1. APPLICATION FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION AT ASHBURY COLLEGE, 204-212 SPRINGFIELD ROAD, ROCKCLIFFE PARK HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
DEMANDE POUR UNE NOUVELLE CONSTRUCTION AU COLLÈGE ASHBURY, SITUÉ AU 204-212, CHEMIN SPRINGFIELD, DANS LE DISTRICT DE CONSERVATION DU PATRIMOINE DE ROCKCLIFFE PARK
That Council approve the application for the construction of a Boys’ Dormitory at 204-212 Springfield Road according to plans submitted on June 12, 2008 as amended by the following:
1. That the sidewalk, including the verge, along Springfield Road remain as is, and that no curb be introduced; and
2. That the curb and sidewalk on the Northside of Maple Lane be eliminated and replaced by a grass verge.
RecommandationS modifiÉeS du Comité
Que le Conseil approuve la demande de construction d’un dortoir pour garçons au 204-212, chemin Springfield, conformément aux plans soumis le 12 juin 2008, tel que modifiés par ce qui suit :
1. Que le trottoir du chemin Springfield, y compris l’accotement, demeure tel quel, et qu’il n’y ait pas de bordure de chaussée;
2. Que la bordure de chaussée et le trottoir du côté nord de la ruelle Maple soient éliminés et remplacés par un accotement gazonné.
1. Deputy City Manager's report Planning, Transit and the Environment dated 29 May 2008 (ACS2008-PTE-PLA-0117).
2. LACAC Extract of Draft Minutes of 12 June 2008.
Report to/Rapport au :
That the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee recommend that the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve the application for the construction of a Boys’ Dormitory at 204-212 Springfield Road according to plans submitted on May 22, 2008.
(Note: Approval to Alter this property under the Ontario Heritage Act must not be construed to meet the requirements for the issuance of a building permit.)
The 90-day time period under the Ontario Heritage Act expires on August 20, 2008.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité consultatif sur la conservation de l’architecture locale recommande au Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement de recommander à son tour au Conseil d’approuver la demande de construction d’un dortoir pour garçons au 204-212, chemin Springfield, conformément aux plans soumis le 22 mai 2008.
(Nota : L’approbation de la demande de modification aux termes de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l’Ontario ne signifie pas pour autant qu’elle satisfait aux conditions de délivrance d’un permis de construire.)
Le délai prescrit de 90 jours en vertu de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l’Ontario se termine le 20 août 2008.
Ashbury College, a private school, has submitted a proposal to construct a two-storey boys' dormitory (2180 square metres) to house 50 boys and two housemasters on its campus in the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District. Under the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA), new construction within a heritage conservation district requires the approval of City Council following consultation with the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC).
Ashbury College is part of a cluster of schools, institutional buildings and public lands located along Springfield Road that include St. Brigid's Separate School, Rockcliffe Park Public School, the Community Centre that houses community space and the Rockcliffe Park Public Library, the Village Green and Elmwood School. These institutions and the public park that separates them create a distinctive area within the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District. A location plan and aerial photographs are included as Documents 1 and 2.
The proposed building is a two-storey, roughly "C"-shaped, red brick structure. Originally designed to face Springfield Road and Maple Lane with a courtyard facing the main campus of Ashbury College, the building currently under consideration has been be inverted so that the courtyard will face the intersection of Springfield Road and Maple Lane and the two “ends” of the building will face Maple Lane and Springfield Road. The living quarters for the housemasters will be located at either end of the building with the boys' and dons' rooms located between them. The courtyard will be landscaped. A site plan is included as Document 3 and elevations are included as Document 4.
There has been considerable interest in the Ashbury Dormitory by the neighbouring communities of Rockcliffe Park and Lindenlea. An earlier application that recommended the construction of a similarly styled boys’ dormitory that was oriented so that its wings were parallel, not perpendicular to Maple Lane and Springfield Road, was considered by LACAC, Planning and Environment Committee and City Council. This application has come about as a result of comments from the neighbouring communities and City Council suggesting that the building be reoriented.
The Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District was designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997. The Heritage Conservation District Study contains Management Guidelines that are intended to protect and enhance those elements in the Village that contribute to its heritage character as defined in the Study. The Guidelines are not prescriptive; rather, they outline the principles to be applied to future development, based on past experience. They are intended to guide the evolution of the Village as a picturesque landscape of buildings set in informal grounds, and where the soft landscape in particular ties together, and makes sense of, the irregular road layout, the diverse lot arrangements, and the eclectic mix of building styles.
The Management Guidelines of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District Study address new construction in Section iv) Parts 4 and 5. These recommendations state:
4. Any application to construct a new building or addition should be reviewed, with consideration of its potential to enhance the character of the Village. New construction should be recommended for approval only where the siting, form, materials and detailing are sympathetic to the surrounding natural and cultural environment.
5. New buildings and additions should be of their own time, but should also harmonize with the existing cultural landscape.
The proposed dormitory is a two-storey building, domestic in character, constructed of red brick and featuring small bays and sash windows and a low, sheltering roof. It has a hipped roof with deep overhanging eaves, pedimented gables, regularly spaced eight-over-eight sash windows and small projecting one-storey bays containing three windows on the ground floor. All wooden features such as windows, projecting bays, soffits are painted white. The windows have pre-cast stone sills and lintels that will extend and form stringcourses. The design of the building has been inspired not only by the idioms of the Ashbury Campus but also by the residential character of Lindenlea to the south and Rockcliffe Park to the north. The proposed building meets the criteria above because its design is inspired not only by the neighbouring residential districts but also by the architectural character of the rest of the College. It is clearly of its own time and its landscaped setting reflects the established character of the area.
The corner of Springfield Road and Maple Lane is one of the main entrances to Rockcliffe Park and the proposed dormitory and its grounds will be set back from this intersection. At the request of the local communities of Rockcliffe Park and Lindenlea, the lands in this location will be designed to appear as the back yard of the dormitory. It will feature two hedges; one cedar and the other a lilac. The hedges will be parallel to Maple Lane and Springfield Road and will be set back from the sidewalk by a strip of lawn. A one-metre high metal fence with gates will be located behind the hedges. Deciduous trees will be planted in the newly formed “yard” at the edge of the proposed lawn. Each housemaster’s unit will each feature a small private garden amenity space, which will be surrounded by a hedge. The actual courtyard formed by the two wings of the dormitory will be paved and have a seating area for the students.
Ashbury College is not only a long established institution within the boundaries of Rockcliffe Park but also part of a group of public and institutional buildings, constructed from the early 20th century until the present. It lies within the boundaries of Rockcliffe Park and has played an active role in the history of that community, now a heritage conservation district.
The building’s details, height and material reflect the architectural traditions of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District and its landscape and site plans have been developed in close consultation with the local communities not only to enhance the landscaped character of the heritage conservation district but also to reduce the impact of the dormitory on Springfield Road and Maple Lane. For these reasons, the Department has no objection to the construction of the boys’ dormitory on the Ashbury College Campus near the corner of Springfield Road and Maple Lane.
Adjacent property owners as well as area Community Associations were notified by letter of the date of the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee and Planning and Environment Committee meetings and were provided with comment sheets to be returned to LACAC. This is in accordance with the municipal public participation policy regarding heritage alterations, demolitions and infill in a heritage district.
The Rockcliffe Park Residents Association is aware of this application. Comments, on the project are included as Document 5. The residents association supports the revised design.
The Lindenlea Community Association is aware of this application. Its comments are included as Document 6. The community association supports the revised design.
Councillor Legendre’s comments are included as Document 7.
This application was completed within the 90-day time period prescribed by the Ontario Heritage Act. The 90-day period under the Ontario Heritage Act expires on August 20, 2008.
Document 1 Location Map
Document 2 Aerial photograph
Document 3 Site Plan
Document 4 Elevations
Document 5 Current comments from the RPRA
Document 6 Lindenlea Comments
Document 7 Councillor’s Comments
City Clerk’s Branch, Council and Committee Services, to notify the applicant/ agent (David McRobie, David S. McRobie, Architects, Suite 100–66 Queen Street, Ottawa, K1P 5C6) and the Ontario Heritage Trust (10 Adelaide Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3) of City Council’s consent to construct a new boys’ dormitory at Ashbury College, 204-212 Springfield Road.
LOCATION MAP DOCUMENT 1
The Rockcliffe Park Residents Association (RPRA) and the Lindenlea Community Association met with representatives of Ashbury College twice in May after the final decision by Ashbury to proceed with demolition/removal of 204 and 212 Springfield. While expressing regret at this decision, the RPRA is pleased that Ashbury has agreed to “flip” the residence and to retain most of the mature trees on the site and to make other changes to the building and the site plan/landscape plan.
Ashbury has agreed to revise its plan for the Springfield-Maple Lane corner by removing the low stone wall, the benches and the highly visible and formal appearance of the corner. Instead, there will now be a fence, running along Maple Lane and turning onto Springfield and hidden from the street by a cedar hedge or a lilac hedge. Access to the students’ inner courtyard space will be via two gates – one on Springfield and the other on Maple Lane. The agreed-upon look is one approximating the corner of a residential garden and the overall appearance is to be less formal.
The driveways to the housemasters’ units will be reduced in width to 3.5 m (one each on Maple Lane and Springfield) and to maximize the safety of children using the sidewalk on Springfield, the southern-most entrance to the parking lot will be one way into the parking lot. The RPRA recommends that this one-way entrance be 3.5 m wide or narrower.
The Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District marker will remain on municipal property, in its current location.
In regard to the building itself, Ashbury has agreed to the RPRA request that the roof be shingled, not clad with metal. RPRA and LCA requests to reduce the appearance of mass of the housemaster/residence ends of the building were accepted and the final details of how that will be accomplished will be presented at the LACAC meeting.
Although not an issue for the LACAC meeting, the RPRA will discuss the details of the proposed work on the sidewalk with the city’s roads department as we understand that some of the changes proposed may not be in keeping with the Heritage Conservation District guidelines.
Rockcliffe Park Residents Association
The LCA regrets the pending loss of the 204 and 212 Springfield, but is resigned to the fate of those properties and the proponent's intention to remove/demolish the houses.
We have reviewed the amended landscape plan as submitted by the Architect (McRobie) and Landscape Architect (Lennox) and find that it has addressed our concerns regarding establishing a layered screening of the building, and presenting a more residential garden frontage to the street. We are pleased that the public seating and gathering area has been removed and that those areas have been incorporated into the Ashbury grounds. The presence of the housemaster's gardens on the street front will also help to enhance the residential feel of the building ends that present to the street. We are pleased to note that the proponent intends to retain the mature trees along Maple Lane (and many others on the site) to help with the screening of the property. We continue to advise Ashbury and the design team that the screening aspect from those properties to the southeast of the development is a particularly sensitive issue for immediate neighbours. An active program of landscape maintenance will be required in the first few seasons to ensure the hedging growth is robust.
We continue to have some concern about the building elevations of the housemaster residences, in that the massing is too imposing. During our meeting with the Ashbury design team it was suggested that the impact of the elevations facing the street could be attenuated by an architectural treatment that delineates the housemaster residence from the dormitory element. At the meeting of 21 May, the architect indicated that the level of detail to address this concern was not yet available but would become apparent as the working drawings were developed.
We strongly suggest that during the first season of construction, Ashbury and their contractor preserve the hedging that currently exists right along the Maple Lane sidewalk in an effort to act as a natural screening of the construction activity, and a natural noise and dust barrier to the neighbours on the south side of Maple Lane. This simple action would go a long way to promoting good relations with neighbours during a period of significant disruption. The hedging could be removed only as necessary during the final landscaping phase of the work. This action will fit nicely into the planned LEED standards the team is trying to achieve in that it uses existing natural elements to attenuate construction impact on the environment.
As an end note, we support the pending action by the RPRA to address issue of developing road curbing that keeps in character with the Rockcliffe Village "verge" urban design element. Perhaps the road curbing being demanded of the proponent is only needed within the first 50m of the Maple Lane intersection and could then taper into the village verge mode.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit this input to the planning process.
Lindenlea Community Association
Councillor Legendre’s Comments:
This application under the Ontario Heritage Act for new construction in a heritage conservation district is before Committee and Council because Council was ineffective in defending section 4.6.1 of its Official Plan (Heritage Buildings and Areas). The first responsibility of Council, as outlined in that section, is that LACAC be consulted and, “where a structure … under the Heritage Act is to be … demolished”, that an impact statement be drawn up to do the following:
a) Describe the positive and adverse impacts on the heritage resource that may reasonably be expected to result from the proposed development:
b) Describe the actions that may reasonably be required to prevent, minimize or mitigate the adverse impacts …;
c) Demonstrate that the proposal will not adversely impact the cultural heritage value of the property, Heritage Conservation District, and or its streetscape/neighbourhood.
This was not done! Instead an “impact statement” was developed by the proponent challenging the heritage value at risk. This ought not to have occurred as the value which was at risk was the integrity of the Heritage Conservation District already adopted by the previous Village of Rockcliffe Park and subsequently incorporated into the planning regime of the new City of Ottawa on amalgamation.
My comments on the current proposal are submitted with considerable sadness and in recognition that even a clear vote by Council in favour of preserving the residence at the corner of Springfield and Maple Lane, dating from the early days of the Village, was ultimately not respected.
I applaud the members of the Rockcliffe Park Resident’s Association and the Lindenlea Community Association who have persevered in these circumstances to salvage what was salvageable. The fact that the building’s design will be ‘flipped’ and that many mature trees near the intersection will be saved are positive aspects.
I understand that the sidewalk along Springfield is to be reconstructed “to City standards” with curbs. Once again, this is against the guidelines present in Rockcliffe. I would ask the committee to withdraw any conditions other than requiring that the existing sidewalks along Springfield and Maple Lane be reinstated in their current locations and with the current widths, at the end of the construction period. In the case of Springfield, this means an asphalt sidewalk without any curbs, respecting the Village guidelines.
Local Architectural Conservation
EXTRACT OF DRAFT
12 June 008
Comité consultatif sur la conservation de l’architecture locale
extrait de l’Ébauche
du Procès-verbal 15
le 12 juin 2008
ApplICATION FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION AT ASHBURY COLLEGE, 204-212 SPRINGFIELD ROAD, ROCKCLIFFE PARK HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICT
DEMANDE POUR UNE NOUVELLE CONSTRUCTION AU COLLÈGE ASHBURY, SITUÉ AU 204-212, CHEMIN SPRINGFIELD, DANS LE DISTRICT DE CONSERVATION DU PATRIMOINE DE ROCKCLIFFE PARK
Sally Coutts, Heritage Planner provided an overview of the departmental report.
David McRobie, Architect, was present to answer questions on the proposal and gave a short presentation on the project.
The Committee heard from Alexander Macklin, President, Rockcliffe Park Residents Association (RPRA) who stated that the RPRA and the Lindenlea Community Association met with representatives of Ashbury College twice in May. He expressed their regret that Ashbury was proceeding with the demolition and removal of 204 and 212 Springfield Road. However, the RPRA is pleased that Ashbury agreed to “flip” the residence and retain most of the mature trees on the site. He asked that the Committee add a recommendation to the proposal that the sidewalk along Springfield Road remain as is, meaning an asphalt sidewalk without curbs. D. McRobie agreed with the RPRA’s recommendation that the sidewalk should remain as is without any curbs.
Written comments in opposition to the proposal were received from the following and held on file:
a) Mark Moher, dated 5 June 2008;
b) Philip S. Black, dated 5 June 2008;
c) Suzanne Dawes dated 8 June 2008; concerns were not on the proposal but with the parking problems on the streets and around Ashbury College.
Moved by H. McArthur
And that the sidewalk, including the verge, along Springfield Road remain as is, and that no curb be introduced.
Moved by R. Dalibard
That the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee recommend that Planning and Environment Committee recommend that Council approve the application for the construction of a Boys’ Dormitory at 204-212 Springfield Road according to plans submitted on June 12 , 2008.
CARRIED as amended