Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Don’t Waste Money Burying Hydro Around Proposed High Rise, Association Says

- February 9th, 2015

Richcraft Homes will ask for planning committee’s approval tomorrow for its condo complex on Carling Ave. at Preston St. One tower would be 55 storeys, making it the tallest in Ottawa if and when it’s built.

Part of the recommendation includes a $3.3-million Sec. 37 deal for community improvements. The local community association is “flabbergasted” the city wants to use nearly $1.2 million of that to bury hydro lines near the proposed development.

Dalhousie Comm Association Feb9 2015

On the other side of the O-Train tracks, the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association has a beef with one suggestion to extend a road through a park owned by the feds.

These are some of the issues facing rookie councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper with this application.

—–
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling, on Instagram at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Watson, El-Chantiry Want Brisk Returns On Brownfield Investments

- February 3rd, 2015

The Minto Beechwood project is slated to get $1.7 million from the city to help with cleanup costs of the contaminated property. The previous building was destroyed by fire in 2011.

City brownfield grants are available to developers building on contaminated land. The money helps with the cleanup costs up to 50% of the total bill so the land can be developed, removing urban blights.

Council’s finance and economic development committee today approved up to $4.2 million in grants and fee breaks for four brownfield developments.

Politicians are starting to take notice of the lucrative grant program, which has been considered a win-win for the city and the development community.

But as Mayor Jim Watson said today, it’s “good news, bad news” that the brownfield grants are so popular. Millions of dollars are being paid to developers, but the city wants to see buildings go up more quickly.

“I’d like to see if we can use those dollars to act as an incentive, to not only to get the brownfield uncontaminated, but also get the shovels in the ground faster so it’s not sitting there years upon years,” Watson said.

The longer it takes to build, the longer the city is waiting to collect property taxes, Watson said.

West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry asked staff to review the brownfield grant program. He echoed Watson’s comments, saying he wants to “streamline the process.” The city shouldn’t be waiting for 10 years to see action at the property, even though its paying millions for the cleanup costs, he said.

After all, El-Chantiry said, it’s the city’s money.

—–
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling, on Instagram at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Remarks From The New Planning Chairwoman

- January 20th, 2015

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder is the new chairwoman of the planning committee. She kicked off the first meeting of the term with some remarks. Here they are:

Harder Speaking Notes 20Jan15

—–
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling, on Instagram at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

On Thumbs, Trash And Running The Planning Committee

- October 3rd, 2014

Six mayoral candidates show their thumbs during a Yes-No segment of the mayoral debate in the Glebe Thursday night.

The community associations that organized the debate in the Glebe last night had an interesting way to burn through several questions within a minute. They only allowed a thumbs-up or thumbs-down answer to what, in some cases, turned out to be complex questions on things like infrastructure, campaign donations and development. I wish I videotaped this portion because it was hard to keep up with the responses. I know Mayor Jim Watson’s camp didn’t know this would be part of the format and Watson said he wasn’t a fan of that segment.

What more can I say about the debate? It was all over the place. Watson and Mike Maguire didn’t get enough time to talk about their platforms because there were four other candidates, but at least those guys showed up. Good on them. And heck, it was fun after covering several debates to have a bit of a circus. Not great, though, for Glebe residents trying to decide how to vote.

Candidates pushing weekly trash collection in the summer should dumpster-dive for another $1 million, maybe more.

Staff have crunched the numbers and the word inside City Hall is that the cost to collect garbage each week in July and August would be $4 million. The April 2011 estimate provided by staff was $3 million for June, July and August.

More candidates are jumping on the weekly trash train, including Somerset hopeful Lili Weeman (love the picture, by the way).

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder chaired a doozy of a planning committee yesterday, with Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume being away. The Windmill Developments proposal for the Domtar lands was on the agenda with about 50 people signed up to speak. It was emotional with occasional outbursts from the audience, a request for a prayer song, an impromptu call for a moment of silence from a delegate and one man who refused to step down from the microphone. Harder was good, though. She kept tight to the five-minute speaking limit, even for Windmill’s Jonathan Westeinde. That could be a preview of next term’s planning committee since Harder is near the top (if not at the top) of the list for the chairperson’s job.

—–
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Planning Bites: “Travesty” In the Glebe, Hobbs Votes Against Developer

- September 23rd, 2014

Two Canderel proposals for Bank St. in the south end of the Glebe.

A couple of interesting bites from today’s planning committee…

Canderel had a rezoning application on the agenda for 852 Bank St. at Fifth Ave. in the Glebe. The company wants to tear down the service station and build a two-storey commercial building, featuring a restaurant with second-level patio. Capital Coun. David Chernushenko asked for, and was granted, a deferral so he could discuss the parking plan with the company. Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume couldn’t resist chiming in before carrying the deferral. Hume said it’s a “travesty” the company wasn’t thinking of creating something a bit more, along with another Canderel-proposed development just south on Bank St. where the Beer Store is. It’s something Hume says he’ll take up with the company when the Bank/Fifth application comes back to the committee in October. He’s interested in more density in that area.

Kitchissippi Coun. Katherine Hobbs got a chance to prove to people she can stand up to developers, which has been a bit of an issue during the municipal election campaign. Claridge Homes wants to use the vacant property at 281 St. Andrew St. in Lowertown to temporarily park construction trailers for a residential development about 100 metres away at 324 Bruyere St. Some neighbours oppose having the trailers at the property, citing light blockage and safety issues. Hobbs was the only member of the planning committee to vote against the necessary rezoning. The city needs to send a message to developers that they “should not be disrupting the neighbourhood,” she said.

—–
Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.