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committee shift

Rezoning request denied
Owner says he's not giving up on Dundas storage plan

, The Hamilton Spectator, (Feb 18, 2009)

Doug Hammond's plans to build a self- storage facility in Dundas hit another speed bump yesterday as his rezoning application was denied by the economic development and planning committee.

And though he anticipates another rejection when city council votes on the committee recommendation next week, he says the fight could be far from over.

"This is going to fall on the taxpayer," Hammond said after the committee's unanimous vote. "The city is going to have to hire a planner ... but that's the process and you live with it."

Hammond, the former owner of the Canadian Tire in Dundas, was hoping for a change in zoning to allow him to build a self-storage warehouse on King Street East along the Desjardins Canal.

He said he has owned the two-hectare plot for many years and said he may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board if city council supports the committee's decision.

"I'm disappointed obviously," he said. "I've been at it 20 years and for anyone who knows me, I'm persistent as hell."

The committee heard from about a dozen citizens, most of whom opposed the plan for aesthetic and environmental reasons.

Dundas resident Penelope Hill said more than 1,550 people had signed petitions in opposition to the plan and said it could have a large environmental impact and obscure the view of the escarpment.

"It is such an ugly thing to put at the entrance of a town," she said.

Conflicting ecological studies disagree on the path taken by nesting turtles that often lay eggs on the eroded banks of the Desjardins Canal, across the street from the lot's entrance.

Hammond and his attorney Brian Duxbury argued that a self-storage facility would fit in with other "industrial" uses in the area, including a nearby recycling centre and underground sewage storage tank.

Opponents said denying a zoning change could be seen as righting past environmental mistakes.


jahayes@thespec.com

905-526-3283

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