A decision around whether to approve or reject an urban boundary expansion will not be made until later this month by Hamilton councillors.
They voted to resume discussions at a later date, possibly Nov 19, after listening to over 12 hours of public delegations on Tuesday.
City councillors are faced with choosing how to accommodate an estimated 110,000 new households by 2051.
City staff recommend an “ambitious density” scenario, a combination of intensification within the city’s existing urban boundary and the addition of more than 1,300 hectares of rural land for future development.
Opponents of an urban boundary expansion worry about environmental impact, loss of agricultural land and the cost of sprawl.
“The people of Hamilton, they want, they need, sustainable walkable community. Small businesses and coffee shops right in their neighbourhoods, close to transit and jobs,” says Zoe Green of Stop Sprawl Hamilton.
Hamilton-West-Ancaster-Dundas MPP Sandy Shaw also spoke against the boundary expansion. “We know Hamilton will need more housing as our city grows, but that does not mean paving over farmland and greenspace.”
Those in favour, including West End Homebuilder’s Association CEO Mike Collins-Williams, say the expansion is needed to ensure housing choice.
“Will we ensure enough housing of the right type is built for a growing population in our city, or will we continue down a path of unaffordable housing, and an exodus of young families from our community?” Collins-Williams asks.
He argues that a no-boundary expansion scenario would result in an “under-supply” of ground-level units and single-family homes.
City council received about 400 written submissions, and heard from approximately 80 delegates during Tuesday’s virtual meeting.
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