Why are we creating a Secondary Plan for the Waterdown Node?

    A City Wide Secondary Plan Review was undertaken by the Planning and Economic Development Department in 2009. This was a comprehensive review of the City of Hamilton to determine where and when Secondary Plans and Community Strategies should be prepared. The Waterdown Community Node area was identified as a one of the priority areas for developing a Secondary Plan based on a number of factors, including:

    Direction from the Urban Hamilton Official Plan for Secondary Plans to be prepared for all community nodes;

    • a need to protect the heritage characteristics of the historical downtown
    • a need for urban design guidelines for consistent redevelopment
    • a need to appropriately integrate older areas of Waterdown with newer developing areas
    • the need to address concerns related to traffic and access in the area

    In 2014, Council endorsed a strategy with respect to traffic management and land use for the Waterdown Village Core area which directed that the City initiate:

    • the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan
    • a Transportation Management Plan for the Waterdown Community Node

    What impact can the Secondary Plan process have on directions for the Waterdown Node?

    The Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan will create a vision for the local area influenced by community input and the principles established in the Urban Hamilton Official Plan, and will establish a policy framework to implement that vision. Once the Secondary Plan is approved, new development will be required to:    

    • Comply with Secondary Plan policies, which may give specific direction for land uses, design, building heights, infrastructure, transportation, and other matters. 
    • Be consistent with Urban Design Guidelines for the area, which can give more detailed direction on the design of a site, including size, massing (where different portions of a building are located on a site), setbacks, landscaping, architectural features and building materials.

    Isn’t the core of Waterdown already built/developed?

    Yes. Most properties in the Waterdown core already have some type of development on them. However, there will be changes and redevelopment occurring over time. The Secondary Plan is a tool that can be used to guide public and private investment, and manage changes so that they are consistent with the vision and direction set out in the Secondary Plan.

    Can the Plan protect properties with heritage value?

    Additional policies in the Secondary Plan can relate to preserving heritage character, maintaining the scale of historic streetscapes, transitions to adjacent areas and retention of on-site heritage resources. These directions would provide additional “teeth” to ensure that historic buildings are conserved through the development process. The Waterdown Built Heritage Inventory will also result in the listing of new heritage properties on the Municipal Heritage Register to provide them interim protection from demolition and to help inform additional tools resulting from the Secondary Plan process, such as Urban Design Guidelines.

    What does the Waterdown Transportation Study have to do with the Secondary Plan?

    There is close relationship between the distribution of land uses in a community and the need to travel. The location, density, and mix of facilities in a city - schools, jobs, groceries, parks, clinics, homes - is really what creates the need for any kind of travel. The distance that these facilities are from where we live and work is a key driver in determining how far and by what mode we need to, want to, or can travel.

    As the Secondary Plan is determining the future shape of the Waterdown core with respect to where people will live, work, and play, this will have a direct effect on how people will need to move around in the future. The transportation study needs to be responsive to this, while also providing feedback as to what solutions exist to keep Waterdown moving as it continues to grow. The two studies therefore need to work together to ensure that the goals of the community for land use and mobility are closely aligned.