Planning & Development
The City received an application for 747 Richmond Road ( the strip mall at the north east corner of Richmond Road and Cleary ) for a rezoning to allow two residential towers of 21 and 19 storys. This application was received when a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) of several Community Associations was working on the Community Design Plan (CDP) for the Area. City Council put a "freeze" on development proposals in the area but since the application preceded this step it could not be stopped. The Proponent has since modified the proposal to 15 and 18 storys
City staff had suggested 8 and 12 storys were appropriate but the PAC did not agree. Because the issue was not resolved, staff recommended that the site be excluded from the CDP. Our Councillor and ultimately all of Council disagreed and "capped" the height at 6 storys and insisted that the CDP be enshrined in an Official Plan Amendment. Staff was not supportive of this but just recently sent a draft OPA to us for review.
The MPCA does not support a 6 story building that if constructed property line to property line, would block views to the River and in essence be a wall.
Don Kennedy was authorized to mention this to a Consultant to the Developer and as a result we were requested to meet with them. We did so twice and invited representatives from Unitarian House and Parkway Terrace (727 Richmond Road) to join us. We also communicated our position to our Councillor who indicated that the City decision was 6 storys and any changes would have to be approved by the PAC and Council.
The Developer has been open to discussions and the MPCA executive has discussed options. The Developer has requested an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing as is his right and this is anticipated to occur in April. The City has hired outside planning expertise to defend their decision.
We are working on a compromise solution to be authored by MPCA, Unitarian House and Parkway Terrace. We are interested in two buildings to preserve views, less the current Developer proposal of 15 and 18, but greater than 6 storys, as well as other conditions. We will let you know the position when final.
Other development issues affecting us include the Area Traffic Management Study, other development proposals along Richmond Road and Road Closures(Golden).
Community Development Plan
Richmond Road/Westboro Community Design Plan was reviewed by the city Planning and Environment Committee on June 26, 2007. The Committee recommended that the CDP be made part of the Official Plan. Read a brief sumary of the meeting here.
Area Traffic Management Study
This study was undertaken by the City of Ottawa in 2005 to address the concerns of community residents relating to a significant number of traffic concerns in the area. The major contributors to this increase in traffic-related concerns include the growth throughout the City of Ottawa, and infill development both within the local communities and along the Richmond Road corridor. The study area is bounded by Sherbourne to the west, Richmond Rd. to the north, Kirkwood Ave. to the east and Carling Ave. to the south. The main corridors studied were, Broadview, Byron, Dovercourt, Fraser, Golden and Sherbourne. Data collection for the study was completed in May and November of 2006 and presented to a Public Working Group in May of 2007.
A Public Working Group (PWG) has been established, which includes members of the McKellar Park, Highland Park and Westboro Community Associations, City Staff, and Councillor Christine Leadman and her staff. The PWG is currently reviewing proposed measures and developing solutions to address the areas within our community that have significant issues with both the volume and the speed of traffic, as well as dangerous indersections. Once solutions have been identified, they will be presented at a Public Open House. There have been delays relating to this Study, however it is currently back on track with a goal of having a Public Open House in the late Spring of 2008.