Barton Tiffany Update – AGM March 25th 2014

Barton Tiffany

Barton/Tiffany Urban Design Study – Report by Elizabeth Ward 

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/PlanningEcDev/Divisions/Planning/Development/UrbanDesign/Barton-TiffanyUDStudy.htm

An urban design study is currently underway for the Barton –Tiffany area of the Central Neighbourhood.

The Setting Sail Secondary Plan calls for mandatory public consultation around the development of this area. The first public meeting took place Dec 4th 2013. Since then there have been 2 focus group meetings whose members consist of staff from the city’s Planning and Economic Development Department, members of the public, neighbourhood associations, architects and representatives from the Reality Association.

The various areas of discussion have included location of buildings and building heights. Means of transportation both within and through the area were also discussed, including roads, transit, bike lanes, sidewalks and trails. Ideas about Central Park which has been included in the Barton – Tiffany area were also explored.

Members of the Central, Strathcona and North End Neighbourhood Associations then met independently and identified our own concerns such as preservation of heritage buildings, adaptive reuse of existing buildings e.g. 125 Barton St West (currently used by the city to store playground equipment). We also expressed concern about the dumping of waste and landfill on vacant lots like the former Rheem plant site. We wondered about the need for environmental site assessments where applicable. Most importantly we want to ensure that the process of community input is meaningful and that the resulting plan will be carried through without major changes.

The next public meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 28th 2014. We encourage all Central residents to attend and lend their voices to this important discussion.

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GO Station – Update from AGM March 25th 2014

GO James St N

James N GO Terminal & Mobility Hub – Report by Matt Graham

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/PlanningEcDev/Divisions/Planning/Development/NewGOStationJamesSTN.htm

This links to 3 neighbourhoods – Central, Beasley and NorthEnd Neighbourhoods
Stakeholder group established for focus groups, at which each neighbourhood is represented

Concerns and discussions:
What we currently like and dislike about the study area;
What benefits can new development bring;
Maximum and minimum heights of buildings with coming intensification and increased density; 

Key takeaways:
How to improve our streets, pedestrians, bikes, buses, complete streets?
Strengthen streets through public art, pedestrian plaza/square
Development should respect and enhance the history and character of the area
Kiss & Ride at Stuart St
Plan for service
All day is long term goal
2015 for special event service, ready for PanAm games
Completion of station and plaza by 2016/2017

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CasiNO! – Update AGM March 25th 2014

CasiNO

CasiNO! Update – Report by Rochelle Martin 

CNA and No Downtown CasiNO! activists continue to monitor possibility of a casino “slipping into” downtown via. back-door routes, since city council has decided unanimously to support Flamborough Downs as their preferred casino location.

Current concerns include:
Possibility that Flamborough Downs contract signed by Great Canadian Gaming with OLG might allow GCG to relocate casino downtown, if GCG/OLG decide Flamborough location is not lucrative enough. Initial Freedom of Information request, to view terms of this contract, was denied (OLG objected to release). An appeal is currently in progress.

Concern that new bowling alley might be “Trojan horse” to bring in 24hr. zoning that would permit a downtown casino.

While Delta Bingo’s closure, due in part to city not permitting electronic gambling at their site, is generally considered a positive for downtown, there was concern that the city may have objected to Delta Bingo’s move to electronic-type gambling in order to preserve the downtown gambling market for a potential big casino operator. 

Councillor Jason Farr’s responded:
He was concerned that the OLG had objected to FOI request re. contract with GCG. He expressed hope in Premiere Wynne’s review of the OLG’s aggressive modernization plan. 

There were no zoning changes involved in the City Centre bowling alley contract. That downtown area is already zoned for 24hr. entertainment (e.g.. a casino, if that were the case – no zoning Trojan Horse required).

There were no ulterior motives in the city’s objection to electronic gambling at Delta Bingo. Councillor Farr reiterated that city council voted unanimously to keep casino in Flamborough as their preferred site. Furthermore, he believes those previously interested in operating a downtown casino “got the message loud and clear – that there is no appetite for a casino downtown.”

Rochelle expressed concern to Councillor Farr that, even if council, city staff, and potential casino operators “got the message,” the OLG can and may still push for a most lucrative (downtown) market. This is why continued vigilance, and specifically, attention to terms of the new GCG/OLG Flamborough contract, is imperative. 
She also expressed appreciation for Councillor Farr’s efforts to keep our downtown healthy, thriving, and casino-free. 

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