Future development in Glendale that could almost double the population of Niagara-on-the-Lake is ready to move forward to the next step, one that implements the policies that allow the vision for the area to become a reality.
The Glendale District Plan has been endorsed by the Town and the Region, with the next step in the process to amend the regional official plan to include the land use policies, and then begin work to update the town’s 10-year-old secondary plan for Glendale that will finalize the details.
The concept work has been completed, with more than two years of public input that has included Glendale resident Steve Hardaker, a member of the community focus group working with the Region.
He moved to the first phase of Niagara on the Green 10 years ago, and quickly became involved in the community, including serving on the Glendale Task Force, a town committee. It was formed to address issues such as parking and garbage, problems that arose when some streets attracted a large number of Niagara College students. In recent years, since the college began reaching out to both homeowners and students on how to be good neighbours, most of those problems have been resolved, says Hardaker, or are at least greatly reduced. “We don’t have a lot of the same issues that we had five to 10 years ago,” he said. “That’s really good to see.”
There has been “minimal growth” in the area since he moved to the neighbourhood, he says, and although the plans are in place for that to change, it won’t be happening soon.
As a member of the district plan community focus group for more than two years, Hardaker says it’s exciting to see the hard work of those years get to this point, but he cautions it will likely be another five years or more before he and his neighbours see shovels in the ground, and several decades until the 400 hectares of developable land are built out.
The next stage of development, although it might be a while in coming, he says, will eventually bring more of the amenities those living in the area would like to see — restaurants, doctors’ offices and a long-awaited grocery store.
“That’s one of the main comments we hear. Getting some of those amenities is high on the list of desires for Glendale residents,” he says.
But the mixed density housing, also part of the district plan, will have to come first, increasing the population of the area sufficiently to attract the kind of businesses that will serve residents, and the jobs that will accompany them, Hardaker says.
The Region is projecting as many as 15,000 people, and 7,500 jobs by the time development is complete.
The regional official plan amendment, and an updated secondary plan, will ensure future development in Glendale is consistent with the vision as laid out in the district plan, says Hardaker.
Then it’s time for property owners and developers to submit their proposals, with the likelihood of “tweaking” some of the zoning to accommodate their plans, before any construction begins.
He’s enjoyed being part of the process to date, and believes the success of the district plan has been the collaboration of all parties involved, and the inclusion of the residents throughout.
Future development in NOTL and across the region “should follow that model,” says Hardaker.
“I hope that when the Town updates the Glendale secondary plan, they will do it in the same way. And you bet I’ll be there. I’d like to be part of it.”
On Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. the Region will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss the official plan amendment to incorporate the vision and direction of the Glendale District Plan.
More information on the Glendale District Plan can be found at: niagararegion.ca/projects/glendale-niagara-district-plan/
To provide input during the meeting, and receive information on how to do so, participants must re-register with the regional clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org, before 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.
Written submissions can be emailed to the same address, or mailed to the Office of the Regional Clerk, Niagara Region, 1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Ontario, L2V 4T7.