Zoning and development application: 2946 Baseline Road

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.

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New active transportation facilities on the Hwy 417 bridges

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Over the next several years, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) will replace the bridges/overpasses at Richmond Road, Pinecrest Ave, Woodroffe Ave, and Maitland Ave.

I have been working with Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, Mayor Sutcliffe, and our provincial counterparts to ensure that those new structures include better, safer transportation routes for pedestrians and cyclists. And I am very pleased that MTO has come onside and will build active transportation infrastructure as part of their plan.

The City of Ottawa is investing $5.4 million (which was already earmarked for active transportation projects like this one) to improve the Maitland bridge. MTO will do the rest on their own. The City will also work on connections between the bridges and area cycling routes and sidewalks.

Beginning May 22 and until June 5, 2024, MTO has an online Public Information Centre for the Maitland and Woodroffe bridges.

You can also read the full Subject matter - Report to Committee (escribemeetings.com).

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People are still getting bounced from one level of government to another when they have a question or concern about wildlife, said Johnson. It happened to a member of her staff earlier this month when the staffer had concerns about a sickly-looking coyote repeatedly sighted in the City View neighbourhood.

“Many jurisdictions have a finger in the pie of our green space. They all have some, but not all of the responsibility,” she said. “It should be easy to make one call and ensure that the correct responding agency knows about the situation. We have a wealth of expertise.”

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