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Hamilton residents get say on urban boundary plan

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Hamilton residents get say on urban boundary plan

Every household in Hamilton will get to have their say on whether the city should expand its urban boundary, or leave it as is.

On Monday, the city began mailing out a survey on its urban boundary review. Residents will be asked to pick one of three options.

The first option is to endorse residential expansion on to 1,340 hectares of farmland, mostly south of the developed area of the city. The second option is to leave the boundary unchanged. The third option is to suggest an alternative. The survey will be accompanied by links to information sources selected by staff — who have recommended expansion — to help respondents make an informed choice.

The survey findings would be presented to council in August, and finalized at a public meeting in October.

The city’s general issues committee agreed to conduct the survey in March. Dozens of citizen delegations made presentations arguing for freezing the urban boundary.

Hamilton declared a climate crisis in March 2019. Groups such as Environment Hamilton have argued that expanding the urban boundary would be shortsighted.

However, Hamilton has been given a deadline to have a plan for projections put forth by the province.

In 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing declared that cities must make a plan for how they plan to accommodate provincial growth forecasts over the next 30 years, until 2051. In Hamilton’s case, it has to plan for an anticipated net increase of 236,000 residents and 122,000 jobs.

Ward 1 City Councillor Maureen Wilson is hosting a webinar on Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. in an effort to help residents understand the issue.

More information about the city’s planning is available at engage.hamilton.ca/grids2mcr.

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