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Councillor Johnson “Council Comments” SCUBE

The following are Councillor Johnson comments that she made at the June 12th, 2013 Meeting of Council.   This is the meeting where the motions of the June 4th Planning Committee received final approval.

Thank you, this is regarding the Stoney Creek Urban Boundary Expansion.

 I am requesting a standing recorded vote as I want to be recorded as opposed in part to the secondary plan

Firstly, I want to thank all the volunteers who spent endless hours with the Committee Advisory Committee. This committee began in 2007 and ended in 2009.

I am grateful to everyone who took the time to attend the community meeting held on May 23rd (over 300 people showed up and many were turned away).

To those who wrote, signed petitions and spoke at the planning committee meeting asking this council to oppose the secondary plan.  Your input was appreciated

Lastly, I want to say thank you to my planning committee colleagues who sat through a 10 hour marathon meeting to hear over 30 speakers who took the day off to attend the June 4th meeting.

I also want to say that it is unfortunate that the majority of the people who spoke were misled about the city expropriating their land to demolish their homes and erect 6-storey apt buildings. Whoever told the residents this was doing so to convince the general public the secondary plan should be voted down in its entirety.

I am opposing this plan for 3 reasons only.

Reason #1

We all have unique communities within our wards. Keith neighbours beach boulevard history Special events 1812, heritage days, supercrawl Historical monuments such as Dundurn Castle, Whitehearn

Winona and Fruitland are unique communities as well. Winona/Fruitland communities sit in the narrowest strip of land between the escarpment andLakeOntario within theHamilton boundaries. The farming community benefit from those topical characteristics, it’s called micro climate.

We are known for the Peach Festival for a reason. We grow peaches. In fact, we are surrounded by tender fruit farming.

If you and your family were to take a drive down #8 starting now and into October, you can buy or pick your own strawberries, cherries, grapes and yes peaches.

Discuss Air drainage warm in the winter, cools down the summer and enhances tender fruit farming. 

We had farmers write in to express their concerns about the height of the proposed building and also spoke to this issue on June 4th . The farmers are asking the city to limit the height restrictions and placement of the units to allow the Mother Nature to do her job. In response to this concern, the staff have implemented a clause in the secondary plan that each application must have a study to prove it will not harm these conditions.

Let me talk about how we got our compromised air shed in Hamilton. Smoke stack theory.  For these reasons, we need height restrictions

The province has spent billions of dollars to ensure we protect our greenspace and agriculture lands through the Greenbelt Legislation and the Niagara Escarpment Commission.

I remember when it was announced in a GIC that the agriculture business contributes over $1.26 billion to this area and how impressed you all seemed. We can’t talk out of both sides of our mouth. Yes we brag we have a vibrant agriculture and even go to great lengths to protect our horse racing industry as we should. Then neglect the fruit farming industry would be a travesty.  .

#2 reason,

I have stated numerous times that the placement of the community park with 2 elementary schools to create a “campus like atmosphere” is setting us up for failure.

It seems, every time I stated my reasons for moving this location, the staff would have another meeting with me and included more staff.

This community park was placed in the secondary plan before theAllianceChurchwas purchased in Ward 10 which is separated from Ward 11 viaFruitland Road. The Ward 10 community park location is a stone’s throw away from the proposed park and rec centre. We will not be able to prove there is a need for a rec centre and community park when there is now a newly purchased community centre and park less than ½ kilometer away.

“If” and that is a big “if” the community park is in this location with the 2 schools, what happens when the schools decide to close, we are setting up the future council to respond to that void in the neighbourhoods to maintain the “campus”.

My colleague was quoted in the paper as “like a gun put to our heads” responding to school closures and he is absolutely correct.

I want those amenities either moved to different locations or broken up into smaller parks to ensure success at the end of the day.

Reason #3

The location of the collector road A does not leave the community with any reassurance or comfort as it hasn’t been decided where is will go.

Long history around this by-pass for theFruitland Roadwhich I could not get my hands on and I thank Councillor Pearson for this information.

In 1992, the region of Hamilton Wentworth put money aside and firmed up the plans for the by-pass. A bump up was requested and it took a number of years to complete. The by-pass was designed to start just south on the south east corner of Fruitland and Barton Streets and end at #8hwy. To ensure this by-pass was constructed in that area, property was purchased by the former municipality. In 2000, the newly amalgamated city put a hold on all major projects and a new priority list was created. The money for this by-pass was put into the pot to fund the new priority list. Fruitland by-pass either did not make the list or at least not at the top. In the meantime, the EA expired.

Now in 2007, theCACwas created and all three concepts show the original placement of the by-pass. InJune 24, 2010, this secondary plan was shown to the public and the by-pass had changed direction.

The public repeatedly asked, “Why did the direction of the by-pass change” and the answer was always, the EA expired and this is what we are proposing.

We need to provide solid answers to a reasonable question.

Finally Mr. Deputy Mayor

I know this secondary plan was worked on exhaustively and presented to the public before I came on council.  I also appreciate everybody’s frustration with the process. If it was to be done all over again, I would guarantee the outcome would be different.

If anyone of you had the opportunity to wave a magic wand over your most problematic areas of your ward, you would all jump at the chance in a heartbeat.

This secondary plan is proposing to expand (by 2 ½ times) the Winona Fruitland community.

We have the opportunity today to address the most obvious problematic issues before they will end up costing us our resources tomorrow.

We heard loud and clear that this plan is going to be challenged at the OMB.  We will be attending this hearing, my position is that we go into this hearing supporting the public’s concerns as lowering the height will be keeping with the Places to Grow, Provincial Policy Statement and theGreenbeltlegislation.

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