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Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 3:03 AM
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Eastgate Sqaure reclad/renovation

Stoney Creek Gateway Ice Centre

Old Stoney Creek Dairies site soon to be condominium.

Pictures by me.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Green space delayed
The Hamilton Spectator
By: Dave Churchill

Stoney Creek residents have been waiting a long time for improvements to a downtown parkette.

Now it seems the wait is going to be a little longer.

The small but prime piece of land at King Street East and Jones Street has been awaiting some improvements for years, said area Councillor Brad Clark, who has publicly laid the blame for recent delays on a contractor from Concord.

The $400,000 project includes an open green space area, a circular walkway with benches, and a mix of trees and shrubs. The work should have been completed by now, Clark said.

"There is a lot of frustration from the community. It's really a small parkette."

Clark said Pine Valley Enterprises had the lowest bid to complete the work but added, "I guess they've had trouble getting a subcontractor."

He said it was his understanding that a subcontractor hired to do stormwater, water tap connections and concrete work walked off the job before the project got under way.

Calls to Pine Valley Enterprises to ask about the delays weren't returned Friday.

While the delay is frustrating, Clark said he is enthusiastic about the impact the project will have on downtown Stoney Creek. Once the parkette is complete, the next big step will be rebuilding King Street, which will be done in consultation with the BIA and local residents.

Clark said the changes to King will help retain a small-town feel. "It's really quite exciting. It will make the downtown much more walkable for residents and tourists."

Ed Strecker, the head of the Olde Stoney Creek Business Improvement Area, said some of the merchants have grown tired of looking at the construction site surrounded by fencing.

"We're trying to tell people we're going to have a beautiful area when it gets done," Strecker said. "We've seen the pictures and it looks great but we just want to see it get done."

Work has been spread out over a number of years with the bulk of the capital cost set for 2014 and 2015.

Draft plans of the streetscape will be unveiled later this year to the BIA's merchants and residents. In 2014, public works will begin upgrading the sewers in advance of the rebuilding of King Street in 2015.

David Zimmer, a senior landscape architect for the city, said the parkette project has had some delays because of weather and other unexpected issues related to stormwater connections at the site.

Getting a subcontractor to complete the concrete work has also been a problem, he said.

"The site is all serviced and the water is in," he said. "Once the concrete gets done, things will move along quickly."

Zimmer expects Pine Valley to be back at the site in the next two weeks.
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2013, 3:04 PM
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CLC defers to others to critique Taro dump redesign
(Stoney Creek News, Richard Leitner, Sept 12 2013)

The Taro industrial dump’s community liaison committee won’t take a stand on owner Newalta Corp.’s bid to pile waste higher at the site, leaving it to others, including the city, to weigh in on the plan’s technical merits.

Citizen members on Monday agreed instead to simply inform the Ministry of the Environment they’re satisfied the public has been consulted and given the chance to comment – although only 10 people have done so thus far.

“We’re not considered to be experts on any of this stuff. We’re here to represent the community,” said Brad Hart, one of three citizen reps. “It wasn’t asked that all of a sudden we become environmental engineers and understand it.”

Area councillor Brad Clark suggested the neutral stand as a way “out of a box” the CLC was in because it didn’t have independent experts to critique the plan, which would limit the site to its current footprint but pile waste 4.5 metres higher than allowed by existing approvals.

He said the CLC has done all it can to ensure people are aware of the plan, including by holding a special meeting in July, insisting all documents be made publicly available and pushing Newalta to extend an initial Aug. 5 deadline for commenting to Sept. 30.

The company also advertised the proposal twice in the Stoney Creek News and circulated flyers to residents within 1.5 kilometres of the site, located at the southwest corner of Upper Centennial Parkway and Green Mountain Road.

“I don’t know what else the CLC could do,”Clark said. “We did reach out as best as we could, and the company did, but the CLC has pushed them to do it.”

Clark said the city is still assessing the proposal, but will likely raise concerns about the new height, potential odor and dust impacts on new homes being built to the north and south, and the scrapping of a planned new entrance off Mud Street.

He said the city’s lawyers are already objecting to the ministry’s view that the redesign is exempt from the Environmental Bill of Rights, which would require broader public consultation and allow any decision to be appealed.

“We think the EBR is being flushed. It’s slowly being dismissed,”Clark said, accusing the provincial Liberal government of putting business interests ahead of the public’s.

“More and more instruments (proposals) are not being filed on the EBR. I don’t even know what it’s worth anymore.”
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Sep 22, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Work set to begin on Taro leash-free dog park
(Stoney Creek News, Sep 12 2013)

Eighteen years after it closed, the former Taro west quarry industrial dump is finally being put to a promised community use with the announcement that work is set to begin on converting the site into a passive park that will include a leash-free area for dogs.

Lorenzo Alfano, site manager for owner Newalta Corp., said the first phase of the project will take about six weeks and start with the creation of pathways at the 23-hectare grassy wasteland, located at the northwest corner ofMud Streetand First Road West.

Work will then turn to the two-hectare dog park, he told the Taro community liaison committee on Monday.

Alfano said if “the weather cooperates,” the entire park will be open by the spring.

The city will maintain both the park and leash-free area, which will be fenced and the biggest ofHamilton’s eight dog parks.

“The biggest thing is obviously the plantings. We want to make sure we don’t put plantings into the ground too late,” Alfano said, citing a bad experience at the neighbouring Heritage Green sports park.

“They (once) planted about 2,000 trees in November and pretty much they were twigs the next year. We do not want the same thing to happen.”
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Sep 22, 2013, 12:56 PM
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New light, speed limit eyed for Upper Centennial Parkway
(Stoney Creek News, Richard Leitner, Sept 19 2013)

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark says he hopes to see Upper Centennial Parkway add a new stoplight at Green Mountain Road by the end of the year as part of an overall plan to slow traffic by new residential development in the area.

Clark said he is preparing to introduce motions at city council this fall for the stoplight and a reduction in the speed limit on Upper Centennial and Mud Street to 60 km/h because the existing limits are no longer appropriate.

The new stoplight is needed, he said, to accommodate traffic generated by the Empire Homes survey being built to the northwest of the intersection on the former Chris Utter Farms property.

“If I had my way I’d have them done before the end of the year, but I don’t think we can get that accomplished,” Clark said of reducing the speed limits on Upper Centennial and Mud to 60 km/h from 80 km/h and 70 km/h, respectively.

“I hope to have the stoplight put in before the end of the year because the issue now is it’s not the people living there, it’s people coming in to consider buying. The fact that they’re not living there is irrelevant, they’re still coming in, lots of customers.”

Clark revealed his traffic plans for the area during discussion of Newalta Corp.’s plans to redesign the Taro dump at last week’s meeting of the site’s community liaison committee.

The redesign would pile waste 4.5 metres higher than allowed by existing approvals in return for limiting the dump to its current footprint – a reduction of 18 hectares.

It would also scrap plans to replace the existing entrance off Upper Centennial with a new one on Mud Street by the new Penny Lane Estates survey.

Clark said the city and Newalta had agreed to the proposed new entrance as a way to reduce the accident hazard posed by slow-moving waste trucks turning into the site on Upper Centennial.

He said the new entrance would see trucks “disappear” into the site via an internal road so that they wouldn’t be lined up on Mud.

Citizen members of the committee were divided on the new entrance.

“If I was in Penny Lane Estates and I lived in that area, I’d prefer that the entrance stayed out on Centennial,” Brad Hart said. “To me, it just makes so much more sense to keep the entrance out of a residential area.”

But Randy Valchuk said in his discussions with neighbours he’s found that how people feel about the entrance’s location depends on how often they use Mud or Upper Centennial, formerly known as Highway 20.

He said he’s concerned the redesign will only add traffic to the dump because of a plan to fill the foregone 18 hectares of quarry with clean fill.

“When I come up Highway 20 and almost see somebody slamming into the back of the truck all the time, especially when they’re turning just before the Pioneer (gas station) when people are coming up, it’s actually scary coming up Highway 20 with those trucks coming up there,” Valchuk said.

Newalta communications director Greg Jones said the redesign is projected to result in an additional 12 truck trips to the dump per day for a total average of 97.

That’s still well below the 250 allowed by the site’s licence, he said.

Clark said afterwards he believes Newalta is using opposition to the new entrance to “leverage” community support for the redesign, which he fears will only increase dust and odour issues, especially at the Empire Homes survey.

“It’s really not fair for that community,” he said. “If I had known as a councillor that they were going to be doing that before we approved Empire, I would have fought vigorously to not approve Empire for 10 years.”

The public has until Sept. 30 to comment on the redesign. Newalta has posted more information on the plan at www.newalta.com\landfilldesign.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Sep 22, 2013, 11:51 PM
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And the final stages of the Upper James-ification of Upper Centennial begin.
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Old Posted Oct 7, 2013, 5:47 PM
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Officials unveil $25-million arena complex
(Stoney Creek News, Mike Pearson, Oct 7 2013)

After six months of user feedback, the reviews are looking good for the Gateway Ice Centre.

The 128,000 square-foot, three pad facility held a grand opening on Saturday to showcase its three NHL-sized ice rinks, 8,000-square-foot Five-Star Fitness and Nutrition Centre plus a Don Cherry’s Sports Grill with a panoramic rink view.

Gateway co-owner and president Danny Trombetta has heard many positive comments from users so far.

“It’s spectacular. It’s beautiful. Its a go-to destination,” he said.

Located at the corner of South Service and Fruitland roads, the $25-million complex will host the 2014 Esso Cup, which will feature the country’s best midget girls hockey teams next April. Sports tenants include the Stoney Creek Girls Hockey Association, Steel City Hockey Development Program, the Gateway Ice Centre Figure Skating Program and the new Senior AAA expansion franchise, the Stoney Creek Generals. Local fans will get their first opportunity to see the Generals in action when the team faces off for its first preseason game on Oct. 20. The Generals will play the majority of their home games on Sunday afternoons.

Gateway officials are already poised for further expansion. The current three pad complex can be expanded to four. A three-storey commercial addition is also in the works.

Gateway project manager Tony Falasca said the commercial space would be marketed towards sports-related tenants. Falasca’s goals include attracting a hockey development school, sports agency and a sports injury rehabilitation centre. The commercial expansion would also feature a community meeting room.

Trombetta hopes to have the fourth ice pad built by September, 2014....

Gateway’s rink one includes a skybox viewing area, a professional style overhead scoreboard, 7,000 watt sound system and a glassed viewing area from Don Cherry’s Sports Grill. Rink one has a seating capacity of 1,400 in a bowl shape around the ice. Rinks two and three seat 400 each. Bleacher style seating is arranged in two rows with safety glass and netting to protect fans.

Infrared indirect heating is used for climate control, with an oversized dehumidication system to reduce fog in the viewing areas.

Rink two features a rubberized wraparound running track with five sprinting lanes. A pro shop includes skate sharpening and free WiFi access.

Rink three is slightly smaller than the other two NHL-sized surfaces. It is used primarily as a figure skating practice rink.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2013, 8:24 PM
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Hamilton begins to transform Confederation Park
(Stoney Creek News, Kevin Werner, Oct 7 2013)

The multi-million-dollar makeover of Confederation Park, which may include honouring the iconic War of 1812 ships, the Hamilton and Scourge, should begin later this year.

Members of the public works committee approved at their Oct. 7 meeting, cutting down 76 existing trees at the park’s Stoney Creek Pond area. An additional 28 trees that are in poor condition or are invasive species will also be cut down.

The work will allow city staff to build another kilometer of trail, which is an important aspect to the $80-million Confederation Park master plan project that council approved earlier in 2010. A public information session to outline the draft uses of the project was presented to the community in December 2012.

The plan includes constructing a Class ‘A’ 6-metre asphalt paved trail that would connect with the Lake Ontario Trail system. The new trail will provide an additional 790 metres of trail and an accessible observation platform. An existing 1.5-metre granular trail along the eastern shoreline of the Stoney Creek Pond will be maintained. It’s expected to cost about $5,000 annually to maintain the trail.

About 80 per cent of the trail will be constructed on existing roadways within the park. A portion of Confederation Drive, for instance, will be converted into trail and to for service vehicle use only. About 20 per cent of the trail will be constructed through the forested area.

Ward 5 councillor Chad Collins said construction on the trail should begin later this year, and be fully available to the public by next year.

It’s expected to cost just over $100,000 to remove the trees, but $36,300 will be offset for the new tree plantings.

But the trail project is only the beginning of what will be a multi-year project to rejuvenate the 93-hectare Confederation Park so it becomes a destination point for people.

“I want to have something going on every year at the park,” said Collins.

He said about $3 million has been allocated in the 2014 budget for the park.

Collins said he will be securing the estimated $7 million to construct the sports park around the 5.8-hectare Stoney Creek Pond area, and eradicate the former campground site, identified in the master plan. The sports field area, which will include a cricket pitch, two intermediate soccer fields that can be changed into a junior cricket pitch, an on-site parking lot, washrooms, and new tree plantings, was one of the new additions to the uses of the park that had area residents applauding.

The Stoney Creek Pond is near an adjacent forest and is designated as a local natural area under the city’s urban official plan.

Collins said the cost for the sports park will be comparable to the Heritage Green sports complex on Upper Stoney Creek.

But the $7 million will only be a portion of the $80 million that will be spent on renovating Confederation Park. The master plan recommends creating a year-round, multi-use facility for the public that proposes relocating the go-kart facility from the west end to a more central facility; eliminating the greenhouse; building a new main entrance at the end of Centennial Parkway; allowing public transit access within the park; partnering with the private sector to open some commercial ventures, such as a restaurant; and allowing winter activities, such as an ice skating area.

The park attracts about 1,200 visitors a day, and about 250,000 people in a year. Collins suggests that as the park transforms into a more user-friendly area, it could conceivably see over 1 million people take part in activities in the facility.

He will also be securing money for a new entrance from the North Service Road, and the relocation of the park’s main entrance. Collins said he will be talking to residents along Grays Road to mitigate any parking and traffic issues in their area.

What Collins also envisions is to redevelop the park to honour the War of 1812 ships Hamilton and Scourge, which he says have been forgotten by the city and residents.

“We have undervalued the importance of those ships,” said Collins.

He said there was initial excitement within the community when the ships were discovered in Lake Ontario in 1975. And that positive feeling remained when they were featured on the cover of the National Geographic magazine. But Collins said over the years, even during the War of 1812 celebrations, the Hamilton and Scourge have been, if not forgotten, at least muted in their importance to the community. A memorial area in the park for the Hamilton and Scourge sailors who lost their lives is tucked away, hidden from view by the trees and buildings.

Collins is suggesting a design contest be held to create a new entrance to the park. He wants to keep with the nautical theme throughout the park, and incorporate the new design into signs, and information areas.

Collins helped to create the nautical theme entrances to Bayfront Park, and along the Waterfront. The sculpture design at Pier 4 with the sale being held down by individuals has become a distinctive scene for the Hamilton area. Collins wants the same thing to happen for the newly designed Confederation Park renovation.

“It’s important to have a significant gateway entrance for the park,” said Collins.

“I would like to see the park celebrate the Hamilton and Scourge, and identify with it.”
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan

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Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 4:11 PM
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"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan

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Old Posted Nov 15, 2013, 2:49 AM
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Devil’s Punchbowl to get brighter, energy-efficient cross
(Stoney Creek News, Nov 13 2013)

Tony Goemans loved to hike the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area, making it part of a daily round trip that he and his dog took from their Battlefield Drive home for nearly 15 years – one that took precisely 42 minutes.

Now, the upper Stoney Creek park’s iconic cross will burn more brightly in the memory of Goemans, founder of the successful appliance-store chain that bears his name, thanks to a $50,000 donation from his family.

The money will allow the Hamilton Conservation Authority to replace the deteriorating cross with a brighter, more energy efficient one and make other improvements to the surrounding landscape and amenities.

Son Jason Goemans said the donation on behalf of his dad, who died from melanoma in August at age 66, acknowledges the joy the Devil’s Punchbowl brought his entire family.

He said an annual, supplemental donation will keep the cross powered and help remove the parking meter to make the area more of a visitor destination.

“That area represents a lot of good times, a lot of good memories and we just want to offer a small token of our appreciation,” Jason Goemans said.

“It really is un underutilized resource that a lot of people don’t know. There’s all kinds of wildlife, birds,” he said. “The vistas of the city really are fantastic.”
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2013, 2:52 AM
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Second time the charm for Fruitland-Winona plan?
(Stoney Creek News, Kevin Werner, Nov 13 2013)

The Stoney Creek community will get a do-over to dissect the controversial Winona-Fruitland Secondary Plan next week after city councillors approved the document last June.

But the outcome should be the same, with the document, which is a blueprint for the future growth of the Winona and Fruitland area, heading to the Ontario Municipal Board to decide its future.

Stoney Creek councillor Brenda Johnson said she has been consulting with planning staff about the problem areas of the plan, such as building height. But she is still prepared to oppose the document just as she originally did five months ago.

The secondary plan was thrown back to the municipality again in September because of a bureaucratic mix-up. When the Ontario Municipal Board approved most of Hamilton’s urban Official Plan in September it meant the official plans of the former suburban areas, including for Stoney Creek, were rendered null and void.

So the Winona-Fruitland Road Secondary Plan has to go through the city planning process again, including holding a public meeting and having councillors vote on it, to add it to the city’s new Official Plan.

The secondary plan is scheduled for discussion at the Nov. 19 planning committee meeting, starting at 9:30 a.m.

At the insistence of Johnson, the meeting is being held at the former Stoney Creek city hall on Jones Road to accommodate what is expected to be a large number of interested local residents who will turn out for the debate.

City planning officials said the substance of the secondary plan will not change. After a contentious and long public meeting in June, councillors approved the plan. An OMB date had already been scheduled in the fall after 16 appellants appealed council’s decision.

Johnson expressed some concerns that opponents of the secondary plan will use the bureaucratic confusion to their advantage in an attempt to overturn council’s decision.

But city planning staff said they followed proper planning procedures.

The controversial secondary plan, which was first proposed in 2007, has created a lot of hard feelings within the Winona and Fruitland Road areas.

Residents have opposed such planning ideas as increasing the density within the area, especially along Barton Street, the possible harm to the area’s tender fruit farmers, and realigning Fruitland Road to the east.

The plan also includes a gateway feature, a Winona Road commercial area, and boosts the density for the area by 73 people and jobs per hectare in an attempt to accommodate about 21,000 more people. The plan will immediately impact the lands bordered by Fruitland and Fifty roads, and Barton Street to Highway 8.

Opponents have stated the plan will destroy the small-town lifestyle of the area, increase traffic, and contribute to more health and safety issues.

During the June public meeting over 100 people packed city hall’s council chambers in protest of the plan. They were particularly incensed at having a document that would allow six-storey apartments along Barton Street and four-storey buildings along other streets in the Fruitland-Winona area. A petition, which had about 400 signatures, was also presented to councillors in opposition to the document.

Politicians did narrowly prohibit six-storey buildings after residents complained about a “wall of apartment buildings.”

A Stoney Creek Urban Boundary Expansion community advisory committee, chaired by resident Cal DiFalco and created in 2007, had recommended a revised secondary plan in 2009. But city officials rejected the committee’s recommendations and suggested their own plan for the area. City officials rejected the committee’s ideas.

DiFalco said at the public meeting members felt they were ignored by the city after they spent two years of their time trying to create a proper planning document for their community.

“The plan has lost its way,” said DiFalco.

Developers, though, have applauded the plan. They described it as “balancing” the needs of the community, and they have assured the community there is no market demand for apartments along Barton Street.

The entire plan is available to people to view at the city’s website www.hamilton.ca/fruitland-winona. People can also see the document at the Stoney Creek Municipal Service Centre.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2013, 6:51 AM
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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Opponents have stated the plan will destroy the small-town lifestyle of the area, increase traffic, and contribute to more health and safety issues.
With all due respect to their opinions, I still don't understand the opposition. "Small town" doesn't really exist in Winona - between the Hwy 8 "village" and Barton St. is mostly subdivision development. It does not say small town as it is, not to me anyway.
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Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 1:06 PM
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Plan to grow Fruitland-Winona by 21,000 people postponed
(CBC Hamilton, Samantha Craggs, Nov 20 2013)

A plan that would see the Fruitland and Winona area grow by as much as 21,000 residents in the next 20 years has been postponed a little longer.

At a marathon meeting Tuesday that included emotional pleas from residents, the city’s planning committee voted to table the Fruitland-Winona Secondary plan — also known as Stoney Creek Urban Boundary Expansion (SCUBE) — until March.

In that time, Coun. Brenda Johnson of Ward 11 will work with residents to try to address some of the fears brought up by a crowd of about 200 at Tuesday’s meeting. Those fears includes population density, traffic and the location of parks and other amenities.

"This is an excellent opportunity for us,” Johnson said after the meeting. “We get another chance to try and resolve some issues that weren't working.”

The plan, which lays out where in the Winona area future development can occur, has been in the works for years. The city actually approved the SCUBE plan — complete with a public consultation process — in June. But shortly after that, the province approved the city’s new Urban Hamilton Official Plan, which cancelled out the Fruitland-Winona one. Now council must go through the process and approve it again.

The community still has several worries. Among them: the character of the neighbourhood, the influx of traffic, and what impact buildings as high as four stories would have on tender fruit growers....

Whatever the city decides, the ultimate SCUBE plan will likely be determined at the Ontario Municipal Board, said Coun. Chad Collins. About 16 residents and organizations appealed the plan in June.

“Whatever changes we make, this plan will still go to the OMB,” he said. “But if there’s an opportunity to meet people halfway, let’s do it.”

The city needs to make a decision though, he said. For Hamilton to keep growing, developers need land.

"We need to have so much in our inventory in terms of developable land to compete with the Oakvilles and the Miltons and the Grimsbies who are offering that kind of housing stock," he said.

"If we want to see the kind of development we've seen continue over the next number of years, we need something to be able to sell to get people to move to Hamilton."
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2013, 6:03 PM
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Clark calls Taro redesign OK sellout to ‘corporate interests’
(Stoney Creek News, Richard Leitner, Dec 5 2013)

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark is accusing the province of selling out the environment to “corporate interests” with the approval of a plan to raise the Taro dump’s height by nearly a third over the city’s objections.

Owner Newalta Corp. received Ministry of the Environment permission on Nov. 22 to proceed with the redesign, which Clark has predicted will leave neighbours staring at “mountain of crap” and experiencing more offsite dust and other nuisances.

But Greg Jones, the company’s communications director, said the decision reflects Newalta’s success in consulting the community on the plan over the summer and addressing any concerns.

In return for permission to pile waste 4.5 metres higher than originally approved in 1996, Newalta has vowed to limit the site to its existing footprint and use clean fill to bring a remaining 18 hectares of empty quarry by Green Mountain Road up to grade.

The change reduces the dump’s original area by about one-quarter, but it will now rise to 18.45 metres, or 60.5 feet, above ground level at its highest point. That’s up from the old limit of just shy of 14 metres, or nearly 46 feet.

“Like we stated all along, we think that it’s a beneficial thing, not just for us, but, in the long term, for the community and the environment,” Jones said.

Newalta has argued the smaller footprint will cut the volume of leachate the dump sends into the sewer by one-quarter, while benefitting neighbours by increasing the distance between waste and homes being built to the north.

The change also eliminates plans for a new entrance off Mud Street across from Penny Lane Estates.

But Clark, who was unaware of the approval until contacted by a reporter, said if the ministry were truly interested in public consultation on the redesign, it would have subjected it to an independent review.

The ministry instead deemed the plan a “technical amendment” to the dump’s operating licence, exempting it from an appeal process under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights.

“The Ministry of the Environment, in my opinion, has become nothing more than a public relations body for the government,”Clark said. “They’re not protecting the environment. It’s all about protecting the corporate interests.”

The approval comes as Newalta has filed a new application seeking ministry permission to expand the service area of a Hamilton plant that ships waste to Taro to all of North America.

Jones said the Brant Street transfer station can presently only accept waste from Ontario and the change would allow it to take shipments from Newalta facilities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The company’s other Hamilton plant, located on Imperial Street, already services North America. Unlike Brant Street, it treats hazardous wastes, including to render them acceptable for disposal at Taro, licensed for sold, non-hazardous waste.

Jones said the Brant Street plant’s economic viability has been undercut by last year’s successful application to allow Taro to take wastes that don’t require processing directly from anywhere in Ontario.

The dump had previously only been permitted to accept wastes directly from locations in Hamilton, which required all outside shipments to first go to Brant or Imperial streets.

“For the most part, Brant Street’s been taken out of the equation, in terms of what we send to the landfill, so we needed to find a use for it,” Jones said.

“It’s primarily for our own materials, to keep things in-house that currently we might have to go elsewhere with.”

But Clark said he sees the application as the first step in Newalta coming up “with some cockamamie scheme” to fill the unused 18 hectares of quarry with more waste.

He said the application is especially galling because during the site’s approval amid vociferous opposition, people were repeatedly told it was needed to serve local industry.

“Now we can see that’s bull,” Clark said. “Why the hell should Hamilton receive Quebec’s waste? And how do we even know that the Quebec environmental process is akin to ours?”

Unlike with the dump redesign, the Brant Street application has been posted on the environmental registry, which makes the ministry’s decision subject to appeal. The public has until Jan. 6 to comment.

Geoffrey Knapper, district manager of the ministry’s Hamilton office, said the decision to exempt the redesign was made by the approvals branch in Toronto and likely reflects that the dump already underwent an environmental assessment in 1996.

The Brant Street plant, by contrast, significantly changes the intended use from when its licence was approved, he said.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2013, 7:24 PM
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Stoney Creek Parkette construction update:

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Old Posted Dec 19, 2013, 11:30 PM
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Taro dump’s CLC kept in dark on Newalta waste bid
(Stoney Creek News, Richard Leitner, Dec 19 2013)

Newalta Corp. says there’s nothing “nefarious” about its decision to keep Taro’s community liaison committee in the dark about a proposed licence change at a north-end plant that could see more imported industrial waste go to the dump.
Communications director Greg Jones said the company didn’t raise the matter at the CLC’s Dec. 2 meeting because it’s “not related to the landfill’s operations.”

Newalta is seeking the Ministry of the Environment’s approval to expand its Brant Street transfer station’s service area, currently limited to Ontario, to all of North America.

The public has until Jan. 6 to comment on the application, posted on the province’s environmental registry on Nov. 22, the same day Newalta received ministry approval to raise the quarry dump’s height by nearly a third.

In return for the latter change, the company will limit the site to its existing footprint and vows to use clean fill to bring a remaining 18 hectares of empty quarry up to grade.

“It’s not something that is material to the landfill’s operations. It’s a separate facility and so we didn’t think to bring it up,” Jones said of the Brant Street bid. “It appears to me that people are looking for something nefarious here, but that’s not the case.”

Among the mandates of the CLC, according to its terms of reference, is to “review, comment and make recommendations on applications for new or revised proposals pertaining to the (dump) site.”

John Williams, the CLC’s citizen chair, said he “absolutely” believes the Brant Street application should have been raised if Taro is the end destination for shipments received there.

Newalta says the broader service area will allow it to take loads from other company operations, primarily in Quebec, where disposal charges are much higher than here.

“It’s quite the change; that’s a long way,” said Williams, adding he plans to get more details on the proposal and make sure other citizen members know of the Jan. 6 deadline so they can submit comments if they wish.

“Effectively we’ll just operate as informed citizens ourselves.”

Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark, who is a CLC member but was unable to make the Dec. 2 meeting, called Newalta’s assertion the Brant Street plant isn’t related to the dump “nonsense.”

The plant can receive up to 8,000 tonnes of waste per day and will “significantly increase” the number of truckloads and imported waste going to Taro if the licence change is approved, he said.

“There is no rational explanation as to why they would not have informed the CLC and it is nonsense that their application is not going to impact the landfill,”Clark said. “I think they’re playing a semantic game to try to avoid public scrutiny.”

The application is also prompting the head of Environment Hamilton to question if Newalta is betraying an earlier commitment to reduce truck traffic in the north end.

Lynda Lukasik said cutting truck trips to and from the Brant Street plant was one of the key justifications the company gave when it successfully applied last year to expand the dump’s own service area to all of Ontario.

Taro had previously only been allowed to take waste directly from locations within Hamilton, requiring any shipment from elsewhere in Ontario to go to Brant Street.

Lukasik said any benefit the north end saw from the change to Taro’s service area “kind of gets cancelled out” if the Brant Street change is approved.

At open houses in the summer of 2012, Newalta said letting Ontario waste go directly to Taro would eliminate about 35,000 truck trips to and from Brant Street per year, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 135 tonnes.

Lukasik said she wonders if Brant Street will once again periodically “have trucks lined up around the corner onto Burlington Street waiting to get in,” as in the past.

She said the application also seems like “an end run” around Taro’s service-area restrictions, effectively making it a dump for North American waste, contrary to promises it would be used for local waste when the site was approved without public hearings in 1996.

Another Newalta plant on Imperial Street that uses cement and other treatments to render hazardous waste suitable for disposal at Taro can already take North American waste.

“Does that (Taro service area) serve an important purpose, and if it does, then is this sort of approach problematic?” Lukasik said. “If it doesn’t serve an important purpose, what is the point of it? That’s the fundamental question we need to be asking.”

But Jones said the change will merely see Brant Street take Quebec waste that presently goes to Imperial Street and doesn’t need processing, relieving traffic bottlenecks at the latter.

Brant Street will only take four or five loads per week on average, he said, rejecting that Newalta is doing an end run around Taro’s service area restrictions.

“It’s no different than the situation we had with Brant Street before,” he said of the period before Taro could take waste directly from Ontario locations outside of Hamilton.

But Clark said he sees the application as a step toward Newalta eventually seeking approval to fill Taro’s remaining 18 hectares of empty quarry with waste.

He said the city’s lawyers are drafting an official comment, but he doesn’t believe the company would go through the trouble and expense of changing Brant Street’s licence for four or five loads per week.

“That’s ridiculous and that again is just spin,”Clark said. “There’s a lack of trust now for me because the company keeps saying one thing and doing something else.”

Details of the application are available at ebr.gov.on.ca. The EBR registry number is 012-0499.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 2:37 AM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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I just want to apologise to Stoney Creek. I was looking around google street view and the downtown is much nicer than I'd thought. I think Dundas is still a bit nicer, but it's a decent showing nonetheless.
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2014, 3:17 AM
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Expect an OMB showdown on Fruitland Winona secondary plan
(Stoney Creek News, Mike Pearson, Feb 19 2014)

Despite assurances that homeowners’ properties won’t be expropriated for parkland, the city should expect a showdown at the Ontario Municipal Board over the newly revised Fruitland Winona secondary plan.

During a Feb. 6 community meeting, Ward 11 councillor Brenda Johnson said she plans to introduce a motion at the April 15 planning committee meeting to prohibit the city from expropriating land to create a community park. City planning staff is also looking at reducing the height requirements for developments along Barton Street. It has already been reduced from six to four storeys.

But Cal DiFalco, chair of a now-dissolved community advisory committee, said the city is still attempting to force a wrong-headed plan on the community that will increase building densities, boost congestion, create higher traffic volumes, and have a negative impact on tender fruit farming.

If the new plan wins the support of Hamilton’s planning committee and city councillors, DiFalco plans to be among those who will challenge the document through an OMB appeal. DiFalco has unsuccessfully urged the city to return to a plan the committee initially endorsed in 2009.

DiFalco was among dozens of area residents who attended the open house and public information session for the secondary plan, held at Winona Vine Estates....

Fruitland Road residents have continued to oppose the secondary plan, arguing the proposed bypass from Barton to an unknown intersection on Highway 8 is wrong and should revert back to the 1992 plan that included dead-ending Fruitland Road.

On Feb. 28, the open house and public information centre feedback report will be posted on the city website. A staff report on the secondary plan will be released on March 31.

The plan will be presented for approval at an April 15 planning committee meeting and an April 23 council meeting.

Read it in full here.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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Old Posted Apr 3, 2014, 4:21 PM
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Stoney Creek’s King Street set for $6.5-million facelift in 2015

By Laura Lennie

An extensive stretch of King Street is getting a much-needed makeover next year.

Battlefield Drive to Applewood Avenue will see road reconstruction, sidewalk, streetlight and water main replacement, as well as sewer repair. The bridge above Stoney Creek, just past Elm Avenue on King Street East, will also get a new deck, sidewalks and railings.

Work on the $6.5-million capital project is expected to begin in March 2015 and will continue until December 2015.

City design manager Susan Jacob said the area's infrastructure is in "poor condition" and needs to be "rehabilitated."

"The sequence of construction is not known at this time," she said. "Once the contractor and the finalized scope have been established, the city will work with them to produce a work sequence."

Jacob said the city is currently working on a detailed design of the project.

The work's impact on commuters travelling through the busy stretch has not been determined, she added.

"All inconveniences are not known at this time," Jacob said. "There will be a public meeting in the future to discuss the impacts to the drivers and buses during the time of construction."

Hamilton Community News

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Old Posted Apr 24, 2014, 4:04 PM
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Council votes to add 15,000 residents to Fruitland-Winona
(CBC Hamilton, Samantha Craggs, Apr 24 2014)

It’s been years of fear and concern, debate and public meetings. But the city has finally approved a controversial plan to grow the Fruitland and Winona area by 15,000 people over the next 20 years.

City council voted Wednesday to move ahead with the Fruitland-Winona Secondary Plan, a sweeping blueprint that maps out future commercial and residential growth. The plan would expand Hamilton’s urban boundary into a partially rural area that contains tender fruit farms.

The plan has been a source of anxiety for some Fruitland and Winona residents, who fear issues such as loss of community character, traffic and the impact on agriculture. Coun. Brenda Johnson of Ward 11 was one of two councillors to vote against it on Wednesday.

“It’s dragged the community through a horrible ordeal,” she said. “I’ve met people at their kitchen tables. I’ve met people in their living rooms, in their backyards, in their front yards.”

The plan, also known as the Stoney Creek Urban Boundary Expansion (SCUBE), has been in the works for years. The city actually approved the plan — complete with a public consultation process — in June.

But shortly after that, the province approved the city’s new Urban Hamilton Official Plan, which cancelled out the Fruitland-Winona one. So council had to go through the process and approve it again.

Read it in full here.
"Where architectural imagination is absent, the case is hopeless." - Louis Sullivan
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