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Waterdown planning for growth while retaining community character

Waterdown planning for growth while retaining community character

Waterdown has been one of the fastest growing suburban communities in Hamilton and that growth will only continue as Hamilton adds 200,000 residents in the next 30 years. . The future face of Waterdown was mapped out as Planning Committee endorsed a plan for the core area of Waterdown, centered around Dundas Street and Hamilton Street. The plan will seek to  preserve many of the historical structures in the town while improving opportunities for walking the cycling in the community. The Mill Street Heritage Conservation District is already protected and will not be affected by the proposed planning changes.

The report notes, “there are a variety of opportunities for intensification and infill development in the Waterdown Community Node. Large and deep sites exist along Hamilton Street, which contain primarily one or two storey commercial buildings and significant surface parking. This reflects an inefficient use of land and resources, and an excess of impermeable surfaces.”

The report recommends intensification that stresses human-scaled streetscapes including wide sidewalks, street trees, pedestrian seating and amenities, open spaces, and street-fronting buildings with publicly accessible at-grade uses.

Existing neighbourhoods would be protected through ensuring sensitive infill development and appropriate transitions between new development within the Community Node and existing low-rise neighbourhoods. New construction would be encouraged to blend in with the existing character of the core by contemporary urban design best practices for new development that complements and enhances Waterdown’s unique character.

The plan calls for environmental initiatives such as green roofs and  permeable pavement. The plan would see stormwater management on site, minimizing the need for discharge into municipal stormwater systems, including the integration of bioswales, rain gardens, retention ponds, rainwater collection tanks, and rain chains.

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