At the October 4 Planning and Housing Committee meeting, we passed interim Zoning Amendments, until Council adoption of the new Zoning By-law, for the City of Ottawa to be compliant with Bill 23, the Provincial legislation that permits 3 units to be built on every site that has city services. This means that R1 zoning, which restricts building to one home on one lot, is effectively over for many College Ward neighbourhoods. Single units can now be three units, and semi-detached can effectively have 3 units each, for a total of 6 units on one lot. This is a big change, and one I know will be felt by many neighbours in Ottawa. I was sure to share information about the provincial bill during my campaign, and in my first communications in office, but if you missed it, you can find it here: How will Bill 23 affect residents?
We held a College Ward Town Hall meeting on September 28 at Ben Franklin Place. Residents attended in-person and online to share to ask questions and their views with Laine and senior City staff. Please find the video below.
City staff have released a report showing the results of their public consultation on the Field Sidewalk Project, which is planned for construction in the next couple of years. Staff said they have made some changes to the design as a result of the consultation. Please see the report below.
Public Works has been actively clearing service requests related to the July 28 summer storm. This storm was characterized by high winds with impacts primarily related to wards 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16.
Here are the latest numbers provided by staff related to this windstorm:
- As of today, Forestry has received a total of 194 calls.
- All emergency calls have received a response. Forestry inspectors continue to complete secondary assessments which will allow for the scheduling of additional non-emergency related work.
- Follow up work related to right of way tree debris generated through the initial response phase will be coordinated this week.
Roads and Parking Services received and completed a total of 59 total service requests. These included:
- 38 roadway flooding due to blocked catch basins
- 17 tree debris blocking roadway/pathways
- 4 police barricade requests due to downed power lines
- Parks have identified 22 parks in the affected wards that require tree support from Forestry operations. All immediate hazards have been addressed at this time. Debris cleanup will occur as the larger work is completed.
Interested in learning more about the City's ditch rehabilitation project in City View / Crestview? The recording from our info session earlier this week is now posted online for your review.
We are seeing our first major development application come to the College Ward office since I was elected. At 2946 Baseline, Brigil is asking for a rezoning to permit for two high rise towers at 32 and 28 stories respectively, and a 9-story mid rise building (Application Details - Development Applications Search (ottawa.ca). We are inviting residents to an online open house on July 19th from 7-830pm.
RSVP at Laine Johnson - 2946 Baseline Open House
This is your opportunity to learn more about the proposed zoning bylaw amendment so that you can inform your comments to Kieran Watson, the lead planner on the file (Development applications feedback form | City of Ottawa). The first round of comments are due by July 31, but there will be additional opportunity to comment between now and the final report to Planning and Housing Committee later this year.
For those interested in understanding City staff's process, you can read the Terms of Reference Design Brief and Planning Rationale.
For myself, I have concerns about the proposed height and massing at this site. A 32-story building would be the first of its kind in the area.
It does meet the City’s Official Plan criteria, which permits up to 40 stories on a main street with the appropriate right-of-way width from the road, which Baseline allows. However, the planning context sees more mid-rise buildings in this area, and so high-rises would need to demonstrate consistency. This could be resolved through a reimagining of the podium, currently at 6 stories, or a revisit of the proposed transitions to the surrounding neighbourhood.
I am also concerned about the implications for transportation, given this site is quite a distance from the nearest major transit station at Algonquin College. Since there are so few amenities, one can only imagine that people will be using their cars for many trips and we want to see viable mode share targets through the area.
The Baseline Rapid Transit Corridor will alleviate some of that congestion over time and I look forward to the timing of that corridor with the final construction of this project. As currently conceived, the project would be completed by 2030.
My office frequently hears from residents who reach out to express concern about safety at the intersections of Maitland Avenue, Glenmount Avenue and Erindale Drive. With several schools in the area, many pedestrians must make the trip across Maitland Avenue to get to class each day. Some of the key concerns that have been identified by local community members include speed, vehicle volume, red light running, aggressive driving, blocked pedestrian crossings, and the configuration of the intersections.
As part of the Stage 2 O-Train Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, Iris Street, between Parkway Drive and Adirondack Drive, will be closed to vehicular traffic until August 31, 2023. Pedestrian and cycling mobility in the area will be maintained throughout the detour with posted signage.
Ottawa city councillors are looking for answers after Ottawa police decided to shoot a bear that officials had been working to safely relocate for days, and they are hoping a wildlife management review will prevent future incidents.
The bear first came to the attention of bylaw officers last week. College Coun. Laine Johnson said they were co-ordinating with the province to educate the public and the National Capital Commission (NCC) to set traps.
I love our community! Over the past couple of days, I have travelled back and forth across College Ward, knocking on doors to check how people are doing, following up on safety concerns, and helping to get people warm food and shelter. Check out the photos below!
We've had a few updates from City staff this afternoon, so I'm sending them along.
This holiday weekend, please monitor my social media for more updates: