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A construction crane was installed at 71 Main Street the week of November 11 before the developer had paid all fees, charges and taxes required to receive a building permit for a nine-story, 64-unit residential building.
  • A construction crane was installed at 71 Main Street the week of November 11 before the developer had paid all fees, charges and taxes required to receive a building permit for a nine-story, 64-unit residential building.

City of Hamilton planning staff have not disclosed the total fees – including possible community benefits fees, park dedication fees, development fees and property taxes – required to issue a permit of construction for a nine-storey residential building at 71 Main Street.

Meanwhile, Ontario Ministry of Labor spokeswoman Anu Dhar said the ministry issued nine orders, including a stop work order, during 12 site visits between May 1 and on November 15, 2022.

“As all orders have been met, investigations are now complete,” Dhar said.

Dhar did not provide details on the purpose of the orders or the exact date they were issued.

In addition to the undisclosed fees, a “tariff of fees” totaling approximately $17,400, based on the total size of the planned development, was owed to the city before it issued the building permit. The tariff is intended to recover the costs of reviewing planning and engineering applications related to developments.

“As of Friday, November 11, the only outstanding items for the issuance of the building superstructure (permit) and the sprinkler and hydrant permit are payment of outstanding fees,” Shantz said. “Staff understand that the applicant is working to make payment to facilitate permit issuance.”

Shantz did not specify what fees may have already been paid and what was still owed.

A crane was erected on the site the week of November 9, towering over Main Street and surrounding properties.

Shantz said the city did not issue any permits or approvals to build the crane on the site.

“Crane installation is under the purview of the Department of Labor,” Shantz said. “The city does not review or approve them.”

Dhar said the owner of a construction crane “must keep a permanent record of all inspections, tests, repairs, modifications and maintenance of the crane”, and prepare a logbook for it, to be used on the building project.

“During a project inspection, an inspector can review all documents related to all cranes in the project,” Dhar said.

In the past seven months, the developer has apparently eliminated the last five outstanding site plan conditions: grading and drainage control; Site Servicing Plan, Site Plan Drawing, Maintain Removal and Special Service Agreement – leaving all fees, charges and taxes unpaid as the final hurdle to receiving building permits. Permits were issued in May for the excavation and shoring, which have been ongoing ever since.

Neighbor Peggy Lewis has noticed a lot of activity on the site over the past six months as it was prepared for the planned construction and during the excavation and shoring work. She said work starts every day at 7 a.m.

Lewis suggested that if no charge for community benefits is required by the city, perhaps the developer should pay compensation for impacts to surrounding residents.

“Believe me, living next to this development is not easy – because we always knew it would be difficult. It definitely has an effect on mental health,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the city should see community benefits when such developments take place.

“We are in a housing crisis situation and it is imperative that housing is built as quickly as possible,” she said. “If we are going to build within the city limits, many more people will also be affected during construction.

“Until one actually experiences the daily difficulties and disruptions of these building sites, it is difficult to understand the mental effect it has on oneself.”


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We wanted to learn more about the impacts of the ongoing construction of a nine-story apartment building at 71 Main Street.