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 savewestboro@icloud.com  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:  ann.oconnor@ottawa.ca
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 primer@ottawa.ca(link 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.

From a Neighbour: Response to Rezoning Request for Triplexes on Byron

7 11 2018

Please see the attached from a neighbour on a rezoning request for triplexes on Byron. Note that these have been submitted to the City.


Comments Regarding Planning Committee Decision on Rezoning – 266 and 270 Byron Zoning By-law Amendment Application No. D02-02-17-0037_R Pellarin


Westboro Resident Max Finkelstein: Thoughts on Intensification in our Community

7 11 2018

A letter from Westboro resident Max Finkelstein: Thoughts on Intensification in our Community


Lot after Lot, Thought After thought: The Westboro Story


Pontification on intensification: the Westboro story


This year has seen a bumper crop of little black and white signs all over Westboro.   Back in September, a couple sprouted up on the lot next door informing us of a request for two ‘minor variances’ to allow the construction of two triplexes on the property. Another black and white sign appeared at 514 Roosevelt, just south of Kenwood, also seeking approval for two tripleses and  the same two ‘minor variances. And so began what we have come to call “Westboro and the Creeping Triplex Menace”.  For those of you who actually live in triplexes, please understand that we are not against triplex residents, nor are we against triplexes, but we are against development that contravenes the spirit of the zoning bylaw and that is unplanned, unsupported by the community,  and opportunistic.

For the past few weeks, we have been pouring over the official plan, zoning by-laws, streetscape analyses and other planning tools. Coffee has been spilled many times, as we drift off late in the night trying to understand the complexities of urban planning. But all this research has reinforced what we, and you, already know – that the factors that contribute the most to making a neighbourhood feel like an extension of your home can’t be counted or measured. A house, whether it is a single family home or a triplex, is an expression of values.

When we moved into Westboro two decades ago, we noted its tree-lined streets and unique homes. Attention to detail, pride in workmanship, artistic and innovative design….these homes spoke loudly, and those that are still there, still speak loudly, of these values and more. They looked as if they had grown there, and, like a mature tree, emanate a feeling of stability, of a place where the rate of change is just a little bit slower and saner. It was a neighbourhood that was a mix of small homes, stately homes, apartments, with the Jean d’Arc Convent, with its housing for single women, as one of the anchors of the neighbourhood character.  When we moved into our house at 487 Edison Ave.twenty years ago,  the house was divided into two apartments, and had been that way since about 1944. We lived in the downstairs apartment, and rented out the upstairs one. At one time, in our 1500 sq.ft. home there were seven people, and a few dogs, living there. Our tenants included students, and young families new to Canada (and some squirrels in the attic, and chipmunks under the front porch). It was only when our growing family made us feel cramped in the downstairs apartment that we decided to renovate the house into a single family home.

The first infills on our block, just after the new millennium, were aimed at middle income families. But intensification in the neighbourhood has taken the form of ever-bigger, and ever-more unaffordable, homes. Even the proposed triplexes next door would rent for $2,500 – $3,000/month, which limits them to high income earners. The one new proposal that has received strong community support is the Cornerstone housing development of 42 apartments for single women in the old Jean d’Arc Residence.

All neighbourhoods have a life cycle. Change is inevitable. But change needs to be planned so all the values that come together to make a great neighbourhood are not lost in the rush towards intensification and maximization of tax revenues – both good goals – but at what cost? We know the four tests to evaluate minor variances do not consider any of these values.  But we all know it when we see them, and when we don’t, in building proposals.  When we see identical ‘cookie-cutter’ designs plunked on lots that leave no room for mature trees to survive, when we see concrete and stone from lot line to lot line (‘intensification does not have to be ‘asphatification’) , when we see roof-lines as flat as a left-over morning-after  beer, everybody knows what values are being chosen, and not chosen.

Ottawa’s official plan states up front that  This Plan manages [this] growth in ways that reinforce the qualities of the city most valued by its residents: its distinctly liveable communities, its green and open character, and its unique characteristics that distinguish Ottawa from all other places….The qualities that make neighbourhoods special and contribute to their identity are valued in any consideration of land-use change.

The challenge to planners and politicians, the art and the poetry, is to balance change with community values. We can do both. Let’s work together to make it so. We can do better.


“If we add beauty to the world, we can be sure we are doing the right thing.”


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