2. ZONING - 38 ELVASTON AVENUE
ZONAGE - 38, AVENUE ELVASTON
Committee recommendation as amended
(This application is subject to Bill 51)
That Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 38 Elvaston Avenue from General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)) to General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9, Exception XX (GM9[XX] H(18.5)), as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 2, as amended to limit the additional land use to “retail drug store”.
Recommandation MODIFIÉE DU Comité
(Cette demande est assujettie au Règlement 51)
Que le Conseil approuve une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 afin de changer la désignation de zonage du 38, avenue Elvaston de Zone générale d’utilisations polyvalentes, sous-zone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)), à Zone générale d’utilisations polyvalentes, sous-zone 9, exception XX (GM9[XX] H(18.5)), comme il est indiqué dans le Document 1 et expliqué en détail dans le Document 2, tel que modifié afin de limiter l’utilisation du sol supplémentaire à « pharmacie de détail ».
1. Deputy City Manager’s report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability dated 16 April 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PLA-0056).
2. Extract of Draft Minute, 28 April 2009.
That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 38 Elvaston Avenue from General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)) to General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9, Exception XX (GM9[XX] H(18.5)), as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 2.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité de recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 afin de changer la désignation de zonage du 38, avenue Elvaston de Zone générale d’utilisations polyvalentes, sous-zone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)) à Zone générale d’utilisations polyvalentes, sous-zone 9, exception XX (GM9[XX] H(18.5)), comme il est indiqué dans le Document 1 et expliqué en détail dans le Document 2.
This application affects 38 Elvaston Drive. The property is located on the east side of Greenbank Road just north of the intersection of Bellman/Bateman Drive, as shown in Document 1. The site contains an area of approximately 0.7 hectares and is bounded by commercial and residential uses to the north, Elvaston Avenue to the east, a Hydro Corridor to the south and Greenbank Road to the west.
The applicant intends to build a 1717-square metre, single-storey retail building that would accommodate a retail drug store with 88 parking spaces, as illustrated in Document 3. However, a retail store is not a permitted use in the current GM9 H(18.5) - General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9 of the Zoning By-law, hence the application.
The site is designated General Urban Area in the Official Plan. This designation permits the development of a full range of housing types, in combination with conveniently located employment, retail, service, cultural, leisure, entertainment and institutional uses. This mix of land uses facilitates the development of complete and sustainable communities whereby customers live around retailers and have the benefit of being able to walk a short distance to get groceries, household items or personal services. This is a key objective of the Official Plan. Section 3.6.1 (General Urban Area) directs that within neighbourhoods the Zoning By-law will allow those land uses that provide for the local residents’ daily needs, including schools, shopping, recreation and services. Uses that also serve wider parts of the city are to be located at the edges of neighbourhoods, on roads where the requirements of these land uses (such as transit, vehicular access and parking) can be more easily satisfied and impacts controlled.
Development applications are to be evaluated in accordance with Sections 2.5.1 (Compatibility and Community Design) and 4.11 (Compatibility). The Official Plan defines “compatible development” as development which, although it is not identical or similar to surrounding buildings nonetheless enhances an established community and coexists with existing development without causing undue adverse impact on surrounding properties. Such development ‘fits well’ within its physical context and ‘works well’ among those functions that surround it.” Section 4.11, Policy 2 provides criteria to assess the compatibility of a development proposal. They consist of:
Greenbank Road is an arterial road with sufficient capacity to accommodate the anticipated traffic that would be generated by the proposed development, as described by a Traffic Impact Study, which was submitted with this application and was subsequently approved by staff.
The location and orientation of the proposed vehicular access/exit will minimize the impacts relating to noise, headlight glare, and loss of privacy on neighbouring developments. This is because the proposed vehicular access is located between the proposed building and Greenbank Road, away from the adjacent residential community. Also, the access is proposed at a location along Greenbank Road frontage that will utilize an existing median break and left-turn lane.
The proposal includes sufficient on-site parking - with a surplus of 29 spaces - and is not expected to generate spill-over parking on Elvaston Avenue, the residential street adjacent to the site.
Character of Surrounding Community
The proposed building is in keeping with the surrounding context and buildings found in the vicinity in terms of height, as it is surrounded by low profile (one to two storey) commercial, institutional and residential buildings. The proposed building is significantly lower (6.9 metres) than the permitted maximum height (18.5 metres) in the current GM9 H(18.5) zone.
Outdoor Amenity Areas
The proposal will have a minimal impact on the outdoor amenity areas of adjacent residential properties, as the proposed building has been sited to buffer commercial activities from residential uses. The proposed development will be well landscaped around the perimeter of the site, with enhanced landscaping along Elvaston Avenue, and within the north side yard. To the south, the development would be buffered from the residential community by on-site landscaping and a hydro corridor. The store’s operation is not expected to negatively affect the surrounding residential community.
Noise and Air Quality
The anticipated increase in traffic is expected to be negligible and will not create any significant impacts related noise or air quality. No other noise or emission generating facilities are proposed other than those associated with typical heating, ventilation and air conditioning of the proposed building.
Supporting Neighbourhood Services
The proposed development will serve the neighbourhood surrounding communities by providing goods and services including pharmacy/healthcare, a post office and convenience retail items.
The applicant proposes to add "retail store" as a permitted use on the subject site.
The property is zoned General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)) in Zoning By-law 2008-250. Permitted uses in the GM9 subzone include the following: animal hospital, bank, community centre or community health and resource centre, day care, instructional facility, library, medical facility (Doctor or Dental offices), municipal service centre, office, church, research and development centre and a training facility. A retail store is not a permitted use in this Subzone, but it is permitted in the parent GM zone.
The Zoning By-law provides the following development standards for this site: Minimum front yard: three metres; Minimum rear yard: three metres; Minimum side yard (all other yards): five metres abutting residential, zero metres otherwise; Maximum building height: 18.5 metres; and Floor Space Index: 2.0.
The minimum parking rate for a retail store is one space per 3.4 square metres of Gross Floor Area. A three-metre landscape buffer is required between the street and any development, and a 1.5 metre landscape strip is required around the perimeter of a parking area other than that which adjoins a street, in which case a three-metre strip is required.
Staff recommends approval of this proposal for the following reasons. The proposed development is in accordance with the intent of the Official Plan in terms of compatibility and of development of complete and sustainable communities through a rich mix of land uses. The proposed use is located (at the edge of a neighbourhood and fronting onto an arterial road that accommodates car, truck and transit traffic) to serve both the local neighbourhood and wider parts of the City, which satisfies the locational attributes for mixed-use development as outlined in Section 3.6.1 (General Urban Area) of the Official Plan.
This Zoning By-law amendment application was submitted concurrently with a Site Plan Control approval, file No. D07-12-08-0254.
Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy. A Community Information and Comments session was also held in the community. Detailed responses to the notification/circulation are provided in Document 4. The Ward Councillor is aware of this application and the staff recommendation.
If the amendment is adopted by Council and the matter appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, the hearing could be conducted from within staff resources.
If the amendment is refused and the refusal appealed to the Board, external witness(es) will be necessary. Committee and/or Council will have to provide reasons for the reason and the number of witnesses would depend on the reasons identified by the City. Should the concerns be primarily planning grounds, a planner would need to be retained and the cost would be estimated to be in the range of $25,000 to $35,000. Should transportation-related issues also be identified as reasons, then a further $35,000 to $40,000 cost would be incurred.
Document 1 Location Map
Document 2 Details of Recommended Zoning
Document 3 Proposed Site Plan
Document 4 Consultation Details
City Clerk and Legal Services Branch, Legislative Services to notify the owner, Carling Realty Co. Ltd, 3000-1704 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 1C7, applicant, Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, 243 Consumers Road, Toronto, Ontario M2J 4W8, Attention Chris Stoyanovich, OttawaScene.com, 174 Colonnade Road, Unit #33, Ottawa, ON K2E 7J5, Ghislain Lamarche, Program Manager, Assessment, Financial Services Branch (Mail Code: 26-76) of City Council’s decision.
Planning and Growth Management Department to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services and undertake the statutory notification.
Legal Services to forward the implementing by-law to City Council.
DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING DOCUMENT 2
Proposed Changes to Zoning By-law 2008-250:
The lands known municipally as 38 Elvaston Drive and shown on Document 1 will be rezoned from GM9 H(18.5)) to (GM9[XX] H(18.5)) as follows:
A new exception, GM9[XX] H(18.5), will be added to Section 239 – Urban Exceptions and will contain the following provision:
- additional land use permitted: retail store
PROPOSED SITE PLAN DOCUMENT 3
CONSULTATION DETAILS DOCUMENT 4
NOTIFICATION AND CONSULTATION PROCESS
Notification and public consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Public Notification and Public Consultation Policy approved by City Council for Zoning By-law amendments. A Community Information and Comments meeting was also held in the community.
A number of written comments and phone calls were received from the residents from the Craig Henry Community east of Greenbank Road and from the Trend Arlington Community Association west of Greenbank Road.
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC INPUT
1. It is not right to use a residential street address (38 Elvaston Avenue) for a commercial property that will be accessed from Greenbank Road.
The site has been assigned a new municipal address: 181 Greenbank Road. The Elvaston Avenue address will not be used past this approval process.
2. Will the store customer be able to leave the lot and turn left (southbound) and merge safely?
The location of the driveway’s connection to Greenbank Road offers good sight lines to Greenbank Road so that entering and exiting the site is not expected to create a public safety hazard.
3. A big-box type store will worsen traffic congestion on Greenbank Road and at the Bellman/ Bateman Drive intersection.
A Transportation Impact Study (TIS) undertaken by the applicant and accepted by the City indicates that the additional traffic from the proposed development will not make any significant difference on Greenbank Road and nearby intersections.
4. Will left turns onto and from the Shoppers Drug Mart site cross each other?
Yes, subject to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act traffic priority rules.
5. Will a traffic light be installed or will a no left turn sign be installed?
The Transportation Impact Study approved by the City concluded that “given the relatively low peak hour site-generated traffic combine with there being traffic flow gaps created by the adjacent up and downstream signalized intersections, traffic operations issues warranting SDM turning movement restrictions are not anticipated.” However, the applicant recognizes that the City has the authority to restrict the driveway operation to right-in/right-out in the future, should there be demonstrated evidence of a safety issue at the driveway connection to Greenbank Road.
6. Will the store entrance/exit have any impact on the two schools opposite across Greenbank Road? I am concerned about increased traffic congestion leading to impatience on part of some and risk of accidents.
The approved Transportation Impact Study shows no significant impact on the two schools. The TIS concluded that the projected increase in delays to outbound traffic from the school as a result of the SDM site traffic is estimated to be in the order of an additional 10 to 15 seconds. Based on data, a mid-block pedestrian signal is not warranted at this location.
7. There are two grade schools in the immediate vicinity and the additional traffic entering and exiting the store would increase the risk to school children of the area. SDM and/or the City should be required to erect a fence on the median of Greenbank Road to discourage and prevent pupils of the schools from crossing outside of the crossing intersections.
The additional vehicle trips resulting from the proposed development are not expected to have a significant impact on pedestrian safety. School children and all other pedestrians are expected to cross Greenbank Road at the signalized Canfield/Craig Henry and at the Bellman/Bateman intersections. A fence on the median would negatively affect the sight lines of motorists entering and exiting the SDM and school properties. There are sidewalks on both sides of Greenbank Road, and no roadway modifications, such as crosswalks, are required to aid pedestrian safety at the subject site driveway connection to Greenbank Road.
8. I am concerned about the unfavourable appearance of a big-box store. A huge pharmacy outlet on Greenbank Road would be intrusive and destructive of the character of the existing residential neighbourhood.
The proposed development has been designed to comply with applicable zoning standards including minimum setbacks, maximum height, floor space index, etc. In fact, the proposed Floor Space Index (FSI) is eight times smaller than the maximum 2.0 FSI permitted in the GM9 subzone. The proposed building represents no visual incongruity with other buildings along Greenbank Road, particularly with the existing school facilities across the street, or the church on the south side of Bateman Drive. Through Site Plan Control approval, landscape planting and architectural articulation will be used to break up and animate the building’s rear wall adjacent to Elvaston Avenue.
9. Shoppers Drug Mart should be required to minimize lighting after 10 pm.
SDM will dim lighting after 10 pm.
10. Concern has been expressed about light pollution and the effect of the proposed building on the streetscape from Elvaston Avenue.
The streetscape from Elvaston Avenue will not be negatively altered, as through Site Plan Control approval the Elvaston façade of the building will be articulated to be animated and attractive. In addition, landscape planting will enhance the appearance of the building. The proposed lighting plan for the building is not expected to result in light pollution to the neighbours.
11. The parking lot should be revised to incorporate more foliage and green space.
Landscape planting will be dealt with in details through Site Plan Control approval.
12. Though no access from Elvaston is proposed, the proposed walkway will not hinder people from parking on Elvaston in order to shop at the facility.
Circuitous street layouts, lack of sidewalks, and long travel distances are partly responsible for causing residents of urban and suburban developments to depend on their cars for trips to destinations within the neighbourhood. As reducing dependence on the automobile is a crucial ingredient for achieving urban sustainability, it is a policy of the City of Ottawa, through its Official Plan, to promote the creation of pedestrian-friendly environments. Section 2.3.1 (Transportation) of the Official Plan requires that all new developments or redevelopment provide walking facilities. This includes providing safe, direct and attractive pedestrian access between public streets, sidewalks, or walkways and building entrances. There are more than 400 households within 300 metres of the proposed pharmacy, and research shows that 300 metres is the distance people are willing to walk to conduct their business as pedestrians. Since the streets in the neighbourhood are not circuitous, it is expected that a number of residents within the 300-metre radius will walk to the pharmacy. Therefore, a direct pathway connection from the neighbourhood to the entrance of the store is required, and its location will be determined through Site Plan Control approval.
13. Will the proposed store open 24 hours/day in the future? What guarantee do we have? The City should condition the approval of the store to ensure that the store is never allowed to be open later than 10 pm.
Zoning does not regulate business hours. However, the applicant has given staff verbal assurances that the proposed store would not be open past 10 p.m.
14. Concern was expressed about the Shoppers Drug Mart possibly renting part of its parking lot to another party for a ‘chip wagon’ food operation in the future.
The applicant has not suggested that a ‘chip wagon’ restaurant is contemplated at the subject site.
15. Concerns were expressed about the possible negative fallout (noise, drugs, cars, etc.) of people using the parking lot as a hangout. Will security cameras and/or the police be watching for drug activity in the store’s parking lot?
The proposed Site Plan was circulated to the Ottawa Police Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) unit for review and comments. The police did not express any concerns as the site plan was designed with visual connection between Greenbank Road and Elvaston Avenue, to benefit from natural surveillance from customers, neighbours, passers-by, and other people while they are going about their daily activities. In addition, the store will not be isolated and its entrance will be at the front. Clear sight lines from Greenbank Road will increase the likelihood of detecting suspicious activities. Furthermore, the Greenbank Police Centre located only two hundred metres away makes the store a less attractive target.
16. The store will attract criminals, as pharmacies have been the target for robbers looking for drugs.
Shoppers Drug Mart has put in place a national security program, which deals with security issues in consultation with local police. The program has been proven to deter criminal elements at SDM’s many other locations.
17. Concerns were expressed about the type of retail business that could take the proposed building and the possible negative impact on the value of residential properties.
Though this concern is of a hypothetical nature, any retail business moving to the subject site in the future would have to comply with the zoning of the site.
18. Allowing the proposed development will establish an undesirable precedent for other retailers to develop a strip mall along Greenbank Road, turning it into another “Merivale Road.”
Staff have considered potential precedent effects of this proposal. Establishing an undesirable precedent might have been an issue if this application were likely to set off a domino effect on similar properties; but there is no similar vacant lot in the vicinity, on which the same could be done. In addition, planning authorities evaluate each development proposal individually on the basis of its merits.
19. The zoning of the site should be left as it is. Commercial office buildings operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and do not cause noise and light pollution as do retail stores with twenty-four hour operation.
The current zoning of the site permits uses including emergency service (police, fire, ambulance or paramedic services), place of assembly, community centre, and instructional facility, which would not necessarily conform to the typical Monday to Friday office opening hours. The proposed store will not open past 10 p.m. Site lighting will include sharp cut-off fixtures to prevent light pollution to adjoining properties. The proposed vehicular access and parking lot are located between the proposed building and Greenbank Road, away from neighbouring residential properties, which will minimize the impacts relating to noise, headlight glare, and loss of privacy on adjacent developments.
20. The store lighting should be designed to ensure a more urban look (i.e. street lamps) instead of an industrial feel.
Lighting with an urban appearance will be selected.
21. We do not want a corporate giant invading our tranquil community and destroying local small businesses.
The proposed retail drug store is not expected to create a significant noise impact for the surrounding community. The impact of the proposed use on local small business is a market issue that cannot be controlled through zoning. This is because the Planning Act does not authorize the use of zoning by-laws to control market competition.
22. This development will reduce the resale value of surrounding residential properties.
The reduction of property values is a common concern with development proposals. However, this conjectural subject has not been corroborated by firm data and staff is not aware of any case where a similar development has resulted in loss of property values to surrounding properties.
23. Concerns were expressed about garbage (candy wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic bags, etc) from the drug store spreading to the vicinity.
The proposed use is not expected to create a garbage issue in the neighbourhood; there is no evidence to the contrary. However, garbage is a maintenance issue, which is subject to the City’s Property Standards By-law. Garbage issues and any other property standards issues should be reported to the City by calling 3-1-1 for inspection and enforcement.
24. We are concerned about construction noise from the site.
There will be some construction noise and disruption for sewer and water connections, but these are inherent to the development process and of a temporary nature.
25. Concerns were expressed about allowing an entrance or exit through Elvaston Avenue.
No entrance/exit through Elvaston Avenue is proposed. In fact, there is a 30 cm reserve along Elvaston Avenue to restrict vehicular access to the site.
26. Has the City Planning and Environment Committee ever considered residential development on the subject site?
Staff are not aware of any proposal for residential development on the site.
27. What will the City do to prevent graffiti on the walls of the proposed building? SDM should be required to plant a creeping plant that will cover the back wall to discourage graffiti.
Through Site Plan Control approval, a combination of landscaping and building wall finish materials will be used to discourage graffiti.
28. Will Shoppers Drug Mart be able to leave the building vacant if the drug store operation is not profitable? Is SDM guaranteeing any minimum years of occupancy?
This is a hypothetical question that cannot be answered with certainty. However, staff are not aware of cases where Shoppers Drug Mart has left a building vacant because of poor profits. SDM is not required to guarantee any minimum occupancy years as a requirement of the Zoning By-law amendment process.
ZONING - 38 ELVASTON AVENUE
ZONAGE - 38, AVENUE ELVASTON
(This application is subject to Bill 51)
The following written correspondence was received and is held on file with the City Clerk:
· Email dated May 4, 2009 from David Thomson to the Chair of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
· Petition with over 500 signatures in opposition to the proposal submitted by Ann Hamilton on April 28, 2009
· Submission received from James O’Grady on April 28, 2009
· Email dated April 28, 2009 from David Thomson
· Submission dated April 28, 2009 from the Trend-Arlington Community Association
· Email dated April 27, 2009 from Madeleine Quinn
· Letter from Gary and Nancy Dalby received on April 27, 2009
· Submission dated April 27, 2009 from Fred Welling
· Emails from Judith A. Marshall dated April 23 and 21, 2009
· Email dated April 23, 2009 from Judy Bates
· Email dated April 22, 2009 from Marcia Marinier
· Email dated April 22, 2009 from Allison Ross
· Email dated April 21, 2009 from Maurice de Maurivez
· Email dated April 20, 2009 from Robert Matyas
· Email dated April 18, 2009 from Ann Matyas
· Email dated April 18, 2009 from Patricia Morgan
· Email dated April 17, 2009 from Ann Hamilton
· Email dated April 16, 2009 from Marilyn Schwartz
Martin Barakengera, Planner II, provided a PowerPoint presentation. John Smit and Mike Wildman, Managers of Development Review-Urban and Suburban Services, respectively, accompanied him. In response to questions from members, staff provided the following clarifications:
· Pedestrian access is provided at the rear of the site to the residents along Elvaston Avenue. Existing sidewalks along Greenbank Road will provide access to the front. Over 300 households will have straight linear access provided to the site.
· The parking is situated at the front, on Greenbank Road, in response to requests from residents along Elvaston Avenue. Landscaping and building articulation will also be utilised.
· Site Plan issues will be addressed as part of that process, also subject to public notification and comment.
· The current permitted uses were enumerated. A building height of six storeys or 18.5 meters is permitted with a Floor Space Index of two, totalling 14,000 square metres.
· In terms of the history of the uses along this portion of Greenbank Road, retail uses were excluded more by chance than by design. There is no secondary plan for the area.
· The current Official Plan does describe the area as General Urban. Of the current permitted uses, office would be one of the most intensive and would generate more peak traffic than the proposal. Other permitted uses would have similar impacts to the proposed retail operation.
· If an office building were constructed, other auxiliary uses would be permitted, such as a cafeteria.
James O’Grady, a long time resident, expressed concern with children not crossing Greenbank Road at the signalized intersections. He commented that kids would be kids and would cross Greenbank Road to save time and rebel. He provided a map of the area, noting that schools, parks, and playing fields are found across the street, which creates a “play zone.” He said the proposed use is not appropriate, as it would bring traffic to the area. As a supporter and client of Shoppers Drug Mart, he suggested the current drugstore should be expanded in the Greenbank Plaza.
Chair Hume summarized the delegation’s premise that children will purposely cross the road inappropriately. He noted a library, which is currently permitted, would also attract children. Mr. O’Grady specifically reiterated concerns with retail.
Jim Yeldon touched on traffic related issues, referencing a submission from Fred Welling on the review of the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA). The following points were raised:
· This site is located opposite two schools, from which vehicles exit.
· Greenbank Road is a main arterial that in recent years has seen a large increase in traffic as a result of the residential, commercial and retail expansion in Barrhaven. The purpose of this roadway was to allow as much unrestricted traffic flow as possible.
· Traffic from the store and the schools would have to maneuver through a non-signalized intersection or an opening in a median and navigate a safe passage across a four-lane arterial roadway.
· The TIS does not describe or illustrate clearly the high-risk turning and merging that will be occurring during morning and evening rush hour and during school arrival and departure times.
· With regard to delays at this intersection, eastbound left movement will have an average delay of 39.6 seconds. Forty vehicles during peak hours experiencing this delay will be unacceptable and will lead to potentially dangerous movements. Good traffic flow will be obstructed.
· Installing traffic lights to correct these traffic issues is not a practical solution, as they would be situated less than 100 meters to the south of the existing traffic lights at the Bellman/Bateman intersection and will only serve to impede the traffic flow on an arterial roadway that is already struggling to handle large volumes of traffic at peak times and throughout most of the day.
· Delivery trucks using the southbound turn lane, which is short in length, is a concern.
· The zoning application should be denied for these reasons, thereby encouraging retail development at Greenbank Square.
In response to questions from Councillor Hunter, Mr. Wildman explained that traffic issues would need to be dealt with even with the uses currently allowed under the zoning by-law. He reiterated that these types of issues are resolved at the site plan stage, while the zoning process determines if the road network can accommodate the traffic. Staff would consult the signal operations group to determine if traffic lights in proximity to another set can be coordinated. A six-storey office building would generate approximately twice as much traffic as the use proposed.
Ann Hamilton presented a petition with over 500 signatures in opposition to the proposal. She noted taxpayers and residents from the community, owners of stores in the Greenbank Mall and small retail owners in the area signed the petition. She shared some comments received from petitioners and summarized that there are five main reasons why people signed the petition:
· The long established and closely knit residential communities do not need a super sized retail outlet across the street from two public schools. The residents are well served by the existing drug store and Greenbank Square.
· The resulting increase in traffic would pose an increased risk to children, who traverse the closest main intersection, and play in the community space in and around the school and community centre.
· The zoning change would act as a precedent for retail zoning to be expanded to other properties on the east side of Greenbank between Bateman and Banner.
· The additional traffic from people not living in the community and the disruption of traffic flow from vehicles turning in and out of the proposed store would increase the opportunity for accidents and exacerbate the existing problem.
· Moving the main functions of the drugstore out the mall will draw traffic and consumers away from Greenbank Square and will hurt small business owners in the mall, many of who are single proprietors loving with their families in the community.
In response to questions, Ms. Hamilton noted that a proposal for a Tim Horton’s for the site failed. Chair Hume replied that he has both a Tim Horton’s and a Shoppers Drug Mart at opposite ends of a mall in his ward, with the former having a much greater impact with respect to traffic.
Councillor Doucet asked if anyone in the community supports the proposal. Ms. Hamilton described how the petition was circulated; noting 29 signatures were obtained within one hour during one afternoon at the mall.
Stewart Kronberg, Trend-Arlington Community Association, began by stating that the traffic and planning analysis has not addressed anything north of Craig Henry and Canfield. With respect to support in the community, a petition and information notice were sent out to residents. Out of this, the community association found an increasing number of people who felt that this proposal does not make sense. They have received a mixed response, ranging from some with no opinion either way to those with vociferous opposition. He felt that the opposition in the community is building and he would not be surprised if they receive 200-300 more signatures on the petition. The community does not want any type of retail to spill out of the current retail area, south of the Bellman/Bateman intersection. Putting in any retail would interrupt traffic flow; a video taken in the morning and evening traffic showed some harrowing scenes. He concluded that the community association, on behalf of its residents, is taking the position that they do not want this zoning change to take place.
Gary Shrichtman spoke from a written submission on behalf of John Greicken, who has owned a family business at 250 Greenbank Road for the last three years or so. They decided to open their business in the mall because 90 per cent of the stores are owner-run with meet and greet customers. The Family Dollar Store was eventually replaced with the Knick-Knack Party Supplies. He commented on community support that exists. He touched on issues raised by other delegations, specifically on the impact to existing businesses, including his own, in the mall.
Pam Whyte and Ron Jack, Delcan appeared on behalf of the proponent, noting support for the staff recommendation. Ms. Whyte provided background information on the consultation process, which included a pre-consultation meeting held with local adjacent landowners, prior to submitting applications to the City of Ottawa. A community meeting was held on 1 April 2009 at which time they made a presentation on the proposal and answered questions from the community. Following the community meeting, a summary and letter were sent out to those who attended the session, addressing some of the concerns raised. As a result, some positive changes were made to the site plan, including the following:
· Pedestrian pathways were re-oriented to allow for a northern pathway to the site as well as one out from the store to Greenbank Road.
· Additional landscaping was added around the building.
· Changes were proposed to the building elevations to provide more articulation toward Elvaston.
· Shoppers Drug Mart has decided to reduce the height of the light standards to ensure that there will not be any light spillage into adjacent properties.
Mr. Jack described that, from a transportation perspective, the site is planned for development. The road infrastructure is in place, as there is a median break and a southbound left turn lane. These were all put in place in anticipation of the site being developed. He stated that all site vehicle access would be from Greenbank Road. Only pedestrian access will be provided at the back of the site, with no road connection to the public streets. He stated that this proposal would generate significantly less traffic than some of the allowed uses under the current zoning. He believed community traffic could be reduced with neighbouring residents accessing the Shoppers Drug mart by foot rather than car. He noted that almost half of the traffic that would stop at Shoppers is already travelling on Greenbank Road. New traffic impacts at downstream intersections are quite small and insignificant and do not change how the intersections operate now or in the future. He informed that traffic signals were looked into at this location and did not warrant for signalization. To address the primary concern regarding the safe operation of the intersection with the school, if the City of Ottawa determines that signals can be appropriately placed in this location, the proponent is more than willing to support and cost share to implement and maintain them. An addendum to the TIA was done and answered many of staff’s questions and corrected the errors in the report.
Chris Stoyanovich, Director of Planning and Development with Shoppers Drug Mart, began by stating that the company has been very active in the City of Ottawa and across Canada over the last six to seven years, trying to improve its retail offering to customers. In doing so, the company has taken a personal interest in how this site is developed. An agreement is in place with the owner of this site to lease the land for 40 plus years and operate a Shoppers Drug Mart at this location. The proponent has worked with the community to address concerns and will continue to do so through the Site Plan Control process. A number of speakers referenced the Greenbank Square immediately south of the schools, where the current 6000 square foot store is located. The company has worked in the last several years to relocate smaller stores in larger store formats to allow for a full line pharmacy with patient consultation areas. Canada Post has agreed to locate a postal outlet within the new store, along with full-line cosmetics, reading materials and convenience foods. Shoppers Drug Mart will work with the landlord at Greenbank Square where a lease exists to the year 2013. A small pharmacy facility could continue there with an opportunity to put in a walk-in medical clinic. This area represents approximately 20,000 to 25,000 people and Shoppers seeks opportunities to serve the community from a market standpoint and endeavours to work with the community.
Councillor Harder acknowledged the perception that all bad traffic in this area comes from Barrhaven. She noted the schools have done a good job of safeguarding the kids and expressed her appreciation with regard to the offer to contribute to the installation and maintenance of signals at the intersection.
In response to questions from Councillor Harder, Mr. Jack reiterated that 50 per cent of the expected vehicular traffic would be existing traffic traveling on Greenbank Road. He noted that the existing median break, shared with the schools, would be utilised to access the site. He advised that the City no longer favours right in and out lanes into individual sites. He indicated this type of issue would be considered during the site plan process.
Chair Hume closed the public hearing portion of the consideration.
Councillor Hunter said that this was a difficult issue and that the community would favour keeping the site undeveloped. If that cannot be, he suggested the current application might be the next best option, considering the impact currently allowed uses might have. He said the store is proposed to be located in such a way as to respond to concerns raised by adjacent neighbours. With regard to site plan matters, he reported that vegetation will be planted along the east side, and the truck loading zone would be situated to the south where there are no residents with parking in front of the building. He shared residents’ concerns with respect to the traffic and pedestrian movements from the school. He indicated the proponent would be required to cost-share in the installation of signals if they are deemed warranted. In closing, he introduced two amendments related to the specific use and height that, if passed, would allow him to support the application.
Councillor Holmes spoke against the proposed amendment regarding height, noting the application represents a down zoning from what is currently permitted on the site. She suggested residential use should occur with commercial use on the ground floor.
Councillor Hunter clarified that access would be off Greenbank for commercial uses and off Elvaston if residential uses would occur.
Moved by G. Hunter:
1. That Document 2 be amended to limit additional land use permitted to “retail drug store”.
CARRIED with C. Doucet dissenting.
2. That the height limit be amended to H(7.0).
YEAS (4): J. Harder, G. Hunter, B. Monette, S. Qadri
NAYS (4): C. Doucet, D. Holmes, P. Feltmate, P. Hume
Councillor Doucet indicated he would not support the application based on community feedback and the fact that it represents downzoning.
With regard to height, Chair Hume suggested there might a middle ground tying the height limit to the Shoppers Drug Mart use.
That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 38 Elvaston Avenue from General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9 (GM9 H(18.5)) to General Mixed-Use Zone, Subzone 9, Exception XX (GM9[XX] H(18.5)), as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 2, as amended to limit the additional land use to “retail drug store”.
CARRIED as amended with C. Doucet dissenting.