Eric McGuinness, The Hamilton Spectator,
DUNDAS (Aug 25, 2009)
Environmentalist Julia Kollek says the citizens' group Protect Our Dundas and several individuals will join Hamilton city council in fighting off an Ontario Municipal Board appeal aimed at winning approval for a self-storage warehouse almost beside the Desjardins Canal.
First Dundas Leasing Ltd., owned by J. Douglas Hammond of Ancaster, is appealing council's rejection of a rezoning application. Hammond is the former owner of the nearby Canadian Tire store.
Opponents say the two-hectare property on the northwest corner of King and Olympic Drive should become part of a proposed urban eco-park in the corridor between Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment.
Hammond says the land has already been covered with fill excavated for a city sewage storage tank and is zoned for restaurants and commercial recreational uses. The warehouse requires a change to industrial use.
The OMB will hold a pre-hearing to identify participants and issues at 10 a.m. Thursday in McMaster University's Downtown Centre at 50 Main St. E., Hamilton.
City planning staff recommended council approve Hammond's application, but councillors disagreed, so the city will have to use an outside planner to defend that position.
Protect Our Dundas has hired Toronto lawyer Eric Gillespie, who handled Joanna Chapman's private prosecution of former mayor Larry Di Ianni and several corporations for campaign donation violations.
Kollek says, "Several people have contacted us (Protect Our Dundas) who strongly feel the facility is proposed in the wrong place, that there are plenty of suitable brownfield sites available and that it would make an ugly entrance to Dundas (easily visible from Cootes Drive).
"We're expecting a number of citizens to attend Thursday, and there are a lot who can't make it who are writing letters seeking participant status. We will read out the letters on their behalf."