A citizens' group is one step closer to seeing its plan for the West Harbour come to life.

Hamilton's planning committee has agreed to include the group's plan in the West Harbor Urban Design study.

The group, lead by Hamiltonian Bob Carr with Thier + Curran Architects, met with the committee on Tuesday.

The plan incorporates mixed-use residential and commercial space, expanding on central and north neighbourhoods. It uses Caroline Street as a connecter between downtown and the waterfront.

It includes the CN-owned Stuart Street rail yard.

"It's an incredible amount of land," Carr said. "There is so much potential."

Mayor Bob Bratina said he will raise the future of the rail yard when he meets with CN executives in the next few weeks.

Chris Phillips, advisor to the city manager, told councillors at Tuesday's meeting that staff had been in touch with CN in June about relocating the rail yard. CN said it was not interested, Phillips told councillors.

But CN's stance shouldn't be an obstacle, said architect Agata Mancini, who is working with the group to develop the vision.

"Once they see the potential [in real estate], they'll see they can profit," she said.

"The main thing is to keep moving forward and keep people thinking about it."

The group has created an online petition that Mancini said they hope to present at a meeting with CN.