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Hamilton Resident critical of demolition permit process

 

Hamilton Resident critical of demolition permit process

John Best

A Hamilton resident is urging council to add the demolition of homes to a resolution passed earlier this month that placed restrictions on commercial and industrial demolitions, The resolution, passed on February 2 was triggered by the demolition that took part at the former Hamilton Specialty Bar site in September 2019 that saw a toxic cloud of particulates envelop much of the north end, as something went seriously awry with the process.

Bylaw would force notification of neighbours

The motion introduced by Clrs. Danko and Wilson on behalf of Clr. Nann, in whose ward the Specialty Bar accident occurred, would ask the Environment Ministry to order mandatory notification to all neighbouring properties, in writing, of the date and time that a commercial or industrial demolition is to take place which includes:

(i) the previous use of the site to be demolished;

(ii) a list of any potential contaminants which could become airborne or

enter Hamilton’s waterways or soil;

(iii) the potential human health impacts of contamination; and,

(iv) a detailed action plan to mitigate all potential impacts to human

health, air quality and waterways or soil.

None of the residents who lived near the Specialty Bar demolition had advance warning that it was to take place.

Originally, the motion was to apply to all demolitions but councillors amended the resolution to exclude the demolition of residential properties.

Wants residential demolitions included

Hamilton resident Kevin Gonci is asking council to reconsider the exclusion writing, “the exclusion of residential demolition permits from this proposal falls short of fully ensuring the long-term health and safety interests of our community and any staff report should include a review of best practices for residential permits so members of City Council can make an informed decision.” He told the Bay Observer, “the part that was most concerning to me is when others chimed in to express concerns of creating “red tape” and inconvenience for some, so the Motion was revised to specify industrial and commercial properties only and not residential. This I feel is a mistake or more accurately an underestimation of the potential hazards from residential property demolition which is clearly revealed through the very superficial research I have conducted. At the very least, CIty Staff should be reporting back with details for any and all demolition projects so that City Council can make a more informed decision.”

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