7.                   ZONING - 10 HELMSDALE DRIVE





Committee recommendation


(This application is subject to Bill 51)


That Council approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning provisions for 10 Helmsdale Drive as detailed in Document 2.



Recommandation DU Comité


(Cette demande est assujettie au Règlement 51)


Que le Conseil approuve une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 afin de modifier les dispositions de zonage du 10, promenade Helmsdale, comme l’explique en détail le document 2.











1.                  Deputy City Manager’s report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability dated 24 July 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PGM-00138).

Report to/Rapport au :


Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement


and Council / et au Conseil


24 July 2009 / le 24 juillet 2009


Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager

Directrice municipale adjointe

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability

Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités


Contact Person/Personne-ressource : Michael Wildman, Manager/Gestionnaire, Development Review-Suburban Services/Examen des projets d'aménagement-Services suburbains, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424, 27811  Mike.Wildman@ottawa.ca



Kanata North/Nord (4)

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0138




ZONING - 10 Helmsdale Drive (FILE NO. D02-02-09-0035)




ZONAGE - 10, promenade Helmsdale





That the  recommend Council approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning provisions for 10 Helmsdale Drive as detailed in Document 2.





Que le Comité de  recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 afin de modifier les dispositions de zonage du 10, promenade Helmsdale, comme l’explique en détail le document 2.





The subject property is approximately 0.4 hectares in area and is located at the southwest corner of Helmsdale Drive and Shirley's Brook Drive within the South March Community known as Briarbrook Village (see Document 1).


By-law 164-93 of the former City of Kanata zoned the lot as a Community Commercial (CC) zone.  This zone includes medium and high-density dwellings as permitted residential uses.  Various non-residential uses associated with a CC zone were also permitted. 


In 2001, the site was subject to a Site Plan, Minor Variance and Condominium application.  All three applications were to facilitate a 45-unit, four-storey condominium apartment building.  There was a lack of interest with respect to the marketing of the apartment units, so in 2003, the site was re-zoned to allow for the development of 32-stacked townhouses.  All requested changes to the general zone were granted to ensure that that proposal was in keeping with traditional stacked townhouse developments.


When the Comprehensive By-law was drafted, the exception was noted and carried through.  The land use and setbacks were established to reflect the stacked townhouse proposal that never proceeded. 


What is being requested at this time reflects the permitted land use and provisions of the General Mixed Use (GM) zone in Zoning By-law 2008-250.  If the site had not been rezoned in 2003, the applicant would only have needed to request relief from the front and rear-yard setbacks, which may have been addressed through the minor variance process.  


Existing Zoning


The site is zoned General Mixed-Use zone, Subzone 19, special exception 219, (GM19[219]H(15)) that allows for non-residential and residential uses such as a bank, daycare, office, apartment building, multiple-attached building and retirement home.


Proposed Zoning


The applicant is proposing to amend Zoning By-law 2008-250 to allow for a "Planned Unit Development" as a permitted residential use.  The applicant is also requesting reduced front and rear-yard setback requirements to allow for the construction of multiple-attached dwelling units.  The land use and front yard setback request are consistent with those already permitted in the main General Mixed-Use zone.





Official Plan


The subject site is designated as "General Urban" in the Official Plan and as such is subject to the policies within Section 3.6.1. The intent of this designation is to accommodate a variety of land uses that are appropriate for an urban location.


The Official Plan recognizes that some of the land use designations such as General Urban Area, allow for a broad range of land uses such as those identified in the General Mixed-Use zone.  The Plan also includes strategic directions regarding the promotion of intensification on vacant lands.  Further, it contains policies that guide staff in their review of development proposals.  Some of the considerations that were examined as part of this review include the compatibility of the proposed use with the surrounding development such as the type of adjacent land uses and their scale.


Zoning By-law 


The applicant is proposing to add "Planned Unit Development" to Zoning By-law 2008-250. In order to reflect the existing lot size and site layout, site-specific zoning provisions are also proposed. In particular, the applicant is seeking a reduced front-yard setback requirement along Shirley's Brook Drive from 4.5 metres to 3.0 metres and to reduce the required 3.0 metre rear‑yard setback to 2.0 metres.




The Zoning By-law amendment is consistent with the policies of the Official Plan and the intent of the Zoning By-law.


The subject application has been evaluated with regard to the provisions of the Official Plan, and applicable policies have been satisfied.  In particular, the policies with regards to residential intensification through infill emphasize the importance of new development recognizing the character of existing community and building and enhancing desirable established patterns and built form.


The proposed Zoning By-law amendment meets the intent of the Zoning By-law on the basis that the residential use for the subject site is consistent with the permitted residential land uses on the surrounding properties.  It should also be noted that the requested amendment, if approved, would allow for a residential development that is less dense than what could be accommodated on-site with no relief from the by-law such as a four-storey apartment building and 32 stacked townhouses.


Staff support the requested amendment because the use is appropriate.





Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  The Ward Councillor is aware of this application and the staff recommendation.  The public comments and staff response are outlined in Document 3 “Consultation Details”.





There are no legal/risk management implications associated with this report.





There are no direct financial implications associated with this report.




This application was processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of Zoning By-law amendment applications.




Document 1      Location Map

Document 2      Details of Recommended Zoning

Document 3      Consultation Details





City Clerk and Legal Services Branch, Legislative Services to notify the owner, Helmsdale Inc. c/o Regional Group, 1737 Woodward Drive, 2nd. Floor, Ottawa, ON  K2C 0P9, applicant, Carmen Fleguel, Holitzner Homes Inc., 580 Terry Fox Drive, Suite 401, Ottawa, ON  K2L 4B9, agent, Hugo Lalonde, Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd., 240 Michael Cowpland Drive, Suite 200, Ottawa, ON  K2M 1P6, 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 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.

LOCATION MAP                                                                                                    DOCUMENT 1



DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING                                                       DOCUMENT 2


Proposed Changes to the Comprehensive Zoning By-law


Exception 219 of Section 239 will be amended by:


(a)                adding to Column III the use “Planned Unit Development”


(b)                changing, in Column V, the minimum front yard setback to 3.0 metres, and the minimum rear yard setback to 2.0 metres



CONSULTATION DETAILS                                                                                DOCUMENT 3




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. 



1)      Residents have asked that the property be developed for a preferred use that they feel better suits the community’s needs:

(a)     Reserve the lands for construction of a long-term care facility to compliment the Chartwell assisted living facility.  There is no long-term care facility in this large part of Kanata North.

(b)    There is also a need for a facility for handicapped citizens.   This would be an excellent area for this need in the community.

(c)     Because the proposed homes are not more affordable than adjacent resale homes, there is no need to develop this parcel of land for the proposed purpose. There are more important needs in this community.

(d)    The proposed homes once developed will result in a number of nuisances inflicted on the adjacent property owners, e.g. an increase in noise, an increase in lighting, an increase in rodents/other animals, an increase in pollution.


Staff Response:


The landowner has the right to develop their land in accordance with Official Plan policies and Zoning By-law provisions.  The existing General Mixed-Use zone allows uses such as an animal care establishment, apartment dwelling, convenience store, a medical facility, a group home, multiple-attached dwelling, a residential care facility and a rooming house.  The proposed addition of Planned Unit Development to the permitted residential land uses is consistent with those already permitted in the parent General Mixed Use Zone and with those within the Briarbrook Community.


With regards to the perceived increase in nuisances, the development of the subject lands into multiple-attached residential uses would not have as much impact on the surrounding lands as would many of the permitted land uses, i.e. one of a commercial nature.


2)      Character of the Community: 

(a)                The proposed town-house development is not in character with the developed area surrounding it.

(b)               A resident of the existing condominium on Kinross Private describes her development as having problems; the street is narrow; parking is terrible; snowploughing is poor because too many cars are parked on the narrow street; it is difficult for the garbage truck to find its way through.





Staff Response:


(a)    The proposed development is for freehold townhouses having some common elements that will be managed through a common elements agreement.  Staff recommend that a common elements condominium be utilized for the development.  Surrounding zones are R3X and R4Z to the northeast, northwest, east and south.  Both of these zones permit a Planned Unit Development, and multi-attached dwellings.  In staff’s opinion, the proposal is in character with the surrounding area.

(b)   The characteristics of the site design will be subject to the site plan approval process.  However, it should be noted that the width of Kinross Private (6.0 metres) is the minimum required width for 2-way traffic.  It is also the required width for a fire route.  Also, the issues raised can be attributed to the fact that there are illegally parked cars in Kinross Private.  This is not a planning issue but an enforcement issue.  Snowploughing is discussed below in number 6.


3)      Density:  Existing developments with similar density do not look good.  In this day and age there is no need to cram houses together.   Leave the setbacks as they are.  This is in keeping with the surrounding developments.  There is no need for high density housing in this area.


Staff Response:


One of the strategic directions outlined in the Official Plan is to promote intensification of land uses in previously undeveloped land.  The Official Plan recognizes that an approach to intensification is through infill or the development of vacant lots.  In developing communities such as Briarbrook, the Official Plan directs more intense growth to several types of locations like those along major roads, i.e. Shirley’s Brook Drive.


The policies of the Official Plan are implemented through the Zoning By-law.  The GM and surrounding zones allow medium density residential development very similar to what is being proposed here.  In fact, all proximate zones allow for denser residential development than what is proposed.  The GM and R4Z zones allow for apartment dwellings, low-rise dwellings and stacked townhouses.  The R3X zone allows for three‑unit dwellings as well as PUDs and multiple-attached dwellings.  The requested amendments to the zone provisions will not have a significant impact on density.  They will affect the configuration of the development of the lot. 


It should also be noted that the requested amendment if approved would allow for a residential development that is less dense than what could be accommodated on-site with no relief from the by-law such as a four-storey apartment building and 32 stacked townhouses.


4)      Parking:  What thought has been given to parking?  With the reduced setback as proposed you limit parking in the driveway to one vehicle.  There is no space on the driveway to park a car and no room for visitors’ cars.  The majority of homeowners are dual income and they have two vehicles, there’s not enough room for them to park in their driveways.  Therefore this means that residents would be parking on other streets.  This means more traffic and overnight parking on Tobermory Crescent.  Already there are people from other streets parking on this street overnight.  Maybe the street should be resident only parking.


Staff Response:


Parking will be examined as part of the review of the Site Plan application.  However, a review of the conceptual plan submitted in support of the re-zoning application revealed that the Owner can meet the existing parking requirements on-site including visitors’ parking.



5)      Traffic:

(a)     We have a lot of younger children living on our street and the added traffic this development would cause would endanger our children.

(b)    Since the building of 22 new homes will create an increase in traffic, I suggest that a stop sign be put at the corners of Shirley’s Brook, Kimbolton and Helmsdale (in front of 60 Helmsdale).  The traffic coming from Terry Fox onto Helmsdale is very fast and difficult for us to see backing out of our driveway because of the curve on Helmsdale.  More traffic will create a bigger problem.  The increase in traffic is also due to all the new development behind us.  Very Dangerous Street.


Staff Response:


(a) Council Policy indicates that traffic studies are only required for a minimum of 75 units or where the City is  aware of a major traffic problem or operational concern.  Neither is applicable in this instance.

(b) The resident has been advised to submit this request to the Traffic Investigation and Surveys Group.  This group will review the request and determine the suitability of installing the stop sign.


6)      Snow removal:  As the development would have a narrow private road, vis à vis formal street, where do they plan on putting the snow?  We have a similar development off Shirley’s Brook and they push the snow across Shirley’s Brook blocking access to the sidewalk and walkway to the park.  Many area residents use the sidewalks and park all year long and are force to walk on the street.  They also cover the fire hydrant that is directly across from the entrance.


Staff Response:


This is a detail that is examined as a Site Plan Control issue.  If there is not adequate snow storage on site, the Owner will be obligated to remove it.