2.             ZONING - 2781, 2791, 2797 BASELINE ROAD AND 2704, 2706, 2724, 2734 DRAPER AVENUE

 

ZONAGE - 2781, 2791, 2797, CHEMIN BASELINE ET 2704, 2706, 2724, 2735, AVENUE DRAPER

 

 

Committee recommendation as amended

 

(This application is subject to Bill 51)

 

That Council consider the report.

 

 

Recommandation MODIFIÉE DU Comité

 

(Cette demande est assujettie au Règlement 51)

 

Que le Conseil examine le rapport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation

 

1.                  Deputy City Manager’s report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability dated 30 June 2009 (ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0129).

 

2.         Extract of Draft Minutes, 8 September 2009.

 


Report to/Rapport au :

 

Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement

 

and Council / et au Conseil

 

30 June 2009/ le 30 juin 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 : John Smit, Manager/Gestionnaire, Development Review-Urban Services/Examen des projets d'aménagement-Services urbains, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424, 13866  John.Smit@ottawa.ca

 

College (8)

Ref N°: ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0129

 

 

SUBJECT:

ZONING - 2781, 2791, 2797 Baseline Road and 2704, 2706, 2724, 2734 Draper Avenue

 

 

OBJET :

ZONAGE - 2781, 2791, 2797, chemin baseline et 2704, 2706, 2724, 2735, avenue draper

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 2781, 2791, 2797 Baseline Road and 2704, 2706, 2724, 2734 Draper Avenue from Residential Fourth Density Zone (R4N) to Residential Fifth Density Exception Holding Zone (R5A[1700]S247-h) as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 3.

 

RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 visant à changer le zonage des propriétés situées au 2781, 2791 et 2797, chemin Baseline ainsi qu’au 2704, 2706, 2724 et 2734, avenue Draper de Zone résidentielle de densité 4 (R4N) à Zone résidentielle de densité 5 d’exception à aménagement différé (R5A[1700]S247-h) tel qu’il est indiqué au Document 1 et détaillé au Document 3.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The subject property is located in the Redwood Community and is bounded by Baseline Road to the south, Morrison Drive to the west and Draper Avenue to the north. At present, the property contains seven townhouse buildings with 12 units each for a total of 84 units. The property is 2.2 hectares in area and is surrounded by existing residential uses. The Redwood Community is a mixed-use area containing residential, light industrial and commercial uses.  The community is also well served with two schools located east of the site on Draper Avenue. Abutting the property to the east is a townhouse development with 87 units. Across Morrison Drive to the west is a residential neighbourhood of mostly detached dwellings with a row of townhouses that face Morrison Drive. North of the site, across Draper Avenue, is an area of detached dwellings facing Draper Avenue. As Draper Avenue proceeds east, past the schools towards Greenbank Road, there are high rise apartments on the east side of Draper Avenue.

 

The applicant is proposing to redevelop the property into a multi-storey housing complex containing a mix of residential building forms ranging from stacked to mid-high rise apartment dwellings. The proposed development, as shown in Document 2, will consist of a total of seven buildings including two, three-storey stacked units (Buildings C and D), two, four-storey apartments (Building A and B), one, six-storey apartment (Building G), one, eight-storey apartment (Building F) and one, 12-storey apartment (Building E).  A total of 334 dwelling units are proposed with parking to be provided predominantly in an underground parking garage located under Buildings E, F and G. The number of units and building heights are summarized in the chart below:

 

Building

Number of Units

Storeys/Height Above Grade

A

34

4 storeys/ 16 metres

B

34

4 storeys/16 metres

C (stacked)

13

3 storeys/13 metres

D (stacked)

13

3 storeys/13 metres

E

108

12 storeys/39 metres

F

71

8 storeys/27 metres

G

61

6 storeys/21 metres

TOTAL

334

 

 

The applicant is requesting to rezone the property to an R5A [XXXX] with exceptions to deal with some specific zoning provisions. The applicant had originally proposed the two apartment buildings fronting on Baseline Road, identified as Buildings F and G, to have a height limit of 12 storeys, and the centrally located building, Building E, to have a height of 20 storeys for a total of 537 units. However, as a result of the public consultation process and staff negotiations with the applicant, building heights and number of units were reduced. 

 

In order to redevelop the site as proposed, exceptions to the standard provisions dealing with maximum building height and minimum landscape buffers are required.  The proposed development will be required to go through Site Plan Control, which will be used to control and regulate the various features on the site such as building location, landscaping, building elevations and on-site vehicular and pedestrian movement. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Official Plan 

 

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 and institutional uses. The Strategic Directions Section of the Official Plan advocates creating liveable communities by providing a full range and choice of housing types.  The Strategic Directions also call for intensifying within existing development areas to accommodate the city’s projected population growth. Within the Greenbelt, it is expected that at least 40 per cent of new housing development will be in the form of townhouses and apartments.  The City supports intensification within the General Urban Area if the proposed development complements the desirable characteristics and ensures the long-term vitality of the existing community. 

 

Section 2.5.1 (Compatibility and Community Design) indicates that when reviewing a proposal for residential intensification, it is important to consider the new development in relation to the existing built form.  Introducing new development into existing areas requires a sensitive approach to differences between the new development and the established area.  However, allowing for flexibility and variation that complements the character of existing communities is central to successful intensification.  A variety of dwelling types are proposed by this application that will provide additional housing choices for a range of demographic profiles in this area.  The R5 zone will provide an opportunity for new higher density apartments in the neighbourhood, including the opportunity for the development of retirement units.  The proposed zoning will also permit new ground-oriented multiple housing, which will ensure a better fit with the low profile residential areas enclosing the site to the north, east and west.

 

Official Plan policies recognize that compatible development does not necessarily mean the same or similar to existing buildings in the vicinity, but that compatible development can be achieved that enhances an established community and coexists without causing undue adverse impact. Staff have reviewed the proposal in the context of design criteria and principles set out in Section 2.5.1 and are satisfied that the proposal does ‘fit well’ within the existing built environment and ‘work well’ with community functions and characteristics.  The development will provide a compatible intensified form of development on the edge of an existing residential neighbourhood and adjacent to a major arterial. It is the intent of the proposed zoning changes to enable higher density use of the site in order to allow for replacement of the existing aging residential complex. Staff are of the opinion that the proposed development will contribute to the rejuvenation and renewal of the property and surrounding community.  

 

Development applications are to be evaluated in accordance with a set of criteria found in Section 4.11 (Compatibility). The main criteria used to assess the compatibility of a proposal consist of:

 

 

 

Traffic

 

The Transportation Impact Study has concluded that there would be very minor impact on existing and projected traffic conditions on adjacent streets as a result of this proposed development.  The property is highly accessible and fronts onto an arterial road, Baseline Road and a collector road, Morrison Drive.

 
Vehicular Access

 

The property is accessible from three adjacent streets as shown in Document 2.  There are six accesses and these will assist in spreading the traffic entering and leaving the property throughout the property frontages.

 

Parking Requirements

 

The development proposes to provide 474 parking spaces and is not expected to generate spill-over parking onto the adjacent residential streets.

 

Building Height and Massing

 

The proposal has been designed to integrate into the existing community through the siting of the three higher apartment buildings away from the single detached housing on Draper Avenue and closer to Baseline Road.  The proposed development locates the tallest building (12 storeys) at the centre of the property where it has the least impact on the existing residential areas to the east, north and west.  The eight and six-storey buildings facing Baseline Road provide a transition out to the road, and frame the main entrance into the site.  The lowest profile buildings, which are three to four-storeys in height, are on the north, east and west sides facing the existing low density residential development.  The proposed design also generally reflects the directions in the draft Urban Design Guidelines for High-Rise Housing.

 

Pattern of the Surrounding Community

 

This part of Ottawa West from Pinecrest/Greenbank Roads along Baseline Road presents a variety of housing types, scales and densities.  Typically, existing high rise residential sites on Greenbank Road have frontage on both the arterial road (Greenbank) and a local street behind (Draper Avenue).  As such, these sites are on the edge of a larger, lower density residential community.  The proposed zoning change is consistent with this existing development pattern.

 

Sunlight and Microclimate

 

The applicant has undertaken a Sun Shadow Study in support of the application. The Sun Shadow Study is a compilation of illustrations of the subject lands and neighbourhood area showing the impact of shadows cast by the proposed buildings throughout the year.  By reducing the heights of the buildings from what was originally proposed and strategically positioning the tallest building in the central portion of the property, the Study indicates a minimal impact only on adjacent amenity areas of existing townhouses located to the east of the site. As well, through positioning of the largest buildings at the centre and the south, and the presence of the lower buildings on the east, north and west sides will minimize changes to the local microclimate, especially wind effects. The existing mature trees on the edges of the property will also assist in the mitigation.

 

Supporting Neighbourhood Services

 

Given the subject property’s location in a mature residential community, the area has access to well established schools, parks and social services.  It is highly accessible by local transit service and it is in proximity to existing commercial and employment areas to the north.

 

Servicing Study

 

A Site Servicing Feasibility Study submitted with the application, concluded that existing underground municipal services are available to service this property

 

Zoning By-law Amendment 

 

The site is zoned R4N which permits apartment buildings up to four storeys in height.  Staff are recommending that the site be rezoned to R5A[1700]S247–h, which permits various forms of housing including ground oriented multiple attached, low and mid-high apartment buildings and retirement homes. As part of the rezoning proposal, staff are recommending certain modifications to performance standards to ensure the site is developed as proposed. As shown on the proposed zoning schedule, Document 4, specific height limits are being applied to permit only higher profile buildings in the southern half of the site with the 12-storey only being permitted in the centre portion of the plan.  The proposed yards will offer ample separation from adjacent uses and for the most part are actually in excess of the existing minimum.  The minimum width of a required landscape buffer is being modified in two locations.  In Area H as shown in Document 4, the landscape buffer adjacent to Draper Avenue will be reduced to 0.3 metres for a small portion of the street frontage to permit a small visitor parking area.  Area J on Document 4 is an existing 0.95 metre wide landscape buffer between an existing 24-space parking lot and an existing townhouse development located to the east at 2682 to 2700 Draper Avenue. As the parking lot is going to remain to serve the adjacent development, an exception is required to recognize the narrower landscape strip in this location. An exception is also being recommended to recognize/legalize the 24-space parking lot, which provides parking for an off-site development.  The proposal exceeds the current Zoning By-law requirement for landscape open space and required parking spaces.

 

A Holding provision (h) is being applied which will not be lifted until a Site Plan has been submitted and approved by the City.  The purpose of this is to ensure staff are satisfied with the proposed design of the buildings, in particular of the two apartment buildings located adjacent to Baseline Road at the southern corners of the plan (Buildings F and G). Similar to the way the building facades of stacked units and the four-storey apartment buildings on the northern end of the site relate well to the lower profile existing residential development nearby, staff want to ensure a similar treatment is applied to Buildings F and G. The design of these buildings must be done in such a way that they will integrate into the neighbourhood fabric. It will be important that these buildings have a residential character, which relate well to the sidewalk and have a high degree of articulation in the facades in order to enhance the pedestrian landscape along Baseline Road and Morrison Drive. If this is accomplished, it will assist in providing a better transition between the higher profile buildings and existing adjacent lower profile development and will ensure the development is visually pleasing and well connected to the public realm.

 

Staff supports the Zoning By-law amendment application as it advances residential and other key policies in the Official Plan and provides for a compatible residential infill development for the neighbourhood.  It will allow for the construction of a variety of housing of mixed height and density on a site where the existing dwellings have reached the end of their life span and the local infrastructure can support higher density infill thus achieving an efficient use of land and resources.

 

CONSULTATION

 

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.  Numerous comments have been received from the public.  The issues can be summarized as follows: building height and massing, shadowing and increased traffic. Details of the notification and consultation process are highlighted in Document 5.

 

LEGAL/RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS

 

It is anticipated that if this matter were appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, a three-day hearing would be required.  If the staff recommendation were adopted, then external planning resources would not be required.  If Council refuses the amendment, then it will be necessary to retain an outside planner at an estimated cost of $20,000 to $30,000

 

If this matter is appealed to the Board, whether after an adoption or a refusal, it is likely that the preparations for the hearing and possibly the hearing itself would take place while appeals to the comprehensive zoning by-law are before the Board.  Therefore, it is likely that external legal services would need to be retained.  The estimated cost is $30,000.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

N/A

 

APPLICATION PROCESS TIMELINE STATUS

 

The application was not processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of Zoning By-law amendments application as a result of the need for a public meeting and the need to address community concerns.  The application was placed on hold due to changes in the proposal that resulted in additional submissions and review.

 


SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1      Location Map

Document 2      Conceptual Site Plan

Document 3      Details of Recommended Zoning

Document 4      Proposed Zoning Schedule

Document 5      Consultation Details

 

DISPOSITION

 

City Clerk and Solicitor, Legislative Services, to notify the owner/agent/applicant.

 

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

 


CONCEPTUAL SITE PLAN                                                                                   DOCUMENT 2


DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING                                                       DOCUMENT 3

 

 

1.         The subject property as shown on Document 1 will be rezoned from R4N to R5A[1700]S247-h.

 

2.         A new exception will be added to Section 239 including the following zone provisions:

 

  1. Minimum required yard setbacks as shown on Schedule 247.
  2. Maximum permitted building heights as shown on Schedule 247.
  3. In Area “H” Schedule 247, the minimum required width of a landscaped buffer for a parking lot containing 10 or fewer spaces abutting a street is 0.3 m metres.
  4. In Area “I” on Schedule 247, the minimum required width of a landscape buffer is 3.0 metres.
  5. In Area “J” on Schedule 247, the minimum required width of a landscape buffer is 0.95 metres.
  6. 24 parking spaces for the property located at 2690 to 2700 Draper Avenue inclusive, are permitted.
  7. The removal of the “h” symbol is conditional on the submission and approval of a site plan.

 

3.         Part 17 – Schedules will be amended by adding Document 4 as a new Schedule.


PROPOSED ZONING SCHEDULE                                                                       DOCUMENT 4

 


CONSULTATION DETAILS                                                                                DOCUMENT 5

 

 

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. The Ward Councillor also held a public meeting in the community on October 2, 2008.

 

SUMMARY OF PUBLIC INPUT

Extensive comments were received from the public and from the public meeting regarding this application when it was originally circulated. At that time, the application proposed 537 units and a 20-storey apartment building.  Following the public meeting, the applicant submitted a revised proposal. Staff circulated the revised proposal and fewer comments were received, but the concerns identified were the same. 

 

The following contains a summary of concerns and questions raised by the community:

 

(1)                Concern was raised by the community of the level of intensification proposed for the site.  Specifically that this proposal seems to propose too much density.

 

Staff Response:

The proposal conforms with and implements the general policies of the Official Plan.  The Official Plan encourages intensification on land designated General Urban Area to effectively use land and resources.  Given the property’s location on the edge of a neighbourhood and adjacent to an arterial and a collector road, the level of intensification is seen as appropriate.

 

(2)                Traffic Volumes – During the public open house held in October, 2008, the community raised concerns that traffic counts were undertaken during the summer time and did not reflect congestion along Morrison Drive corridor to the north of the proposed development nor major arterial roadways.

 

Staff Response:

Morrison Drive is a minor collector, which “serves neighbourhood travel between local and major collector or arterial roads (Baseline) and provides direct access to adjacent lands.”

 

The traffic consultant undertook addition traffic counts in the fall of 2008 during the weekdays while the adjacent schools were active and the January traffic counts were undertaken during the OC Transpo transit strike.  The updated traffic information collected indicated traffic volumes were indeed higher than those obtained during the summer months of 2007.  However, the traffic analysis indicates that traffic along the Morrison Drive corridor continues to operate with satisfactory levels of service.  The revised site plan in comparison to the original concept was found to generate approximately 17 vehicles per hour less traffic.  The conclusion reached in the original Transportation Impact Assessment document remains the same in that “the proposed redevelopment of the residential site was determined to be negligible.” As traffic distributes itself throughout the available roadways within the area, the traffic generated by the site was found not to result in any significant impact to the operational performance of major intersections and can accommodate the proposed redevelopment.

 

(3)                Pedestrian Facilities – Residents expressed concerns regarding the need for a continuous sidewalk corridor within the community.

 

Staff Response: The proposed site plan provides for a continuous sidewalk surrounding the complete periphery of the development. 

 

(4)                There will be a significant load on the existing services (i.e., water, sewer, storm water services) due to this development.

 

Staff Response: The existing services in the area have been evaluated by City staff and it has been determined that there is adequate capacity for the needs of the proposal in the sewers serving the site. With respect to the watermain, with the addition of domestic booster pumps there will be adequate water pressure for the top floors of the apartment buildings and the proposed development can be adequately serviced with the existing watermain distribution network.

 

(5)                Will the development be owner-occupied or rental?

 

Staff Response:

The applicant is proposing the project to be a condominium. The City cannot control the tenure of the property.

 

(6)                What will happen to the existing tenants?

 

Staff Response:

Under the Provincial Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, a landlord may give notice of termination of a tenancy if the rental unit is to be demolished as part of a redevelopment.  The date for termination specified in the notice shall be at least 120 days after the notice is given and shall be the day a period of the tenancy ends or, where the tenancy is for a fixed term, the end of the term.  In the case of a demolition involving a residential complex of five or more units, as is the case with this application, a landlord shall compensate a tenant in an amount equal to three months rent or offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.

 

The applicant has indicated that a “first right of refusal” to purchase one of the new condominium units will be offered to the existing tenants.

 

(7)                Property values may drop as a result of this development.

 

Staff Response:

The Department does not have any evidence that intensification of this sort has any correlation with the devaluation of property values. Property values are based on a number of qualitative and quantitative factors, of which Zoning By-law Amendments and new development are one.

 

(8)                How much green space is proposed for the new development and what will happen to the existing mature trees surrounding the site?

 

Staff Response:

Most of the parking will be located in a below grade garage, which frees up more surface area for greenspace.  The Zoning By-law requires a minimum of 35 per cent landscaped open space. The proposed concept plan provides 45.2 per cent.  The site has many mature trees, many of which are coniferous, bordering the site along the street frontages. It is proposed that the majority of these trees will be preserved, as they are a benefit to both the site and the public because they contribute to the character of the area and will continue to provide a substantive vegetation buffer zone for the residential area immediately adjacent to the property.

 

(9)                Nearby residents are concerned of shadows from the proposed apartments buildings.

 

Staff Response:

The applicant has emphasized the minimizing of visual and shadow impact on the existing neighbourhood by strategically positioning the high rise apartment building in the centre area of the site and the two mid-rise apartment buildings adjacent to Baseline Road. Furthermore, the apartment building proposed for the south east corner of the property which is located closest to existing housing has been decreased in height from 12 stories to six.  The shadow studies for the December 21st scenario indicate that estimated shadows have a minor effect on the front yards of the housing on Draper Avenue and on the rear yards of the existing housing to the east.

 

(10)            Concerns have been expressed that views from their homes will be blocked and there will be too much building massing.

 

Staff Response:

The view of the development from adjacent areas will be that of the central 12-storey building that is surrounded with lower buildings, with the entire project set behind stands of existing and new trees to be planted along the edge of the property. The proposed buildings have been sited and oriented to provide proper separation distances between the buildings within the property and generous separation distances to the adjacent development.  The design of the buildings presents a variety of forms and scales, with certain elements e.g. corner windows and roofscapes that lend variety to the project.


ZONING - 2781, 2791, 2797 BASELINE ROAD AND 2704, 2706, 2724, 2734 DRAPER AVENUE

ZONAGE - 2781, 2791, 2797, CHEMIN BASELINE ET 2704, 2706, 2724, 2735, AVENUE DRAPER

ACS2009-ICS-PGM-0129                                                          COLLEGE/COLLÈGe (8)

 

(This application is subject to Bill 51)

 

The following written correspondence was received and is held on file with the City Clerk:

·        Email (Sept. 4) from G. Angus                            ·   Email (Sept. 1) from D. Barnett

·        Email (Sept. 1) from M. Bassett                         ·   Email (Sept. 7) from E. Brealey

·        Submission (Sept. 8) from T. Burke                    ·   Submission (Sept. 8) from M-J Burns

·        Email (Sept. 8) from J. Clipsham                        ·  Email (Sept. 2) from Dixon-Marcoux

·        Email (Sept. 7) from L. Duguay                          ·   Email (Sept. 9) from C. Evans

·        Email (Sept. 9) from C. Fudge                            ·   Email (Sept. 7) from R. Garvey

·        Email (Sept. 4) from T. Gordon                          ·   Email (Sept. 4) from B. Holland

·        Submission (Sept. 2) from D. Kimmel                 ·   Email (Sept. 3) from S. Laing

·        Emails (Sept. 3, 8) from K. Leeder                     ·   Email (Sept. 9) from Lesperance-Leadman

·        Email (Sept. 9) from D. MacLeod                      ·   Submission (Sept. 4) from J. MacLeod

·        Email (Sept. 7) from S. Morris                           ·   Submission (Sept. 8) from L. Raz

·        Email (Sept. 2) from D. Roth                              ·   Letter (Sept. 7) from G. Rowland

·        Email (Sept. 7) from L. Rutherford                     ·   Email (Sept. 7) from J. Stewart

·        Email (Sept. 7) from Tao-Yu                              ·   Presentation (Sept. 8) from R. Thomas

·        Submission (Sept. 3) from S. Tubman                 ·   Email (8 Sept) from B. Wilson

 

Louise Sweet-Lindsay, Planner III, provided a PowerPoint presentation, which is held on file with the City Clerk.

 

Councillor Qadri had a question regarding alternate accommodations for residents currently residing at the proposed location.  Ms. Sweet-Lindsay said that under the Residential Tenancy Act, the developer is within their right to propose the redevelopment. They have given 120 days notice to tenants to vacate and have the right of first refusal to purchase within the proposed development.

 

Councillor Qadri asked if the developer would pay for sewer upgrades on and beyond the proposed location. Staff replied that the developer would only be required to upgrade sewer infrastructure to accommodate the proposed development.

 

Councillor Chiarelli had questions regarding the current units classified as affordable housing, and whether or not the same number of units will be classified as such in the new development.  Staff reported that while the developer stated that the property would have mixed housing, it is staff’s belief that not all of the current residents would be in a position to purchase units in the new development.

 

Councillor Chiarelli questioned the City’s progress in providing affordable housing in all neighbourhoods, noting the 84 affordable rental units would be lost with the new development.  Ms. Sweet-Lindsay confirmed that some rental housing was converted for home ownership in the area and that new rental units have not been constructed in the immediate vicinity.

 

Lloyd Phillips, on behalf of the applicant, spoke to the changes made to the application, in light of discussions held at a public community meeting.  This meeting brought to light concerns from residents regarding not only the size of the buildings, but also the impacts on traffic and infrastructure.  Both the consulting team and City staff have reviewed the plans with these concerns in mind.  He also mentioned that further traffic studies were done during the winter to accompany the initial study completed the previous summer.  Mr. Phillips reiterated that the proposed development site fronts an arterial road at a collector road, and traffic issues due to increased population will not be a significant factor.  Mr. Phillips concluded by stating that the proposed plan is the outcome of many negotiations, and City staff support it as an opportunity for intensification and infill, according to the tenants of the City’s Official Plan (OP) on urban development.  Mr. Phillips asked that the Committee approve the staff recommendation to support this proposal.

 

Steve Gordon, Regional Group of Companies, was present in support of the application, reiterating that this plan was developed with the input of the community.  Though the community previously had significant concerns with the original plans, they have been redeveloped in a very sensitive way, in a form that is compatible to the surrounding neighbourhood, providing mixed housing types.  Mr. Gordon opined that dealing with intensification in mature neighbourhoods is always a challenge.  The developer listened to the community, and proposed a development plan that would work for all parties, while keeping in mind the local infrastructure that would be required to support the higher density.  Mr. Gordon said that the Regional Group of Companies has had a resident retention rate of 17 per cent of the units it has redeveloped in the surrounding neighbourhood, and he was hopeful to achieve higher degrees for this current project.

 

Dawn Schultze is a tenant in a rental home at the proposed development site, and spoke to the necessity for maintaining affordable housing units in the area.  She told Committee that she found affordable housing in a good neighbourhood, and understands how rare that is to find.  She highlighted the number of young families in the area, the common green space where her children may play, the ice rink constructed by the tenants in the winter, the hospitable atmosphere, and the strong sense of community.  She shared her fears that this community will be destroyed with the new development, and her family will be evicted from their home.  Warning Committee that no alternate housing would be available to those who are displaced if the zoning amendment were to pass, she urged Committee to turn down this application.

 

In reply to questions from Councillor Doucet, Ms. Schultze suggested that the buildings in the development plan are too big for the existing community, with traffic and safety impacts beyond those felt by the current residents.

 

Councillor Chiarelli asked Ms. Schultze to elaborate on the issue of crime.  Ms. Schultze informed Committee that three years ago, there was a significant crime issue in that community, but through work done by the residents, Ottawa Police, the Councillor’s office, and several other groups, the community won an award for reducing crime within that community by 50 per cent.

 

In reply to a question from Councillor Monette, Ms. Schultze said that the developers could only offer tenants three months notice to vacate, and first right of refusal within the new development.  However, many of the tenants living in affordable housing would not have the means to purchase their own home, and many would not want to move from a town home into an apartment building.

 

Jason Schultze spoke in opposition to the zoning amendment, focusing on the risk of sewage backup resulting from proposed changes in the development plan.  Mr. Schultze presented extracts of the Novatec Engineering Consultants Ltd’s feasibility study conducted in April 2008, which states that the increased flow predicted from the development could be serviced with the existing sewer system.  However, Mr. Schultze reported that a Novatec report dated February 2009 states there are currently capacity and operational constraints within the existing system near Morrison Drive and Consul Avenue that may lead to flooding of town homes in the future.  He further informed Committee that Novatec’s report proposed further study of the sewage system, with the possibility of requiring an additional length of new sewer pipe, with an approximate cost of $1.1 million.  Mr. Schultze offered qualitative examples of past flooding in the neighbourhood.  He told Committee that the documentation available to members is misleading, and assured members that there are existing problems with the current sewage system, where even a moderate 20 per cent intensification would require sewer reconstruction.  He warned Committee that sewage flooding can cause serious long-term damage to health and property, and that by approving this zoning amendment, they would be risking the homes and health of their constituents.

 

In reply to a question from Councillor Hunter regarding the discrepancy in information between what was presented to members and what Mr. Schultze stated in his presentation, Mr. Schultze suggested that the there is a possibility that information regarding sewage capacity was left out of the report brought to Committee.  Councillor Hunter agreed, and will follow up with staff for clarification after the public delegations have presented.

 

Chair Hume asked staff whether the study referenced by Mr. Schultze was the study that was submitted to support the development.  Mike Wildman, Manager of Suburban Development Review, answered that it was, and that under current provisions of the Planning Act, the study is listed on the City’s website, and staff is able to respond with respect to servicing.

 

Art Stothart expressed concern with the proposed development plan as it relates to pedestrian traffic safety.  Mr. Stothart spoke to the traffic flow patterns in the area, highlighting the lack of sidewalks on certain roads, heavy traffic flow on residential roads by commuters heading towards the Queensway, and the proposed development’s close proximity to three schools.  He presented data on traffic and pedestrian flow during the morning rush hour, stating that the roads and sidewalks are already heavily congested.  Mr. Stothart asked Committee how they proposed keeping pedestrians safe while adding 250 units to the proposed development site.  Mr. Stothart insisted that the 474 parking spots required for the development be underground to ensure no loss of green space.

 

Jeff Patten, a resident of Qualicum Graham Park, raised concerns regarding traffic congestion in the immediate area.  He felt the traffic studies submitted by the developer are inaccurate, especially regarding the access to rapid transit, and the use of Baseline Road as a major arterial road.  Mr. Patten noted the closest Transitway station (Pinecrest) is 1300 metres away, and the next major station (Baseline) is 3.3 kilometres away.  He commented that Baseline Road is currently plugged to capacity and some intersections do not have traffic signals, leading to dangerous merging into heavy traffic.  He also pointed out that in the 1.6 kilometre stretch fronting the proposed site has six traffic signals, and he feared that a seventh signal would be necessary to ensure that new residents could comfortably exit and enter.  Mr. Patten concluded that new residents will avoid Greenbank and Baseline, which are congested, to take alternate routes that are primarily residential streets without sidewalks.

 

In reply to a question from Councillor Chiarelli regarding the application for the reconstruction of the nearby Ikea, Mr. Patten presented to Committee a snapshot of the Queensway onramp located near the proposed Ikea redevelopment.  He stated that the area is already heavily congested with traffic, and he believed that if Ikea goes forward with their expansion, the intersection and onramp would become completely clogged with traffic during peak periods.

 

Ron Miller spoke in opposition to the proposed amendment, citing concerns relating to traffic problems on the arterials and the Queensway onramp that support the community.  He stated that this application would add approximately 300 cars to the morning commute, assuming 75 per cent of new residents drive to work.  Mr. Miller worried that this proposal would decrease or even eliminate the viability of the Ikea expansion because of traffic congestion.  He spoke to the alternate routes through the neighbourhood that avoid Baseline, citing previously mentioned safety concerns.  He highlighted sections of a 2001 study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, identifying traffic and safety concerns with the intersections surrounding the Queensway onramp near Ikea.

 

Councillor Doucet asked about the current level of urban development in the area, and Mr. Miller replied that the neighbourhood is well developed with town homes and smaller single-family homes.  Both Councillor Doucet and Mr. Miller agreed that the area is already densely populated, and perhaps not a pressing target for intensification.

 

David Harding spoke in opposition to the proposed plan because of height and density concerns.  He showed slides of the surrounding neighbourhood, highlighting height limits on existing developments, capped at two storeys.  Mr. Harding paid particular attention to the development to the south of the proposed site, which was not mentioned in staff’s presentation.  The Regional Group project consists of stacked townhouses bordering Baseline Road, which meet the current zoning by-law.  He conceded that there is a possibility for intensification in the area, but in moderation, and compatible to the existing developments.  Mr. Harding offered that the community would support a proposal for 15 to 20 per cent intensification, but that the community’s character is at risk.

 

Leo Paoletti, past president of the Qualicum Graham Park Community Association, addressed his opposition to the proposed amendment, citing concerns regarding shade impact.  Mr. Paoletti had concerns with the developer’s study, and showed Committee that the surrounding neighbourhood would be significantly impacted by increased shade caused by the new development.  Mr. Paoletti also noted that the developer made no adjustments for the downward slope of the property, which would further extend the shadows cast.  He briefly outlined the resulting impact of increased shade, namely a decrease in the quality of life, lower property values, increased local wind speeds, general health decline due to lack of Vitamin D, lower winter temperatures, and higher heating bills.  Mr. Paoletti also touched on previously mentioned concerns with density and height limits, reiterating the point that residents were in agreement with Council’s approved height restriction of 11 metres for developments in the area.

 

Wolfhard Geile is a scientific advisor to the community, and reported on the environmental impact expected with the proposed development.  Mr. Geile presented on adverse alterations to the local climate conditions, which would result in increased heating and cooling bills CO2 emissions, and iair pollutants causing pulmonary diseases.  He believed the climate impact would be most dramatic, especially during the winter months.  An isolated high-rise in a low-rise neighbourhood affects the aerodynamics by redirecting the wind, tapping air that is two to three times higher in the atmosphere and much colder, which causes downdrafts.  He stated that this leads to much colder temperatures, increased local wind speeds, air turbulence, and higher wind chill.  He also reported that in the summer, there would be an increase in nighttime temperatures due to mini-heat islands, typically imposed by high-rises in low-level neighbourhoods.  He said the heat would be trapped between the building wall of the high-rise and the surrounding neighbourhood, leading to higher nighttime temperatures, and that these factors would result in higher energy bills for residents surrounding the development site. 

 

Mr. Geile reported on geological impacts that would occur because of deep foundations required for high-rises, and that these would cause disruption of the ground water table.  He explained that this would deplete the soil of ground water, cause soil to shrink and lead to cracks and structural damage to adjacent properties.  He also believed that the proposed development would have adverse effects on local vegetation in the surrounding neighbourhood.  Mr. Geile recommended to Committee, due to the expected environmental impacts described, avoiding rezoning the area to a height limit above 11 metres.  He suggested more moderate intensification through intelligent building and architecture.

 

Letitia Charbonneau noted her opposition of the proposed amendment, and provided a slide show of photos of the proposed site and surrounding neighbourhood.

 

Scott Pegram, Qualicum Graham Park Community Association, urged Committee to approve intensification projects that are moderate and that serve the community in which they are located.  Mr. Pegram reiterated concerns previously mentioned regarding the lack of accommodation to displaced tenants, traffic and pedestrian safety, sewage concerns, and lack of access to rapid transit, as well as environmental impacts.  He urged Committee to support intensification that adds to the community character and fosters stronger community bonds, and to stop development that is overwhelming and dominating to the immediate neighbourhood.

 

The following delegations registered to speak in opposition.  After consultation with the ward councillor, they withdrew their request, but their opposition was formally noted for the record:

1.      Andrea Campbell                                                   9.   Roy Thomas

2.      Liran Raz                                                              10.   Frederick Watson

3.      Judy Filipkowski                                                   11.   Lisa Boulay

4.      Deborah and Bruce Sullivan                                  12.   Fab Bender

5.      John Clipsham                                                       13.   Donald MacLeod

6.      Vivian Olmstead                                                    14.   Kenneth Shoultz

7.      Michael Jarvis                                                       15.   Greg Paterson

8.      Mylène Tardif                                                       16.   L.A. McGovern

 

Speaking to the recommendation, Councillor Chiarelli reminded Committee that Council recently approved a comprehensive zoning by-law.  He reported that consultation meetings were previously held to promote the goals of intensification.  The community understood the merits of moderate intensification, and supported an increase in height limit to 11 metres for the proposed location.  He pointed out that the developer is now proposing to increase this height limit from 11 to 69 metres, which goes far beyond what had been acceptable to the community during the debates leading up to the comprehensive zoning by-law review.  He reminded members that the intensification policy sought to intensify certain areas, such as the one proposed, by roughly 20 per cent, a number that residents were willing to accept as a compromise between intensification and preserving community character.  Councillor Chiarelli feared that if this application is approved, Committee would be veering away from the principles of a moderate goal of 20 per cent intensification, and towards more drastic 600 per cent intensification.  He believed this would undermine the City's intensification policy and the support it received from the community.

 

Councillor Chiarelli also addressed his concerns with the issue around affordable housing.  He stated that the City has a goal that 25 per cent of all new development be affordable housing, and yet feared that the proposal would destroy 84 units of affordable rental housing.  He felt this was directly against the City's goal of retaining rental units.

 

Finally, Councillor Chiarelli restated the community's concern that this development would greatly harm the character of the community and would greatly tax the surrounding infrastructure.  He referenced the Ikea application that seeks to triple the size of the store.  Councillor Chiarelli urged Committee to turn down this application in the hopes of finding a better solution.

 

Councillor Bellemare touched on the concerns raised by the delegations and the ward councillor.  He reminded Committee that this application does not seek to amend a zoning by-law for a non-residential site, but for one that is already adequately populated at an appropriate level of density for this part of the city.  Councillor Bellemare asked staff to clarify the terms of the Affordable Housing policy under the City's OP in relation to this specific proposal.  He asked if the developer would be required to replace the 84 affordable rental units. 

 

John Smit, Manager of Urban Development Review, could not speak to specific pricing for the units in this particular development, but believed that market housing generally implies an adherence to the rate of 25 per cent affordability.  Staff also recognized the difference between affordability as it relates to rental housing and affordability as it relates to purchased housing.  Staff reported that the City of Ottawa has no ability to control the number of rental units, as provincial legislation gives the owners the right to abolish rental property.  Staff informed Committee that they are currently looking to the Municipal Act to form a recommendation for consideration by Committee and Council to allow greater control on rental residential accommodation, but that work has not yet been concluded, and cannot be given consideration at this point in time.

 

Councillor Bellemare was greatly concerned that this information was not in the report, as he felt the Committee required this information before moving to change the zoning.

 

In response to questions from Councillor Holmes, Mr. Smit noted the holding provision would be applied until site plan approval is given.  He advised that the intent is to accommodate parking below grade to maximize and preserve green space. 

 

Councillor Holmes indicated that the affordable housing policy prices an affordable unit at $180,000.  She pointed out that the policy does not address the affordability of rental units or the need to provide rental units.  Councillor Holmes asked staff if they considered 100 per cent intensification as an acceptable level of moderate intensification for the community. 

 

Mr. Smit reported that under current policies and by-laws, Committee and Council had no means to make the owner maintain rental accommodation. He said the current plan is the result of extensive discussions.  The proposal was significantly scaled back to staff’s satisfaction in terms of meeting the OP policies on intensification and compatibility considerations.  Staff could not discuss their preferred percentage for intensification should the application be rejected, because staff does not know what the applicant will do if the application is lost.  Staff informed Committee that the applicant could go to the Ontario Municipal Board to appeal refusal.

 

Councillor Monette echoed concerns regarding traffic and affordability.  He also congratulated Councillor Chiarelli for his efforts in scaling back the proposed development from 20 storeys to 12 storeys.  Councillor Monette said he would have trouble supporting the application with its current building heights.

 

Councillor Feltmate warned that the community would lose trust if the City ignored its wishes to allow moderate intensification of 20 per cent.  She also stated that scaling back the development from 20 storeys to 12 storeys does not automatically imply it is an ideal development plan for the area.  She believed, that because the area is not near the Transitway or rapid transit, it is not an appropriate location for high intensity development. 

 

Mr. Smit clarified that the OP calls for intensification everywhere within the city, including the general urban area.  This application was reviewed by staff in the context of the full policy direction of the OP, noting that the requirement for intensification is not necessarily predicated on proximity to transit.  He said that in this instance it is important to ensure higher and lower profile integration along the edges to maintain the street conditions.

 

Councillor Feltmate reiterated her concern with the City’s need to redefine the terms of intensification.  She felt that the current proposal is out of place at the proposed location, and believed the City would fail the community, should it carry the proposed amendment.

 

Councillor Hunter reminded Committee that the majority of Councillors supported the OP, which calls for intensification of urban areas in the order of an additional 60,000 housing units inside the Greenbelt by 2021.  He felt that if this proposal is turned down, the applicant would appeal to the OMB with the OP as justification for their proposed plan.  Additionally, he stated that if the applicant went to OMB for appeal, they could revert to their original application.  Councillor Hunter asked Committee to consider the significant gains made in the compromise from a 20-storey to a 12-storey building, and to support the application.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Qadri, Tim Marc, Senior Legal Counsel, advised that he would undertake to provide clarification before Council on the City’s ability to require the developer to accommodate existing residents and the owner’s responsibilities under provincial legislation.

 

Councillor Doucet disagreed with Councillor Hunter's comments, stating that Council could not approve applications for significant intensification at the expense of the quality of life of existing residents.  He congratulated the delegations for their sound and articulate presentations, reiterating that 84 affordable rental units would be lost.

 

Councillor Holmes stated that the City of Ottawa has no legal ability to maintain rental housing.  She understood that the City would lose this rental housing, which she considered to be unfortunate for the tenants and for the City.  She hoped the owner would agree to scale back his proposed development further from 12 storeys to six storeys in order to save the time and effort of going to OMB for appeal.

 

Chair Hume advised that two motions were received to reduce the height of certain buildings.  In response to questions from the Chair, Ms. Sweet-Lindsay confirmed that the tallest building is planned for the centre to mitigate impact on adjacent residents.

 

Councillor Chiarelli urged members to support the amendments.

 

Chair Hume understood the community’s concerns with the transition from six to 12 storeys, but could not support either motion, suggesting he could possibly support 10 or eight storeys for the building identified as G in the zoning schedule.

 

Moved by D. Holmes:

 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the 12-storey building be reduced to six storeys (21 metres).

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

YEAS (6):        M. Bellemare, C. Doucet, D. Holmes, B. Monette, S. Qadri, P. Feltmate

NAYS (2):       G. Hunter, P. Hume

 

Moved by C. Doucet:

 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the eight-storey building be reduced to six storeys (21 metres).

 

                                                                                                CARRIED

 

YEAS (6):        M. Bellemare, C. Doucet, D. Holmes, B. Monette, S. Qadri, P. Feltmate

NAYS (2):       G. Hunter, P. Hume

 

Councillor Chiarelli urged Committee to reject the proposal as amended.  He reiterated the concerns raised by the delegations.  He requested that this matter go forward to Council on September 23, 2009 to allow for further discussions with all parties.

 

Councillors Doucet and Hume expressed support for the proposal as amended, to avoid an appeal to the OMB, while allowing for some intensification to occur.

 

That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council:

 

1.         Approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 2781, 2791, 2797 Baseline Road and 2704, 2706, 2724, 2734 Draper Avenue from Residential Fourth Density Zone (R4N) to Residential Fifth Density Exception Holding Zone (R5A[1700]S247-h) as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 3;

 

2.         Amend Document 4, Proposed Zoning Schedule:

 

a.         To reduce the height of the 12-storey building, identified as Building G, to six storeys (21 metres); and

 

b.         To reduce the height of the eight-storey building, identified as Building F, to six storeys (21 metres).

 

                                                                                                LOST

 

YEAS (4):        C. Doucet, D. Holmes, P. Feltmate, P. Hume

NAYS (4):       M. Bellemare, G. Hunter, B. Monette, S. Qadri

 

Chair Hume advised that this matter would rise to Council with the following recommendation:  That Council consider the report.