Central Neighbourhood Association (CNA) Minutes from AGM
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery on the Bay
(corner of Bay & Barton Streets)
Chairpersons Matt Graham and Elizabeth Ward welcomed Central neighbours.
Introductions of Councilor Jason Farr, CNA Board members – Rochelle Martin, Helen Kirkpatrick, and Eileen Shea (regrets), and guest speaker Mike Borelli.
Special Thank-You to the Gallery on the Bay for hosting the meeting.
About 70 persons in attendance.
Matt Graham chaired the meeting and reviewed the agenda:
Report by Councilor Jason Farr
James N GO Terminal & Mobility Hub – Matt Graham
Barton/Tiffany Development – Elizabeth Ward
CasiNO! Report – Rochelle Martin
Community Lands Trust – Mike Borelli
CNA Board for coming year – Matt Graham & Elizabeth Ward
Report by Ward 2 Councilor Jason Farr
There is $1m available for Ward 2 and will again this year be designated under a Community Budgeting process. He introduced Natalie and Karen, the new facilitators. Everyone invited to the Launch: April 3, 7-10pm City Hall Council Chambers, 71 Main St. W
Clear where the city stands with decision – preference for casino to stay in Flambourough.
Property at s/w corner of Stuart & MacNab (Marie & Doug Robbins)
Robbins considering investment in medium density building.
Want to attach to James St. Mobility Hub.
Cannon St. Bike Lanes
To be implemented soon. There has been broad community consultation. Buffers will be unique to Hamilton.
Bowling alley coming to basement of Hamilton City Centre (45,000 sq. feet.)
Moving to the Old BARN site (Hess, Napier and York). To include school, recreation, mixed use (in time). Will be a great community friend.
Hamilton Farmers Market
Work is going on to support and enhance the market. Now have 1 hour validated parking; new signage, public ART coming. Open area Market to the Street will have live music.
Has been assessed with MOE involvement, to be safe to play, participate in evenings, walk dog, etc. Question raised about some trees and Councilor Farr will have them trimmed.
Parking Lot – at Park & Cannon will have a considerable greenery buffer.
All Souls Church applied for one-day street closure for a church festival in June – MacNab N. between Colbourne & Barton will be closed.
New regional (large) Portuguese Festival in North End at McCauley St. this summer.
Construction at Barton & Strachan related to the GO Station.
James N GO Terminal & Mobility Hub – Report by Matt Graham
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;
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
Barton/Tiffany Urban Design Study – Report by Elizabeth Ward
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.
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 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.
Community Lands Trust – Report by Mike Borelli
Mike Borrelli, treasurer of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association (BNA) attended to speak about a new pilot project to start a Community Land Trust in downtown Hamilton. A CLT is a non-profit that owns, stewards and leases land to the community for land-uses like community gardens, greenspace, community space, and affordable housing. The Hamilton CLT launch event is on April 2nd but attendance is maxed out due to interest. Joey Coleman will be livestreaming it at joeycoleman.ca, but those interested in learning more about the project should visit the new hamiltonclt.org webpage when it is launch next week or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike also sought the buy-in of the CNA as a community group that supports the concept of a CLT and believes we should pilot one here.
Mike also broached the topic of a joint CNA, BNA and North End Neighbours meeting to be held sometime in May or June. He will work with CNA executive to plan this if there is a desire among residents.
CNA Board for coming year
All residents in Central Neighbourhood encouraged to become members of the new Board. Several people volunteered in the discussions following.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm. Refreshments served.