to be part of a “Social Impact Assessment”.
Some of the overarching issues that continued to come up were (by no means is this an exhaustive list):
- Affordable housing that’s geared to income rather than market rates
- Discretionary height limits as a way to leverage community benefits, including affordable housing
- Mandatory inclusionary zoning
- Tax incentives and grants for vulnerable communities
- Protection of heritage properties, music venues, and other vulnerable buildings
We want more City staff hired to support the Framework, Guidelines, and Secondary Plan. There are not currently enough City resources in place to deal with the scope of the plan. It’s not reasonable for residents (volunteers) to be expected to continue to bear the burden of managing the issues associated with development and to be the ones fighting for community benefits on a case-by-case basis.
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