Skip to main content

zoning in on Cootes

New debate over Cootes building plan


The Hamilton Spectator

DUNDAS (Nov 13, 2008)

There's new debate over development on a privately owned property near Cootes Paradise that McMaster University once proposed turning into an off-campus parking lot.

J. Douglas Hammond of Ancaster, former owner of the Dundas Canadian Tire store, wants to rezone two hectares on the northwest corner of King Street East and Olympic Drive to build four self-storage warehouses.

McMaster gave up on its parking-lot plan five years ago in the face of stiff opposition from Friends of Cootes Paradise and others who argued it was a turtle nesting site.

The same arguments are being raised now, along with concern that the warehouses will block views of the Niagara Escarpment to the north.

The property is now in a park and recreation zone that would allow restaurants and recreational services such as a swimming pool, tennis club or mini-golf course.

Dundas resident Brian Baetz, who heads the Sustainable Communities Research Group at Mac, wouldn't mind a restaurant, but says: "As a private citizen, I very much see an alternative vision for that whole area.

"I see it as a gateway portal to Dundas and to Cootes Paradise, a beautiful transition zone between the raw beauty of Cootes and the built form of Dundas, from the marsh to the Beer Store."

But supporters such as Catharine Maybee of Sydenham Street have written the city to say the proposal is in keeping with the recycling centre and underground sewage tank to the north, the Hydro One station across Olympic and a public works yard to the west. They point out that the former garbage dump is already covered with fill excavated from the sewage tank site.

City planning staff recommend rezoning in a report that says a study earlier this year concluded "natural heritage resources associated with this site are generally of low quality and low diversity."

The report says both the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the city's Environmentally Sensitive Areas Impact Evaluation Group agree.

City council's economic development and planning committee scheduled a public meeting on the application last month, but postponed it until Jan. 20 at the request of Hammond's planning consultant, Ken Dakin of Burlington.

Dakin said he had just learned the Royal Botanical Gardens, which owns the Cootes nature sanctuary, was developing a Cootes to Escarpment Conservation Strategy that he felt might affect the property.

David Galbraith, the gardens' director of science and conservation, says, however, that the strategy will make "no recommendations about individual properties in private hands" and won't be available by January.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series.
August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington.

Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species.

Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well!

The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair.

If it rains the session will be cancelled.


For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit urquhartbutterfly.c…

History Hike in West Campus Tuesday, September 11 at 2pm

We're going on a hike to introduce McMaster students (and any other interested participants) to this former RBG Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary and coldwater creek floodplain  - currently a parking lot - to examine the past, present and future of this place that is undergoing an important ecological transformation.
Tour Leaders Dan Coleman (English Professor and author of Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place)Randy Kay (Restore Cootes)Judy Major-Girardin (School of the Arts)

Salamander Safety!

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/4430337-city-closing-king-road-for-salamanders-starting-march-27/

King Road will close from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road from March 27-April 17 to allow the endangered Jefferson salamander safe passage during its annual migration to lay eggs.

Beginning in 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road completely for a three-week period.

“The closure is a significant conservation measure because the annual migration puts salamanders at risk,” said Bruce Zvaniga, the city’s director of transportation services, in a press release.

“There is good evidence that the effort has allowed the Jefferson salamanders to travel safely across King Road, helping preserve a unique part of Burlington’s biodiversity.”

The Jefferson salamander is a protected species and is nationally and provincially endangered.

In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along t…