Road plan passes

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

A controversial Waterdown transportation plan, which generated almost three hours of discussion at the committee level three weeks ago, was endorsed by Hamilton city council last Wednesday in less than 10 minutes.

Council approved the second phase of the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan with little debate or fanfare. Mayor Larry Di Ianni spoke in favour of the staff recommendation to move beyond Phase 2, which identified preferred east-west and north-south roads through Waterdown to accommodate future residential growth. Acknowledging that some Waterdown residents are "not pleased" with the chosen routes, the mayor noted, "This is not an issue that will go away."

Opportunities for more public input will be provided during Phases 3 and 4 of the study. "This is an important, but not a final step," the mayor said of the Phase 2 report.

He credited Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy, who represents the ward where the roads are planned, for "taking some leadership" on the issue. McCarthy, a proponent of the plan, didn't comment on the proposal at the council meeting, but spoke in favour of moving ahead with the study at a public works, infrastructure and environment committee meeting that she chaired in Waterdown Feb. 20.

The plan calls for the widening of Waterdown Road in Burlington and Mountain Brow Road in Waterdown to four lanes. A new east-west road is also proposed.

It will run from Highway 6 north of Parkside Drive, before dipping down to an expanded Parkside east of Churchill Avenue and continuing eastward before jogging south along the eastern edge of Upcountry Estates and connecting with Dundas Street East.

The current stage of the planning process still requires approval from Halton Regional and Burlington councils before moving to the next stage, which will concentrate on detailed designs for the roads.

Most of the Waterdown area residents making presentations at the recent committee meeting voiced opposition to the road plans, asking for the process to be delayed to allow more public input on the route options.

Committee member and Wentworth councilor Dave Braden added his voice to those wanting a delay. He suggested re-examining the proposed residential growth in Waterdown which necessitated the transportation plan. He also warned his colleagues that it is council's "last chance" to create a mix of residential, industrial and commercial lands within Waterdown's boundaries, and if they fail, opportunities to create jobs in the community will be lost.

Within days of the committee meeting, allegations surfaced that Braden has a potential conflict of interest in the transportation plan because he is a partial executor and beneficiary of his mother's property on Mountain Brow Road, which is slated to be widened under the plan.

While it was expected that the matter would be raised when the committee report was presented at last week's council meeting, Braden wasn't in attendance.

In an interview with the Review on Tuesday, he said any suspicions that he was trying to duck the issue were unfounded. "I was away on a pre-arranged trip with my family."

Braden said he isn't in a conflict because his property is one of many affected by the transportation plan. A clause in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act makes an exception for a councilor "having a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally."

"The only way I've got a conflict is if the city is going to steal it (the Mountain Brow property) and I don't think they're going to do that," Braden said. If the property is expropriated because of road changes, the city is obligated under the Expropriation Act to pay full market value for it, he added.

PROPERTY VALUE

Braden reasons that he cannot lose value on his property, nor can he benefit from the proposed road changes. A conflict of interest would involve a benefit or loss, he said.

Responding to three e-mails, sent by Waterdown residents to city clerk Kevin Christenson last week and admonishing Braden for taking part in discussions at the committee meeting, he said, "Many people, not involved in business and properties, are not familiar with the (Conflict of Interest) Act. They don't understand this idea about 'in common'."

As for speaking at future meetings about the transportation plan, Braden said he'll judge each situation on an individual basis.

"If, specifically, there is a pecuniary interest to me, I'll bow out," he said. But, for now, he has no qualms about speaking to or debating the issue in a public forum.

Road plan passes

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

A controversial Waterdown transportation plan, which generated almost three hours of discussion at the committee level three weeks ago, was endorsed by Hamilton city council last Wednesday in less than 10 minutes.

Council approved the second phase of the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan with little debate or fanfare. Mayor Larry Di Ianni spoke in favour of the staff recommendation to move beyond Phase 2, which identified preferred east-west and north-south roads through Waterdown to accommodate future residential growth. Acknowledging that some Waterdown residents are "not pleased" with the chosen routes, the mayor noted, "This is not an issue that will go away."

Opportunities for more public input will be provided during Phases 3 and 4 of the study. "This is an important, but not a final step," the mayor said of the Phase 2 report.

He credited Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy, who represents the ward where the roads are planned, for "taking some leadership" on the issue. McCarthy, a proponent of the plan, didn't comment on the proposal at the council meeting, but spoke in favour of moving ahead with the study at a public works, infrastructure and environment committee meeting that she chaired in Waterdown Feb. 20.

The plan calls for the widening of Waterdown Road in Burlington and Mountain Brow Road in Waterdown to four lanes. A new east-west road is also proposed.

It will run from Highway 6 north of Parkside Drive, before dipping down to an expanded Parkside east of Churchill Avenue and continuing eastward before jogging south along the eastern edge of Upcountry Estates and connecting with Dundas Street East.

The current stage of the planning process still requires approval from Halton Regional and Burlington councils before moving to the next stage, which will concentrate on detailed designs for the roads.

Most of the Waterdown area residents making presentations at the recent committee meeting voiced opposition to the road plans, asking for the process to be delayed to allow more public input on the route options.

Committee member and Wentworth councilor Dave Braden added his voice to those wanting a delay. He suggested re-examining the proposed residential growth in Waterdown which necessitated the transportation plan. He also warned his colleagues that it is council's "last chance" to create a mix of residential, industrial and commercial lands within Waterdown's boundaries, and if they fail, opportunities to create jobs in the community will be lost.

Within days of the committee meeting, allegations surfaced that Braden has a potential conflict of interest in the transportation plan because he is a partial executor and beneficiary of his mother's property on Mountain Brow Road, which is slated to be widened under the plan.

While it was expected that the matter would be raised when the committee report was presented at last week's council meeting, Braden wasn't in attendance.

In an interview with the Review on Tuesday, he said any suspicions that he was trying to duck the issue were unfounded. "I was away on a pre-arranged trip with my family."

Braden said he isn't in a conflict because his property is one of many affected by the transportation plan. A clause in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act makes an exception for a councilor "having a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally."

"The only way I've got a conflict is if the city is going to steal it (the Mountain Brow property) and I don't think they're going to do that," Braden said. If the property is expropriated because of road changes, the city is obligated under the Expropriation Act to pay full market value for it, he added.

PROPERTY VALUE

Braden reasons that he cannot lose value on his property, nor can he benefit from the proposed road changes. A conflict of interest would involve a benefit or loss, he said.

Responding to three e-mails, sent by Waterdown residents to city clerk Kevin Christenson last week and admonishing Braden for taking part in discussions at the committee meeting, he said, "Many people, not involved in business and properties, are not familiar with the (Conflict of Interest) Act. They don't understand this idea about 'in common'."

As for speaking at future meetings about the transportation plan, Braden said he'll judge each situation on an individual basis.

"If, specifically, there is a pecuniary interest to me, I'll bow out," he said. But, for now, he has no qualms about speaking to or debating the issue in a public forum.

Road plan passes

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

A controversial Waterdown transportation plan, which generated almost three hours of discussion at the committee level three weeks ago, was endorsed by Hamilton city council last Wednesday in less than 10 minutes.

Council approved the second phase of the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan with little debate or fanfare. Mayor Larry Di Ianni spoke in favour of the staff recommendation to move beyond Phase 2, which identified preferred east-west and north-south roads through Waterdown to accommodate future residential growth. Acknowledging that some Waterdown residents are "not pleased" with the chosen routes, the mayor noted, "This is not an issue that will go away."

Opportunities for more public input will be provided during Phases 3 and 4 of the study. "This is an important, but not a final step," the mayor said of the Phase 2 report.

He credited Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy, who represents the ward where the roads are planned, for "taking some leadership" on the issue. McCarthy, a proponent of the plan, didn't comment on the proposal at the council meeting, but spoke in favour of moving ahead with the study at a public works, infrastructure and environment committee meeting that she chaired in Waterdown Feb. 20.

The plan calls for the widening of Waterdown Road in Burlington and Mountain Brow Road in Waterdown to four lanes. A new east-west road is also proposed.

It will run from Highway 6 north of Parkside Drive, before dipping down to an expanded Parkside east of Churchill Avenue and continuing eastward before jogging south along the eastern edge of Upcountry Estates and connecting with Dundas Street East.

The current stage of the planning process still requires approval from Halton Regional and Burlington councils before moving to the next stage, which will concentrate on detailed designs for the roads.

Most of the Waterdown area residents making presentations at the recent committee meeting voiced opposition to the road plans, asking for the process to be delayed to allow more public input on the route options.

Committee member and Wentworth councilor Dave Braden added his voice to those wanting a delay. He suggested re-examining the proposed residential growth in Waterdown which necessitated the transportation plan. He also warned his colleagues that it is council's "last chance" to create a mix of residential, industrial and commercial lands within Waterdown's boundaries, and if they fail, opportunities to create jobs in the community will be lost.

Within days of the committee meeting, allegations surfaced that Braden has a potential conflict of interest in the transportation plan because he is a partial executor and beneficiary of his mother's property on Mountain Brow Road, which is slated to be widened under the plan.

While it was expected that the matter would be raised when the committee report was presented at last week's council meeting, Braden wasn't in attendance.

In an interview with the Review on Tuesday, he said any suspicions that he was trying to duck the issue were unfounded. "I was away on a pre-arranged trip with my family."

Braden said he isn't in a conflict because his property is one of many affected by the transportation plan. A clause in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act makes an exception for a councilor "having a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally."

"The only way I've got a conflict is if the city is going to steal it (the Mountain Brow property) and I don't think they're going to do that," Braden said. If the property is expropriated because of road changes, the city is obligated under the Expropriation Act to pay full market value for it, he added.

PROPERTY VALUE

Braden reasons that he cannot lose value on his property, nor can he benefit from the proposed road changes. A conflict of interest would involve a benefit or loss, he said.

Responding to three e-mails, sent by Waterdown residents to city clerk Kevin Christenson last week and admonishing Braden for taking part in discussions at the committee meeting, he said, "Many people, not involved in business and properties, are not familiar with the (Conflict of Interest) Act. They don't understand this idea about 'in common'."

As for speaking at future meetings about the transportation plan, Braden said he'll judge each situation on an individual basis.

"If, specifically, there is a pecuniary interest to me, I'll bow out," he said. But, for now, he has no qualms about speaking to or debating the issue in a public forum.