For those of you who have been awaiting the long outstanding City of Hamilton engineering guidelines, and haven’t been able to attend Development Council, here’s a bit of an update regarding the Engineering Guidelines.
A number of us met over the fall and January with City staff to hash out changes to the guidelines. A big thank you to past presidents Adi Irani and Steve Spicer for their attendance at these meetings, and to engineers Steve Frankovich and Steve Roorda for their participation and contributions. Sadly, one of our main items, the issue of the 18m ROW was last on the list, and we have been advised that regardless of our position, the fact that their own consultant proposed a viable option, and that most other municipalities offer smaller road options for local roads, the City will no longer be accepting 18m ROWs.
So, please, if you are speaking with a local councillor, explain what this means! During a presentation I made to Planning Committee in the fall, councillors noted concerns with this meaning less road parking, which is NOT the case. The actual asphalt is no different in an 18m ROW and a 20m ROW. The boulevard width is the same. The lost property taxes are estimated to be over $135,000 per year based on new houses constructed on new streets. So year two would see a loss of $270,000, etc. Not to mention the use of 1.2ha of land unnecessarily each year, the cost of which is borne yet again by the new home buyer, and that this is not in keeping with best use of greenfield lands.
The guidelines are expected to go to committee for approval early this spring. We are awaiting a final draft for review of agreed upon changes, and a “parking lot list” of items to be addressed in future reviews.