Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 30, 2015
Hamilton’s Porch Problem on the Eve of the Pan Am Games
The Johnson family is rather fond of the wooden table set on their east-end front porch — the city, not so much.
Jennifer and Tony arrived to their Chestnut Avenue home last Friday to find a bylaw notice taped to their front door ordering them to remove the furniture, hide their garbage containers and cut their lawn within three days or face a maximum fine of $10,000.
“The way this was done made (us feel) bullied,” said Jennifer, who notes the family would opt for a nicer set if they could afford it. “We sit here all the time.”
The table set hasn’t generated a single bylaw complaint in three years, so why is the city cracking down now?
When they called to complain, the Johnsons said a city staffer told them it wouldn’t look good for the Pan Am Games. But Coun. Matthew Green has apologized to the family, saying the staff member was mistaken and the bylaw blitz is part of the city’s proactive approach to property standards. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
A new city order to fix up crumbling and controversial heritage buildings in Gore Park won’t get action before the Pan Am Games.
The city issued an order earlier this month to repair falling bricks and missing mortar by July 5 at 28 King St. — one in a series of addresses in a historic park frontage that was slated for demolition until council imposed a last-minute heritage designation at the end of 2013.
The ownership consortium for 18-28 King St. has appealed the order to a rarely convened committee that isn’t scheduled to meet until September. Consortium partner Robert Miles confirmed the appeal, but declined to comment further.
The appeal prevents the city from doing the repairs — at the owner’s expense — in advance of the July 10 to 27 Pan Am Games, which feature a major themed party in Gore Park.
“It’s unfortunate nothing can be done because bricks are still falling off and it doesn’t look very good,” said downtown BIA executive director Kathy Drewitt, who added the group sought, but couldn’t come up with cash for artwork to hide the plywood-covered windows overlooking Gore Park’s iconic fountain.
Drewitt said planners for the Pan Am Promenade event in the park will “strategically” park food trucks and first aid tents in front of the buildings. “We can basically hide the bottom section, but if you look up, it’s hard to miss,” she said. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)