Rural councillors insist on consideration of farmers' needs in plan

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton's rural official plan isn't even complete and already some rural politicians are opposed to the possible changes.

West Flamborough councillor Dave Braden said his opposition to the draft rural official plan isn't a reflection on city staff, but what he feels is a lack of consideration by the provincial government for Hamilton farmers' needs.

Braden is concerned the Official Plan will constrain residents in rural areas in what type of home-based business they can operate. Farmers frequently provide another service or business on their property to supplement their agriculture income.

Glanbrook councillor Dave Mitchell said rural residents are concerned about a number of issues including the ability to sever farm property and how the provincial Greenbelt legislation will affect local land-use changes.

"The Greenbelt will have a lot of impact (in the rural areas)," said Mitchell.

City planning staff assured Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy that rural residents will be protected, especially from aggregate excavation. McCarthy has been fighting a proposed aggregate operation in her ward for the last few years.

New aggregate operations or an expansion will be allowed if it is located within the Potential Mineral Aggregate Resource Area - specific areas where new pits and quarries are permitted.

About 50 people showed up at Marritt Hall in Ancaster to listen and ask questions about the city's rural official plan proposals during the second of three open houses on the issue.

Most of the residents were concerned about how their properties will be affected by the designation. But there were questions about the Greenbelt area, aggregates, lot creation and severances.

At the Glanbrook public meeting a few days later, about 100 residents turned out to learn about the Rural Official Plan proposals.

"There was a lack of understanding from residents," said Mitchell. "It was a very good educational meeting."

Joanne Hickey-Evans, manager of Official Plan and Information Planning, emphasized to confused residents that the city's proposed rural Official Plan will meet the same qualifications as the province's Greenbelt legislation.

"We are the same as the Greenbelt Plan," she said. "We are keeping to planning standards"

A few of the other proposed changes include any severance of a residence as of March 2005. Surplus to a farm operation will be allowed only if there is a farm consolidation and provided there is no residential dwelling and lot creation will be allowed only for permitted uses.

Mitchell said Glanbrook residents are concerned about large corporations buying large parcels of land then severing the property for purposes other than farming. City staff, he said, are well aware of the issue, and have assured him the draft official plan will address residents' needs.

City planners have been attempting to harmonize Hamilton's rural official plans since the six municipalities were amalgamated in 2001.Hickey-Evans said once the public consultation is over, they will review the draft document. A report will be sent to council in June for discussion, she said.

Council last year approved a harmonized urban Official Plan. Residents can still make comments on the draft plan, but they have to be sent to the city by February 13.

Rural councillors insist on consideration of farmers' needs in plan

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton's rural official plan isn't even complete and already some rural politicians are opposed to the possible changes.

West Flamborough councillor Dave Braden said his opposition to the draft rural official plan isn't a reflection on city staff, but what he feels is a lack of consideration by the provincial government for Hamilton farmers' needs.

Braden is concerned the Official Plan will constrain residents in rural areas in what type of home-based business they can operate. Farmers frequently provide another service or business on their property to supplement their agriculture income.

Glanbrook councillor Dave Mitchell said rural residents are concerned about a number of issues including the ability to sever farm property and how the provincial Greenbelt legislation will affect local land-use changes.

"The Greenbelt will have a lot of impact (in the rural areas)," said Mitchell.

City planning staff assured Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy that rural residents will be protected, especially from aggregate excavation. McCarthy has been fighting a proposed aggregate operation in her ward for the last few years.

New aggregate operations or an expansion will be allowed if it is located within the Potential Mineral Aggregate Resource Area - specific areas where new pits and quarries are permitted.

About 50 people showed up at Marritt Hall in Ancaster to listen and ask questions about the city's rural official plan proposals during the second of three open houses on the issue.

Most of the residents were concerned about how their properties will be affected by the designation. But there were questions about the Greenbelt area, aggregates, lot creation and severances.

At the Glanbrook public meeting a few days later, about 100 residents turned out to learn about the Rural Official Plan proposals.

"There was a lack of understanding from residents," said Mitchell. "It was a very good educational meeting."

Joanne Hickey-Evans, manager of Official Plan and Information Planning, emphasized to confused residents that the city's proposed rural Official Plan will meet the same qualifications as the province's Greenbelt legislation.

"We are the same as the Greenbelt Plan," she said. "We are keeping to planning standards"

A few of the other proposed changes include any severance of a residence as of March 2005. Surplus to a farm operation will be allowed only if there is a farm consolidation and provided there is no residential dwelling and lot creation will be allowed only for permitted uses.

Mitchell said Glanbrook residents are concerned about large corporations buying large parcels of land then severing the property for purposes other than farming. City staff, he said, are well aware of the issue, and have assured him the draft official plan will address residents' needs.

City planners have been attempting to harmonize Hamilton's rural official plans since the six municipalities were amalgamated in 2001.Hickey-Evans said once the public consultation is over, they will review the draft document. A report will be sent to council in June for discussion, she said.

Council last year approved a harmonized urban Official Plan. Residents can still make comments on the draft plan, but they have to be sent to the city by February 13.

Rural councillors insist on consideration of farmers' needs in plan

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton's rural official plan isn't even complete and already some rural politicians are opposed to the possible changes.

West Flamborough councillor Dave Braden said his opposition to the draft rural official plan isn't a reflection on city staff, but what he feels is a lack of consideration by the provincial government for Hamilton farmers' needs.

Braden is concerned the Official Plan will constrain residents in rural areas in what type of home-based business they can operate. Farmers frequently provide another service or business on their property to supplement their agriculture income.

Glanbrook councillor Dave Mitchell said rural residents are concerned about a number of issues including the ability to sever farm property and how the provincial Greenbelt legislation will affect local land-use changes.

"The Greenbelt will have a lot of impact (in the rural areas)," said Mitchell.

City planning staff assured Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy that rural residents will be protected, especially from aggregate excavation. McCarthy has been fighting a proposed aggregate operation in her ward for the last few years.

New aggregate operations or an expansion will be allowed if it is located within the Potential Mineral Aggregate Resource Area - specific areas where new pits and quarries are permitted.

About 50 people showed up at Marritt Hall in Ancaster to listen and ask questions about the city's rural official plan proposals during the second of three open houses on the issue.

Most of the residents were concerned about how their properties will be affected by the designation. But there were questions about the Greenbelt area, aggregates, lot creation and severances.

At the Glanbrook public meeting a few days later, about 100 residents turned out to learn about the Rural Official Plan proposals.

"There was a lack of understanding from residents," said Mitchell. "It was a very good educational meeting."

Joanne Hickey-Evans, manager of Official Plan and Information Planning, emphasized to confused residents that the city's proposed rural Official Plan will meet the same qualifications as the province's Greenbelt legislation.

"We are the same as the Greenbelt Plan," she said. "We are keeping to planning standards"

A few of the other proposed changes include any severance of a residence as of March 2005. Surplus to a farm operation will be allowed only if there is a farm consolidation and provided there is no residential dwelling and lot creation will be allowed only for permitted uses.

Mitchell said Glanbrook residents are concerned about large corporations buying large parcels of land then severing the property for purposes other than farming. City staff, he said, are well aware of the issue, and have assured him the draft official plan will address residents' needs.

City planners have been attempting to harmonize Hamilton's rural official plans since the six municipalities were amalgamated in 2001.Hickey-Evans said once the public consultation is over, they will review the draft document. A report will be sent to council in June for discussion, she said.

Council last year approved a harmonized urban Official Plan. Residents can still make comments on the draft plan, but they have to be sent to the city by February 13.