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

Update on Golden closure

4 03 2008

As a follow-up to our December letter regarding the possible closure of Golden Avenue between Richmond and Byron, I and WCA vice-chair Cherolyn Knapp recently met with Councillor Leadman to clarify the status of this proposal.

We are able to confirm that:

  • Bourk Family Developments (owners of Westboro Station) do not intend to proceed with their application to close the street at this time.
  • No other closure applications for Golden Avenue are currently on the table or in the pipeline.
  • In the near future the Councillor intends to use funds from her office to sponsor an analysis of the transportation impacts of any future closing. This study will take into account the issues and recommendations already identified in the Westboro/Highland/McKellar Park Area Traffic Management Study which is nearing completion.

Wallace Beaton
WCA Chair

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