Comment 15546

By jason (registered) | Posted December 09, 2007 at 22:27:59

Matt A You're touching on a topic that drives me nuts in this backwards city - it is now ILLEGAL to build a proper city-style development in Hamilton. Illegal to simply build something that coexists with our current built form. Shows how far the planning industry has fallen. They don't understand anything that doesn't come with a 4-car garage or huge, empty front lawn. I recall the Greek church at Head and Strathcona needing to get city approval to leave the firehall in it's current place. That's right. It has been there since the 1800's, but in modern-day Hamilton it is illegal. So basically they had to get permission (all a stupid formality at city hall obviously) just to leave it where it is and redevelop it. The original plans called for it to demolished (big surprise). I recall all the laughter at the neighbourhood meeting when the church reps told us the hoops they had to go through to redevelop that site. Would have been much easier, and cheaper to demolish everything and start from scratch. City hall needs to be completely reformed, from the ground-up. We should be encouraging development like we see in our old, urban neighbourhoods. Not making it expensive and impossible to simply do something that is the normal, proper way cities all over the world have been developed for centuries. Oh, and one more thing while I'm ranting....businesses on streets like Locke or James have to pay a fee to the city for NOT having their own parking lot. That's right. What do to if you want to avoid this fee? Demolish the building next door or pave over whatever little land you have. There are so many buildings with cool little carriage-entranceways (I'm thinking of one on Main West near Queen and another on John South at Haymarket) that would be awesome courtyard patios in Montreal or anywhere in Europe. Here, there are parking. James South between Bold and Duke has fabulous space out back. All parking. If any of those businesses wanted to convert their neat little courtyards into patio space to enhance life in the city, they would be charged by city hall for not having parking. There, I'm done.

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