Development that may affect you…

14 04 2008

The Richmond Road/Westboro Community Design Plan (CDP) process has been underway in Ottawa for three years. The goal of the study was to develop a broad and integrated twenty-year vision for the Richmond Road/Westboro area in order to guide both private development and the undertaking of public works. City Council adopted the CDP as policy on July 9, 2007. 

Unfortunately, since then it appears to us that neither the City’s own planning department nor developers are undertaking development in Westboro with due regard to the CDP, or taking into account the effort that was put into this process or what the community as a whole is trying to achieve. Keep reading for a description of several recent events that may have a significant impact on development in our community.

On April 8th, at the City’s Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) an agent for two developers advised PEC members that Ashcroft Homes, the new owner of the Canadian Tire property on Richmond Road, would be seeking a height increase to permit a building of nine storeys. They intend to challenge the Community Design Plan recommendation for the sight which is four to six storeys. They are also the owners of 93 Richmond Road which was the subject of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing in 2006. To see this decision go to the OMB site select E-Decisions and search on 3321.

Also this week the CDP’s public advisory team (PAC) was presented with the Phase 2 proposal for Westboro Station (Bourk site). The developer indicated they would be seeking re-zoning to permit a twelve-storey building at the corner of Roosevelt and Byron. We have several drawings of the proposal but the two we have posted show the 12 storey proposal as well as what could be built under the current zoning as well as the CDP which is six storeys. As part of the re-zoning process the WCA will be requesting a community meeting and anyone can go to PEC and speak when the application is heard.

Last week there was a five-day OMB hearing on 747 Richmond Road at Cleary. The proposal for this site started out with two towers of 19 and 21 storeys and is now down to 12 and 15. The CDP recommendation was 6 storeys maximum. We will post the decision when it is received.

On April 10 there was an OMB hearing on a proposed development at 300 Richmond Road at the corner of Eden. This used car lot is 98 feet wide by 68 feet deep. The owners applied to the Committee of Adjustment (CoA) to build a five storey building where basically a one-two storey building is permitted under the CDP. The City’s Committee of Adjustment had denied the application on the basis that it was not a ‘minor variance’ and should be treated as a re-zoning application. This was also the position of the WCA. Instead the developer chose to appeal to the OMB and, in the absence of support from the City, the WCA appeared as an intervenor at the hearing to defend the integrity of the CDP. If approved by the OMB a building basically filling the lot from one side to the other of at least 52 feet in height will be built. It will be taller than the homes at the south end of Eden Ave. What we heard at the hearing is the proposed five storey building is the only thing that is economically viable. Yet the two storey Pharmasave at the corner of Richmond and Berkley has been very successful. Also you can find an example of heritage infill on Wellington Street that won an award from the City. It works and the frontage is about the same as 300 Richmond Road. As soon as we receive OMB’s decision, we will post it.

WCA Board of Directors

OMB appeal regarding application for minor variance at 300 Richmond Road.

10 04 2008

On November 21, the City of Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment denied an application by Cassone Construction Ltd. for “minor variances” with respect to its proposal for 300 Richmond Road. The Committee of Adjustment’s decision was posted on our blog at that time.

It is the WCA’s position that the real issue on this application is the need to support both the existing zoning bylaw and the new Community Design Plan (CDP).  Although the Cassone application appears to fall within the zoning bylaw’s height limit of 5 stories, it significantly exceeds the Floor Space Index maximum in the current bylaw.  Of particular importance to the WCA, the new CDP, which has been approved as a policy by City Council, means that the Floor Space Index measure will be decreasing from that in the current bylaw.  With the ink barely dry on the CDP, it is important to the WCA that the Community Design Plan be supported.  We are greatly concerned at the City’s decision not to be involved in this appeal.

If you are interested in this issue, please consider attending the OMB hearing in support of the WCA.  It is in the Keefer Room in the Heritage Building at City Hall starting at 10:00 am on April 10 and April 11.

More information will be posted here on the outcome of the hearing.

300 Richmond Road and Community Design Plan

24 03 2008

[edited with additional links]

As many of you know a Community Design Plan for Richmond Road was completed after more than two years of work by the City, 10 different community groups, local property owners, architects and developers. It was passed last July by City Council with a directive to staff to prepare the necessary change for the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law, which should happen this April.

Cassone Construction Ltd., the owner of 300 Richmond Road (corner of Richmond and Eden Ave.), applied to the Committee of Adjustment to build a 5 storey building that would basically fill the entire lot. The hearing was heard on Nov 21, 2006 by the Committee of Adjustment and the application was refused. Mr. Cassone filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board. The OMB sent notice of the hearing dated Feb 22, 2008. The date of the hearing is April 10/11 2008. The WCA sent a letter to Councillor Leadman on March 7 seeking her help. Councillor Leadman will be making a request to Planning and Environment Committee at their meeting on Tuesday March 25th, and will be asking the City to defend the policy they approved last July. We need your support and help on this issue. Our request is being supported by Woodroffe North, McKellar Park and Woodpark community associations.

Please contact Councillor Leadman by email, phone 613-580-2485, FAX 613-580-2525 or by coming to the meeting on Tuesday.

Please note, the meeting starts at 9:30 AM and we have no way of knowing when this item might get heard.

  • Click here to view theRichmond Road/Westboro Community Design Plan.
  • Click here to view a PDF copy of our letter to Councillor Leadman.

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