Thursday, July 11, 2013

OMB caves in to idiots at Hamilton City Hall with "Aerotropolis"

Earlier this week the Ontario Municipal Board gave final clearance to Hamilton destroying 555 hectares of virgin farmland for "development" lands around the Hamilton airport, when at least half that much exists in the wasteland of brownfields in the lower city.   The so-called "Aerotropolis".    The claim is that businesses want clean land, and there really isn't that much left in the brownfield space.   Bunk.   And I make no hesitancy in saying the mayor and those on city council who approved this in the first place are total idiots and those who give a damn will say it with our votes next election.

The OMB is the end of the road, really, and this is a huge loss for a city, indeed an utter amount of hypocrisy, for a city trying to bill itself on its green credentials.   Especially when this encroaches and spills over the Greenbelt south of Airport Road.    So much for the city of "120 waterfalls" (80% of which are drainage ditches falling over the escarpment cliff, and more than a few of the other 20% are on private lands without easements to the conservation authority or the Bruce Trail conservancy).

Well, with an opportunity lost we can make a huge one to gain.    It's simple:   Hamilton should put the brakes on suburban residential development until the brownfields are converted to residential space.    Single homes, condo towers, it doesn't matter.   Just get families back into the heart of the city, what made the city strong before.   We make more than a ton on development charges.   They should easily pay for the cleanup costs and at the same time rebuilding the city's aging sewer and water system which in many parts of the city are a hundred years or older.    We can then get business, especially service ones, to locate downtown as well and fill the empty towers.    That would be smart planning.

And for what it's worth, it's stupid to even consider building up at the airport, until the Airport Bypass and a few other roads including Airport Road are twinned.    That's way down the road.    Do we really need that much congestion when things can get bad down in the lower part of town, even with synchronized lights that are becoming fewer and fewer?

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