Next Meeting: Wednesday February 5, 2020
7:00 PM – Bennetto Community Centre
Just a quick reminder that NENA meets at the Bennetto Community Centre on the first Wednesday of each month, except when it falls on a holiday. Last month, NENA’s meeting was moved from New Year’s Day to the following Wednesday.
Representatives of the Jamesville redevelopment group and their planners, T. Johns Consulting Group, were invited to answer questions about the draft concept plan revealed at a community meeting in December. Representatives for CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) and Indwell were also present and answered questions relevant to their part of the project.
The main themes raised by residents in attendance were:
(1) environmental concerns, specifically about energy efficiency, storm-water management, provision for car-sharing and electric vehicles, bike-parking, and the preservation of mature trees on site;
(2) curiosity as to what the market housing will cost and more clarity on the forms it might take, as well as who the affordable units will be intended for and what level of affordability will they offer (i.e. singles, couples, families with children, seniors, people with accessibility or other special needs, and so on); and
(3) concerns from nearby residents about parking and traffic impacts given the project will add 500+ new households and the draft concept plan shows new private roads running mid-block from Strachan to Ferrie north-south and connecting Simcoe East with Simcoe West across the site east-west, which could increase thru traffic.
What we heard in response:
(1) the exact number of parking spaces to be provided on-site is still subject to change as the concept plan becomes a site plan, but it is anticipated that one parking space would be provided for each market residential unit in an underground parking garage, while non-market residential units will have reduced parking provided (the CHH building will have a small surface parking lot);
(2) the proposed 5- and 8-storey apartment buildings, for CHH and Indwell respectively, will be built to passive-house standard, which costs slightly more to build but is extremely energy efficient in terms of heating and cooling (saves money, results in greater comfort for residents, and is better for the environment);
(3) still unclear exactly how many rental units of what size and depth of affordability will be provided by Indwell, but they specialize in supportive housing that falls in deep affordability range and a portion of their units will offer housing of that sort (CHH’s building will include 46 replacement social housing units);
(4) the environmental performance of the market units will depend on market feedback, but that there is a desire to build to higher standards than the minimum required if feasible;
(5) the ability to preserve mature trees on site is still being investigated, but the need to remove contaminated soil and construct underground parking will disturb root systems and/or require the removal of most trees on site—the developer seemed to understand the value of preserving the boulevard trees and indicated it is a priority to do so to the extent that is feasible; and
(6) that it is too earlier to know exactly what the price-point for the market units will be, but the target market was described as including young families with children suggesting a significant number of 2+ bedroom units will be included.
An overall point was made that the plans are preliminary and will change. It was expressed that there is a desire to hear input from residents. So now is the time to make your thoughts and concerns known to us at NENA or to the developer (www.reimaginejamesville.ca).
Many of you will have already noticed, but the John Street bridge has re-opened and Ferguson Avenue is now repaved. Remember to be extra careful in snowy and icy conditions travelling northbound over the bridge as there is a 4-way stop at Strachan that is on a relatively steep incline. Slow down before descending into the neighbourhood.
Please remember to clear the sidewalk in front of your property and help your neighbours with their portion if they are away or otherwise unable to clear it. Let’s keep the North End a safe and friendly place for everyone to get around during the winter months.
Let us know your thoughts and concerns. Email us at email@example.com or attend our monthly meeting. NENA wants to hear from you!
For more up to date information visit www.NorthEndNeighbours.com