Aerotropolis Residents Reject City’s Plan
For immediate release.
Oct 5th, 2012 – Hamilton ON – Hamilton Civic League volunteers conducted a door to door survey of 349 households within the Aerotropolis boundaries during the last week of August. The short survey was designed to gauge residents’ level of awareness of and support for the City approved plan to rezone thousands of acres of prime farmland surrounding the airport, for industrial purposes. Eighty-two percent (82%) of residents surveyed do not support the City’s plan. Sixty-six percent (66%) claimed to have received notification of the plan from the City but many had clearly confused recent Hamilton Civic League mailings as notice from the City.
The City of Hamilton claims there is a shortage of industrial lands, throughout the city, to support industrial
employment growth to the year 2031. Eighty-five percent (85%) of respondents disagree and believe we have plenty of available industrial lands. Surveyed residents control over 1325 acres of which ninety-one percent (91%) are owner occupied. Ownership/occupancy durations ranged from four days to over two-hundred years with the average occupancy duration being 28 years. During casual door-step conversations, most long-term residents cited concerns for the loss of their much desired, rural lifestyle.
The City refers to the rezoning project as the Airport Employment Growth District. The promise of future jobs and claims of increased City revenues through property taxation continue to drive the project forward. The fact that there is already an industrial zoned airport park which has remained 93% vacant and not attracted a single new tenant over the past 20 years has not deterred City Hall. The industrial rezoning is being challenged legally and comes before the Ontario Municipal Board again mid January 2013, during which time the survey results will be presented.
The Hamilton Civic League will now begin to focus on the City’s claim of a shortage of existing industrial lands. The Hamilton Civic League invites the general public to meet at the office of the City Clerk at the west end of the first floor of City Hall on Tuesday October 9th beginning at 9 AM at which time volunteers will begin searching 35,000 pages of tax assessment data to identify all industrial properties. The land mapping project will continue on subsequent days, during regular business hours until the project is complete. Volunteers are welcome to email HamiltonCivicLeague@gmail.com for additional information.