Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

All About The City’s Pedestrian Plans

- September 3rd, 2014

Want to know what the city is up to improving sidewalks and pedestrian paths?

There’s a presentation for that. And here it is. From today’s transportation committee meeting.

Ottawa Pedestrian Plan – September 3, 2014

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

Still Years Before Ottawa Hits 1 Million People

- August 8th, 2014

Coun. Allan Hubley (transportation vice-chairman), Coun. Peter Hume (planning chairman) and Mayor Jim Watson on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 unveiled new welcome signs recognizing the city’s walking and cycling honours.

Population estimates are often all over the map.

You see above the city is using the 900,000 figure, which was announced back in December 2009.

The 2011 census put the city’s population at 883,391.

And, the city’s count at the end of 2012 was 935,050.

(Not to mention another sign advertising 900,002 people)

Many consider Ottawa a million-people city, but it’s more like a million-people capital region when Gatineau and the surrounding areas are considered.

So, when will the City of Ottawa hit 1 million people?

The city’s official plan predicts the population will hit 1,031,000 by 2021, so give or take a couple years around then, we can celebrate the one millionth person.

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

Mizrahi Not Turned Off Ottawa After Condo Rejection

- June 2nd, 2014

Mizrahi Developments proposed a 12-storey condo for 1445 and 1451 Wellington St. W. Council rejected it because the plan didn’t conform to the height in the community design plan.

Sam Mizrahi says he isn’t deterred from doing business in Ottawa after being denied a rezoning application for a 12-storey condo on Wellington St. W. at Island Park Dr.

Mizrahi Developments is appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board and he thinks he has a good chance. The company, he believes, has met nearly all the prerequisites for building on the northeast corner of the intersection.

However, the proposed condo doesn’t conform to the community design plan, which calls for a maximum height of nine storeys at the property.

Mizrahi believes his company has a “moral” obligation to try reversing council’s decision at the OMB. Direct neighbours of the property support the Mizrahi plan, but the community association and city planners don’t. It might be the most unusual planning conundrum this term of council.

“At this point I think we have an obligation to all of the stakeholders who have spent over a year supporting this,” Mizrahi told me earlier today. “It’s not to be viewed in a negative light that we’re doing this. It’s more that it’s the right process given the large continued support coming in daily, even post-council decision.”

Mizrahi has never appealed a decision at the OMB. The company has built over a dozen developments in the Greater Toronto Area, but nothing so far in Ottawa.

Mizrahi said his experience working with Ottawa City Hall has been the same as Toronto. “Both very mature planning departments,” he said.

But Mizrahi is confused why his application was denied when others are routinely approved, especially if the ward councillor and neighbours support the plan.

During last week’s council meeting, Kitchissippi Coun. Katherine Hobbs suggested other developers might assume it’s not worth engaging the community early in a development plan, judging by what happened to Mizrahi’s application.

Mizrahi agrees that it might “confirm the skepticism” of his counterparts at other development companies, but nothing will change at his firm.

“I’m not going to allow this experience to negatively impact our value system in how we consult with the community,” Mizrahi said.

“We made great relationships in Ottawa. We’ve made some of the best relationships that we have ever had in our history.”

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

Controversial Blueprints, Fee Increases on Planning Agenda Tuesday

- May 12th, 2014

Two proposals on the planning committee’s agenda Tuesday. Mizrahi Developments’ condo (left) proposed for Wellington St. W. at Island Park Dr., and Morley Hoppner Group’s proposal for Stirling Ave. at Scott St.

Planning committee could be doozy tomorrow depending on how many people sign up to speak and how passionate councillors are on these noteworthy action items:

Development charges: The fees developers pay are proposed to increase substantially later this year. Builders say extra costs will be passed on to homebuyers. The city needs the revenue to help pay for its transit plans.

Suburbs: See Susan Sherring’s column on the ongoing “building better suburbs” project. The committee will be asked to approve a vision for the study.

Golf course subdivision: Residents who paid premiums to have golf course vistas in Barrhaven’s Stonebridge community haven’t been happy with a plan to build homes in their viewsheds. City planners are recommending approval of an 11-home subdivision proposed by Monarch.

Baseline Rd. development: Brigil’s development application for 2940 and 2946 Baseline Rd. calls for three residential high-rises and 504 apartments on a narrow slice of land a few minutes east of the Queensway Carleton Hospital. Community concerns include the height of the buildings and increased traffic.

Brewery for City Centre: It should be a slam dunk at committee and council. The microbrewery Beyond the Pale wants to move into the City Centre complex.

Odawa property redevelopment: The Odawa Native Friendship Centre was formerly located at 12 Stirling Ave. in Hintonburg. Morley Hoppner Group wants to turn the property into a something it calls Hintonburg Station with a 17-storey condo tower and townhouses, plus lofts in the old school building.

Mizrahi application for Wellington/Island Park: Staff are taking the rare step of recommending politicians vote against a condo application by Mizrahi Developments for 1445 and 1451 Wellington St. W. It was most recently in the news when Coun. Katherine Hobbs pursued having the city pay the full cost of cleaning the contaminated site. City staff say the proposed development isn’t compatible for the community.

New Cardinal Creek Village subdivision:Tamarack’s proposal for a 1,030-home subdivision in the Cardinal Creek area, between Hwy. 174 and Old Montreal Rd., is up for approval.

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

Time Running Out On Sec. 37 Deals

- May 7th, 2014

Well, only for this term of council.

The city is working on a review of the Sec. 37 process — the rule that allows the city to get community benefits from builders in exchange for some added features in a new development, like more height on a condo tower — and planning staff checked with city clerk and solicitor about the rules in an election year.

Here’s an excerpt from a memo on next Tuesday’s planning committee agenda:

Planning and Growth Management staff have been advised that in the instance where a by-law has been passed by Council that includes the provision for Section 37 benefits in advance of the period between the election day and the day that the new Council commences, all public consultations undertaken by a Ward Councillor with respect to the determination of how the Section 37 funds should be spent should be concluded by June 30, 2014. Planning and Growth Management staff will work to the best of their abilities to not bring forward any planning applications that include Section 37 agreements between June 30, 2014 and the swearing-in of the new Council, however, should this not be possible due to statutory timelines, Planning and Growth Management staff have been advised that Council does have the authority to enact a Zoning By-law amendment containing a Section 37 provision, including the allocation of funds, but the consultation on and expenditure of such funds should occur in the new term of Council.

I assume it’s partly to prevent councillors from hammering out deals with developers to secure fancy new things for neighbourhoods in the few months before the Oct. 27 election. It’s similar to the rule banning council members from using their office budgets for ads in the 60 days before the election.*

* Exceptions apply.

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