Intensification is highly controversial. Item 10 on the agenda at June 25th’s Planning Committee meeting was a debate over the height of a building near the Parkdale Market at the site 233 Armstrong Street and 3 Hamilton Avenue North.
The main issue was that the proposed building height of 18 storeys does not adhere to the Community Design Plan (CDP) which only allows 8 storeys at that site. Residents in the area are concerned with the shadowing effect of the building and the increased traffic in their neighbourhood as a result of the increase in density. Yet, as the developers frequently stated, the density of the development remains the same regardless of the height due to the way the 18 storey building is sculpted. The building gradually becomes slimmer as it gets taller.. Ecology Ottawa is pleased that there will be an increase in density in this neighbourhood as the mixed-use complex would be within 400 metres from the future Tunney’s Pasture LRT station.
As to the question of height, this is something that the City must work on with the community and developers to complete the picture of what is appropriate in a particular neighbourhood. CDP’s exist to provide certainty to residents of established communities, and it is important that these plans are respected. Whilst Ecology Ottawa supports sustainable intensification, there must be appropriate height restrictions in place and developers should be held to such restrictions. Thus, it is comforting that the Planning Committee passed a motion, with only two nays from Councillors Monette and Bloess, to support the CDP by rejecting the 18 storey proposal. If this decision is ratified at City Council*, the proposal will likely go before the Ontario Municipal Board.
*City Council did ratify the decision made by the Planning Committee at July 17th’s meeting. Only three Councillors dissented; Councillors Harder, Monette and Bloess.