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.

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

 

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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

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Lot after Lot, Thought After thought: The Westboro Story

Or:

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.”

 





Reminder: TONIGHT – Byron Place/Churchill/Highcroft Development Update Community Meeting

30 10 2018

Community Meeting Reminder and Update from the Developer

From Councillor Leiper’s Office:

Byron Place / Churchill potential development update – community meeting

You may recall that in February, there was a lot of discussion surrounding a potential development at the corner of Churchill Ave and Byron Place. At the time, a community meeting had been organized to discuss this further, but it came out that the developer was not ready to move forward with their project. However, they are now ready to do so.

We are hosting a community open house to discuss this proposed development on October 30, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Real Canadian Superstore PC Cooking School. Please encourage your neighbours to attend. At this meeting, the developer will review the details of what they are proposing and what they will be requesting from the City.

It’s important to note that the developer has not formally submitted their application yet, nor has our office been approached to review the proposed development in detail yet. From speaking with Novatech, the urban planning consultant working on behalf of the developer, they want to hear the community feedback at the open house, review the comments and make any changes before submitting formally to the City.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jeff.Leiper@Ottawa.ca and Fiona.Mitchell@Ottawa.ca with any questions, comments or concerns in the meantime. Jeff’s newsletter is unavailable until October 23 (due to the election black-out period), but if you aren’t already signed up to receive it, please consider signing up (by letting me know). When it’s resumed, it will include significant development updates.

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From the Developer:





Byron Place / Churchill / Highcroft potential development update – community meeting

22 10 2018

Community Meeting Reminder and Update from the Developer

From Councillor Leiper’s Office:

Byron Place / Churchill potential development update – community meeting

You may recall that in February, there was a lot of discussion surrounding a potential development at the corner of Churchill Ave and Byron Place. At the time, a community meeting had been organized to discuss this further, but it came out that the developer was not ready to move forward with their project. However, they are now ready to do so.

We are hosting a community open house to discuss this proposed development on October 30, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Real Canadian Superstore PC Cooking School. Please encourage your neighbours to attend. At this meeting, the developer will review the details of what they are proposing and what they will be requesting from the City.

It’s important to note that the developer has not formally submitted their application yet, nor has our office been approached to review the proposed development in detail yet. From speaking with Novatech, the urban planning consultant working on behalf of the developer, they want to hear the community feedback at the open house, review the comments and make any changes before submitting formally to the City.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jeff.Leiper@Ottawa.ca and Fiona.Mitchell@Ottawa.ca with any questions, comments or concerns in the meantime. Jeff’s newsletter is unavailable until October 23 (due to the election black-out period), but if you aren’t already signed up to receive it, please consider signing up (by letting me know). When it’s resumed, it will include significant development updates.

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From the Developer:





Westboro residents come together against over-intensification in their community

12 10 2018

Westboro residents come together against over-intensification in their community

Over recent years, many Westboro residents have approached the Community Association expressing concern about overly intensive triplex development in our neighbourhoods.  This development has been well outside the limits of existing R3 zoning for three-unit dwellings, and is characterized by eliminating virtually all green space and squeezing two triplexes onto single lots previously occupied by modest single-family homes.

Prompted to action when multiple triplexes were proposed on their streets, groups of neighbours on Edison, Roosevelt and nearby Cole Avenues launched a campaign to urge the City to find a more suitable intensification solution that would maintain the character of Westboro neighbourhoods. By creating an email group (SaveWestboro) and pounding the pavement delivering flyers, this small group of residents brought together over 100 of their Westboro neighbours to join them in their campaign.

Their strategy worked. On Wednesday, Ottawa City Council passed a motion by Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper to enact an “Interim Control Bylaw” that will prevent developers from getting approval for triplexes that are too big for the lots, that don’t meet the requirements of the R3 zoning, and that require approval of “minor variances” by the Committee of Adjustment. The Bylaw will be in place for one year, while the City conducts a study about the suitability and compatibility of triplexes in this area.

For more information on this neighbourhood initiative, please contact the organizers atsavewestboro@icloud.com

You can make a difference too.  Join us at our AGM- Your Community Association needs you!

The success of the SaveWestboro community group shows how a small group of neighbours can make a big difference.  You can make a difference too. Join us at our Annual General Meeting this Tuesday, October 16 at Churchill Seniors Centre (agenda attached below) and hear about the work we do.  Your Community Association needs new members who can bring their talents to our community.

What can you bring to your community?  You can serve on our board of directors or you can work on ad hoc projects. We need people to fill our executive positions. We need people to plan our social and cultural activities, to manage our website, and to liaise with the Westboro business association. Do you have a specific skill? We would love to create a pool of professionals such as lawyers, engineers, communications specialists, technical experts, designers or architects on whom we can call periodically as resource persons to review documents or help draft a response to a particular project.

What can you get from your community involvement?  The chance to meet your neighbours. The chance to connect with other community associations, the city, and nonprofit organizations on the issues that matter to you. Work on projects related to the environment, housing, our built heritage and transportation. Or simply work with others on your street to solve a local problem.

Please plan to attend the AGM.  Membership is only $10 ($20/family).  If you can’t attend, you can download a membership application at the following URL:   

https://lovewestboro.wordpress.com/membership-forms-for-new-members/

Questions or interest in becoming a board member or community resource person? Email us athelloWestboro@yahoo.ca or contactnormmorrisson@rogers.com  or karenljohnson@sympatico.ca

WestboroCommunityAssociationagendaAGM





From Joel Harden, M.P. (Ottawa Centre): Community Town Hall – Responsible Development

5 10 2018

From the office of Joel Harden, MP (Ottawa Centre)

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Community Town Hall: Responsible Development

WHEN
October 13, 2018 at 3pm – 5pm
WHERE
Ottawa South Community Centre
CONTACT
Joel Harden · JHarden-co@ndp.on.ca · 613-722-6414




Byron Place / Churchill potential development update – community meeting

5 10 2018

From Councillor Leiper’s Office:

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Byron Place / Churchill potential development update – community meeting

You may recall that in February, there was a lot of discussion surrounding a potential development at the corner of Churchill Ave and Byron Place. At the time, a community meeting had been organized to discuss this further, but it came out that the developer was not ready to move forward with their project. However, they are now ready to do so.

We are hosting a community open house to discuss this proposed development on October 30, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Real Canadian Superstore PC Cooking School. Please encourage your neighbours to attend. At this meeting, the developer will review the details of what they are proposing and what they will be requesting from the City.

It’s important to note that the developer has not formally submitted their application yet, nor has our office been approached to review the proposed development in detail yet. From speaking with Novatech, the urban planning consultant working on behalf of the developer, they want to hear the community feedback at the open house, review the comments and make any changes before submitting formally to the City.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jeff.Leiper@Ottawa.ca and Fiona.Mitchell@Ottawa.ca with any questions, comments or concerns in the meantime. Jeff’s newsletter is unavailable until October 23 (due to the election black-out period), but if you aren’t already signed up to receive it, please consider signing up (by letting me know). When it’s resumed, it will include significant development updates.








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