GRIDS 2 and Municipal Comprehensive Review

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GRIDS 2 (Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy) is a big-picture planning process that evaluates the land use, infrastructure, economic development and financial implications of growth for the next 30 years. The City is planning for 236,000 new residents and 122,000 new jobs in Hamilton to the year 2051.

What is the MCR?

The Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) is a requirement of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan) and the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) at the time of the City’s 5-year Official Plan Review. The MCR is the process by which the City brings its Official Plans (both Urban and Rural) into conformity with updated Provincial policies which apply to Hamilton (PPS, Growth Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Greenbelt Plan). The population and job forecasts of the Growth Plan to 2051 need to be planned and accommodated for through the MCR.

Through the GRIDS 2 process, the City is well on its way to completing the MCR. Both a Land Needs Assessment (LNA) as well as the “How Should Hamilton Grow?” evaluation of growth options were completed and presented for final approval of Council on November 19, 2021. Council adopted a No Urban Boundary Expansion Growth Scenario to accommodate the forecasted population and jobs to 2051. The policies of the City’s Official Plans must now be updated to reflect Council’s preferred growth option through the MCR, as well as other policy updates to implement new and revised Provincial policy direction.

Previous information about Land Needs Assessment and Evaluation and Phasing, can be found under the respective headings in "Updates" tab.

MCR Draft Policy Updates

Policy Planning Staff have reviewed the existing policies in the Urban Hamilton Official Plan against provincial policy documents like the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Provincial Policy Statement, and have proposed draft changes to local policies based on topic area themes (e.g., Employment, Housing, Growth Management, Climate Related, etc.). Staff have also proposed draft policy changes to implement the Council decision to implement the “No Urban Boundary Expansion” growth option. These draft policy updates are first step of the City completing the MCR process and Official Plan Review.

The next steps in completing the MCR and Official Plan Review include:

  • Updates to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan (RHOP) for conformity with Provincial policy (e.g. refinements to the Agricultural and Natural Heritage Systems mapping, agriculture and open space policy updates). Anticipated for early 2023
  • Local Context policy updates for locally specific matters not related to Provincial policy (e.g. parks and recreation, urban design, residential development policies). Anticipated for mid-2023
  • Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) planning (e.g. delineation of MTSAs and density targets on the Light Rail Transit corridor, investigation of inclusionary zoning). Anticipated for mid-2023

Proposed Changes to the City’s Zoning By-laws

To implement the draft policy changes proposed to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan as a result of Council’s decision to implement the No Urban Boundary Expansion growth option, staff are preparing the necessary changes to the Zoning By-laws of the former Communities (but not Zoning By-law No. 05-200). The City’s Zoning By-laws are the primary mechanism for implementing the Official Plans. The proposed changes to the former Community Zoning By-laws will align with the draft policy changes proposed to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan by providing more opportunities for intensification in the City’s low density areas.

The proposed changes will:

  • Widen the range of permitted housing forms in low density residential zones
  • Provide small scale intensification opportunities

GRIDS 2 (Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy) is a big-picture planning process that evaluates the land use, infrastructure, economic development and financial implications of growth for the next 30 years. The City is planning for 236,000 new residents and 122,000 new jobs in Hamilton to the year 2051.

What is the MCR?

The Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) is a requirement of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan) and the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) at the time of the City’s 5-year Official Plan Review. The MCR is the process by which the City brings its Official Plans (both Urban and Rural) into conformity with updated Provincial policies which apply to Hamilton (PPS, Growth Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Greenbelt Plan). The population and job forecasts of the Growth Plan to 2051 need to be planned and accommodated for through the MCR.

Through the GRIDS 2 process, the City is well on its way to completing the MCR. Both a Land Needs Assessment (LNA) as well as the “How Should Hamilton Grow?” evaluation of growth options were completed and presented for final approval of Council on November 19, 2021. Council adopted a No Urban Boundary Expansion Growth Scenario to accommodate the forecasted population and jobs to 2051. The policies of the City’s Official Plans must now be updated to reflect Council’s preferred growth option through the MCR, as well as other policy updates to implement new and revised Provincial policy direction.

Previous information about Land Needs Assessment and Evaluation and Phasing, can be found under the respective headings in "Updates" tab.

MCR Draft Policy Updates

Policy Planning Staff have reviewed the existing policies in the Urban Hamilton Official Plan against provincial policy documents like the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Provincial Policy Statement, and have proposed draft changes to local policies based on topic area themes (e.g., Employment, Housing, Growth Management, Climate Related, etc.). Staff have also proposed draft policy changes to implement the Council decision to implement the “No Urban Boundary Expansion” growth option. These draft policy updates are first step of the City completing the MCR process and Official Plan Review.

The next steps in completing the MCR and Official Plan Review include:

  • Updates to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan (RHOP) for conformity with Provincial policy (e.g. refinements to the Agricultural and Natural Heritage Systems mapping, agriculture and open space policy updates). Anticipated for early 2023
  • Local Context policy updates for locally specific matters not related to Provincial policy (e.g. parks and recreation, urban design, residential development policies). Anticipated for mid-2023
  • Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) planning (e.g. delineation of MTSAs and density targets on the Light Rail Transit corridor, investigation of inclusionary zoning). Anticipated for mid-2023

Proposed Changes to the City’s Zoning By-laws

To implement the draft policy changes proposed to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan as a result of Council’s decision to implement the No Urban Boundary Expansion growth option, staff are preparing the necessary changes to the Zoning By-laws of the former Communities (but not Zoning By-law No. 05-200). The City’s Zoning By-laws are the primary mechanism for implementing the Official Plans. The proposed changes to the former Community Zoning By-laws will align with the draft policy changes proposed to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan by providing more opportunities for intensification in the City’s low density areas.

The proposed changes will:

  • Widen the range of permitted housing forms in low density residential zones
  • Provide small scale intensification opportunities
Page last updated: 13 May 2022, 09:24 AM