Making Infill Construction More Compatible

8 04 2014

Making Infill Construction More Compatible
Closing the loophole on Residential Conversions
Dear Neighbours,

I want to bring to your attention two important matters recommended for Council approval at Planning Committee yesterday.

First is the update to the Infill By-law 2012-147. This update is a response to the interim ruling by the Ontario Municipal Board following an appeal of the 2012 Infill By-law by a group of infill developers. In short, the new policy is “your street gives you your rules.” Each infill, and any request for a new driveway, will be required to complete a Streetscape Character Analysis. A member of staff will be dedicated to reviewing these analyses, which will detail 1) the front yard pattern, 2) the parking patterns, and 3) the entranceway patterns of the area before any permit to construct a building or for a curb cut is issued.

The new rules will apply both to new construction and renovations/expansions that affect the front of a property. It will be required to follow the prevailing character on the street determined by analysing the patterns of the 5 homes on either side of your property, as well as the home across the street and the 5 on each side of it.

This item will go to Council on May 14th to be considered by the Ontario Municipal Board in July. This timeline will allow for an expedited consideration of the new by-law and may result in its implementation as much as a year sooner.

Second is the Zoning Amendment on Residential Conversions, which removes the loophole of a ‘converted dwelling’ from the zoning by-law. This will preclude developers converting houses into 4+ unit apartment buildings in areas where they would not be allowed as new builds, and will add more stringent regulations where they are otherwise allowed. The map below notes where these changes will have an effect, including in Kitchissippi Ward. Areas in purple are zoned R3 which will now only allow up to three unit dwellings, areas in green are R4 and in pink are R5, in these areas, the more stringent rules that apply to low-rise apartment buildings will now also apply if a low-rise apartment building (defined as 4 units or more) is being developed as a result of converting an existing dwelling. The zoning amendment also places more stringent rules on landscaping and parking for low-rise apartment buildings in these residential zones to improve compatibility.

While the impetus for this change were conversions in Old Ottawa South and Sandy Hill relating to demand for housing for students, the issue for planning was with the building and neighbourhood character, and the new rules will apply city-wide regardless of what occupation the residents have. This item will go to Council on April 23rd.

You can read both reports, review the minutes and listen to the audiocast from the Planning Committee meeting here: http://app05.ottawa.ca/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=6225&doctype=AGENDA

If you have any questions or comments, please reply to this email or call me at 613-580-2485.

Thanks,

Katherine

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