Thai embassy office project rejected by planning committee

25 01 2019

Thai embassy office project rejected by planning committee

One concept for a new Royal Thai Embassy at 180 Island Park Drive.

Local residents opposing a Thai embassy zoning application scored a victory Thursday after the planning committee voted to reject the proposal over concerns the development would “stick out like a sore thumb.”

The project would see the embassy tear down its current building at 180 Island Park Dr., just off the Sir John  A. Macdonald Parkway, and build a two-storey office building in its place. 

“This is an office building between single-detached homes and parkland. This is going to stick out like a sore thumb,” warned Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper at committee.

The area councillor has backed residents who oppose the embassy’s rezoning application, several of whom made presentations to the planning committee to protest the precedent they argued would be set by permitting an office building in a residential area.

“Why on earth would the planners allow this? It’s a 100-year-old planned residential street on an NCC parkways system,” said Heather Mitchell, who spoke on behalf of the Westboro Community Association.

“We in the community won’t be appeased if the office building ‘kinda looks like a house.’ It is the use of the property and its intended zoning change that is the biggest issue.

“If you approve this, you are opening the door to the same type of zoning change all across the city.”

The Royal Thai Embassy has occupied the current building since 1987, and has been grandfathered in under the current zoning rules.

The embassy’s plans to demolish and rebuild would see it relinquish its permission to use the property as it has for decades ­— as an embassy office, in what is now a residential zone. To construct a new office building, the embassy would require a zoning bylaw amendment.

Staff pointed out in their report to committee that the current embassy building’s longstanding use as an office “has not caused any adverse undo impact on the surrounding community.”

Development review manager Douglas James also argued to committee that a rezoning approval would not automatically set a precedent for future planning decisions.

“Although everyone has a right to come here and ask for permission to rezone a property, because we allowed it here, there is no such thing as precedent, there is no guarantee that would be allowed in any other place. We looked at this application on its own merit, for this location.”

Leiper said he’s offered his help to the embassy to find a more appropriate location for a new office.

“It’s not up to us to rezone this property in a way that is incompatible with the stated intent of our R1 zone when there are alternatives available. Expediency is not a good basis on which to do land-use planning.”

Committee members voted 2-7 against recommending the rezoning, contrary to a staff recommendation. Councillors Scott Moffatt and Allan Hubley voted in favour.

Mayor Jim Watson told this newspaper he’s “glad” the planning committee rejected the embassy’s application. Island Park Drive isn’t suitable for office buildings, he said.

Link to article here.


Neighbourhood Meeting: Ashcroft – Phase 2A application (entry & egress concerns)

8 01 2019

From the Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper:


I hope this finds you all well after the holidays and happy new year! As you know, we have held meetings separately with the residents of Shannon and Leighton, discussing concerns with Ashcroft’s current application (Phase 2A), as well as entry and egress concerns related to the entire site (Phase 2A & Phase 2B).

During those meetings, we indicated that in the future we wanted to hold a meeting with both the residents of Shannon and Leighton together, alongside members of the Hampton Iona Community Association and the Westboro Community Association.

We will also have in attendance City of Ottawa staff representing the Planning department, Transportation Services, Parks, and Infrastructure.

Meeting details:

Wednesday, February 20 at 6:00pm

Van Lang Field House (29 Van Lang Pvt)

Please invite your neighbours on Shannon and Leighton. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office in the meantime with any questions or comments.

Update: Comments to the City for the Byron, Roosevelt and Ravenhill Proposal

4 12 2018

Thank you Westboro!

Comments to the City for the Byron, Roosevelt and Ravenhill project, where the developer has applied for a zoning by-law amendment (from R3R to R4G) to add another residential unit to the triplexes he has built, were due November 27 . . .  and you rallied to the cause!  Some 30 residents took the time to contact Councillor Leiper, the City and the community association, outlining their opposition to this unnecessary and dangerous change in zoning in a residential area of our community.


Your Board of Directors also filed a thoughtful, detailed rationale opposing the amendment and the earlier email post below is an excellent summary prepared by  group.


Why are we opposed?  Well, it’s pretty simple: we’ll be polite and say the developer “misrepresented” what he was intending to build. Triplexes were permitted at this location; the developer received the go-ahead from the City’s Committee of Ajustment to knock down 8 residences and put up 14 triplexes and 4 semidetached equaling 50 residences.  He has just about finished 6 of the triplexes.  Now, call us crazy, but attached is a picture of the so called triplexes . . . amazingly, they include a fourth mail box, air conditioner and hydro meter. Doesn’t look like a triplex to us.



So yes, the developer actually built fourplexes, adding a residential space in the basement of each, which means 14 more residential spaces.  Now he has to ask the City to change the zoning, which would support the increased intensity. The new zoning opens the door to other changes later down the road.


It is clear he went ahead and built what he wanted and now expects the City to grant him his zoning change and additional intensity.


We say no. This is not good planning – it is policy by stealth.  We deserve better.  The matter will be heard by City Planning Council in the New Year – we will keep you posted.  Join us in continuing to protest this project.


Community Open House Alerts for 1950 Scott St and Triplexes at 483 Edison & 514 Roosevelt

4 12 2018

Open house alerts!


1950 Scott St.: A 25-storey apartment building is proposed for the corner of Scott and Clifton that will include taking away some residential properties on Clifton Street:

When: Thursday December 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Where:  Van Lang Field House (29 Van Lang Pvt)


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2018 – was originally scheduled for November 14

483 Edison and 514 Roosevelt triplexes. Read our concerns about this project:

Open House hosted by Novatech

When: Wednesday, 12 December, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre (345 Richmond Road)

See you all there.

Comments Needed by Nov 27: Triplexes at Ravenhill/Roosevelt/Byron and in Westboro

26 11 2018
Please see the comments below from the SaveWestboro group:
If you were able to attend the Open House meetings on the rezoning application and/or if you feel comfortable addressing the issues that it raises for the neighbourhood, please send your comments to the City Planner who is reviewing this proposal: Ann O’Connor:
You might also wish to send your email/comments to Jeff Leiper, to the Westboro Community Association, and to the ”savewestboro” email address.   Here are the coordinates:
To my mind, the developers’ proposals to rezone this area of Westboro raise two types of issues.
First, would the type of developments allowed under a R4 zoning be appropriate for the immediate neighbourhood and beneficial for Westboro as a whole?
Second, is it appropriate for the City to reward the triplex developers for “gaming the system” and building potential fourplexes when they only had approval for triplexes?
With regard to the first category of issues, here are some of the concerns that were raised by residents at the Open House meeting, held on Nov. 10:
  • Intensification is a sound planning objective. Westboro is not, has not been, and should not be immune.   However, there is a limit to the level of density that is acceptable.   The Official Plan makes it clear that Ottawa is a city comprised of unique neighbourhoods and that, in pursuing intensification and infills, the unique character of the neighbourhoods should be respected and preserved.  The rezoning would allow developers to introduce a density that is inappropriate for the area and out of character with the Westboro residential neighbourhood.
  • The area is NOT suitable as a transitional area from the R4 developments on Byron.  There will always be an “edge” area between a higher and lower density area.   This simply shifts that boundary further inward into the heart of the Westboro residential neighbourhood, allowing developers to introduce densities that will fundamentally alter the character of the rezoned properties and the residential areas adjacent to it.
  • The area is already experiencing significant issues with traffic congestion and on-street parking.   It is inevitable that the residents of these dwellings will have at least one car, if not more.   The parking provided by existing triplexes is already inadequate (although more than is legally required).   Increasing the number of residents will exacerbate both traffic and parking issues with broader impact on the adjacent residential area of Westboro.
  • Westboro is a neighbourhood noted for its narrow, tree-lined streets, many without sidewalks.  Snow removal is a continuing and growing concern as increased on-street parking further narrows the streets as the snow banks build up.  The increased level of on-street parking and traffic in the vicinity will make this problem worse. It will increase the risk for pedestrians on the streets, particularly for any children who walk to the neighbourhood schools.
  • Infills have resulted in significant loss of mature trees and permeable (i.e. planted) surfaces in the Westboro neighbourhood as structures that largely fill the lots have been allowed to proliferate.   These developments have greatly reduced the amount of land that was previously available for infiltration of rain water and snow melt.   Neighbours in a variety of Westboro areas have reported issues with water in their basements.   Allowing R4 structures in the area could create or exacerbate this problem for adjacent properties and their owners.
  • In addition to the drainage issues resulting from the loss of mature trees, the removal of trees that are as much as 100 years old is slowly, but dramatically, reducing the urban canopy that has been a defining characteristic of the Westboro residential neighbourhood.  If allowed to continue unabated, this practice will have tangible and significant cumulative environmental impacts, including an increase in ambient temperature throughout the area, worsening of air quality, loss of wildlife habitat, and a degradation of the environment for residents.
  • Intensification does not have to be accomplished at the expense of a “living” environment.

With regard to the second category, here are some points that were addressed at the meeting: 

  • The developers of the Ravenhill triplexes knew, from the outset, that they were intending to build structures that would be serviced and outfitted for 4 dwelling units, even though they sought and received permission to build triplexes.   They did not disclose their intentions to the Committee of Adjustment and they hid their plans from residents and the Westboro Community Association.
  • The tactic used by the developers for the Ravenhill triplexes was previously used successfully by a developer of triplexes on Byron Ave.   In that case, City Council’s Planning Committee approved an application to rezone the triplexes to R4.  This sent a clear signal to developers that they could successfully exceed the density limitations set for Westboro’s R3 neighbourhoods.   This was a “green light” for more of the same behaviour by developers.
  • Although not technically “illegal”, the behaviour of the triplex developers was devious and seriously misleading for both residents and for planning authorities.  They do not come before the City Planning Committee with “clean hands” and do not deserve to have their conduct rewarded.  Approving another R4 rezoning request would send a clear signal that this type of practice is acceptable.   It would reinforce the incentives that have already been established for developers to utilize this tactic. The inevitable result will be more and more attempts by developers to do the same thing elsewhere in Westboro.
  • Perhaps more importantly, rewarding such behaviour brings the entire planning and approval process of the City of Ottawa into disrepute.   Citizen reaction to this situation has been universally negative.  People are shocked that it has been allowed to continue and that it might succeed again.   It seriously erodes citizen confidence in the legitimacy of the approvals process and it signals that the laws and plans established by the City which were designed to protect and preserve the character of neighbourhoods like Westboro, can no longer be relied on to achieve that result.
Please do NOT just copy and paste any of these points.  You should express your concerns in your own words. Comments that are exact duplicates of a template will be discounted because they don’t reflect a personal engagement with the matter.
Also, don’t feel that you need to address every point in your comments.  You should focus on the issues that resonate the most with you.
So, please take a few minutes and send in your comments to Ann O’Connor.  If our voices are not heard, community approval for this rezoning application will be assumed.  Speak up for Westboro now!
Remember, Tuesday, Nov. 27 is the deadline.

Community Open House: 483 Edison and 514 Roosevelt

25 11 2018

Novatech is hosting a community open house to discuss their proposal at 483 Edison and 514 Roosevelt. Here are the details:


Please find attached the updated community notice regarding the applications on 483 Edison and 514 Roosevelt to be circulated to the community by the end of this week. The community meeting will be held on December 12 at the Churchill Senior’s Centre at 7:00 pm.

Please note that the height variance for 483 Edison was eliminated. The plans were revised to decrease the building height from 8.24 m to 7.99 m to make it compliant with the Zoning By-law.



City of Ottawa: Registration for the Planning Primer II – Development Review and Implementation

8 11 2018

From the City of Ottawa:


Planning Primer


November 17 or 19, 2018 – offered in English – 8:30 am – 12 pm

November 20, 2018 – offered in French – 9:00 am – 12 pm

Billings Room, second floor, City hall


What is Planning Primer?

The program is a series of half-day courses. The series includes two core courses and two elective courses.

The core courses, called Primer I and Primer II, describe the legislative and policy basis under which land-use planning decisions are made, the way policy documents are amended and how to make a development application.

The program aims to:

  • Build and maintain a strong working relationship and understanding between the City of Ottawa and communities
  • Provide resources and teach skills to aid residents participating in the land-use planning process


Who is invited to attend?

All members of the public including developers, real estate agents, lawyers, builders and community representatives are invited to attend.


Please send your questions to sends e-mail)

Planning Primer Courses and Electives

Online materials now available for Courses and Electives

Primer 1 [ PDF 1.182 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window Version 1 posted fall 2015

Primer II [ PDF 1.762 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window Version 1 posted fall 2015


Development Charges Elective [ PDF 640 KB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Park Planning Elective [ PDF 5.807 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Residential Intensification and Infill Elective [ PDF 6.083 KB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Heritage Planning Elective [ PDF 3.550 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Secondary Planning Processes Elective [ PDF 9.959 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Natural Systems Elective [ 4.923 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

Planning for Healthy Communities Elective [ PDF 3.198 MB ]PDF opens in a new tab or window

While attending the courses in person allows one to benefit from the personal knowledge shared by the presenters and the question and answer periods, these online materials will provide a useful summary for use between courses as well as for those who are unable to attend in person.

Expansion of the online Planning Primer materials is under way.

Please register to receive our e-newsletter notification to receive more information about the courses and upcoming dates.

Planning Primer Calendar
2018 Dates Times and Location
Primer I September 22 and 24 (offered in English) 8:30 am – 12 pm
Richmond Room, 2nd Floor
City Hall
Primer II November 17 and 19 (offered in English) 8:30 am – 12 pm
Billings Boardroom, 2nd Floor
City Hall

Registration opens two weeks before the course date and is on a first come, first served basis. Pre-registration is not accepted.

Zoning By-laws

Council approved the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law, which harmonizes the existing 36 zoning by-laws from the former municipalities into one by-law.

For more information about how zoning and planning work in the City, please see Development Review.

How to find current zoning information

Property zoning information is easily accessed through a simple address search leading you to the appropriate section of the by-law. You may also telephone or visit a Development Information Officer (DIO) in any of the City’s Client Service Centres.

  • City Hall Client Service Centre – 613-580-2424, ext. 28333
  • Orléans Client Service Centre – 613-580-2424, ext. 29242
  • Ben Franklin Place Client Service Centre – 613-580-2424, ext. 41250
  • Kanata Client Service Centre – 613-580-2424, ext. 33321
  • Metcalfe (Tuesdays) – 613-580-2424, ext. 20009
  • Kinburn (Wednesdays) – 613-580-2424, ext. 32226
  • North Gower (Thursdays) – 613-580-2424, ext. 31303

If you are selling or refinancing a property, you may need a compliance report, which describes the zoning of a property and comments on whether the current use is permitted. It also indicates any outstanding work orders authorized by the Ontario Building Code, and other information on the property.

How to apply for a change in Zoning or Minor Variance

If you want to develop or build on your property in a way that is not permitted in the current zoning, you can apply for a  Zoning Amendment or a Minor Variance.

If you think there’s a problem

If you think a property is being used in a way that is not permitted in the Zoning By-law, you may file a complaint by calling 3-1-1. The City does zoning inspections and enforces the By-law when it receives complaints. It also undertakes Business Licence inspections to ensure businesses licensed by the City conform to the Zoning By-law.

Got Questions?

Telephone the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1.

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