Proposal for 11-storey apartment complex in Hamilton stalls on zoning denial

 

A proposal to develop a condo building in lower Stoney Creek has been voted down by Hamilton's Planning Committee.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 8), representatives of IBI Group who represents LJM Developments offered a glimpse of their plans to redevelop the lands at the corner of Highway 8 and Ellington Avenue which includes an 11-storey, 148-unit apartment complex.

The presentation was a response to a City of Hamilton staff report calling for the application to rezone the lands at 325 Highway 8 to high density to accommodate the proposed building.

On the meeting's agenda was correspondence from several members of the immediate community to the proposed development that vehemently opposed the plan.

Previously, the land was designated for medium-density residential and a plan for a six-story, 93-unit building was conditionally approved in 2017, according to a report prepared by the city's Planning and Economic Development Department.

The approval lapsed in November 2019.

The report points out several reasons why the proposal from IBI should be denied, among which is the height of the new building and the possibility of hundreds of more people living in that immediate area are problematic.

The new plan is "considered to be an overdevelopment of the site," the report says.

"Given the above reasons, the proposal is not considered good planning and staff recommend that the applications be denied."

IBI's representatives responded to these concerns and offered an explanation as to why they opted to rejig their plans for the lot.

"No financial institution is willing to finance a project with such a high risk," the IBI presentation claimed.

"The time span from the units being sold until now has further lowered the viability of this project. The units were sold at 2017 rates and cannot afford to proceed at current construction costs."

The presentation also refuted claims that parking would present an issue as well as insisting that the new proposal maintains a consistent building footprint, lot coverage, and angular plane as the approved six-storey Site Plan.

The development of this property has been debated for years now.

Ward 10 councillor Maria Pearson noted that several proposals were denied for reasons related to density and building height before the six-storey version was approved in 2017.

Pearson said the current proposal did not address the needs of her constituents and that particular neighbourhood.

The Stoney Creek councillor offered her apologies to LJM Developments, and touted the previous work of the developer and its contributions to the community, but said: "I cannot support this particular project at this time."

In a 6-0 vote, the application to rezone was denied.

Photo: City of Hamilton Planning Committee report

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