April 1, 2015
On March 31, 2015 the City of Hamilton planning department hosted a public meeting to receive input into the proposed planning bylaw.  The bylaw makes specific mention of Landscape Contractors. It will explicitly allow landscape companies to operate on Rural and Agricultural properties as a secondary use to Nursery with certain conditions. Here is a link to the draft. 

The majority of the presenters spoke against the proposed bylaw.  Landscape Ontario made the case that rural properties are best suited for landscape operations. Here is a copy of the presentation.    

According to planning staff, most landscape companies are already operating illegally in rural and agricultural locations.  This is the same across most municipalities in Ontario.  Generally our members are left alone to operate their businesses unless there is a complaint.  I expect the situation will be same with or without the proposed bylaw.  There are 118 LO members in the Hamilton.  I really cannot see Hamilton mounting a campaign to relocate all these companies, however there is a still a risk. 

We have proposed an amnesty program that would grandfather everyone as "legal non-conforming."  

Please call your local councillor and let him or her know that you are concerned. Here is a link to contact information.