City should support Leland project
RE: Hamilton council fighting student residence (July 7)
Why has city council voted against the development of a five-storey, 124-unit apartment building proposed for 71-77 Leland? Why are they wasting money hiring a planning group to help them argue against the development at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing? The property has had no occupants for several years and attracts garbage, drugs and about 60 cars per day for free parking. City staff and the Ainslie Wood/Westdale Community Association are in favour of the proposed development. The present zoning laws already allow for a fivestorey building, but not the 124 units.
A well-supervised apartment building with small units would provide additional accommodation options for students, and would attract non-students such as university staff and visiting academics. Because the property is so close to McMaster University, most residents would not require cars, and 50 parking spots would be more than adequate.
If the OMB upholds the decision, everybody loses. The property could continue to be a brownfield for several more years, or Creek Village Inc. could decide to build according to the present zoning laws.
Large multi-room units would be similar to student houses. The density, as measured in people rather than units, would be similar to the proposed development. The apartment building would be difficult to manage and renters would have fewer options. Let us hope that the OMB will vote in favour of the developers. Jean Wessel, Hamilton