Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not?"

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4 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Powers, Russ Maybe The AEGD is a forward-thinking document, but only if the developing circumstances are perfect. Council should only support a single phase at a time and not move onto the next until success is achieved or revisit before moving on...the price of the plan is too expensive in my opinion!
Robinson, Glenn No I am not convinced that expanding the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport is the most productive use of 3000 acres of agricultural land.

There are estimates of 350 million dollars to provide services to the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD). Additional investments in new infrastructure will add to future maintenance costs. The City is presently challenged in meeting the spending needs of maintaining our existing infrastructure (approximately 120 million dollars per year deficit).

There is a need to add to the stock of employment lands in the City. However, consultants have reported that the majority of jobs created in the AEGD employment lands are likely to be in the "transportation and warehousing" sector. Community concerns such as secure local food sources, long term viability of the airport and the impacts of increasing fuel costs need to be explored further.

The Urban Official Plan currently before the province refers to growth to within a "fixed urban boundary" and implies preference for brownfield over greenfield development. This explains why the land in question is considered a "special policy area".
Scime, Danya No I do not support 3000 acres at this one location! I have made it very clear that we need to address the lands that we have sitting vacant through out our City's downtown core and each of the other Ward's "downtown locations"...I fully appreciate the fact that some of the brownfields need huge dollars for remediation, and we need to get that out in the open and deal with it!

We need to look at different applications and usage for some of our light commercial buildings that are sitting, deteriorating. We need to 'blend' light commercial, restaurants, medical offices etc. on the ground level and low income to condos above.

With that said, we must also plan for the future. Some industrial and manufacturing plants need larger parcels of property...this is where we need to go outside of the urban area. I would support looking at all properties outside of the immediate area in **all other Wards that do not have so many viable farm
acres being affected.**

I do believe we will have major headaches trying to have the Province 'disclude' already designated Greenbelt, which means more money out of pocket in the hopes of development...City Staff and Council need to research all other outlying areas before putting all of their future eggs in one basket.

If we have interested developers that wish to purchase the new lands at Aerotropolis, then I would propose to Council that they have a secured LOI from the said Developers\Investors...In other words, put up a non-refundable deposit of $50,000.00 (more/less depending on size) with a letter of intent stating that they will purchase and build within 'X' amount of years at this location.

If we have interested parties, we know what we need to do ~ to be shovel ready for them, we also have a portion of the funding through their deposit. If they build, it goes towards the purchase price, if they bail, the City keeps the money.
Tammer, Ron No I am vehemently opposed to expanding the urban boundaries to take more of our precious farmland away on a gamble that businesses are going to flock to this "Aerotropolis". You can't preach "eat local" from one side of your mouth, and tell us that we need to develop our green fields from the other. Hamilton has a glut of brown fields that can be redeveloped for commercial and industrial use; these should be groomed and promoted to investors, instead of handing over some of the most fertile farmland anywhere to be dug up, paved over, and possibly sit vacant.

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Ward 13
Zuliniak, Marty