Sprawl

Summit Park: Rock-Bottom for Planning

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 21, 2006

CFMU reporter Maggie Hughes (host of The Other Side) has posted an article on Hamilton Indymedia investigating the Multi-Area Developments (Aldo DeSantis) subdivision Summit Park at Rymal Road and Fletcher's Road.

Summit Park is yesterday's urban form, tomorrow, fed by the Red Hill Expressway and representing sprawl in its worst form: extreme segregation of uses and even house sizes (heaven forfend that your $259,000 house might fetch up next to my $279,000 house). It runs exactly counter to the GRIDS nine goals, but we've learned that in day-to-day planning, the GRIDS directions are more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules.

The city just gave developers a carte blanche for at least the next two years in a recent EcDev meeting in which Councillors Bill Kelly and Terry Whitehead rolled over dead for the sprawl building industry. It was frankly embarrassing, even for Hamilton.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his essays have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. Ryan also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on twitter.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted August 22, 2006 at 05:35:46

Let me guess: although the development will be on the mountain, thus justifiying the 'Summit' portion of its moniker, the 'Park' portion will only be accurate in the sense of 'An area in or near a town designed and usually zoned for a certain purpose', rather than 'A piece of land with few or no buildings within or adjoining a town, maintained for recreational and ornamental purposes', or even more extreme, 'A large tract of rural land kept in its natural state and usually reserved for the enjoyment and recreation of visitors'.

Hamilton's urban planning - perhaps more accurately described as rural planning - reminds me of a perpetual loafer's plans to get a job. Each afternoon finds the loafer working on his resume or casually browsing the classified ads for unemployment with a highlighter. Tomorrow, he's going to go out and get a job...

But tomorrow comes and our loafer is back on the couch, making big plans that somehow never get carried out.

Hamilton needs to stop making plans and start following through on the ones it has.

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