PEC meeting is TBC. Plus, a letter from a neighbour.

17 11 2010

Yesterday’s Planning and Environment Committee meeting (info posted previously) went long and the issue of 114 Richmond went unresolved. It continues today. 48 individuals lined up to share their thoughts about this development with the committee. Also of interest, this meeting was not attended by Councillor-elect Katherine Hobbs.

If you’re on Twitter we recommend doing a search for #ashcroftconvent and/or #OttCity and following the feed as it all unfolds, live.

The WCA was CCd on an email to the members of the City of Ottawa planning committee last night and we are reposting it here (with permission).

This letter comes to us from Westboro resident, Shannon McKarney.

 

Today you heard many voices from the community tell you how they feel about the proposed development at the Les Soeurs de la Visitation site.

Let me state clearly what my – and I believe most residents’ – objections are to the proposal from Ashcroft as it stands in front of Council today.

  • Size. Despite the official plan and zoning for the area stating that buildings should be no more than 4-6 stories, Ashcroft plans to build to 9 stories, with no setback along Richmond road.
  • Traffic impact.  600 residential units will have a significant impact on traffic in an already busy area (if you’ve ever tried to drive down Richmond road on a Saturday afternoon, you’ll understand our concerns. This will only intensify the issues.)
  • Use of parkland for vehicle traffic. There are plenty of options to access the site that would not impede on parkland. If the traffic needs of this development cannot be met by existing roadways, is that not an indication that the size of the development is an issue?
  • The affect on the community. Westboro is appealing because it is what it is – beautiful, older homes with a community feel. Developers are capitalizing on this desirability by cramming as many beige condos in to any available space as physically possible. But by doing this, they’re destroying exactly that which makes the community desirable.
  • Finally, Ashcroft has been quite disdainful to the community during the planning process. I have no faith in their promises that the Convent building will be given over to “community use”, and indeed there is no guarantee and no obligation on Ashcroft to do so.

This is an enormous development that will have a significant impact on the area and indeed, the city. There have been several developments in the Westboro area in the last several years. None have raised such a passionate response from the community as this Ashcroft development has. These two facts taken together makes it obvious that the community is not opposed to development whatsoever – indeed, we welcome it. What we are opposed to is bad development; development that clearly benefits only the developer, and not the community.

The residents of the area are not saying “don’t develop the site”. We’re saying “develop it well – develop it beautifully – develop it memorably.” We want Ashcroft held to a higher standard.  Ashcroft believes the community doesn’t have a say. You are our voices. Please, send Ashcroft back to the planning table.

Regards,

Shannon McKarney

 

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2 responses

17 11 2010
Marthe

Maybe maire Watson has to be approached directly to intervene in this mess?
If the planning committees, the neighbourhood and the developper cannot agree on an acceptable plan for all, it might be time to go to the top.
I can’t beleive that the plan as is is going to be implemented amongths all this disagreement.
Maire Watson, please intervene to assist your voters in Westboro,

marthe

17 11 2010
Rango

Is there a chance for the City to cancel the land sale? The developer was buying the lands with certain restrictions which now they don’t want to comply with?

I don’t really understand the role of the City: why a development proposal which clearly violates the guidelines, is passed to the community for discussion. It should get rejected by the City as inappropriate.

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