Councillor Leiper: Proposed Build on Highcroft, Byron Place and Churchill

18 02 2018

From Councillor Jeff Leiper:

Last night, I was made aware of a meeting being held by the potential developer of the southeast corner of Byron and Churchill. The development is proposed to be a six-storey mixed use building facing Churchill, built through to Highcroft where it would be four storeys. I had a preliminary conversation with this developer, who I do not know, in early December, and this community meeting was organized by them without my office’s involvement. While a flyer advertising the meeting (pdf posted below) was circulated just to immediate neighbours, it has spread quickly. I corresponded last night with their planning consultant and wlll replace the .pdf below with a clean copy once that’s provided to me.

I believe the intent of this meeting is to be for immediate neighbours to take a first look at the proposal and provide early feedback. There is no application for this development, although presumably one could be quickly filed. Their community meeting will be held:

Monday, February 26 at the Real Canadian Superstore at 190 Richmond in the upstairs community room at 7 pm.

While I anticipate that over the next few decades, Churchill will become slightly taller and denser, the four-storey portion on Highcroft is a significant departure from the neighbouring properties’ built form. The six-storey portion would be the first of that height on Churchill (except on Richmond, designated a traditional mainstreet), and it’s not immediately clear to me that in the absence of a proper plan for the street that it should be allowed. Of key concern for me, if this proposal moves ahead to the application phase, will be the potential to increase traffic on Highcroft. While the site plan seems to show continued restrictions, how that is handled isn’t clear. I know that was a point I raised in our early meeting with them, in addition to my reservations about the departure in height and density, and over the next week or so we’ll review our notes to see if that’s been taken into account.

The proposal to shut a portion of Byron Pl. is interesting, and could actually be a positive benefit to the public realm in the area albeit a space that would be in shadow for the first part of a summer day.

I will look forward to hearing more about the developer’s plans at their community meeting, and we’ll endeavour to put more information online as we receive it, likely after this meeting is held. If the proposal proceeds to an application, it would be for a re-zoning. At that point, a planner would be assigned to the file and a consultation and opportunity for public feedback to the City provided. It would then go through the usual process including the writing of a staff report and then Planning Committee and Council votes. Because this meeting was set without consultation with my office, I am not likely to be able to attend since I have another commitment, but we will have staff there.

Once this meeting has been held, I’ll be in a better position to state my approach to this proposal. We’ll collect any feedback you wish to provide in the meantime, but likely won’t begin analyzing that until residents and we have had the opportunity to get more specific information about the development over the next couple of weeks.

https://kitchissippiward.ca/content/byronchurchill-development-meeting

 

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Notice of Public Meeting: 403 Tweedsmuir Avenue

14 02 2018

From the City of Ottawa’s Planning Department:

The applicant and the Councillor’s office have scheduled an Open House meeting on Thursday February 22, 2018, to discuss the proposed rezoning application to allow for the future redevelopment of 403 Tweedsmuir Avenue into a six storey mixed-use apartment and hotel.

All members of the public are invited to attend.

When: Thursday February 22, 2018 from 6:30pm-8:30pm

Where: 190 Richmond Road, Real Canadian Superstore Test Kitchen (upstairs)

The applicant’s team will be providing display boards with various images of the proposal and members of the applicant team will be circulating the room to answer any questions about the proposal.

The notice prepared by the applicant is attached.

403 Tweedsmuir – notice of public meeting





Development Open House for 398, 402, 406 Roosevelt Ave: Tuesday, February 20

25 01 2018

From the Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper:

Domicile Developments have submitted a Zoning By-Law Amendment application, as well as Site Plan Control application, to permit and develop at 6-storey mixed use building at 398, 402 and 406 Roosevelt Ave. The proposed development includes two commercial units, 35 residential condominium units, and underground parking garage with 23 parking spaces, and a rear surface parking lot with nine spaces. More details on this application will become available over the coming weeks, and we are hosting an open house for residents to further review details of the proposed project.

Tuesday, February 20, 6:30-8:30pm

Churchill Senior’s Centre (345 Richmond Rd)

We hope you can attend, and we welcome any comments or feedback on this application. Thank you!





Register to Speak: Rochester Field Development Zoning

21 01 2018

From Councillor Jeff Leiper:

City staff to recommend Rochester Field development zoning

I have made clear my disappointment that staff recommend approving a zoning and Official Plan amendment for Rochester Field giving the NCC the ability to develop a portion of the land along Richmond Road. If approved, it would cluster development on Richmond and rob the community of the promised green corridor through that greenspace. Read the report and my summary here. It is slated to be debated by Planning Committee on January 23. I hope that many of the ward’s residents will consider coming out Tuesday to speak to the item. Anyone can address the Planning Committee for five minutes. The meeting starts at 9:30, and this is the first item, so speakers should begin shortly after the meeting begins.

******************************************

When: January 23 at 9:30 am.

Where: Champlain Room, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa

If you wish to speak to the Committee: Please call the Committee Coordinator, Melanie Duffenais at 613-580-2424, extension 20113 in advance of the meeting and preferably, by at least 4:30 p.m. on the day before the meeting.

Additional information needed to register can be found in the attached document.

Rochester Field – B. Finlay – Letter

 

 

 





From Councillor Jeff Leiper on Official Plan amendment for Rochester Field

17 01 2018
From Councillor Jeff Leiper on Official Plan amendment for Rochester Field.

 City of Ottawa staff recommend approval of Rochester Field plan

Disappointingly, City planning staff have recommended that Council approve a zoning and Official Plan amendment for Rochester Field that would see future development in the park along Richmond Road.

I’ve attached a copy of the staff report below that will be published next week for the agenda of the January 23 Planning Committee.

Since it was originally shown at the open house, there have been greater setbacks introduced to better protect the mature trees on the southern edge of the site, as well more space to the homes on Fraser. Otherwise, the plan is essentially the same. That means that there is no “green corridor” linking Richmond to the SJAM park as was contemplated in the original agreement between the City and NCC.

My objections to this proposal remain as I set them out in a blog post on November 19. Below, I’ve pasted my comments that appear in the staff report.

I reached out after the open house to the Mayor to seek his help in bringing the NCC back to the table, given his strong language at the NCC board meeting at which this was discussed, but I am uncertain as to his current position. Further, I am still hopeful that our MP and Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna can be prevailed upon to raise this at the Cabinet level. At the end of the day, the decision to eventually develop this land is the NCC’s. I and residents are baffled that they would even contemplate this.

The timing by the NCC for proceeding with this is driven by its redevelopment plan for the SJAM linear park, which is tied to LRT construction. I understand that they want certainty about where they will be able to build their park, and what’s out-of-bounds. There is no actual development proposal for the property, and even if this is passed by Council we will still have time to lobby the NCC and federal government to abandon this scheme It is simply disappointing that the City might be complicit in its progression, however.

I want to note that there has been a good discussion about whether the portion retained for open space parkland should be left relatively untouched, or whether it should be more manicured. I have my personal preference, but this was a matter of consultation by the NCC with residents, and it is their land. I know some residents will be uncomfortable with the level of programmed space, but that is the NCC’s decision and it will be accountable for it. I will trust that they are implementing, after a good consultation, what they heard a majority of residents want.

And, I want to be fair in recognizing that the NCC has proposed a much smaller amount of development than the original agreement would allow. The original deal would see 2/3 of the site permitted to be developed. They are now proposing that 80% would be park. I believe we can do better, particularly with respect to the link between the River and Richmond, but that won’t be possible unless Council forces the NCC back to the table by rejecting this Official Plan amendment.

My strong encouragement to residents is to come out on January 23 to speak to Planning Committee about your concerns. There’s more details about how to do that in the attached document.


My comments in the staff report:

For over a century, Rochester Field has been a jewel in Westboro. If a plan being rushed forward through City zoning by the National Capital Commission (NCC) proceeds, we’ll lose the best parts of it forever. It’s time to take a second look.

Rochester Field is a large NCC parcel that straddles the land from the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to Richmond Road. It is a barely maintained space. Through the years, cow paths have been worn along natural desire lines as dog-walkers and people walking to the Dominion transit station have used the field, while the rest of it has lain largely fallow as habitat for various flora and fauna. It is a network connection in our City’s greenspace between our Byron Linear park (soon to be revitalized) and the Sir John A. Macdonald park.

It is a large, natural park space in Kitchissippi ward where greenspace is at a premium. Intensification in this part of the city has been rapid. Small homes on large lots are now being replaced with large homes on small lots as infill continues. We are losing permeable, green surface and trees both to infill and the proliferation of towers. Targets for intensification are being met in our ward as nowhere else in the city, and the effect on greenspace is increasingly obvious.

The opportunity we have is to preserve a large piece of greenspace for the enjoyment of future generations of residents. When the City previously proposed not to allow development on the site, it was working in residents’ interest over NCC objections.

The development now being proposed as part of an agreement forged during the dispute over whether and under what conditions the City could run the Confederation Line through the NCC’s land in this corridor.

In a memorandum of understanding that allows LRT to proceed, the parties agreed to: “settle the outstanding Ontario Municipal Board appeal by the NCC as it relates to Rochester Field by designating two-thirds in the northeast section of Rochester Field as ‘General Urban’ land use designation. The NCC acknowledges in this settlement that the remaining one third of the land area of the site on the western side will be retained as parkland with a ‘Major Open Space’ land use designation.”

Council was told specifically that the deal would retain a green corridor from Richmond Road to the SJAM.

In 2015, the City and NCC began to implement that agreement, but that process was put on hold while the NCC consulted about its larger park plan for the corridor. In the intervening months, that has become a plan that would cluster development along Richmond Road – six-to-eight story buildings that would hide the park behind mixed-use developments that will cut off forever the green corridor we were promised. In the plan moving forward quickly through the approvals process, the greenspace won’t be in the northeast at all. Residents are wondering whether and how the City could allow this to happen.

It’s time to press pause on the process. There is some legitimacy to the NCC’s arguments that it needs certainty with respect to where it can build its proposed park. The LRT agreement includes $30 million in City contribution to that, and the works will be bundled in with rail work to the benefit of taxpayers. It is in everyone’s interest that the NCC receive the certainty is needs.

But the long-term impacts of approving this plan, which clusters development in diametrically opposite the space where it was to have gone in the original deal, are too consequential to bludgeon through the City’s processes.

There are alternatives that would mitigate the impact of development in this parcel, if development is to occur at all. Residents, the NCC and the City are all owed the time to explore those. Council is bound to honour its commitments in return for the city-building benefits of moving ahead with light rail. But its commitments were clearly spelled out in black and white: we are under neither legal nor moral obligation to approve zoning which meets neither the spirit nor letter of our pledge.





Zoning By-Law Amendment Application Open House – 373 Princeton Ave

16 01 2018

From the Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper:

Zoning By-Law Amendment Application – 373 Princeton Ave
Tuesday, January 30, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Churchill Senior’s Centre

We invite you to drop-in and review the details for the Zoning By-Law Amendment for 373 Princeton Ave. This Zoning By-Law Amendment application is another piece of the overall project occurring on that site between Cornerstone Housing for Women and Uniform developments. You can read more about the Cornerstone Housing for Women component here.

This application will rezone a portion of the site for residential use, which is in line with the surrounding the residential community. If you can’t attend the meeting, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns. You can review the application on DevApps as well, click here.





REMINDER: Ashcroft Homes Convent Development Open House – January 10, 2018

9 01 2018

REMINDER

From the office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward:

Ashcroft Homes is proposing an adaptive re-use of Les Soeurs de la Visitation Convent at their 114 Richmond Rd site, which would see the building partially demolished and encapsulated in glass, combining heritage and modern elements. The refreshed convent would see office tenants and mixed commercial. We invite you to come and learn more about this proposed development during a community open house:

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm
  • Van Lang Field House (29 Van Lang Pvt)

Information on the proposed development will be available from Ashcroft Homes, and City of Ottawa staff in both Heritage and Planning will be on hand to field additional questions regarding process. Of course, we are also interested in your feedback. Once the plans are available online, we will make sure to circulate them in the newsletter. We encourage you to send our office, as well as the planners, notes with your thoughts on the proposed development.

More info will be posted here once it’s available: https://kitchissippiward.ca/content/114-richmond-rd-ashcroft-homes-convent-development-open-house








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