Also on the agenda for Friday’s Council meeting was final consideration of the proposed Rural Zoning Bylaw.

The proposed by-law would outlaw almost all of the landscaping enterprises located in the rural areas of the ‘new’ Hamilton (primarily Flamborough, Ancaster and Glanbrook). It would also arbitrarily ‘downzone’ (or eliminate) some of the current uses on rural properties with commercial or industrial zoning.

As a result of the extraordinary efforts of Flamborough Councillors Judi Partridge (Ward 15 – East Flamborough) and Robert Pasuta (Ward 14 – West Flamborough) – with the intervention by and support of both the FCC and Landscape Ontario – an ‘exemption’ program – with certain conditions – was offered to landscapers.

There are an estimated 150-175 landscapers headquartered in rural Flamborough and Ancaster. But less than 40 landscapers took advantage of what is essentially an ‘amnesty’ program.

That creates much uncertainty. What about the rest of the rural landscapers? And what about the hundreds of other businesses located in the rural areas that are not in the landscaping business?

When it came time to vote, the Rural Zoning By-law was passed. Only Glanbrook Councillor Brenda Johnson – a former ‘project manager’ with Environment Hamilton – voted against the landscaper exemption.

The FCC will continue to stay involved in these issues through its role on Hamilton’s ‘Open For Business’ committee. Stay tuned.

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