CBC reports Environment Hamilton, Hamiltonians for Progressive Development, the Council of Canadians and the Hamilton Civic League are raising concerns about the Airport Employment Growth District, known as the Aerotropolis project. This is a city plan to expand the urban boundary of Hamilton by 1,800 hectares, including land held for airport expansion and 700 hectares designated for industrial development.
The article notes, “Opponents’ worries include the environmental impact, the economic effectiveness, the loss of prime agricultural land and the contribution to urban sprawl.” The Hamilton Spectator adds, “The area designated for the largest urban boundary expansion in Hamilton’s history has 26 forests, 12 wetlands and the headwaters of four watercourses, said Dr. John Bacher of the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society. He said important environmental features of the land ‘will be dangerously degraded’ if the acreage becomes industrial. Gord McNulty of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club said contamination of water courses in the area would ‘dramatically impact downstream habitats’, including the Dundas Valley, where more than 30 species are at risk.”
The Council of Canadians helped to organize a public forum on this issue on January 9, and those concerned took their case to an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing which began on January 14.
The OMB hearings were expected to conclude late this past week and as noted by the Hamilton Spectator, “It is not known when it will issue a decision.”