OMB appeal regarding application for minor variance at 300 Richmond Road.

10 04 2008

On November 21, the City of Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment denied an application by Cassone Construction Ltd. for “minor variances” with respect to its proposal for 300 Richmond Road. The Committee of Adjustment’s decision was posted on our blog at that time.

It is the WCA’s position that the real issue on this application is the need to support both the existing zoning bylaw and the new Community Design Plan (CDP).  Although the Cassone application appears to fall within the zoning bylaw’s height limit of 5 stories, it significantly exceeds the Floor Space Index maximum in the current bylaw.  Of particular importance to the WCA, the new CDP, which has been approved as a policy by City Council, means that the Floor Space Index measure will be decreasing from that in the current bylaw.  With the ink barely dry on the CDP, it is important to the WCA that the Community Design Plan be supported.  We are greatly concerned at the City’s decision not to be involved in this appeal.

If you are interested in this issue, please consider attending the OMB hearing in support of the WCA.  It is in the Keefer Room in the Heritage Building at City Hall starting at 10:00 am on April 10 and April 11.

More information will be posted here on the outcome of the hearing.

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5 responses

10 04 2008
a peek inside the fish bowl

[…] Here’s what the Westboro Community Association has posted about the issue. » Filed under Misc. life, Ottawa by andrea at 7:35. » Share This back to top […]

10 04 2008
David

It’s hardly surprising the developer is appealing. The CDP + the bylaw don’t make much sense when combined. 5 storeys is within the CDP but then the floor space index is only 2.0 in the current bylaw (and supposedly it is less still in the CDP, but I can’t find any mention of it). To get 5 storeys at an FSI of 2.0 you’re looking at maybe 50% lot coverage (halls, stairwells and other utility spaces are excluded, which is why it would be more than the mathematical 40%). For a main street, mixed use district this is ridiculous. There isn’t a building on Richmond in Westboro with that low a lot coverage (save the automotive-related uses we’re supposed to be trying to get rid of). Many are close to 100%, and all the rest of the buildings in that block are 100%. An FSI of 2.0 with 5-6 storeys is just too little to realistically work with (especially if there is a need to cover the costs of underground parking, which is something that should be encouraged). That said, the developer wants an FSI of 3.7 and that is too much since it’s going to be close to full coverage for 5 storeys with minimal stepping back. Something closer to 2.5 is probably about right for 5 storeys and 2.0 for 4.

10 04 2008
Stu

I agree that the CDP is flawed, not to mention the fact that the CDP is only second to the official plan, which is calling for an abolition of the FSI requirement and a maximum height of 24 metres. The CDP is calling for an FSI of 1.0 which is completely unrealistic…at that rate we will have no development. I believe that this proposed building falls somewhere in the 15-18 metre range and at 5 stories, it is smack in the middle of the 4-6 storey requirement of both the CDP and Official Plan. As for the recommended FSI of 1.0 in the CDP, if one were to follow that for that particular lot, you could only actually build a one, maybe a two storey building with no surface parking, which leaves underground parking. The down side, and I think a big downside, would be that with the rock in the area, it would be economically unfeasable to satisfy the parking requirements, as you would have to have basement parking which is not a cheap proposition, especially with only a few storeys. I don’t think any of us want any more cash in lieu, parking is vital and this proposed building has two underground levels of it. I also took the opportunity to drop in to the Committee of Adjustment last week and view the plans. In reality, the building is only to the lot line for the first floor. Once you get to the second floor, the building steps back incrementally with each level. The back side of it along Eden is actually 3.7 metres from the lot line, and if you add in the lane, they are 6.7 metres from the neighbours lot line. Sometimes I wonder what it is that we all expect from developers. Personally, I hate walking by that used car lot and the gas station across from it, anything is better, especially a proposal that seems to address a good deal of the suggestions of the CDP and looks good as well!!! Does anyone know this developer and did anyone go to the hearing today?

28 05 2008
The final word from the OMB re: 300 Richmond Road « Hello Westboro

[…] The final word from the OMB re: 300 Richmond Road May 28, 2008 This is an update to this post regarding the future of the former used car lot at 300 Richmond Road (at […]

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