Hamilton and Valeri Construction Ltd. battle over highrise mountain development at Local Planning Appeal Tribunal


Valeri Construction Ltd. has appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to allow a nine-storey development at the corner of Stone Church Road and West Fifth Street. - Kevin Werner/Metroland

Hamilton planning staff and Valeri Construction Ltd. continue to tussle over a nine-storey, 216-unit residential development proposal that the city is opposing at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Valeri Construction Ltd. informed the city July 30, 2020 it was appealing the rezoning application at the corner of Stone Church Road and West Fifth Street to the tribunal after council had yet to adopt an official plan amendment for the property within 120 days of the application being deemed complete by the city. Council had let 465 days to go by without making a decision.

Council had authorized the city to oppose the development. Planner James Van Rooi told the Feb. 16 planning committee that a case management meeting took place Dec. 8, 2020, and another one is scheduled for March 2, 2021.

The committee, though, held a non-statutory public meeting Feb. 16 to hear from residents.

Prior to the developer’s appeal, 47 residents had sent letters to the city opposing the development, while another 76 signed a petition against the structure.

Mariam Hanhan, who lives at 41 Stone Church Rd. W., said the proposal is not compatible with the community. It is too high, will add traffic and parking woes to the area, she said.

“We feel this is a monster new build that will change the look and character of our neighbourhood,” she said. 

Other residents in the area voiced their opposition to the project. Robyn White stated in a letter to the committee the project is an “aggressive development plan, a massive building for this quiet and safe area.”

Vedant Patel stated in an email to the committee the proposal will upset a neighbourhood that has “been for single family homes and a building of this size would completely take away from the esthetic of the area.”

A public meeting on the project was held Sept. 19, 2019, with the majority of the people who turned out opposed to the building.

Mountain Coun. John-Paul Danko, who represents the area, said late last year the city had been “working” with Valeri Construction to make the project “more sympathetic to the surrounding area. However, as those discussions transpired, it was clear we were just on different sides of the fence.”

Danko told residents they should send any letters to the tribunal so they can be “more effectively involved.”

Valeri Construction Ltd. had originally submitted a 237-unit development that included a 10-storey building with 70 surface parking spaces and 171 underground spots. Staff opposed the proposal, arguing there were issues with height and the “mass” of the building.

A revised application proposed a 236-unit structure in a 10-storey building with 59 surface parking lots and 167 underground spaces. But the proposal again failed to get staff’s approval because of the design, mass, and height of the structure.

A third submission had a 216-unit development in a nine-storey structure with 54 surface parking spaces and 243 underground spots.