Elections

Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not?"

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24 Candidate Responses (top)

Mayor
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim Yes Being in construction, I have seen other cities build commercial/residential projects for a while now and don't understand why Hamilton hasn't adopted the same kind of projects. Milton has been building these for some time now where commercial is at street level and residential is built above it. In the case of downtown, we can only build upward for residential so why not adopt this strategy to grow the downtown core
Gomes, Carlos Yes Yes I believe we need to continue developing within our already developed areas, farmers are important resources to help our city grow. We need farmer to want to stay farmers. Its not easy to be a farmer but they are a very important part of make Hamilton a city that can stand on its own and flourish. We have plenty of already abandoned or condemned builds in Hamilton, that can still repurpose, we can't allow ourselves to go down the same path as Torontonians, we need to build wisely and effectively instead of build till their no where else to build. Hamilton must become a leader instead of following things that don't work in first place.
Tavares, Ricky Maybe How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi Yes we should concentrate on renovation adding value to the property we already have . Development is not the only model available to our economy. from manufacturing industry to the digital economy we must also consider the environment and have goal oriented models for sustainability 
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes I have been pretty vocal publicly about the fact that suburban greenfield development is an urban planning Ponzi Scheme. Under provincial law, we are only able to charge developers 80% of the cost of providing new services (rec centres, parks, roads, sewers, and even 911 service) to a new subdivision. And the rules against ‘gold plating’ those services often mean we can charge less than that. Development in our city needs to turn towards increasing densification on already serviced land, which will ensure higher property taxes per square foot on land that doesn’t require significant additional costs to provide services.
Anderson, Sharon Yes Yes concentration or densification within the built up area is required. This will result in a better use of our existing infrastructure and help decrease the lifecycle cost. An increased number of households sharing the same infrastructure should also allow for a lower municipal tax rate going forward.
Eroglu, Ela Yes I support the policy preventing expanding the city out onto farmland and instead building "up" on infill sites and intensification. I think it is a good policy and it has a lot of benefits such as optimizing new and existing infrastructure, create complete communities, revitalize downtown, encourages public transit investment and for future employment and economic growth. However, the way we implement intensification policies requires judgment, and respect to the characteristics of the City. Every City is unique and has its own distinctive ecological, geological, historical and cultural values. Hamilton is a beautiful City with unique features of escarpment, lake, history and culture.

Intensification should accompany with by-laws that ensures that building design respects these unique characteristics of the City; creating friendly streets and places that are healthy, accessible, safe; and respecting Hamilton`s rich architectural heritage.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Yes, I do. Increasing density is the only way to ensure that we are both able to house more people and also that those same individuals have access to the services and resources necessary to live. Hamilton is in an affordable housing crisis, and as a resident of Ainslie Wood -- an area that in the 50s and 60s was home to suburban sprawl extending to the geographic boundaries of Dundas and Cootes Paradise -- I believe strongly that mixed-density neighbourhoods can be a positive thing. I am strongly committed to increasing the affordable and geared-to-income housing in our city, and given that resources that low-income and working class Hamiltonians rely on tend to be concentrated in the lower city and downtown core, we must increase the density of housing along transit lines.
Massie, Richard Yes Yes, we should treat land responsibly and regenerate run down brownfield sites and decaying buildings into compact, sustainable mixed use communities. Everyone should be able to walk to their local centre or take public transit that is maximized for efficiency.
Narducci, Linda Yes I do not think development should be concentrated on solely in these areas. Although there was in the past, rapid growth and development and a trend to living in suburbs, and perhaps it is still, the trend, however, appears to be shifting and changing. People are looking to live in urban areas that expose them to diverse cultures, accessibility resulting in less car ownership, they enjoy the urban sense of community and with working, socializing and living in a concentrated urban area rely heavily on several modes of transportation. Another trend that fuels the urban development and living there is the concern and care for the environment and the thumbprint they are leaving.
White, Harrison Yes Hamilton does need to concentrate new development in the already-built area. Intensification is a provincially mandated direction for city growth, according to the Growth Plan Act 2005, and the Golden Horseshoe Development from 2017. Intensification according to the province of Ontario, refers to any new residential development within the already existing built-up urban fabric of a given city, such as Toronto or Hamilton. Not only is it provincially mandated, but it is also the best direction that Hamilton could take. The City of Hamilton is facing an increase in debt level already, as we need to invest in capital infrastructure as well as service lands for economic prosperity and continued growth. The current infrastructure deficit is 3.5 billion dollars, a number that would only continue to increase if sprawl continues. Urban sprawl means implementing things like storm drains, streets, street lights, road lines, traffic lights etc. It means having to ensure we have staff capable to provide city services in the farthest regions of Hamilton. These are things that will cost Hamilton more money and are things the City of Hamilton is already having difficulty managing. Over 500 people in Hamilton with a life-threatening injury had to wait 20 minutes or longer in 2017. We are only spending HALF the recommended budget on implementing bike lanes, and our transit service is outdated and ineffective. These are challenges that we haven’t solved yet and are challenges that would only be aggravated through continued urban sprawl. Studies by the Neptis Foundation, an independent privately capitalized charity located in Toronto, found several major benefits to intensification. First and foremost, it prevents continued loss of green space throughout the area. Less urban sprawl means less reason to develop on our greenspaces or continue eroding the ever-decreasing Greenbelt. It will increase the use of public transportation and improve the service levels. Studies shown that when a city develops a high enough population density, desire to use automobiles as a method of transit decrease and other modes of transportation such as cycling, public transit and walking increase. Additionally, higher population density makes it easier to justify new routes for public transit as well as increases to the transit budget, the larger the population the service benefits, the larger the budget. Finally, Hamilton needs to concentrate new development on the already built area to ease the strain on our current infrastructure. Intensification has been shown to make more efficient use of urban infrastructure like sewer pipes and water pipes, as well as ‘soft’ infrastructure, like schools or social services. Basically, urban sprawl requires and expansion of our cities services and aggravates our weaknesses, but intensification allows us to avoid spreading our resources thin and provide a higher quality of life to all in the City of Hamilton.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes Yes, we should have new development right across the city. There is still significant single use development happening mostly on the outskirts. I think condo developments will bring people to the city and it should happen in both the lower city and on the mountain.
Farr, Jason Yes I believe in this strongly and it has been my focus as Councillor. We have abundant opportunities to build "up" in Ward 2 and other built areas of the city. Our Planning policies, like TOC, Nodes and Corridors, LRT, the NEW Downtown Secondary Plan, the James Mobility Hub, West Harbour Setting Sail Secondary Plan, CIPA's and more are indicators that we (Council) are supportive of growth in built areas.

As most RTH readers and contributors will appreciate, these efforts speak to both Hamilton answering Provincial policies like Places to Grow and the Provincial Policy Statement. As well, with the infrastructure already in place (although in need of upgrades in some areas), in both short and long term, this form of growth is cost effective to the taxpayer. I should also add that we have an abundance of evidence that urban living is increasingly desirable. While some families may still long for the white picket fence in a new suburban survey, more and more want to shake the car, live more active lifestyles (walking and biking to shops etc) and raise a family in the vibrant heart of our city.
Smith, Nicole Yes Hamilton very much needs to concentrate new development in the already-built area. We need to strengthen our tax base without further stretching our infrastructure (especially given the $3.5 billion deficit) so that we can improve the quality of life for everyone in the city.
Tennant, Mark Yes First and foremost, the communities input must be considered before moving forward with any new development or renewal plans. The neighbourhood associations would advocate for the best interest of the community and filter all ideas before presenting to their council representative. Once the majority of the community understands that they have a voice, it would encourage more neighbourhood association memberships and a stronger collective partnership to the betterment of Ward 2. I support the mixed-use development plan for downtown Hamilton. Urban sprawl draws development to the suburbs and away from the downtown. I would advocate for private and public redevelopment and renewal of already built areas to draw new entrepreneurs, singles and families to the downtown to live and work. Blended commercial and residential use with entertainment and cultural attractions. Open green space and active play areas with vehicle free sections to promote a residential feel. If vacant storefronts are available to be purchased publically, I would advocate for a tax break for urban entrepreneurs to begin small businesses. The Secondary Plan includes the development of 5000-8000 new dwellings in the downtown area.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Laura Yes We absolutely need to refocus our development in already-built areas as we need to intensify our density downtown where areas are serviced. That is the most efficient use of our tax dollars, instead of subsidizing surburban builds that are not cost-effective in terms of servicing.
Smith, Dan Yes We absolutely need to look at ways to increase density in our core. Denser housing is more cost effective. The cost of running extra sewer, and other utility lines, roads and servicing them to urban sprawl is not efficient.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Maldonado, Juanita Yes My focus is to preserve the natural, and historic value of our distinct communities. It is important to raise awareness and promote conversation with residents that jobs will grow out of small business promotion, and the construction industry in our City, and that “building up” is a natural move forward. As jobs are created, workers spend their money in our local community and everybody wins. This can be done effectively by encouraging civic engagement and addressing concerns BEFORE deals are signed.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom No No, I’ve always believed in “choice” for any individual’s primary investment, that being their home.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Kazubek, Joseph Maybe I believe that we need to be focused on staying ahead of the housing crisis that is always nipping at the tail, we are currently facing affordable housing issues as more and more residents are becoming homeless or on the edge of it, with that being said, we need to find the best way to keep up with the need of new units, but also ensuring that affordability for the residents of Hamilton is always being considered first.
MacIntyre, Dan Yes For far too long we’ve built further and further out. The costs with building and servicing the infrastructure needed for these new areas far outweigh the positives of these new developments. The city has fostered traffic congestion nightmares along Rymal Road and Stone Church Road. The low density developments coupled with poor public transportation has created communities where having access to a vehicle to drive is a necessity. . This all goes without mentioning the fact that we continue to increase the distance between farmland and the consumer which hits us in the wallet at some point.
Pauls, Esther Maybe Hamilton needs to be competitive with other communities in the golden horseshoe. The focus should be on intensification however it can not be at the expense of not having development. Builders respond to what the market requires. Small units and affordability could be accommodated in already built areas but appropriate zoning is required.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Scime, John Yes I believe that suburban development needs to slow down, and the focus be generated towards those areas that have the viable resources and infrastructure to handle such an infill and density. The rejuvenation of the LRT corridor would assist in this 5-7 year very deliberate planning stage for the outskirts. The city continues to build fast and furious to gain density because we have to, not because we think it is the right decision. These forced decisions will eventually come full circle with compounded problems. Slow it down and impact plan for future development.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes Yes, I believe we need to put an end to suburban sprawl which puts onerous costs on the city to service these hinterland areas. Rather, development ought take the form of dense, infill, however still respecting the local character of certain areas of the city. As a starting point, higher and denser development ought be incentivized and diverted to the LRT corridor.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes2083.3%
No14.2%
Maybe312.5%

79 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Mayor
Eisenberger, Fred
Geissler, Henry
Graydon, Edward HC
May, Todd
Pattison, Michael
Rusich, George
Ryerson, Phil
Schmid-Jones, Ute
Sgro, Vito
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Cole, Sharon Elizabeth
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Miklos, Lyla
Wilson, Maureen
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Kroetsch, Cameron
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Bureau, Alain
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Kuruc, Ned
Lemma, Tony
Nann, Nrinder
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Sprague, Kristeen
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Merulla, Sam
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Klazinga, Stewart
Ward 06
Taylor, Timothy
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Benson, Steve
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
McMullen, Geraldine
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Danko, John-Paul
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Wicken, Colleen
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Beattie, Jeff
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Marley, Kevin
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mitchell, Pamela
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Vanderbeek, Arlene
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Iszkula, Robert
Samuel, Vincent
Whitehead, Terry
Wilson, Bryan
Ward 15
McKechnie, Susan
Partridge, Judi