Urban Design

As the development is on Main Street West, one of Hamilton’s main corridors, it will be subject to review by the City’s Design Review Panel. For context, the Strathcona Urban Design Guidelines developed for the Secondary Plan provide design principles and guidelines to help guide development. The tables below show how the proposed development will be compatible with the urban design principles and guidelines:

Design PrinciplesCompatibility with Proposed Development
1. Encourage Mixed Uses
Mixed use development is encouraged along Main Street West, King Street West and Dundurn Street South as illustrated in the Secondary Plan Land Use schedule. This principle ensures ongoing activity within the neighbourhood and promotes livability through land use compatibility. The Mixed-Use - Medium Density designation includes a range of uses, including residential buildings with retail at grade level, commercial space and live/work units, in order to liven the streetscape.
Development is for mixed use, multiple dwellings.
2. New Development Should Address the Street
By siting buildings close to the street edge, orienting primary entrances to the street and minimizing setbacks, while still allowing for comfortable pedestrian movement, new development will address the street and reinforce the streetscapes of the neighbourhood. This will encourage enhanced street level activity and liven the streetscape.
Development is oriented towards Main Street.
3. Intensification through Moderately Scaled Buildings
Intensification through the provision of a mix of densities and encouraging higher density close to transit stops and major street intersections can be achieved through moderately scaled buildings varying in height from 4-10 storeys. This built form scale responds well to the existing built fabric as well as local market demands. It also promotes livability through pedestrian scaled development.
Development is moderately scaled with 10 storeys with scaling at street level conforming with existing built fabric.
4. Appropriate Transitions into Existing Neighbourhood
Building heights should have a smooth transition to adjacent existing built form. This will protect the stable neighbourhood and ensure that any new development, redevelopment or intensification projects adjacent to heritage buildings consider the heritage context, respect the unique character of existing buildings and retain a sense of place by responding to the existing context. This can be achieved through various tools such as building articulation, massing and streetscaping.
Development uses scaling to provide transition to neighbourhood. Building articulation can provide compatibility with surrounding context.
5. Improved Pedestrian Environment
Improving the pedestrian environment enables a healthy streetscape for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and vehicular traffic. Provision of pedestrian amenities including streetscaping (street trees, street furniture, enhanced transit stops), widening of sidewalks and encouraging small open spaces intermittently along arterial corridors, wherever possible, are examples of how a better pedestrian environment can be achieved.
Development encourages activity on Main Street and improves streetscape creating an improved pedestrian environment.
6. Support Transit Oriented Development
To support Transit Oriented Development, urban design should emphasize compact development, enhance pedestrian safety, and encourage street-sharing between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, balanced with increased density along major transit corridors. This will provide transportation alternatives including active transportation, public transit, and enhanced inter-regional transportation connections.
Development is located on major transit line and improves pedestrian environment on Main Street. CarShare is incorporated as well.
7. Follow Sustainable Design Principles
Apart from promoting energy efficiency and resource efficiency through sustainable building practices, sustainable design principles include promoting a healthy environment through ease of pedestrian walkability, creating mixed use focal zones, and promoting efficient infrastructure use through compact built form. Well designed streets and the use of plant materials to address microclimate design concerns are other methods of sustainable design practice. The use of urban plazas, green roofs and green parking lots should also be implemented where feasible with compact built form.
Development encourages a healthy environment through pedestrian walkablity, mixed use and compact built form.
Main Street Built Form and Streetscape GuidelinesCompatibility with Proposed Development
Building Siting and Organization
1. Buildings should generally apply a consistent front yard setback. Variations in setbacks may be used to incorporate opportunities for public open space, mid block pedestrian walkways and/or main entranceways.
2. New development adjacent to existing buildings should reference adjacent setbacks.
3. Where setbacks vary on both sides of a proposed development, the average of the two setbacks should be used.
Setback of development is consistent with existing buildings.
Building Massing
1. New development constructed adjacent to historically significant sites should use sympathetic massing, height, alignment of windows, rooflines, location of entrances, treatment of the ground floors and materials.
2. Where retail or small business uses are proposed in a mixed use development, the massing should be such so as to distinguish residential areas from other uses.
3. Buildings that are taller than 2 storeys should consist of a base of 2-3 storeys, and the additional floors should be set back from the front face of the development by a minimum of 1.5 metres. This will create a more pedestrian friendly streetscape.
Development consists of a base of 3 storeys with a setback for additional storeys.
Building Articulation
1. Intensification sites along Main Street West should be developed with a variety of architectural treatments and materials that are complementary to Strathcona's original building fabric and should demonstrate a high quality of architectural design that reflects their context and function.
2. To maintain the historic character of the Main Street West corridor, it is essential that additions and renovations to existing buildings are responsive to the existing built form articulation. The architectural style, roof types, material choices, and window sizes, should all be coordinated with the existing built fabric.
3. Architectural features such as windows, dormers, roofs, cornice lines, etc., are encouraged and should be complementary to the existing built form.
4. The proportion of window area in a building's facade, and the size and pattern of windows should reflect those of adjacent buildings.
Development will be complementary to the building fabric.
Streetscape Guidelines Street Trees
1. Where site conditions permit, private planting is highly encouraged within the private realm.
2. Where building siting permits mid-block open spaces that are visible from the public street, trees should be added to these spaces.
Where permissible, private planting will be incorporated.


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