Special Report: Aerotropolis

20 Reasons to Stop Aerotropolis

Hamiltonians for Progressive Development releases 20 arguments against the City's planned Airport Employment Growth District.

By RTH Staff
Published September 28, 2010

Hamiltonians for Progressive Development just issued the following press release:

The staff report concerning the urban boundary expansion for the proposed Airport Employment Growth District ("Aerotropolis") has now been released to the public for review. Presumably, the 74 page report - along with approximately 2100 pages of appendices - is to be absorbed and understood by Councillors in the middle of an election campaign and in time to make a final decision at the council meeting on October 13.

The Pan Am stadium debate has obscured a much more significant decision for Hamilton's future. At the same October 13 council meeting now earmarked for a stadium decision, city council will also decide on the Aerotropolis - a scheme that will cost far more, and have far greater consequences.

As it now stands, the Aerotropolis (Airport Employment Growth District) will convert 2050 acres of vital foodlands into an industrial zone. This proposal is proceeding forward despite the unraveling of nearly all of its premises and despite the fact that many questions regarding the risks associated with this massive endeavour remain unanswered.

We call upon Mayor Eisenberger and Council to postpone the final decision-making process - for what would be the single largest urban boundary expansion in the history of the City of Hamilton - until after the municipal election. In this regard, we urge our elected officials to consider the following:

  1. The need to preserve vital prime agricultural foodlands has become obvious to nearly everyone. Global food security is much more threatened, with severe climatic events this summer in Russia, Pakistan, Saskatchewan, China and Australia pushing the world price of wheat up 70 percent.

  2. The official admitted cost of servicing the Aerotropolis is now over $350 million - and that doesn't include building 25-km trunk water and sewer pipes from Woodward Avenue to the airport district. This is far higher than the $100 million maximum that a previous mayor said would make the project unaffordable.

  3. Grand expectations of airport expansion have evaporated. Passenger numbers peaked in 2003 and are now less than half that level. Total flights to and from other airports have fallen from 22nd place nationally to 36th. There has been no net growth in employment since at least 2004, and even the cargo tonnage attracted by all-night flights has declined from a peak of 93,000 tonnes in 2000 to 84,000 tonnes last year.

  4. It's become much more plausible that the real agenda isn't industrial development at all - it's to turn the Aerotropolis lands into more residential sprawl when the airport inevitably falters and possibly even shuts down.

  5. The promised Aerotropolis lands employment is now expected to be primarily low-wage, with city consultants forecasting that warehousing and trucking companies will occupy 70 percent of the land.

  6. The Mid-Peninsula Highway has died. It was to link the Aerotropolis to the US market and thus make the airport area lands much more attractive to new businesses.

  7. The expected expansion of Highway 6 to six lanes has been abandoned by the province.

  8. The planned size of the Aerotropolis has fallen by 45 percent in the first Pasae - but since it will still require new trunk pipes and roads, the cost per acre for these services has climbed steeply.

  9. It's recently been revealed that businesses around the airport pay five times the electricity rates charged in most of the rest of Hamilton.

  10. Most of the land along the new Highway 6 extension is part of the protected Greenbelt where industrial development is not permitted, leaving only a tiny portion of the remaining Aerotropolis within two kilometers of a 400-series highway.

  11. City-funded investigations have shown that storm water management will be over $100,000 an acre because the lands form the headwaters of four significant streams, have low permeability, and because open ponds attract birds and are bad news for airplanes.

  12. Sewer and water systems are more expensive because the airport is the highest point of land in the city and some of the lands slope towards Caledonia and thus require fluids to be pumped uphill before being sent downhill.

  13. The already existing airport business park is 85 percent vacant. Even the biggest council advocate for the Aerotropolis, Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, has stated "there's no rush because no corporations are lining up to move in".

  14. Development of already existing green field lands in other parts of the city has been far slower than predicted. The 700 acre green field North Glanbrook business park has added nothing except the promise of Canada Bread using 25 acres.

  15. Oil prices are three times higher than they were when the Aerotropolis was adopted by the city in 2001. They are predicted to climb much higher and already hit $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008 - helping to plunge the world economy into the current extended recession.

  16. Council is eagerly giving away existing industrial lands, including green fields, to Wal-Marts, stadiums and gas bars.

  17. Hundreds of acres of existing industrial land that are vacant or grossly underutilized along the bay front have not been counted in the existing land inventory. The obvious priority should be the re-use of these lands before destroying more farmland.

  18. Recognition of the value of local food land has increased dramatically. The local food movement didn't exist when the Aerotropolis scheme was adopted.

  19. Development charges for industrial lands are currently discounted more than two-thirds, meaning residents will have to pay for most of the servicing costs of the Aerotropolis.

  20. There are multiple and complex federal restrictions on lands near an airport, including building heights, noise attenuation, and use of electronic equipment. The draft secondary plan directs prospective businesses to do pre-consultation with the private operator of the airport

37 Comments

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By jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted September 28, 2010 at 15:15:30

The future of employment is not (nor has it ever been) massive land-use businesses. It is in small mom-and-pop businesses that employ 2-5-10+ people each, but collectively keep Hamilton working. Hamilton has done so little so support this group, and continues to pander to the 'big name' employers who continue to demonstrate their fickleness by pulling up stakes at the slightest provocation (Dunnville Bick plant, Siemens, etc).

It's about time that Hamilton recognize that the real opportunities for growth are with fostering successful small businesses, and giving them the tools and chances they need to expand and grow.

Comment edited by jasonaallen on 2010-09-28 14:22:32

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 28, 2010 at 15:23:30

It is a shame people are not nearly as fired up about this than the stadium which in the end will have far less impact on our daily life than the loss of land to Aerotropolis. Further, in the interest of continuing my animal advocasy, this project will also result in loss of biodiversity as well as increase wildlife conflicts (i.e. deer, coyotes etc) as well as further fragment and isolate remaining habitat.

We also just had three more watermain breaks showing we need more attention to what we have instead of expanding further. There is also the matter of a severe lack of proper transit connectivity to existing areas of our city and we do not need to fragment our population further by sprawling further before we can properly accomodate what we have. After all, all those warehouse labourers and security guard positions may not all be filled by people who can afford cars!

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 28, 2010 at 22:27:53

i smell another candidate question!

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 09:00:43

BONUSING -lEGAL - ILLEGAL - OR OTHERWISE

"Development charges for industrial lands are currently discounted more than two-thirds, meaning residents will have to pay for most of the servicing costs of the Aerotropolis."

Al Fletcher states in the RTH article - no option for the Pearl Company.

He notes; it would be illegal "bonusing" to "provide special treatment for one business over another" by making an exception for the Pearl Company.

Exceptions are made all of the time(remember the Studebaker Plant and other industrial parks). The Citizens of Hamilton get hoodwinked again. The Tax base differential is currently at 83% residential 17% commercial(source City Manager Chris Murray). 90 -10 anyone? Hamilton has the fifth highest residential tax rate in the country. Are we heading for number 1? (just a reminder- The Pearl Company pays commercial taxes that are up-to-date.)

Gary Santucci

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By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:29:25

To all RTH readers and bloggers, here is the sad reality and startling statistic;

Despite the fact that the finacial risk and long lasting impacts of the proposed Aerotropolis will have profound implications to the future of our city, we (the taxpayers) don't appear to be engaged. This council sees this and takes silence as consent!

As pointed out in the article, the ongoing debate regarding the Pan Am stadium has garnered more response and public debate than the Aerotropolis. This statement is NOT intended to diminish its importance because that subject in its own right will also have huge impacts but look above at the side by side issues and the message we send to this council!

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:48:18

How can we engage them (...us)?

What about the stories of existing empty business parks?

The borderline illegal (definitely immoral) land swap deal on upper james?

The enormous cost implications to the city?

These types of wake-up-call stories need to get out there!

I would love to help but I am not familiar with the details and - as you know - they are not easy for the average citizen to discover for themselves

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By Sarah Wayland (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:11:29

This post and subsequent comments are both exciting and disturbing. I strongly agree with the first comment (by Jason Allen) about the need to support small businesses. Doing so may not be deemed as "newsworthy," but it would be forward thinking: Over the last 10 years, fully 98.5% of all new jobs in Canada were created by firms with under 100 employees, and almost 60% of those were created by firms with fewer than 5 employees. The self employment rate in Ontario has risen substantially since the early 1970s, with the self employed labour force growing at more than two times the rate of wage and salary employment. (Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey data) I would rather see support for new and existing small businesses -- including the Pearl Company -- than greenfield sprawl that may never attract large employers.

We should definitely be asking candidates about their views on this issue.

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By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:25:50

@seancb;

You are soooo right!

Would you as an average citizen read through the 2100 pages of reports that have been produced over the past 5 years in an attempt to be informed? The city has done an excellent job of keeping this low key including holding the vast majority of public meetings in the nether regions of the city that were inaccessible to public transportation. The local media has all but ignored the issue so there has been no real opportunity for meaningful debate. The article posted here has been sent to every media venue in the city and we have received zero questions from any source.

What is frightening is that the wake up call will come when taxes go up yet again to fund the Aerotropolis. It is obvious that there are very powerful forces in this city which far outweigh the desires of the taxpayer!

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 11:50:55

This election may be an excellent opportunity to bring this issue forward. We need to confront all candidates (especially incumbents) with well crafted questions so that they must reveal the truths that they are aware of, as well as their official positions on the matter. This could force the issue with the media and result in increased coverage.

My gut tells me that if the realities of the aerotropolis aregiven the limelight they deserve, then opposing the extreme waste of resources that AEGD represents will be a no brainer.

I am willing to be proven wrong about this, but in the end, the only way we as citizens can guide our councillors to represent the best interests of the city is if we are all armed with all of the information.

I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist, but the "mainstream media" has little incentive to bring this issue forward since (I think) much of the land in question is owned by the very people who spend the most money on advertisements.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:01:18

We need to confront all candidates (especially incumbents) with well crafted questions so that they must reveal the truths that they are aware of, as well as their official positions on the matter.

We're working on this right now.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 14:06:42

20 More Reasons...

  1. We don't need any more empty industrial land.
  2. Our City has been in a major budgetary crisis for years - we don't have the money.
  3. The airport has twice failed to support a HSR route.
  4. Much of the airport's growth strategy in recent years has been with cheap, short-haul carriers like Westjet, and thanks to high oil prices, and the Westjet pullout, that's not working out so well.
  5. There is no public outcry in favour, only a private one.
  6. There is significant public and private opposition.
  7. If building a development park on the very edge of the urban boundary isn't sprawl, then nothing is.
  8. This approach fails to integrate mixed-use neighbourhoods, and only creates office parks and suburbs as separate, single-use zones.
  9. This approach bets a lot of money we don't have on the goodwill of multinational corporations to not pull out of the Hamilton market at the first chance they get (which so many already have).
  10. Aerotropolis would function as a conduit for cheap foreign imports to crush even more local markets. Exposing Hamilton to direct competition with countries like China and Mexico forces us to compete with their low labour and environmental standards.
  11. Airplanes are the least efficient (in terms of fuel or cost) means of moving goods or people, meaning that a larger share of our consumer dollars will go to things like fuel, and less to quality or wages.
  12. Air travel is the most capital intensive form of transportation. Only large corporations and governments can even hope to get into the market, and therefore they exert a huge amount of control.
  13. Biking to the airport from the lower city would be an olympic-level commute compared to almost any other destination within the city, even much of Flamborough. Highest elevation after all.
  14. We shouldn't be wasting development lands in an area torn apart by land claim battles and a hopelessly overcrowded reserve.
  15. Air travel is largely a luxury of the wealthy, and this leaves out a lot of Hamilton that can barely afford (rising) GO bus costs.
  16. Nine-figure sums of public money should never be spent on projects that can't stand up to public scrutiny (sadly, they're rarely spent on anything else).
  17. This is, in every possible way, a tremendous act of public subsidy towards a few industries and businesses. If this isn't "Bonusing", nothing is.
  18. Ferguson supports Aerotropolis, never a good sign.
  19. This project does everything to support auto/truck dependence, the next most expensive and inefficient kind of transportation.
  20. Hamilton needs to stop investing in big boondoggling white elephant projects in the hopes that they will bring Hamilton back to it's "Golden Age".

I could think of twenty more. And so could most of you. This project needs to die.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 15:34:48

I have read somewhere that the electricity rates for the Aerotropolis area (or PRECINCT to use Bob Young's vernacular) are up to 5 times higher than most of the rest of the city. I remember that the article may have been in the View and the reason was that a different utility company had jurisdiction in the area in question. Can anybody in the RTH community confirm this or maybe also remember reading the same information? There is no way any business will set up operations with that kind of utility burden.

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By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 15:48:59

@mrjanitor

You are correct (see item 9 in article). This fact was recently revealed to Council and is just one of many items that will make the overall success of the Aerotropolis questionable. Here is a BIG one;

There are no stormwater sewers planned for the AEGD and ALL stormwater must be managed on site. At one of the CLC meetings the consultants presented various options for stormwater management that fit within the "eco-industrial" plans for the AEGD - estimated costs per acre depending on method used is $100,000 to $1,000,000.

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 15:59:42

Wow, I've developed a really bad habit of RTH skimming! Thanks for the clarification (again) M.

I also remember reading about the huge storm water management issues cited above. Who in their right mind would lease there to start a business? Are there any plans for water re-use through Reverse Osmosis treatment? I doubt it but I can hope.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 16:06:44

Hamilton needs to stop investing in big boondoggling white elephant projects in the hopes that they will bring Hamilton back to it's "Golden Age". - Undustrial

This should be printed on a massive banner and strung up in front of city hall!

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 29, 2010 at 16:11:40

Items 3, 6, 7, 9 (my personal favorite), 11, 12, 15, 17 and 20 all seem to point to a conclusion that our harbour should be the focus of a transportation/employment hub. Hamilton harbour is hindered by the lack of year round access. Could a re-focus on our waterfront as an employment zone work? Ships are still by far the cheapest long range transportation available.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 17:58:12

We're working on this right now.

So it appears eisenberger is willing to support the first half and see if the second half is needed.

Problem with that approach is that the most expensive part will be servicing the land - trunk sewers etc - and you can't have the first half without those services!

I understand that most of the aerotropolis land lies in the lake erie watershed - this means that all sewage must be pumped uphill before flowing down to our treatment facility! That doesn't sound cheap to implement nor maintain, not that I'm a sewage expert (though I have a fairly decent grasp on the observable effects of gravity).

All this for whom? Who is asking for this development? There are no businesses lined up to move in!

So why don't we ask the basic question... who owns the land up there?

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-09-29 17:00:12

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 18:01:30

Hamilton's "Golden Age" happened because of our harbour. It was one of the most significant inland ports on this part of the continent. Businesses along the harbour thrived, and that spread to the rest of the (largely downtown) city.

While I support as much renewed use of the Harbour as possible, we need to recognize that it isn't the 1950s any more. The big industries are gone or going and not coming back. The employment they now generate is generally low-wage and precarious. The future of employment in this city, as mentioned above, will lie mostly in small firms and self employment.

The first step toward a new "Golden Age" is getting down to business. And unfortunately, very little of that "business" is glorious. Replacing sewer pipes, cleaning up toxic sites and rebuilding mental health treatment facilities is a "dirty" legacy, but it is the lack of these crucial basic actions which is tearing apart our town at the foundations (literally, and metaphorically). Our roads are torn up, our zoning and licensing laws are Kafka-esque. Worst of all, we're stuck in a cycle of underfunding social services (or opposing new ones), intending to rid ourselves of the poor, addicted or mentally ill which has in reality made the situation at street level much worse.

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 20:59:20

This guy might make a good mayor - he at least puts tax/ budget issues as #1 and seems to have a bit of experience too. Thoughts?

http://www.mayorforthetaxpayer.com/

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 21:51:22

I've said before that Mr. Veri seems like a good guy but with a definite rural perspective, and failure to understand long-term gains that can come from wise use of taxpayer money to do things that will never be privately accomplished.

Making a platform of wanting to kill things like public transit in GO or LRT form, revisiting demalgamation, and increasing the garbage bag limit are things I unequivocally do NOT support, and they will not help move this city forward. Without spending on things to move the city forward from its oft-remembered 'glory days', this city won't attract new jobs, citizens, taxpayers, business.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-09-29 20:52:51

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 01:40:49

There are a few good points but....No to GO stations, LRT? Remove parking metres we already paid for? Deregualte the planning Process? again with more garbage alowed? Nope I cannot see supporting this platform.

Frankly the more I see the more hopless things look. Aerotropolis will not die but keeps rising from the grave, I have seen no Mayoral plan I have any faith in.....Tonight I was speakning to some very intelligent and normally environmentally aware folk but they donot even know what I mean by Aerotropolis! How will this ever be defeated if there are so many caring folk who do not even know what is happening?

I was going to see if I could make some of the commitee meeting on this issue on today (Thursday) but dont think my nerves could take it anymore. I cringe at the thought of so many making passionate and informed speeches opposing the project knowling full well the vote has already been decided and that few councillors are actually listening.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 07:39:54

...and, they can come back in a week and vote differently anyways. What is the point of showing up and having an opinion??

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:32:51

You are all against the AEGD. But could any of you provide me with any reasons as to the success of the Ancaster Business Park? A business park in very close proxminity to the proposed AEGD.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:52:42

But could any of you provide me with any reasons as to the success of the Ancaster Business Park?

first of all, according to this pdf it is only half full. Beyond that, the ancaster business park was not developed based on reliance on air travel and air freight which makes it barely comparable.

can you explain the non-success of the airport business park which actually abuts the AEGD? See this pdf

Its 735.59 total acres break down as follows:
office+warehouse+industry = 2.77 acres
retail = 22.96 acres
farm with retail/industrial uses = 31.26 acres
undevelopable (land used for residential, utilities, etc) = 237.17 acres
farmland (considered developable land) = 134.35 acres
vacant land (developable) = 307.08 acres

If you remove all of the undevelopable land, the available acreage is 498.42

If you (generously) consider not only office/industry but also retail (a real stretch for business park usage validity) and industrial farm as developed land, you get 56.99 acres - only 11.4%

If you only consider office/warehousing/industrial uses, it's even more bleak - 2.77/498.42 acres .... 0.56% - yes, less than one percent.

And we are to believe that all of a sudden some magical industries are going to fall all over each other to fill the neighbouring aegd?

The scale of the AEGD is just insane. How can anyone honestly think that this will be developed by industries out of thin air? Is this a thinly veiled ploy to get taxpayers to fund the servicing of this land to literally pave the way for new homes?

The spec barely reports any of this, so we have to get this information out through word of mouth? They should at least be reporting on the abundance of existing vacant serviced developable land and the huge costs of servicing the aegd - these are facts, not opinions.

Maybe they just don't have space for this kind of article?

They found plenty of space in their paper for the "new homes" section however....

here is a map of the aegd: aegd map

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-09-30 10:53:32

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:55:32

AEGD thinking is aged thinking

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:17:54

@seancb

The Ancaster Business Park is sold out. Purchased by developers. Your pdf is over two years old!

How is the AEGD reliant on air travel and air freight?

The AEGD is a good location for a business park because the hwy 6 extension to the 403 (along with the Upper James to RHVP) provides land in the area with good highway access. The fact the an airport is there is just a bonus to potentially attract airport related development. To suggest that all the development of the AEGD is airport related is incorrect. If there was no airport located there the land would still be excellent for industrial parks.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 15:05:51

The Ancaster Business Park is sold out. Purchased by developers. Your pdf is over two years old! - Capitalist

It may be 2 years old but that is the current information on HED's website. 370+ acres of developable land remains in this business park. Could it be nothing has changed in 2 years? I'm pretty sure not enough new businesses have opened in Hamilton the past two years to take up 370 acres.

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By M. DEsnoyers (anonymous) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 16:25:06

@Capitalist,

The AEGD is not reliant on air travel or air freight but the consultants hired by the city have made a very clear and definite connection between the success of the AEGD and the corresponding success of HIA. I have just come from the ED&P where I gave a 90 minute presentation and prior to me a planning expert made the very same connection. He went so far as to say that in its current configuration the AEGD will NOT be successful and the risk is too great!

It is unfortunate but to clearly understand the complexity of the proposal you have to at least read the 300 page Phase 1 report, 100 page Phase 2 report, 74 page staff report and at least the Stormwater and Wastewater reports - anouther couple 100 pages.

As a matter of record I believe the Aerotropolis should have first gone before a C.O.W. meeting. During my presentation Councillor Pearson was not present (left at 2:00 and returned around 3:45) Councillor Whitehead was not present (left shortly after 2:00 and did not return by the time I left), Councillor Mitchell walked out of the meeting part way into the presentation and by the time he returned I estimate he missed half and Councillor Bratina left the last 5 miniutes. I thank Councillors Bratina, Duvall, Ferguson, McHattie and Pasuta for their attention.

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 16:40:22

The Ancaster Business Park is sold out. Purchased by developers. Your pdf is over two years old!

That is the most recent statistic offerred by the city, and unless they release an update, we are to assume there have not been any changes.

Sold to developers does not mean developed. Until something is developed, these developers are nothing but speculators, and speculators employ no one.

My point stands: Most of the current business park acreage in that region of the city remains undeveloped and vacant of taxpaying, job producing businesses.

What is so magical about the land that is outside of the urban boundary which will attract all of these mystery companies? The aerotropolis proponents claim that these nameless busiesses are just waiting on the AEGD for lack of shovel ready land. Well what's wrong with the vacant shovel ready land that is already "in stock" so to speak?

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 30, 2010 at 23:02:10

Do not forget what we know we lose in the bargain as well, farmland, greenspace, huge amount of tax money as well as well as the loss to existing infrastructure as we must stretch it even further to include these lands etc. And given how much we are still paying on past projects (RHP etc) and expect to pay on things like the acursed stadium, how much more can be squeezed out of us for an unproven unhealthy gamble?

Comment edited by Paul on 2010-09-30 22:03:10

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted October 01, 2010 at 09:23:26

It is unfortunate but to clearly understand the complexity of the proposal you have to at least read the 300 page Phase 1 report, 100 page Phase 2 report, 74 page staff report and at least the Stormwater and Wastewater reports - anouther couple 100 pages. - M. Desnoyers

Actually it is very simple to understand ; )

When you cannot afford to properly maintain your current infrastructure and when current business development areas remain empty, adding more of both is not the solution.

Anyone in this city suggesting it needs to continue to expand isn't dealing with reality.

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By M. Desnoyers (anonymous) | Posted October 01, 2010 at 14:11:49

ED & P Update:

The meeting of the ED & P comittee was adjourned at around 6:30 last night until next Tuesday morning at 8:30 where the committee members will hear the last of the public delegations. This will occur before the regularly scheduled ED & P meeting and after the final delegations are heard they will recess until the end of the regularly scheduled meeting, break for dinner, reconvene and debate the AEGD staff report.

There were some councillors who preferred to delay the decision on the basis that new information had come to light during the presentations but in the end a motion was made to do the above.

M. Desnoyers
Co-Chair
HPD

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 02, 2010 at 14:24:46

Keily, I think you misunderstand the city's mission. It isn't to fix the scourge of ageing brownfields with new brownfields, it's to send a message. And that message is that Hamilton is committed to concrete - we will go out of our way to buy up and pave greenspaces because that's what progress means to us.

When corporations see this, they'll surely flock to Hamilton, finally fulfilling some of those economic growth projections we're always talking about.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted October 02, 2010 at 15:10:05

Hey, man. Don't drag concrete into this. Concrete is a fine and noble building material. I blame it all on asphalt.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 05, 2010 at 23:30:02

According to this article on thespec.com tonight, the Planning and Development Committee has voted in favour of proceeding with the Airport Employment Growth District involving 662 hectares of land(approximately 1635 acres). It notes that Mayor Eisenberger brought a motion to review the plan after Phase 1 (33% of the lands) has been implemented to determine whether there is a need for further development. The matter will be submitted to city council next week for final approval. http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-10-05 22:31:09

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 10:00:43

sad

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By Nimby-hater (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2010 at 16:48:36

Why don't you explain to the good people, Mr. Desnoyer, how your current living arrangements play out. I'm sure they would be happy to note that you, your relative Maurice(or what I assume to be your relative), and long-time chum Mr. Santa-Barbara, live right in the rural/suburban zone, taking up valuable farmland through the subtle, but oft-overlooked process of residential invasion.

The airport was constructed at this site, WAY BEFORE you were a glint in your daddy's eye. Hell it might of existed before HE was born !! But you rich guys just HAVE to have a piece of that tranquil country living don't you ? The poor farmers who never do quite as well as we would hope(and were living quite harmoniously with the airport I might add !), end up selling parcels of their land to wealthy people who wanted to live in "paradise". Next thing you know another rich person comes along, attracted to the low,low price of the land and it's serenity, and BAM! -the process is well under way, undermining the whole farming community ! Just add in a greedy developer and you end up with country roads with a single row of housing on either side for kilometers, that has absolutely NO place in the rural country-side! You know the kind right?! You and your friends bought right into them didn't you !!

The problem of course is that you and your ilk were not living quite as harmoniously with the farmers as you would like to think. Undoubtedly there would have been complaints about the stench, the noise, the traffic (familiar trend here)and the lack of services. Before you know it small little developments pop-up that are like microcosms of suburban residential neighbourhood plans, but at a much-reduced cost. What I am describing here has played-out all over Canada (and the world), many times. Invasion and succession. This time it's not about race, it's about class ! It is one of the most dangerous catalysts for sprawl, yet at the same time, very subtle indeed. This has played out all over the fringe of the city for about the last 60+ years (maybe much longer) and has no-doubt spearheaded sprawl without the airport's involvement. People like yourself, your buddies and your predecessors have all used the airport as a punching bag.

But of course the realty is that large cities have airports. If we leave the only (real) passenger/cargo services to Pearson airport, we serve-up no competition and they drive the prices through the roof ! Last time I checked this WAS a democracy, not Socialism ! Now the airport and the city wish to make their first REAL expansion, but NO they can't do that because it leads to sprawl and wastes land and taxpayers dollars. I'm afraid you and your buds have been doing that very same thing for some time now, spearheading sprawl with the randomness of residential-to rural invasion ! At least the airport and city HAVE a plan for development unlike the residential developer who created your particular little slice of rural heaven.

And PLEASE STOP WITH THE "Why can't they just locate on existing brownfields like the north-end or Nebo rd." !! It's AIRPORT-RELATED development they WISH to attract (even if they get the odd thing that isn't). Putting it in the north end or Nebo is just going to add to the transportation cost AND add to the pollution associated with extra distances ! It certainly would't make a good BUSINESS decision to even try it. If you doubt this reasoning then why don't you ask the owner of the Etratech company why he never located in the north end, or ANY other industrial district in HAMILTON ! He chose instead to locate in BURLINGTON, giving him ready access for the shipments of circuit boards used for (gulp!), gas-guzzling cars (amongst other things)! Etratech can now easily use the #403 HWY, QEW HWY, #401 HWY, Hamilton harbour, Toronto airport, or even, (yes,you know what I'm going to say), even that DREADED Hamilton airport ! They even had John C. Munro airport listed on their web site a couple of years ago ! But of course that wouldn't be a wise move on their part, so they now list NO convenient shipping options, instead outsourcing shipping requirements with another firm (of course this DOESN't mean that they are not using Hamilton airport, only that they can DENY all knowledge of the choice !). They HAD TO do this because it wouldn't be a good thing if you nice folk here on RTH knew that the owner of Etratech is none-other than Mike Desnoyer !!!! So, if the north-end or Nebo (or ANYWHERE else in Hamilton for that matter), isn't good-enough for Mikey, then DON"T EVER tell me that prospective users of AEGD property should look ANYWHERE else, first !!

You see, there really is only one agenda with Mr. Desnoyer and friends, one that can be seen quite readily with Google Earth. The location of his home, his relative Maurice and his buddy Mr. Santa-Barbara's homes are ALL on the final approaches to Hamilton airport !! Check it out for yourself if you doubt it !
www.hamilton.ca/Hamilton.Portal/Inc/.../REPORT%2005-015.pdf
These 3 and many others like them, are nothing more than a bunch of NIMBY's ! I mean, what would you think of me if I bought a home in the north end by Arcelor-Mittal and I started complaining about the noise and smell?! You would call me an A-hole wouldn't you ! And I would deserve that because that company has been there forever and I just moved in and expected the world to rotate around me ! It's almost as if the HPD were developed solely for the selfish purposes of NIMBY's hidden behind another agenda to get others to help them fight their battle for them ! I mean what else would you call it when their president is: (A)Living in a wealthy home in a rural/suburban setting, the very thing he espouses to hate !; (B)Decides to locate his plant in ANOTHER city in a day-and-age where Hamilton is desperate for jobs (especially the very HIGH-TECH jobs you guys drone-on about so often) !; (C)Decides to locate his plant in Burlington for NO other reason than convenient transportation access to his market (something he MOST CERTAINLY could have gained here); (D)Decides to locate in Burlington, one of our biggest rivals !; (E) Outsources shipping that could easily result in timely AIR TRANSPORTATION to a customer, or at the very least USED TO !; (F) Outsources some of his labour to CHINA in a day-and-age where CANADA needs EVERY job it can to stop the erosion of our own labour pool ! (one of my particular favourites-a step used by companies to help their profits by by-passing expensive Canadian labour for cheap, third world labour); (G) His company is paying NO taxes to Hamilton and he is paying comparatively little tax for his home where it currently stands. (H) Doesn't obviously use public transit but is part of the daily EXODUS of Hamiltonians to their job OUTSIDE of Hamilton !; (I) His company MAKES parts for cars, one of the VERY things leading to Global Warming, encouraging more road usage/building and resulting in SHIPMENTS that also tend to encourage more road usage/building ! (J) His HPD site has been such a HUGE stumbling block for the RHP and the airport that has cost us as taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars by bogging-down council for YEARS with bureaucracy and red tape-all for naught as both projects WILL get done ! All this to push a NIMBY agenda. His group is ANYTHING but progressive !

He may be telling you that Peak Oil is upon us, but his company isn't banking on that obviously ! Remember, the airport has given us far-more than this guy !!!

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