Jamesville Redevelopment Proposal Approved by City Council - CN Railway Has Appealed
The City of Hamilton is the owner of the large property containing the now-empty Jamesville affordable housing complex along with Sunset Gardens community park at the corner of Strachan & Bay across from the entrance to Bayfront Park. The City selected the Fram/Marz Group to develop the new project to be built on the site.
Background and Current Status of the Project:
The development team worked closely with NENa's Planning and Traffic Committee beginning in December 2019 on their plans for the property. Based on these positive discussions and the integration of affordable and family-friendly housing, the NENa committee recommended support for the project, despite some outstanding concerns to be discussed.
After about one year, the developer submitted their design proposal to the city for review. The City and the Developer then negotiated together for a further year. NENa was not included in these discussion.
After the private negotiations, NENa received the results which were significantly different than the proposal supported by NENa.
Upon receipt of the new design proposal, NENa's Planning and Traffic committee reviewed the proposal in detail and approved a Jamesville Development Report (linked below) which was submitted in writing and then presented at the City Council planning meeting in August 2022.
City Council approved the new design proposal without addressing any of the concerns raised in NENa's report. The NENa Planning and Traffic committee met and approved a recommendation that NENa would appoint a negotiating team tasked with attempting further engagement with the developers and the City.
NENa's Key Issues with Approved Jamesville Development Proposal:
Environmental and family-friendly design issues including tree canopy and usable green space in the development and immediate surrounding areas, as well as surface parking and transportation considerations
The absence of retail units on the James St N frontage to create a complete community at the Jamesville site and encourage future "gentle-density" commercial investment in the neighbourhood
Architectural diversity, beautification, and aesthetic improvements that reflect the character and vibrancy of the neighbourhood to give Jamesville residents and North End residents a sense of pride and dignity in their lived spaces
Non-compliance with Setting Sail, our approved Secondary Plan, and non-compliance with the approved James Street North Mobility Hub Study. Both documents were approved by City Council but not followed by the City itself as owner of the Jamesville project. Because it is a City owned project that is not following the approved policies, Council approval will be a major precedent that can harm the future development of the rest of James Street
NENa will continue working on this important project to help ensure the development will serve the diverse needs of its future residents and remain reflective of the wider North End community it will become a part of.
In the meantime, the developer and the city are looking at the appeal by CN that expresses their concerns regarding sound, pollution, and safety due to the proximity of the site to the railway and shunting yard. Ward 2 Councillor Cameron Kroetsch has expressed his hope that a settlement may be reached between all parties to allow the project to continue as soon as possible.