By Jason Leach
Published April 14, 2011
this blog entry has been updated
I received a staff report from the City yesterday (sorry, print copy only - it will be posted online tomorrow) recommending that Council deny the owners of 922 Main East their application for a new apartment building with ground floor commercial.
Rendering: Main Street Condominiums, Hamilton (Image Credit: cianfrone architect inc)
The staff report praises the development throughout: good form of intensification, retail spaces on the ground floor (people have already contacted City Hall expressing interest in these retail spaces), and the preservation of a church as a community centre. It references Places to Grow, the City's GRIDS growth strategy, the Official Plan, and new Hamilton Urban Plan
The developers even plan to add a Hamilton CarShare parking space.
Nevertheless, staff recommend denying the application, due to (get ready) the number of parking spaces.
The proposal is for seven stories, with 48 units and 35 parking spaces (this is already scaled back from the original proposal of 8 stories and 56 units). Our City's mandatory parking requirements insist on 1.25 spaces per residential unit, which would mean 60 spots, but the proposal only provides 0.73 spaces per unit.
The developer has said they may be forced to demolish the church if the city insists on these extra spots. The report notes that the church is "not designated [as a heritage building], but we would not want it to be demolished".
Once again, parking is running the city, instead of good urban design and use of existing infrastructure. When was the last time someone wanted to build anything like this in Ward 3? Yet we'd rather have surface parking on Main Street than new residential and retail units fronting the street.
The city sent out 358 notices to surrounding property owners. Three responses came back: two letters of objection and one letter of support (that was me; my office is next door).
As far as I'm concerned, Hamilton remains officially closed for business when two people out of 358 can kill a project over a few parking spots, despite the entire report praising the project.
Update: The report is now online: