Comments for Committee of the Whole: Feb. 18, 2010

Last February, citing concerns for our neighbourhood, North End Neighbours urged council not to make Barton-Tiffany the preferred site for a new stadium, but to stick to the designation from Setting Sail.

Today, Council will vote to put a stadium on the West-Harbour, our doorstep.

Within our neighbourhood the issue of putting a stadium on that location is hotly debated. But, for or against, the worry is how a stadium at the West Harbour will affect our neighbourhood. We want a healthy, child and Family-Friendly community. We want to be protected from the negative impacts of a stadium at our doorstep including traffic and parking.

We are interested in making sure a stadium is transportation-friendly for walking, biking, and with shuttles bringing people in rather than driving through our residential streets.

We are interested in a LEED stadium built with excellence, incorporating environmentally-friendly designs and concepts.

Issues that have been brought forward and continue to be discussed amongst neighbours include: before and after game parties, game noise, what the stadium will look like, what kind of use it will get, will it be a “wall” facing the neighbourhood, how lights will affect neighbourhood, community use, traffic, parking, how streets will be blocked off, and which streets will become main arterials.

All will impact our neighbourhood.

A West Harbour Stadium combined with the West Harbour Recreational Master Plan puts our neighbourhood under real pressure especially with the increased traffic and parking. While we certainly see changes coming, and coming fast, we want to remain a healthy, pedestrian friendly community. A neighbourhood welcoming and safe for seniors, handicapped, singles, and families with children. We call it a Child and Family Friendly Neighbourhood.

In keeping with the Hamilton vision of the Best Place to Raise a Child, North End, (and other adjacent neighbourhoods) needs to be protected from major increases in through traffic and event parking. We strongly urge a 5th recommendation be added to the 4 recommendations being voted on today.

a) that approval of the site includes implementation of a program to ensure that the North End Neighbourhood is protected from adverse traffic and parking impacts related to the stadium/velodrome site uses, through comprehensive traffic and parking management strategies to be developed in consultation with residents of that neighbourhood.

Does A Stadium Enhance A Neighbourhood?

March 2009 after City Council voted that the West Harbour be submitted as the preferred site for the Pan Am Stadium, NEN requested of City Manager Chris Murray and David Adames, the Pan Am “point man”,  that NEN be kept informed during the site selection process.  That did not happen.

On Thursday Feb. 11, 2010 a meeting organized by Councillor Bob Bratina was held to inform residents of the up-coming recommendation by City staff to select the West Harbour location for the stadium site. The business plan had been completed, and the preferred site was in fact going to be recommended to council on Thurs. Feb. 18.   About 75 people attended this meeting, organized on very short notice, hotly discussing this decision & the process, and asking many questions about the affects to the neighbourhood. 

NEN’s position has been that until we can properly assess the effects of a stadium, NEN continues to support the residential land use designation on the Barton-Tiffany land in Hamilton’s Official Plan: (medium-density residential, small shops/commercial, and parkland).

Board members read the 200 page business report which includes the IBI traffic report (80 page appendix) , that will be presented to Committee of the Whole on Feb. 18.  In addition, we spoke at that meeting focusing our comments on our concerns for our neighbourhood. 

Issues that have been brought forward and discussed are: before and after game “partiers”,  noise, what the stadium will look like, what kind of use it will get, will it be a “wall” facing the neighbourhoods, how lights will affect neighbourhood and harbour, shading, traffic, parking, community use, how streets will be blocked off, which streets will become main arterials and more. 

We are interested in making sure a stadium built in the West Harbour is transportation friendly, with shuttles  bringing people in rather than driving through residential streets.  We are interested in a LEED stadium built with excellence, incorporating environmentally-friendly designs and concepts.

NEN is not opposed to the Pan Am Games.  We do want to know how building a stadium will enhance our neighbourhood, enhance residential growth, and be true to Hamilton’s vision of the Best Place to Raise a Child, promote innovation, engage citizens, and promote business.

A West Harbour Stadium combined with the West Harbour Recreational Master Plan which recommends over 75,000 sq. ft. of commercial buildings,  puts our neighbourhood under pressure.  Change will happen, and we need to be part of the process to maintain our community and as we continue to work toward becoming a Child and Family Friendly Neighbourhood.  

MEMORIES

Memories Night was a huge success!  A great time was had by all.  A big thanks to all the people who shared their stories and especially to Ed Stewart!

We want to do it again, and hopefully record it!  

Thanks to Route 66 Oldies Cafe for hosting this event.