Housing availability, transport solutions and how Hamilton’s infrastructure copes with increasingly-severe weather events were hot topics of discussion at Hamilton’s Strategic Growth and District Plan Committee today (23 February).
Hamilton City Councillors deliberated on a revised Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy following feedback from public submissions in October last year. The Strategy sets the direction for where and how the city will provide for more homes and jobs for its people in the next 50 years.
Committee Chair, Councillor Ryan Hamilton, said the city has big issues it needs to tackle to ‘grow well’ in the future.
“In the long-term, we’ve got some big challenges ahead of us like upgrading and funding infrastructure, addressing housing affordability and climate change. There are no fast solutions given the scale of these issues.
“But on the flip side, our population growth is not a tap we can turn off. Hamilton is becoming a more and more attractive place to live and do business. We need to make space for those people while considering how it will impact our city overall. It’s a good problem to have.”
The Strategy sets out three outcomes to achieve its vision: to grow up and out from the central city, along transport corridors, and support the development of quality greenfield neighbourhoods.
Hamilton said ultimately the Strategy will guide Council funding and priorities as it looks ahead to the next Long-Term Plan.
“At its core HUGS helps Council make aligned and strategic decisions and prioritise our limited spending. We can’t grow everywhere at once.
“This is a complex space and there are trade-offs we’ll need to make. But this is intended to make it easier for us to do that so we can optimise our investment for the benefit of the city.”
Council received 91 submissions to the Strategy with the majority supportive of the outcomes. Common themes were around growing up and out from the central city, consideration of the natural environment, the need for active and public transport, and how we make our city a great place to live.
The Committee have approved several changes to the draft Strategy in response to public submissions. This includes adding extra consideration to making Hamilton a great place to live as we grow and removing a focus on achieving 70% of Hamilton’s growth through intensification. Staff will bring the final Strategy back to the Committee to approve in April 2023.