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Jan. 22, 2021 | Friday
Local News
Massive Glendale District Plan endorsed by regional council
Glendale District Plan. (Supplied)

Steve Hardaker

Community Correspondent

Niagara regional council has endorsed the Glendale District Plan, concluding a two-and-a-half year effort to develop a vision and a plan to support future development in Glendale.

With more than 700 hectares of land, 400 of which could be developed, Glendale has been identified by Niagara Region as an area to focus on growth and economic prosperity.

When fully built in a few decades, Glendale is expected to be home to as many as 15,000 residents and about 7,500 jobs – "a complete, urban community,” according to a regional planner.

The district will offer a mix of housing options, a dedicated employment area, a hospitality district, a transit hub, greenspace and walking trails, and new amenities to support the neighbourhod's population.

With its endorsement on Sept. 17, council authorized regional staff to work collaboratively with the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake on an update to the existing Glendale Secondary Plan.

Council also authorized ongoing work of the Glendale District Plan technical advisory committee with the mandate to implement the key directions, strategies and recommendations of the development of the community.

During a presentation to the region’s planning and economic development committee on Sept. 9, lead planner Kirsten McCauley stated, “Endorsement of the plan confirms the vision and commitment to Glendale becoming a complete, urban community.”

A district plan is a proactive development strategy for a specific area of Niagara, intended to support the region’s focus on growth and economic prosperity.

Development of the district plan was a collaborative effort involving the town and region, municipal leaders, residents, Niagara College, stakeholders and land owners.

Earlier in 2020 there were recommendations from the Friends of Laura Secord to use the opportunity to recognize the geographic, historical and cultural attributes that may one day lead to a renaming of Glendale to a more relevant name.

Now that the plan has been endorsed, next steps include a regional official plan amendment during the fall/winter of 2020-21, work on updating the Glendale Secondary Plan in 2021 and ongoing work with the technical advisory committee for implementation.

Through this update, technical studies, such as reviews of infrastructure, densities and transportation capacity, will assist in refining the land use boundaries and confirming suitable buildings and building heights.

Once completed, land owners and developers will be able to submit plans that are consistent with the vision of the district plan and the Glendale Secondary Plan.

In an emailed statment, Regional Coun. Gary Zalepa, who is also a member of the region’s planning and economic development committee, said, “The Glendale District Plan is a great example of leveraging both regional and town planning expertise, through the completion of an extensive public process."

He called it a great model for future development across the Niagara region. "The Glendale plan is well-developed for benefiting the town’s future and will ensure we move forward in a sustainable fashion and attract the proper balance of employment opportunities combined with great places to live and work and play,” he said.

Steve Hardaker has lived in Glendale for 10 years and is active in many community organizations. He was a member of the Glendale District Plan, Phase 2 Community Focus Group.