QUEENSWAY TERRACE NORTH (QTN) PUBLIC ADVISORY

COMMITTEE (PAC) REPORT                                                                             DOCUMENT 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queensway Terrace North (QTN)

Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Report

 

Community Development Planning Process

 

In response to

 

Interim Control By-law (January 12, 2005)


 


Table of Contents

 

 

 

1.      Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Recommendations

§                     Pro-active Management

§                     Development Review Mechanism

§                     Community Characteristics Review Mechanism

 

2.      Introduction, Background and Concepts

§                     Origin

§                     Study Area

§                     Study Goals and Objectives

§                     Community Development Planning Process Model and Concepts

 

3.      Discussion of Study Findings

§                     Policy and Zoning Context

§                     Neighbourhood Conditions and Community Characteristics

§                     Concerns and Issues

 

4.      Discussion of Recommendations (Solutions)

§                     Pro-active Management

§                     Development Review Mechanism

§                     Community Characteristics Review Mechanism

 

5.      Public Consultation

 

6.      Appendices


1.  Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Recommendations

 

That Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) recommend that Council approve:

 

 

Proactive Management

 

 

1.                  That By-law Services and Public Works and Services (PWS) be provided with necessary enforcement resources to proactively enforce all infractions (i.e. not only ones initiated on a complaint basis); to involve other City departments (as needed); and to revisit problematic locations within the Queensway Terrace North (QTN) community.

 

2.                  That, on a priority basis in the area called Pinewood Crescent as described in both Appendices 1 and 10, By-law Services and Public Works and Services be provided with necessary enforcement resources to specifically and proactively enforce City By-laws regulating residential front yard parking; soft landscaping requirements; parking on City rights-of-way; private approaches or access to residential front yards.

 

3.                  That Zoning By-law 1998 [By-law Number 93-98] be amended to prohibit rear yard parking unless in a legally provided garage located parallel to the side, with direct access from the public street to the garage.

 

4.                  That curbing be installed on streets where both no curbing exists and there has been a problem identified defining a public street edge where parking is appropriate.

 

5.                  That trees be planted along the right-of-way streetscape at the time of road reconstruction.  Plus, City Staff be directed to develop a tree-planting program, in consultation with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association (QTNCA), for areas identified as lacking streetscape and benefiting from the presence of trees.

 

6.                  That the Queensway Terrace North Community Association undertake, with the co-operation of relevant City departments, community-driven initiatives to bring awareness of City By-law regulations to the residents and to property owners within its representative community area.

 

7.                  That the Planning and Growth Management (PGM) Department work together with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association to ensure that new development proposals reflect the architectural, design and planning compatibility guidelines as set out by the City of Ottawa’s Residential Infill Housing Design Guidelines, and that the intent of good and compatible planning, as set out in the Ontario Planning Act, is upheld.

 

8.                  That Public Works and Services work together with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association to ensure that when new works are being considered within the area, traffic calming measures (e.g. speed humps, stop signs) are given due consideration to reduce vehicular speeds and increase safety.

 

9.                  That those three-unit residential dwellings, as detailed in Appendix 3, found to be non-conforming with existing Zoning By-law standards, be made to conform to such regulations, or be made to revert back to their original state.

 

10.              That while PAC supports intensification on Carling Avenue, under the principle that access and egress be only from Carling Avenue, the property at 807 Maplewood Avenue fails this principle, as traffic from this site cannot access directly Carling Avenue and must traverse residential streets in order to access Carling Avenue; therefore, Zoning By-law 1998 [By-law Number 93-98] be amended to reflect the R2C Zone of other properties having similar access and egress situations as those at the north end of Maplewood Avenue.

 

 

Development Review Mechanism

 

 

11.              That a Development Review mechanism be established to trigger a review of various key community indicators as a means to ensure that City of Ottawa intensification policies do not facilitate development that negatively impacts the affected neighbourhood. 

 

a.                  That the Development Review mechanism be triggered at 120 % of the existing development under the present zoning, based on the number of legal dwelling units within four-block areas (see 11b. below), as of January 1, 2007.

 

b.                  That the Development Review be effective over the Queensway Terrace North area and comprised of four (4) quadrants, in total comprising 10 zones, where each zone consists of an average of four (4) blocks, as exemplified in Appendix 8.

 

c.                  That the Development Review trigger mechanism be monitored by the Planning and Growth Management Department, in cooperation with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, as of January 2007.  That the PGM provide data statistics (including location, land use, number of units) to the QTNCA based on approved Building Permits.  That the QTNCA map the levels of development according to the designated zones and once the 120% of existing development has been reached will, with the cooperation of PGM, initiate the Development Review of community indicators.

 

d.                  That the Development Review be conducted over the affected triggered zone, and include a cooperative assessment by City staff and the Queensway Terrace North Community Association of:

                                                               i.      Infrastructure condition and capacity, including key indicators such water supply; waste water collection; storm water drainage; traffic; and transit.

                                                             ii.      Community characteristics (as detailed in Appendix 7)

                                                            iii.      Zoning By-law, as a reflection of the needs of the community and the City at large.

 

12.              That the Zoning for Pinewood Crescent be amended to permit existing densities only, and that no secondary dwelling units and/or minor variances shall be permitted until the Pro-active By-law Management has solved the existing problems and a further Development Review of this street has been undertaken to determine whether such a 'freeze' can be lifted at that time.

 

 

Community Characteristics Review Mechanism

 

 

13. That a Community Characteristics Review mechanism be established to trigger the Development Review of various key community indicators as a means to ensure that City of Ottawa intensification policies do not facilitate development that negatively impacts the affected neighbourhood. 

 

14. That when, in the opinion of the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, there is an actual and/or the possibility of a negative, community-wide change in the community’s characteristics caused by implemented or proposed development, the QTNCA undertake a survey of community residents’ opinion of community characteristics (as detailed in Appendix 7) and that City staff provides professional advice in the design of a formal and scientific-based survey.

 

15. That the QTNCA, using the above-completed survey, make an application to the City’s Planning and Environment Committee for a Development Review.

 

 

 


 

2.  Introduction, Background and Concepts

 

 

Origin

 

An Interim Control By-law was enacted on January 12, 2005 in response to increasing community concern over the number of residential triplex conversions within the Queensway Terrace North community (QTN) that were not in compliance with the Zoning By-law 1998, and the long-term impacts of such incremental intensification within this neighbourhood.  The By-law prohibits the conversion of duplexes to triplexes within the defined area until a Study on the appropriate limits to intensification in the Queensway Terrace North Community is completed, with an expiration of January 11, 2007.

 

 

The City of Ottawa Official Plan promotes intensification as an alternative to urban sprawl and proposes that intensification occur as a gradual change to existing communities so that the fundamental characteristics of existing communities are not altered.  However, there is concern within QTN that there are no policies within the new City of Ottawa Official Plan setting limits as to when intensification is too much.  Since there are number of illegal triplexes within QTN, the community is concerned about the inability of the new Official Plan to protect the QTN, and other communities within the City, from excessive and/or negative intensification.

 

 

Study Area

 

The Study Area boundaries are: Carling Avenue to the north; the Transitway to the east; the Queensway to the south, and Pinecrest Road to the west (Appendix 1). The Study Area is characterised by predominantly low-density residential streets, with recreational open space uses at its core, and two school properties. There are three major areas of natural features and open spaces within the Study Area. The presence of the OC Transpo Transitway along the Pinecrest Creek Corridor at the eastern boundary affords an extensive landscaped edge to the neighbourhood. The arterial roadways of Carling Avenue and Pinecrest Road abut the Study Area, and provide access to the City’s upper tier road network and transit systems.  An industrial and commercial zone occupies the southwestern portion of the Study Area, adjacent to the Queensway. 

 

The Queensway Terrace North Community Association encompasses the Study Area within its area of interest, and provides the primary vehicle for community involvement.

 

 

Study Goal and Objectives

 

The goal of this Study is to conduct a review of the likely forms, locations and appropriate levels of intensification within the Queensway Terrace North community, the ability of existing infrastructure to accommodate growth, and the potential impact of evolving City Council intensification policies on this neighbourhood. City staff has undertaken this Study, in conjunction with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, community residents and property owners, and the Ward Councillor.  The final report will serve as a guide for future growth within this neighbourhood.

 

The objectives of the Study, aimed at achieving the above goal, are as follows:

 

·         Ensure that the Study is undertaken with direct involvement of local residents, and that the outcomes support residents’ vision for their community.

·         Conduct an issue-based review of existing conditions within the Study Area.

·         Interpret project relevant, citywide policy direction within a local context.

·         Analyse existing transportation, service and infrastructure capacities.

·         Identify notable community characteristics that will likely be affected by intensification.

·         Quantify intensification potential within the Study Area.

·         Identify infill, and property conversion design issues.

·         Determine appropriate limits to intensification within the Study Area.

·         Establish a ‘community development planning process’ model through which and by which intensification actions can be measured and managed.

 

 

 

Community Development Planning Process Model and Concepts

 

From the outset of this Study, the QTN Public Advisory Committee (PAC) was troubled by the lack of a common Community Development Planning Process model that could be followed by City Communities and indeed even the lack of a proper definition of what could be a called a ‘community’ as it truly impacts affected residents.  The QTN PAC therefore proposes three intensification planning process model concepts and two definitional parameters through which this QTN PAC Study should be read:

 

 

1.  Community Development Planning Process Model

 

In examining other Community Development Planning exercises undertaken by the City, the QTN PAC was struck as to how each was a unique exercise.  Some were conducted in a top down approach, driven by the City Planners with or without outside consultant input.  Many of these identified infill possibilities and even went so far as to propose specific building types and density.  Many of these also sought public input but without fully articulating the overall impact on traffic, parks, water and other common utilities.  Other Community Development Planning processes obviously had significant developer input and influence.  Still others sought true public input and tried to reflect that input into the draft plans.  Although many, if not all, of these Community Development Planning processes appeared to have similar objectives (i.e. how to accommodate greater density and intensification), these Community Development Planning processes did not seem to allay community fears that their input was being taken seriously nor were there mechanisms in place to determine when the ‘intensification too far’ line was crossed.  As the late Jane Jacobs stated: “Communities are organisms which have a life of their own and will evolve and/or devolve according to their own rules and regiments”.  That being said and with the recommended development freeze in the Pinewood Crescent area excepted, the QTN PAC has taken the position that it cannot presumptuously determine where new and additional development should or should not occur.  Rather it has concentrated its efforts in trying to develop a Community Development Planning Process Model that can give community residents confidence that they will have some control over how development proceeds in their neighbourhood and that the Development Review Mechanism Trigger Points will be in place to provide that level of comfort.

 

 

2.                                          Community Characteristics as a Top Priority Defining Aspect

 

People settle in communities for a variety of oft-times subjective reasons.  However, once settled, they grow an attachment to their area and start to define it in complimentary terms.  These are, in the QTN PAC’s opinion, what are called Community Characteristics and are the aspects that residents want to protect and preserve as their top priority going forward.  As communities grow and evolve and as residents come and go, these community characteristics will undoubtedly evolve and change.  These changes are usually slow and gradual and are accommodated or accepted overtime by residents.  However, when change is rapid and/or when change negatively disrupts what residents view as their community’s core characteristics, this is the time that community unrest and upheaval emerges.  The QTN PAC therefore considers the definition of Community Characteristics as a key priority to Community Development Planning Processes against which all intensification is measured and proactively managed (see Point #3 below).

 

 

3.                                          Proactive Management and By-law Enforcement

 

MOST community residents are law-abiding citizens.  As in any community, there is, however, a small minority who knowingly or unknowingly flout these laws.  When this occurs, it is the QTN PAC’s opinion that remedial enforcement action should be immediately and proactively applied.  To not to do so creates resentment among law-abiding citizens towards the citizens (neighbours) breaking the law and getting away with it, potentially leading to an attitude of “if they can do it, so can I”.  The existing system whereby City By-laws are enforced through a neighbourhood complaint (snitch line) system is problematic and flawed in that it relies on neighbour complaining against neighbour - something that most people are naturally reluctant to do until the problem becomes too big or too offensive.  By the time such ‘major issue’ enforcement is in fact applied, the majority of residents are disillusioned and upset with city officials and elected representatives.  The QTN PAC is therefore strongly of the opinion that residents would be much more willing to accept and to welcome change if they could also be convinced that ALL residents played by the same rules and that these rules were being effectively, proactively and fairly enforced by City By-law officers and law enforcement officers who could reasonably have known about the infractions without a complaint having been first filed.

 

 

4.                                          The Closer Development Gets to One’s Home, the Greater the Concern:

 

The QTN PAC fully understands the larger concept of what a community entails (e.g. neighbours, facilities, events, respect).  However when change occurs, a resident’s main concern is how will this affect my family, my immediate neighbours and me.  An architecturally incompatibly constructed building in Orleans will have very little effect on a person living in Kanata but the closer such unacceptable development gets to one’s own block, the higher the concern and defensive reaction.  Acknowledging that City communities are usually large in scale and that these communities are oft-times made up of several different sectors and diverse areas but giving credence to “the closer it gets, the more concerned I get” feelings of residents, the QTN PAC proposes the acceptance of Development Review Triggers based on the smaller (block) community concept. The QTN PAC originally brainstormed that such Development Triggers be for each individual block but, realising the high resource impact of such a proposal, it opted for a four-block concept within a community zone quadrant.  By going this route, the QTN PAC is trying to respect the nearness of one’s ‘true’ community and how the effect that development has on it, while, at the same time, respecting the cost to the City in undertaking such Development Reviews. 

 

 

5.                                          The Slowness of Development

 

It has taken Queensway Terrance North (and Britannia Heights encompassed therein) over 100 years to develop into the community that it is today.  However given that future development will most probably occur at a somewhat quicker pace than years gone by, it will nevertheless not occur at lightening speed either.  The QTN PAC therefore wants to stress that the need (and hence the cost) for triggered Development Reviews should consequently be viewed in a slower development scenario context.

 

 


 

3.  Discussion of Study Findings

 

 

Policy and Zoning Context

 

The Public Advisory Committee recognizes that there are many policy and legal frameworks within which planning decisions must be made.  Moreover, PAC understands and agrees with the premise of intensification as an important and necessary strategy for the future sustainability and well-being of Ottawa. 

 

The Provincial Government provides policy direction on matters related to land use planning and development.  In its policy statement on housing the Province identifies the need for municipalities to meet the projected housing needs of current and future residents through a combination of new development and all forms of residential intensification to all income levels. 

 

The Council-approved City of Ottawa Official Plan (2003) designates the residential portions, and subject portions, of the QTN Study Area as “General Urban” land use classification.  A “Mainstreet” designation is applied to Carling Avenue forming the northern boundary of the Study Area.  The Official Plan policies and parameters support residential intensification within the urban boundary as an alternative option to continued green field development.  Such policy direction indicates that areas primarily promoted for major intensification generally lie outside of existing residential neighbourhoods, in mixed use centres, developing communities and along existing mainstreets; however, minor residential intensification opportunities do exist within existing residential areas.

 

In order to implement the new Official Plan, the City considers opportunities to provide minor residential intensification within existing neighbourhoods through some development of vacant or underdeveloped sites, and also through secondary dwelling units (single self-contained, rental apartment that is a separate residential unit subsidiary to, and located in the same building as, its principal dwelling unit) in all single, semi-detached and duplex dwellings.  The Secondary Dwelling Unit By-law passed in September 2005 captures many existing triplex units as secondary dwelling units.  If they are in conformity with building and zoning regulations, then these units which were previously non-conforming with zoning regulations, will be recognized as being legal residential units.

 

In the Official Plan, “Section 2.5.1 Compatibility of Development” states that introducing new development in existing areas that have developed over a long period of time requires a sensitive approach to differences between the new development and the established area, in terms of building heights, setbacks, and other characteristics.  PAC wants to implement appropriate mechanisms to ensure that new development, whether new buildings or secondary dwelling units, are compatible with the neighbourhood and that maintain or enhance the existing quality of life.

 

The study area contains a relatively broad range of different land use zones, including a variety of uses; Residential; Institutional (e.g. two schools; two churches ); Industrial (e.g. southwestern portion of QTN abutting the Queensway); Environmental (e.g. three green spaces, including the Transitway lands); and Leisure (e.g. four recreational open spaces).

 

The Residential zones are predominantly characterised by R1G zone (detached houses; with minimum lot areas of 464 m² and minimum lot widths of 15m) and R2C zone (detached and duplex houses, with minimum lot areas of 464 m² and minimum lot widths of 15m; and semi-detached houses, with minimum lot areas of 232 m² and minimum lot widths of  7.5m).  Generally, the R1G zone spans the southeastern half of the study area, while the R2C zone covers most of the northern half.  While the concerns of this study were precipitated by and are mainly focused on the effects of intensification in the R2C zone  (Appendix 2), the QTN PAC Recommendations apply to the whole of the Study Area.

 

There are also pockets of R3 Zones (Converted Houses/Townhouses); R4 Zones (Multiple Unit Zones) on Carling Avenue and Moncton Road;  R5 Zone (Low Rise Apartments) on Carling Avenue; and R6 Zone (Highrise apartments) at Pinecrest and Richmond Roads.

 

PAC understands the current policies and zoning framework for the scope of the Study.  Moreover, PAC agrees that intensification is an important strategy for the long term sustainability of the City of Ottawa and its various neighbourhoods.  As one QTN PAC member stated “Making efficient and effective use of what we have is a good thing.  We cannot sprawl forever given the costs that implies to the well-being of our economy and our physical health”.  

 

However, PAC remains unconvinced that, under existing policy and zoning, the potential negative impacts of intensification upon existing neighbourhoods will be identified and/or well managed in advance of their occurrence.  Therefore, PAC seeks to establish a framework that can heed such warnings as they present themselves.

 

 

Neighbourhood Conditions and Community Characteristics

 

Public Advisory Committee members and City staff undertook a review of current Queensway Terrace North community conditions, focused primarily on demographics and on characteristics.

 

In general, QTN demographics reflected trends witnessed Citywide.  With a 2001 Census population of 3258, the QTN population grew by about 15% since 1996 reflecting a increased rate in population growth compared to that of the City of Ottawa’s 6.5% rate of population growth over the same time period.  While approximately 20% of the population is under 19 years of age, approximately 30% of population is over 55 years old and reflects an aging resident make-up.  The QTN has a much higher proportion of seniors (aged 65 and over) and widowers than the City, indeed the QTN has the second highest proportion of seniors in Canada, with Victoria having the highest.  It also has a higher percentage of children over 25 still living at home and has a much higher percentage of homeowners than the City as a whole. 

 

Immigrant population has continued to decline, but the neighbourhood continues to be ethnically diverse.  There are two public elementary schools that continue to operate.  There has been much deliberation over the future of Grant Alternative School; however, it will remain operational in the neighbourhood for the near future.

 

PAC members developed a list of community characteristics that they felt defined the QTN community identity (Appendix 7).  These were presented and accepted at a subsequent QTN PAC-led, public consultation Open House.  In this list, PAC also identified community characteristics that were threatened, and how they were threatened, as a result of triplex conversions, or secondary dwelling units, and potentially, other forms of small-scale intensification. 

 

The following 12 community characteristics were identified as the essential and representative elements defining the QTN neighbourhood:

 

·         Good pedestrian / cycling / rollerblading environment

·         Diverse demographics

·         Sense of pride in community and identity

·         Clean neighbourhood

·         Safe neighbourhood

·         Location convenience

·         Adequate (albeit low) water capacity

·         Diversity in housing

·         Very green, natural environment

·         Quiet neighbourhood

·         High quality of life

·        Stable property values

 

 

Concerns and Issues

 

The fundamental community concern of PAC is the effect of incremental intensification on the community characteristics of the Queensway Terrace North neighbourhood.  The incremental development of three-unit dwellings and their negative impacts exemplify this concern.  In some areas of the QTN community, these three-unit dwellings (also known as triplexes) create unacceptable behavioural and physical impacts.  The following is a list of the impacts identified that currently erodes or could potentially erode the defining and desirable characteristics of the community noted earlier:

 

·         Illegal parking on front yards of private property and on City boulevards (Refer to photos in Appendix 9):

While Pinewood Crescent is the ultimate example of front yard parking gone amuck (see Appendix 9), there are other locations in the QTN that are also experiencing this illegal and inappropriate behaviour.  Parking on front lawns and paving over green space contributes to an unruly look, which, in turn, oft-times leads to unruly and unacceptable behaviour.    

 

·         Lack of architectural compatibility:

Examples of this have cropped up all over the City where buildings, uncharacteristic to the neighbourhood, have been erected thereby creating a noticeable change to the existing streetscape. Complaints and concerns about incompatible design from residents to City Staff and to developers have not (for the most part) been addressed satisfactorily. This leads to residents feeling that their opinions are not being seriously considered and/or indeed are even being ignored.  Oft-times the residents feel that they are fighting both the forces of the developers and the City officials combined.

 

·         Deteriorating streetscape (i.e. more cars, less green space):

Please refer to the front yard parking concern expressed above.

 

·         Greater traffic volumes and speeds:

As the arterials (Carling and Pinecrest) become increasingly congested, more and more traffic is appearing on the QTN streets as these structures act as relief valves.  Many drivers do not come from the QTN and thus have less regard and loyalty to the community as a whole.  Speed and squealing tires at all times of the day and night have increased steadily over the years.  Since many of the QTN streets lack sidewalks (a desired community feature by the way), this combination of more and faster cars with that of street pedestrian traffic may start to pose a safety problem.  The classic answer to such problems is to separate the people and the cars by constructing sidewalks.  The QTN PAC however suggests that reducing the vehicular traffic and the speed with which it travels – thus preserving the community instead of protecting the inconsiderate drivers – is the more community-friendly way to go.

 

·         Low water pressure:

Although deemed adequate by the City, currently there are five ‘red, low water pressure’ zones in Ottawa, which, by today’s standards, most citizens would find to be sub par.  The QTN is one of them.  Increased density in the QTN would therefore negatively impact an already affected, low water pressure area and potentially would require the City to rectify the situation in advance of implementing its capital expenditure plan.

 

·         Increased noise:

As more people and traffic traverse the QTN, the disrupting vehicular noise level is also increasing to say nothing of ghetto blasters, skateboards and louder partying late into the nights.  

 

Given the presence of some of the above, PAC feels it reasonable to assume a further increase in the community’s population will magnify the number of incidents of these problems.  To better understand the appropriate limits for intensification for the QTN community, City staff and PAC wished to quantify the intensification potential of the Study Area.  

 

Different development scenarios were devised, each one estimating future population, number of units, and the number of cars.  These development estimate scenarios were drawn up to show the effects on the basic infrastructure as well (including water supply, wastewater collection, stormwater drainage, and traffic capacity).  The development scenarios include the following (see Appendix 11 for further detail):

 

 

Today’s development

Maximum development1, under the existing zoning

Maximum development1 under the existing zoning, plus secondary dwelling units

Estimated development by year 2021

“Limited development”, 120% of today’s existing development

Total Number of Units

 

1211

 

1599

 

2703

 

1573

 

1473

 

Total Estimated Population   

 

3258

 

4301

 

7271

 

4231

 

3909

 

Total Estimated Cars  

 

1453

 

1919

 

3244

 

1888

 

1744

 

Average number of Occupants per Unit (City of Ottawa)    

2.69

 

 

 

 

Average number of Cars per Unit (City of Ottawa)                 

1.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main conclusions demonstrated that under existing zoning by including secondary dwelling units, the population, number of dwelling units and cars in the study area could more than double from the existing levels. City staff estimates indicate that basic infrastructure needs can generally be satisfied; however, each aspect of infrastructure would need to be monitored as development applications are received and as periodic upgrades would likely be required.  Under the maximum “worst case scenario”[1], the infrastructure capacities would certainly need re-evaluation, with likely extensive upgrades being needed. 

 

The most important conclusions by PAC in the review of concerns and issues are that (1) the management of intensification to date in areas of the neighbourhood is not satisfactory and that (2) if intensification of the neighbourhood is intended to continue into both the medium and long-term, better methods of addressing it are necessary.

 

 

 

4.  Discussion of Recommendations (Solutions)

 

Over the course of the study it became evident that in trying to better understand how intensification should be approached in the future, two themes must be explored.  First, the City should adopt an approach that does not allow existing healthy and satisfied communities to reach a point where they find themselves negatively impacted, such as in the Queensway Terrace North.  The City must protect its communities, including reinstating them where defined community characteristics have been lost or are in jeopardy.  Second, the approach should both maintain and enhance identified characteristics that define the community.  With this in mind, the Public Advisory Committee devised a two-pronged approach to intensification to ensure those objectives would be achieved:  (1) Proactive Management, and (2) Development Review Mechanism.  The following recommendations are based on these principles.

 

 

Proactive Management

 

Proactive Management means ensuring the enforcement of those regulations the City has carefully developed over many years to protect its citizens and to maintain a high quality living environment, before such time that violations become repetitive and a chronic malaise sets in.  There were a number of issues that PAC felt needed to be addressed in Queensway Terrace North before the above could be achieved.

 

 

Therefore, PAC recommends the following:

 

1.                  That By-law Services and Public Works and Services (PWS) be provided with necessary enforcement resources to proactively enforce all infractions (i.e. not only ones initiated on a complaint basis); to involve other City departments (as needed); and to revisit problematic locations within the Queensway Terrace North community.

 

PAC observed a number of recurring circumstances regarding by-law violations in the QTN community: 

·         Some residents are acting inappropriately and breaking by-laws on a repeated basis without consequences.  Some offenders may actually believe they are not offending because they have never been charged, and may “normalize” the offence by repeating it daily or even altering their environment to facilitate it.  (See attached photos. Appendix 9.)  Some of these violations include front yard parking, illegal triplexes, speeding and noise.

·         By-law enforcement is under-resourced (i.e. 16 officers to cover 24 hours and 64,000 complaints across the entire City).

·         By-law enforcement is a reactive system. That is, a complaint is needed in order for By-law Enforcement staff to respond.  Moreover, the complaint may take many months to resolve.

·         Neighbours normally do not like to complain about the neighbours behaving objectionably, as they need to coexist with these persons after a complaint has been made

 

Considering the above observations, PAC feels the present levels of enforcement cannot uphold the laws of the City and, therefore, adequately protect the QTN community as those laws were intended.  PAC strongly feels the only way to achieve this is through enforcement that is proactive and that addresses violations in a timely manner, before they “snowball” and the essence of a neighbourhood is lost.  QTN PAC further recommends that By-law Services be given appropriate resources and the mandate to enforce the City’s By-laws proactively.

 

2.                  That, on a priority basis in the area called Pinewood Crescent as described on both Map “A” (Appendix 1) and as highlighted in Appendix 10, By-law Services and Public Works and Services be provided with necessary enforcement resources to specifically and proactively enforce City By-laws regulating residential front yard parking; soft landscaping requirements; parking on City rights-of-way; private approaches or access to residential front yards.

 

PAC has identified Pinewood Crescent (Appendix 10) as a neighbourhood within the QTN community that has lost its character and quality of life due to the lack of resources and, therefore, under-enforcement of City By-laws, as discussed in Recommendation No.1.  The most recurring By-law violation impacting this street is illegal parking on front yards of private property and on City boulevards (Refer to photos in Appendix 9).  Illegal parking of this nature and the lack of enforcement is so much the norm that property owners have paved asphalt around fire hydrants (to better accommodate parking), paved parking spaces on City-owned boulevards, and laid interlocking brick or paved asphalt over most of the front lawns, or simply parked vehicles on the grass on front lawns to accommodate parking.  In most cases, there are sufficient onsite, front yard, parking spaces (as required by the zoning by-law), but as a matter of convenience the above illegal actions now characterize this QTN neighbourhood street.

 

3.                  That Zoning By-law 1998 [By-law Number 93-98] be amended to prohibit rear yard parking unless in a legally provided garage located parallel to the side, with direct access from the pubic street to the garage.

 

PAC is concerned that rear yard parking would become the preferred alternative to illegal front yard parking should the latter be enforced.  This would deteriorate the tranquil backyard environment of neighbours (e.g. increased noise and exhaust) and would decrease the amount of green space and area for natural stormwater drainage.  Therefore this limitation to protect backyards for residential amenity use is being proposed.

 

4.                  That curbing be installed on streets where both no curbing exists and there has been a problem identified defining a public street edge where parking is appropriate.

 

Parking in some parts of the QTN community, notably but not exclusively to Pinewood Crescent, occurs in an exceptionally haphazard manner on city streets and boulevards.  PAC believes that part of the reason parking occurs in such a disorderly manner is that it is so easy without curbs for vehicle owners to locate their vehicles anywhere.  Block curbs would both help to obstruct access to potential illegal parking spaces and also to frame the parking, e.g. in lines along the street edge, in more orderly arrangement (that actually buffers homes from the streets).  This illegal parking, especially on the street itself, also poses a safety risk for children darting between an array of haphazardly parked vehicles.

 

5.                  That trees be planted along the right-of-way streetscape at time of road reconstruction. Plus, City Staff be directed to develop a tree-planting program, in consultation with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association (QTNCA), for areas identified as lacking streetscape and benefiting from the presence of trees.

 

As noted previously in Recommendations No.3 and 4, parking in some parts of the QTN community, notably but not exclusively to Pinewood Crescent, occurs in an exceptionally haphazard manner on private front yards, city streets and boulevards.  Not only does this create a disorderly streetscape dominated by vehicles, but it deters from the planting of trees which would both improve the streetscape by naturalizing it, but would also disable future potential for illegal front yard or boulevard parking as the tree would also act as an obstacle to such behaviour, and encourage parking in the intended parking locations.

 

6.                  That the Queensway Terrace North Community Association undertake, with the co-operation of relevant City departments, community-driven initiatives to bring awareness of City By-law regulations to the residents and property owners within its representative community area.

 

PAC believes that while some by-law offenders are conscious of their illegal behaviour and actions, other existing offenders or property owners may be only at the stage of thinking of behaving or physically altering their property in way that does not comply with current City by-laws, perhaps, because they see others doing it, and/or they are unaware that such action is prohibited.  PAC believes that the QTNCA could assist in the education of its residents regarding key City by-laws or initiatives of which they should be aware.  Further to the enforcement efforts of the City,  PAC believes QTN property owners must also be responsible for ensuring where they live remains a high quality living environment.  Education efforts could take the form of awareness flyers, QTNCA seminar sessions, booths at community events and so forth.

 

7.                  That the Planning and Growth Management (PGM) Department work together with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association to ensure that new development proposals reflect the architectural, design and planning compatibility guidelines as set out by the City of Ottawa’s Residential Infill Housing Design Guidelines, and that the intent of good and compatible planning, as set out in the Ontario Planning Act, is upheld.

 

PAC is concerned that developers are being allowed to build architecturally incompatible housing.  Given the relatively large lot sizes found through QTN community, there is potential that property owners wishing to redevelop will seek to maximize building size and height that are not in keeping with the scale or character of residential development found within QTN.  Of particular concern, are compatibility of heights, rooflines and setbacks (from street, side and rear yards) with neighbouring buildings. 

 

PAC is aware that in addition to development parameters described in the Official Plan and requirements of the Zoning By-law, the City also has approved the Residential Infill Housing Design Guidelines to provide design direction for infill development.  These assist both those proposing change and those evaluating the proposals; they provide clarity on the City’s expectations for intensification proposals of an infill nature.  PAC strongly recommends that both developers proposing new construction and City planners and other City staff reviewing development applications pay particular attention to such guidelines to ensure the architectural character and heritage of the QTN community is maintained.  Given that most residents are not against development per se but are against incompatible development, enforcing this recommendation will go a long way to removing a constant and continuing irritant between residents, developers and the City.

 

8.                  That Public Works and Services work together with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association to ensure that when new works are being considered within the area, traffic calming measures (e.g. speed humps, stop signs) are given due consideration to reduce vehicular speeds and increase safety.

 

PAC is concerned that given the width or capacity of some of the QTN neighbourhood streets that vehicular speeds need to be reduced to ensure the safety of the pedestrian environment and the residential character of the community.

 

 

9.                  That those three-unit residential dwellings, as detailed in Appendix 3, found to be non-conforming with existing Zoning By-law standards be made to conform to such regulations or be made to revert back to their original state.

 

While PAC accepts that secondary dwelling units are a legitimate means for the City to meet its intensification goals, PAC cannot accept that any such units that do not conform to the standards described by the Secondary Dwelling Unit By-law be permitted.  Such units having characteristics that either degrade the neighbourhood character; that disrupt how the neighbourhood functions (e.g. front yard parking) or that pose internal building safety concerns should not be permitted.  Secondary Dwelling Units are acceptable only if they meet all City regulations. 

 

10.              That while PAC supports intensification on Carling Avenue, under the principle that access and egress be only to and from Carling Avenue, the property at 807 Maplewood Avenue fails this principle, as traffic from this site cannot access directly Carling Avenue and must traverse residential streets in order to access Carling Avenue; therefore Zoning By-law 1998 [By-law Number 93-98] be amended to reflect the R2C Zone of other properties having similar access and egress situations as those at the north end of Maplewood Avenue.

 

PAC maintains its support for intensification, especially along areas where it can maximize public infrastructure, such as transit on Main Streets; however, it must be done appropriately and cannot be done in a “one size fits all” manner.  In particular, there are serious concerns regarding the intensification of property on streets that are blocked off from the main arterial, Carling Avenue.  Properties abutting Carling Avenue, but with other frontage onto local, neighbourhood streets, were zoned with a higher R5A H (10.5) zone on the basis that the activity they generate would be directed towards the streets designed with higher infrastructure better suited to absorb that higher density and vehicular traffic.

 

PAC is concerned about maintaining the existing R5A H (10.5) zone on three main accounts: 

·         When these streets are blocked off (i.e. no other exit, such as Maplewood Avenue at Carling) all traffic has to go back and forth on the same block to get in and out;

·         There is concern about where parking will go in such cases, especially, visitor parking.  A blocked off street has less finite transiting capacity than most other streets.

·         When blocked off, fire engines, garbage trucks and other large emergency and utility vehicles have to carefully manoeuvre to turn around.  Given concerns that on-street, visitor parking will likely occupy the ends of such blocked streets, safety, operations and functionality may be jeopardized in such a "congested" environment

 

 

 

Development Review Mechanism

 

11.              That a Development Review mechanism be established to trigger a review of various key community indicators as a means to ensure that City of Ottawa intensification policies do not facilitate development that negatively impacts the affected neighbourhood. 

 

a.                  That the Development Review mechanism be triggered at 120% of the existing development under the present zoning, based on the number of legal dwelling units within four-block areas (see 11b. below), as of January 1, 2007.        

 

 

PAC sees no evidence of and thus remains unconvinced that existing City policy and zoning can detect warnings that development in a community is reaching a point where the desirable, defining community characteristics are about to be negatively impacted, and that consequently the community will change for the worse; that is, there is currently no way of setting limits to determine where intensification is too much.  Therefore, PAC proposes to establish a framework that can monitor the impacts – and most importantly the negative impacts - of intensification in advance of their occurrence, or at least as soon as possible after they have occurred.  Thus, if a community is being harmed it does not become irreparably harmed and any damage done can yet be repaired.  

 

The recommended mechanism proposes to track any new development of residential units on a four-block basis (see Appendix 8).  Once 120% of the existing level of residential development, as of January 1, 2007, is reached or exceeded, a development review is initiated to determine the ‘state of the Development Review Zone/Quadrant’, thus highlighting whether intensification is occurring in a manner that addresses and reflects community characteristics, and is therefore, compatible with affected neighbourhood(s).

 

b.                  That the Development Review be effective over the Queensway Terrace North area and comprised of four (4) quadrants, in total comprising 10 zones, where each zone consists of an average of four (4) blocks, as exemplified in Appendix 8.    

 

PAC recognizes that for the review to be effective and manageable the review area cannot be too large or too small.  If the area is too large, e.g. a level of 120% is reached over the entire QTNCA area, then the review may not capture certain areas where a notable trend is emerging until it is too late.  A non-responsive mechanism defeats the purpose of triggering the development review in a timely manner.  Conversely, if the area is too small, e.g. a level of 120% is reached when only two residential units are developed or installed (in the case of secondary dwelling units) within an existing 10 home area, the mechanism may be over reactive, and trigger an unnecessary review which would be too burdensome for City staff and resources and would likely be premature to draw conclusions.  As illustrated in Appendix 8, the area of the blocks to be monitored would be from the rear yard property lines of one block and extend across to the rear yard property lines on the adjacent block, so that blocks consist of the houses that face each other across, rather than the traditional four-sided block (i.e. properties bounded by the same four streets).  Though most neighbourhood blocks will follow this configuration, there may be some anomalies that would need to be delineated in a different way.

 

The QTN PAC recognizes and understands the logic behind the City’s stated objective of a higher density along Main Streets and Arterials (i.e. for the better use of public transit).  It further recognizes that its recommended 120% Development Review Trigger might be activated more frequently along those zones and quadrants bordering these streets.  It thus, in its deliberations, considered raising the Development Review Trigger percentage (i.e. the 120%) to a higher level for the ‘block’ zones along those particular roadways (i.e. zones 9 and 10) in order to reduce the frequencies of Development Reviews for these two areas.  However, the QTN PAC was also cognizant of the need to treat all QTNCA residents equally and therefore, given this dilemma, has opted to stay with the 120% Development Review Trigger for all zones and quadrants within the QTN for the time being until an acceptable, equitable and alternative Development Review Trigger process can be found for community ‘block’ zones along main streets and arterials.

 

c.                  That the Development Review trigger mechanism be monitored by the Planning and Growth Management Department, in cooperation with the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, as of January 2007.  That the PGM provide data statistics (including location, land use, number of units) to the QTNCA based on approved Building Permits.  That the QTNCA map the levels of development according to the designated zones and once the 120% of existing development has been reached will, with the cooperation of PGM, initiate the Development Review of community indicators.      

 

PAC recognizes that care and responsiveness to a city community is the responsibility of both the City of Ottawa and residents of the community.  As the City of Ottawa is recipient, processor and record-holder of building permit approvals, and other development applications, it is in the best position to track the level of development activity within the QTNCA area.  However, given that community well-being is a priority for the QTNCA it is also important that it assist the City in monitoring and reviewing this information once it is received from the City.  Having both the City and QTNCA receive regular information provides a double-check on the level of activity within the community, and therefore, will ensure that the development review mechanism is triggered when it ought to be.

 

d.                  That the Development Review be conducted over the affected triggered zone, and include a cooperative assessment by City staff and the Queensway Terrace North Community Association of:

                                                  i.                  Infrastructure condition and capacity, including key indicators such water supply; waste water collection; storm water drainage; traffic; and transit.

                                                ii.                  Community characteristics (as detailed in Appendix 7)

                                              iii.                  Zoning By-law, as a reflection of the needs of the community and the City at large.

 

The Development Review is designed to assess whether current intensification activity is appropriate and if it is anticipated to remain so in the short to mid-term for the quadrant where the affected zone is located.  The Development Review would be a study initiated by City staff once 120% of the baseline, existing development in that affected area had been reached.  Aspects of the review would be conducted closely with the QTNCA.  Public consultation would be focussed on the residents of the affected area. 

 

City staff would assess key infrastructure conditions and capacities to establish at a basic, hard services level if further development is suitable.  An assessment of whether QTNCA community characteristics were being satisfied would be conducted (See Recommendation No.13).  Depending on the results, a Zoning By-law review would be conducted to assess the relevance of current policies and requirements.  The Development Review would not extend beyond the quadrant where the affected zone is located, except in the case of assessing the factors that may affect infrastructure at that local level.     

 

 

12.              That the Zoning for Pinewood Crescent (see Appendix 10) be amended to permit existing densities only, and that no secondary dwelling units and/or minor variances shall be permitted until the Pro-active By-law Management has solved the existing problems, and a further Development Review of this street has been undertaken to determine whether such a 'freeze' can be lifted at that time.

 

As mentioned previously in this Report, Pinewood Crescent has experienced (and continues to experience) a significant negative impact of uncorrected By-law infractions.  In comparison with all other areas in the QTN, Pinewood Crescent currently has a higher density. This higher density is causing problems. Previous City Council has deemed this area over-intensified and has downzoned it to R1 with the intention to protect it from any further development.  Recommendation #2 strongly urges that this situation be rectified on a priority basis.  The purpose of this Recommendation #12 is to be complementary to Recommendation #2 by imposing a freeze on all development in this area (see Appendix 10) until such time as the pro-active By-law management effort has had a chance to make matters right.  Given that Pinewood Crescent residents may very feel more comfortable once the By-law infractions have been corrected and given that QTN PAC was unprepared to have a development freeze in place for only one part of the QTN indefinitely, this recommendation therefore also includes the undertaking of a Development Review for this area after the pro-active By-law effort has worked and before any further development is contemplated.

 

 

 

 

Community Characteristics Review Mechanism

 

13.              That a Community Characteristics Review mechanism be established to trigger the Development Review of various key community indicators as a means to ensure that City of Ottawa intensification policies do not facilitate development that negatively impacts the affected neighbourhood. 

 

PAC discussions concluded that Community Characteristics (See Appendix 7) are what is most important to people.  While community characteristics are outwardly manifested by the physical environment (e.g. building sizes or heights; natural green space; architectural style; etc.) and by the behaviour of persons (e.g. orderliness; cleanliness; pedestrian activity; noise levels; etc.), they are reflections of that community’s core values and play an important part in why residents moved there.  When the characteristics are, or appear to be, changed, people feel there is an infringement on their values.  These core community characteristics or values ought to be protected and enhanced.  Therefore, the QTN community feels that monitoring the stability of such characteristics and protecting them enables residents to also ensure that core community values, are not negatively impacted, or are being attacked. 

The establishment of a trigger that alerts the QTNCA when community characteristics may, or are being, negatively impacted is very important as a “second line” of defence.  The 120% Development Trigger Review is a quantifiable measure of the progression of development activity, but this trigger may not occur until after a shift in community characteristics does.  The Community Characteristics Review Mechanism will be a trigger focused on the changes in the community itself, including behavioural changes.  For example, if an assumption is made that by-law infractions and unruliness tend to rise with the increase in the volume of people and the closeness (intensification) of living conditions, then a behavioural trigger might be the earlier 'intensification canary in the mine' indicator for that area. 

 

14.              That when, in the opinion of the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, there is an actual and/or the possibility of a negative, community-wide change in the community’s characteristics caused by implemented or proposed development, the QTNCA undertake a survey of community residents’ opinion of community characteristics (as detailed in Appendix 7) and that City staff provides professional advice in the design of a formal and scientific-based survey.

 

While the quantitative, individual, physical and behavioural attributes of a community can be measured, quantifying or measuring core community characteristics or values (i.e. qualitative elements (as explained in Recommendation No.13)) can be very difficult to measure as they only tend to shift slowly overtime. 

PAC has determined that the best way to monitor community characteristics, in “real time”, is by a survey of community residents’ opinion of community characteristics.  While City staff play a major role in the design of the survey to ensure it is as objective as possible, the QTNCA would undertake most of the awareness campaigning and physical distribution, collection, collation and compiling of the survey and its results. 

It is the role of the QTNCA to monitor whether negative impacts appear to be occurring over the community as a result of actual or proposed development activity.  At that time, they would initiate the survey preparation with City staff to assess the level of satisfaction within the community, and to generate feedback regarding the nature of the impacts.

 

15.              That the QTNCA, using the above-completed survey, make an application to the Planning and Environment Committee for a Development Review.

 

After the QTNCA has collected and reviewed the results of the survey with City staff QTNCA would, if necessary, make a submission to the Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) for City staff to undertake a Development Review to reassess the nature and direction of development activity in the QTN community.

 

The QTNCA Community Characteristics Survey (with perhaps quadrant responding identifiers) would be carried out over the entire QTN since this larger scope would tend to pick up the effects of the incremental development happening in one zone/quadrant but having a spill over effect onto another zone/quadrant within the community.

 

 


 

5.  Consultation

 

The public consultation for this QTN PAC Study comprised of two main parts:  (1) The numerous meeting involvement, starting in November 2005, of residents and members of the QTNCA Executive in the makeup of the QTN PAC itself (see Appendix 12); and (2) The holding of a publicly announced, QTN PAC Public Consultation Open House.

 

On May 23, 2006, the QTN PAC held a Public Consultation Open House session at Severn School in the QTN to discuss and seek residents’ input on its Study deliberations.  Advance notice of the meeting was printed in the EMC News community newspaper, was highlighted in the Ward Councillor’s regular column, was announced at the Ward Councillor’s regular monthly Ward Meeting, and was distributed to all QTN residents through hand-delivered flyers.  Twenty-eight persons attended.  At this Open House, information poster boards were displayed around the gymnasium in chronological order – i.e. Terms of Reference, Definitions, Public Meeting Presentation Outline (see Appendix 6), Process and Timetable (see Appendix 4), Findings, Possible Development Scenarios (see Appendix 11), etc.  A PowerPoint presentation was then given elaborating on all the work displayed around the walls.  This was then followed by an extensive Question and Answer period (see Appendix 5). 

 

From the results of the above-mentioned Open House, the QTN PAC concludes that its work was on the right track.  Interesting suggestions and comments made at the Open House were subsequently discussed at a debriefing PAC meeting, with several points being incorporated into this QTN PAC Report.

 

The QTN PAC would like to take this opportunity to thank all those QTN residents who took the time and effort to participate in this important civic exercise.  This participation was and is very much appreciated.

 


 

6.  Appendices

 

 

 


 

Appendix 1 – Study Area (Map ‘A’)


Appendix 2 – Zoning Map – Study Area

The Residential zones are predominantly characterised by R1G zone (detached houses; with minimum lot areas of 464 m² and minimum lot widths of 15m) and R2C zone (detached and duplex houses, with minimum lot areas of 464 m² and minimum lot widths of 15m; and semi-detached houses, with minimum lot areas of 232 m² and minimum lot widths of  7.5m).  Generally, the R1G zone spans the southeastern half of the study area, while the R2C zone covers most of the northern half.  There are also pockets of R3 Zones (Converted Houses/Townhouses); R4 Zones (Multiple Unit Zones) on Carling Avenue and Moncton Avenue;  R5 Zone (Low Rise Apartments) on Carling Avenue; and R6 Zone (Highrise apartments) at Pinecrest and Richmond Roads.

 


Appendix 3 – Illegal and/or Non-conforming Triplex and Front Yard Location Map in the QTN

 

EXISTING PROBLEMS


Appendix 4 – QTN PAC Study Process and Timetable

 

 

 

 



Appendix 5 – Consultation Details Plus Open House Questions and Answers

 

 

 

Consultation Details

 

The public consultation for this QTN PAC Study comprised of two main parts:  (1) The numerous meeting involvement, starting in November 2005, of residents and members of the QTNCA Executive in the makeup of the QTN PAC itself (see Appendix 12); and (2) The holding of a publicly announced, QTN PAC Public Consultation Open House.

 

On May 23, 2006, the QTN PAC held a Public Consultation Open House session at Severn School in the QTN to discuss and seek residents’ input on its Study deliberations.  Advance notice of the meeting was printed in the EMC News community newspaper, was highlighted in the Ward Councillor’s regular column, was announced at the Ward Councillor’s regular monthly Ward Meeting, and was distributed to all QTN residents through hand-delivered flyers.  Twenty-eight persons attended (see Appendix 5).  At this Open House, information poster boards were displayed around the gymnasium in chronological order – i.e. Terms of Reference, Definitions, Public Meeting Presentation Outline (see Appendix 6), Process and Timetable (see Appendix 4), Findings, Possible Development Scenarios (see Appendix 11), etc.  A PowerPoint presentation was then given elaborating on all the work displayed around the walls.  This was then followed by an extensive Question and Answer period (see Appendix 5). 

 

From the results of the above-mentioned Open House, the QTN PAC concludes that its work was on the right track.  Interesting suggestions and comments made at the Open House were subsequently discussed at a debriefing PAC meeting, with several points being incorporated into this QTN PAC Report.

 

The QTN PAC would like to take this opportunity to thank all those QTN residents who took the time and effort to participate in this important civic exercise.  Your participation was and is very much appreciated.

 

 

 

Public Consultation Open House Questions and Answers

 

The following is not intended to be a verbatim record of the Questions asked and the Responses given at the QTN PAC Public Consultation Open House held on May 23, 2006.  It is however meant to give a flavour of the tone of the meeting of, and the concerns expressed by, attending QTN residents.

 

Question/Comment:

In hindsight, the northern part of the QTN should never have been zoned R2C.  Certainly the R5 zoning at the north end of Maplewood and along Carling is wrong.  This is just an open invitation to developers.  Can this be downzoned?  (Response: Downzoning is difficult but not impossible.  While a case could be made for Maplewood because it is blocked off at Carling, downzoning all along Carling would not be possible.  This is because Carling is an Arterial and, as such, in the City of Ottawa Official Plan, arterials  have a higher zoning attached to them.

 

Question/Comment:

Many absentee landlords seem to care less about their properties than homeowners.  The northern R2C part of the QTN has a large number of such landlords.  Is there any way to impose better behaviour on these persons?  (Response:  The existing By-laws do not discriminate between ownership types and as such there should be no difference in how a rented home should outwardly look as opposed to one owned by a resident homeowner.)

 

Question/Comment:

How did the illegal triplexes get their third water meters?  Does not the City Department approving (and/or installing) such meters know that the third unit is illegal?  (Response:  There is no certainty that all illegal triplexes do indeed have a third water meter but that being said, it is acknowledged that the City still has work to do to overcome its “silo” way of operating.)

 

Question/Comment:

Would the present illegal triplexes (once legalized) form part of the increase towards the proposed 120% Development Review Trigger.  (Response:   QTN PAC is suggesting that once the existing illegal triplexes are legalized, they would form part of the base from which the 120% would then be calculated.  The reason for this is that these units are here now and they are also relatively few in number.  In other words, to try and get them to be considered as ‘new’ development might be more of a hassle than it is worth.)

 

Question/Comment:

While the proposed 120% Development Review Trigger deals with the quantitative amount of new development, consideration should also be given to the rapidity of change.  Change happening too fast also causes concern.  (Response:  Interesting comment.  QTN PAC will certainly consider this.)

 

Question/Comment:

What is the zoning of Grant School and what is the process if Grant School is declared surplus to the School Board’s needs?  (Response:  Grant School is presently zoned as I1 (Public Institution).  The normal practice if a school property is declared surplus to a School Board’s needs is for it to offer that property to another School Board first.  Sometimes the City then has the next option, followed by developers.  Should it be sold to a developer, then the developer would need to apply for a rezoning to build for other uses.)

 

Question/Comment:

I accept that my concern level increases when development gets too close to me.  That being said, this does not diminish my concern for other parts of the City.  (Response:  Noted)

 

Question/Comment:

How is traffic density on a street determined and given that Maplewood Ave. is blocked off at Carling, is its traffic density calculated differently? Maplewood Ave’s traffic density has been reached now. (Response:  Traffic density is engineeringly calculated by knowing the street width and flow through capacity.  Given this, Maplewood Ave.’s traffic density would not be calculated any differently from that of other streets.  That being said, the fact that Maplewood Ave. is blocked at one end at Carling does impact the flow through rate of traffic.)

 

Question/Comment:

Who is going to keep track of the 120% development in the QTN?  (Response:  Both the City and the QTNCA.)

 

Question/Comment:

Can the City free up green space for developers thus providing them development opportunities so that they do not have to build triplexes?  Can the Property Tax system be used to tax landlords and illegal triplexes higher than resident homeowners?  (Response:  Developers building triplexes usually do not take advantage of green space.  That being said, the City’s Official Plan supports infill and intensification where possible.  Taxing landlords and illegal triplexes differently would raise a question of equity, and there is doubt about its legality.)

 

Question/Comment:

Is there general agreement with the approach that the QTN PAC is taking with the Pro-active Management of By-law enforcement; with the implementation of a 120% Development Review Trigger; and with Community Characteristic Surveys?  (Response:  Yes.)

 


Appendix 6 – QTN PAC Public Consultation Open House Presentation Outline (Agenda)

 


Appendix 7 – Community Characteristics Table

 

QTN PAC members developed a list of community characteristics that they felt defined the QTN community’s identity.  These Characteristics were later tested at the QTN PAC Public Consultation Meeting and accepted.  The QTN PAC members also identified those community characteristics that they felt were threatened as a result of triplex conversions, secondary dwelling units and/or, potentially, other forms of small-scale intensification.  Lastly, they set out some possible solutions to the concerns described.   City Staff provided input.

 

 

 

 

Community Characteristics

(Those that are valued and should be protected or enhanced)

 

 

PAC Concerns as to how characteristics are, or potentially could be, threatened by intensification

(e.g.  secondary dwelling units (SDUs), illegal triplexes, small-scale intensification)

 

 

 

 

Summary Analysis

(By City Staff and QTN PAC)

 

 

 

 

Possible Solutions

(Carried out by City Department with Jurisdiction and or by QTNCA)

 

 

1.                    

Good pedestrian / cycling / rollerblading environment, because of:

·         Quiet streets, low volumes of traffic

·         Green streetscape

·         Clean front yards

 

·         Traffic may increase with increased residential units

·         Front yard parking will increase with more residential units, i.e. cars will park in green boulevards/ Rights of Way (ROWs); in front yards; front yards will be paved over reducing the green streetscape

·         When cars are parked on front yards (thus making it look like a parking lot), people lose pride in their neighbourhood and begin to neglect even their own property

 

·         Information suggests that traffic would not increase in notable ways (e.g. family houses tend to have >2 cars; often residents of small units tend toward transit, or may have 1 vehicle)

·         Illegal front yard parking may substantially reduce front yard green space, especially where lots are undersized (e.g. <15m)

·         Observations suggest that properties where front yard parking and/or city boulevard parking exists are more likely to appear neglected and uncared for

·         Assess front yard parking scenarios and where required develop options to address it; where existing by-laws may not work, or are not enforced effectively enough (Planning/By-law Services)

·         Allow for written report of infraction from witness, in the same way that the City accepts a written report for dumping infraction without City having to see it themselves (add fine to tax bill of property owner)

·         Where city boulevard parking exists:  reinstate grass, plant trees, install curbs

·         To ensure that residents of small units tend towards transit - revisit/re-evaluate existing parking by-laws which currently make it very convenient to use the street as primary parking - i.e. eliminate overnight parking; Implement 3 hour limit anytime

·         Where there are no sidewalks, permit parking on one side of the street only and reduce the speed limit  (30 kph?)

 

2.                    

Diverse demographics (mix of age groups, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses), because:

·              Aging long-time residents

·              Some new families

·              Mix of housing opportunities

·              High appeal of neighbourhood qualities

·              Good schools

 

 

·         School closures would make the neighbourhood less appealing to families

·         More smaller residential units would provide more diversity, but increase the number of renters (non-owner occupied residential units)

·         More renters, transient-residents, may erode the stable, respectful “family neighbourhood” qualities, e.g. cleanliness, quiet

·         Schools in a neighbourhood tend to give residents comfort

·         More residential units (i.e. smaller dwelling units, or semis) would not lower the number of units appropriate for families, but rather would increase opportunities for new, young families; couples; singles, etc.

·         More residential units would increase diversity of housing options, for a greater diversity of people, which will add to the vibrancy and appeal of the neighbourhood

·         Most residents take pride in their environments, but there are always some tenants or property owners that do not maintain the same standard of cleanliness or conduct

 

 

·         Decision to relocate/close any schools is with OCDSB

·         Tenants or property owners that do not display the same standard of cleanliness or conduct could be either:

o                                Educated about the City standards they fail to meet and/or

o                                Fined by the appropriate City Department - as per the appropriate By-law to show that fines are not being arbitrarily levied.

3.                    

Sense of pride in community and identity, because of:

·         Sense of history in mature, well-established community

·         Shared values (e.g., green, quiet, respect)

·         Friendly resident interactions

·         Meetings, events, etc., for those who participate

 

·          New building forms that intensification may bring, if not architecturally compatible, may erode the neighbourhood’s pride in its attractive physical history

·          Current social and physical values - including respect for privacy, independence, and green space - become unbalanced by bringing more individual’s closer together (via intensification)

·          Residents may become more defensive, fearful and resentful of newcomers that appear disrespectful of fundamental neighbourhood values

 

·         There are a range of attractive, compatible building forms that comprise most downtown and inner-suburban neighbourhoods; new forms are not problematic, but enforcing compatibility can be challenging.  Zoning regulations, such as height limits, setbacks, and front yard widths, provide fundamentals of compatibility.

·         Upholding and demonstrating neighbourhood values - such as privacy, green space, and respect – may be challenging as newcomer residents enter a new neighbourhood.

·         Improved enforcement of regulations that were created to enforce a fundamental level of compatibility – i.e. that upholds neighbourhood values - e.g. zoning, design, parking enforcement, property standards.

·         Demonstrate enforcement by making an example of someone (not a “slap on the wrist” and “don’t do that again”)

·         Help newcomers and/or  those living in community identified “hotspots” understand about fundamental “neighbourhood compatibility and values”, such green and clean streets, parking/zoning by-laws, etc.

 

4.                    

Clean neighbourhood, because:

·         No or a low amount of vandalism, graffiti, or garbage

·         Many owners reside on site

·         Respect for personal and neighbours properties, and neighbourhood

 

·         More residents increase the potential for vandalism

·         With more rental properties, e.g. SDUs, there will be more non-owners residing in QTN

·         Some absentee landlords and/or some rental, or transient residents tend not to have pride or respect for their own residence, let alone neighbouring properties

·         Vandalism, graffiti, etc. is not caused by more people in an area; and may in fact be decreased with an extra set of eyes to report or deter artists / vandals

·         Tenanted residences are not the cause of unclean, etc areas.  Tenant behaviour is individual.  Both tenants and rental property owners must be held accountable.  

·         Owners need to be responsible for their properties

·         Parents need to be responsible for their children

 

·         See above.

5.                    

Safe neighbourhood, because:

·         Comparably low crime rate

·         Family-oriented residents also tend to be safety-oriented

 

·         More residents increase the potential for crime

·         The frequent turnover of tenants causes concern with respect to safety for the community.  Often it’s difficult to determine who actually resides within a dwelling or apartment building.

·         Lack of respect for parking by-laws  (i.e. people park right up to, or partially block, driveways making it difficult to safely exit the driveway

·         More and more residents are not getting involved. Some have purposely stepped away leaving the work to the younger generation. Also this is a sign of the times: family activities are happening outside of the neighbourhood

·         Cars parked on both sides of the street present a safety issue for pedestrians, vehicle traffic and a challenge for snow removal

 

·         Crime is not caused by more people in an area; and may in fact be decreased with an extra set of eyes to report or deter artists / vandals

·         See above.

·         Improve Community Watch programs

·         Improved enforcement of regulations that were created to enforce safety, e.g. Right-of-Way, zoning, design, parking enforcement, property standards.

·         Where there are no sidewalks, pedestrians are forced to use the road – permit parking on one side of the street only and reduce the speed limit (30kph?)

6.                    

·                                             Location convenience, because excellent proximity to:

·         Good schools

·         Places of worship

·         Transit options

·         Good shopping

·         Range of restaurants

·         Ottawa River & Britannia Beach, natural areas, and trails

·         Close to downtown, but not downtown

·         Three quality hospitals (Queensway Carleton; Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus); Ottawa Heart Institute.

 

·         Proximity to these desirable locations will not change with intensification

 

 

7.                    

Low, yet adequate water pressure, good roads, hydro, and sewer capacity because:

·         Existing infrastructure supports the present of resident population

 

·         No storm sewer system, along with the overwhelming amount of pavement and minimal green landscaping has caused flooding problems.  In a normal situation the excess water would be absorbed into the earth (by vegetation, trees) but this is not possible due to the amount of pavement and lack of green space & trees.  More people mean a magnification of these problems.

·         Old transformer services in QTN northwest area; first to fail whenever power demand is high, thus creating a power outage.  Increasing the number of residents will worsen the problem.

·         Increasing the number of residents within the area will worsen the problem of low water pressure in some areas of QTN, especially in the north-west area 

 

·         Some streets do not have storm sewers; most take advantage of relatively steep slopes.  Surface drainage appears to be generally effective.

·         Two areas of potential water build-up are in midway Pinewood (west) and midway Connaught

·         Existing storm sewer network able to accommodate limited infill/conversion.

·         Transformer service needs to be reviewed for electricity reliability

·         Water pressure well within City’s standard, acceptable ranges although this is not a standard that most people accept today as adequate

·         QTN water pressure in northwest may be approximately 35 psi (considered adequate for 1- and 2- storey buildings).  Lowest water pressure found is about 28 psi.

·         Water quality is good and will not affected by more residents

·         Water pressure variation is primarily due to topography

·         Infrastructure Approvals has advised that additional units creating a 3rd storey, particularly in the QTN northwest, are very unlikely to get building approvals because water pressure to that level would be inadequate.

 

·         Zoning and Parking By-laws must be enforced to prohibit the excessive paving of front-yard for parking, to ensure surface drainage is adequate

·         Look into potential future maintenance improvements for Pinewood (north) and Connaught  (Public Works Services, Infrastructure Approvals)

·         Ensure that any development is made aware of the "low yet adequate" water pressure

8.                    

Diversity in housing, because:

·         Eclectic architectural style

·         Mix of dwelling forms (e.g. one- and two- storey, semis, duplexes, row houses)

·         Single dwelling residential units dominant in south-eastern half of QTN area

 

·         New building forms that intensification may bring, if not architecturally compatible – e.g. monster homes - may erode the neighbourhood’s attractive physical history

·         Over abundance of multiplexes (especially when concentrated within one area) represents an imbalanced density within the community and alters the character of the community

·         City staff is presently very limited in terms of legal authority to enforce architectural compatibility.

·         Zoning provides authority to regulate: height, setbacks, lot areas, massing, siting, etc.

 

·         Improved enforcement of design regulations and approvals process that were created to enforce a fundamental level of compatibility; particularly with respect to good architecture and design, and zoning.

·         Introduction of Bill 51 will give City of Ottawa Planners and Designers much improved authority and legal tools to require and enforce good quality and compatible design.

·          Preserve & protect properties zoned as R1-- not allowing rezoning /spot rezoning /variances to construct anything other than a single

·         Amend the existing R2 zoning—allowing for semi-detached and eliminating duplexes

 

9.                    

Very green and natural neighbourhood environment (including wildlife/birds), because:

·         Large, established passive and recreational parks (e.g. Frank Ryan Park, mature wooded area)

·         Mature, treed streetscape

·         Mostly smaller houses on 50x100 lots (relatively large); provides excellent backyard living and entertaining

mature treed s

·         Front yard parking will increase with more residential units, i.e. cars will park in green boulevards / Rights of Way (ROWs); in front yards; front yards will be paved over reducing green space

·         Development of duplexes on 15x31m (50x100ft) lots, or semi-detached dwellings on 7.5x31m (25x100ft) lots will reduce the amount of green space in the area and the area’s character

·         Fear of sell off by City or NCC of areas not deemed environmentally sensitive (or higher designation)

·         Illegal front yard parking may substantially reduce front yard green space, especially where lots are undersized (e.g. <15m)

·         To ensure soft, vegetative landscaping the width of driveways and walkways (paved area) should be limited to a maximum of 50% of the lot width, and be in the prohibited front yard area.

·         Existing Zoning By-laws provide the necessary perform standards (e.g. through setbacks) to ensure a green streetscape; however, parking needs to be reviewed.

·         Assess front yard parking scenarios and where required; where existing by-laws may not work, and/or are not enforced effectively enough, develop options to address it. (Planning/By-law Services)

·         Elevated this issue to provincial or federal level to maintain "greenness"

·         Where city boulevards are paved or used for parking, reinstate grass, plant trees, install curbs

·         Where front yards are totally hardscaped, a barrier/ partition should be installed to prohibit and prevent front yard parking

 

10.                 

Quiet neighbourhood, because:

·         Low traffic volumes; little large truck cut-through

·         Residents value tranquil environment

 

·         Traffic may increase with increased residential units

·         Some rental or transient residents tend not to respect established neighbourhood values, such as quietness

·         Information suggests that traffic would not increase in notable ways (e.g. family houses tend to have >2 cars; often residents of small units tend toward transit, or may have 1 vehicle)

·         Tenanted residences are not the cause of noisy areas.  Tenant behaviour is individual.  Both tenants and rental property owners must be held accountable. 

·         Tenants or property owners who do not display the same noise standards could be either:

o       Educated about the City standards they fail to meet and/or

o     Fined by the appropriate City Department, if in violation of noise by-law

·         Install traffic calming measures where warranted on busy residential streets.

·         Implement a quick and effective resolution process for violators i.e. After third warning a mandatory fine to the violator

 

11.                 

High quality of life, because of:

·         Community Characteristics noted

 

·         If there is a degradation of any of the community characteristics listed, that is reflected in a reduced quality of life

·         Needs to be maintained or enhanced

·         Ensure all solutions / recommendations listed above are taken and mechanisms are in place.

12.                 

Stable property values, because of:

·         Community Characteristics noted

 

·         If there is a degradation of any of the community characteristics listed, that is reflected in a decreased property value

·         Needs to be maintained or enhanced

·         Ensure all solutions / recommendations listed above are taken and mechanisms are in place.

 

 


Appendix 8 – Development Review Zones and Quadrants


Appendix 9 – Examples (Photos) of Undesirable Intensification on Pinewood Crescent in the QTN


 

 

 



 

 

 

 


 

 



Appendix 10 – Map Illustrating the Priority Area of Pinewood Crescent


Appendix 11 – Various Development Scenarios in the QTN

Four Development Scenarios ((1) Maximum development under existing zoning; (2) Maximum development under existing zoning with Secondary Dwelling Units (SDUs); (3) Anticipated Development to 2021; and (4) ‘Limited Development to 120% of Existing) were developed and compared to the Existing Situation in the QTN.  (NOTE:  A maximum, “worst case” development scenario is where  (1) every lot in R2C Zone with a 15m frontage or greater is developed with two, semi-detached dwellings, (2) every lot (including all singles, duplexes, and semi- detached dwellings) is redeveloped with a secondary dwelling unit) and (3) every secondary dwelling unit has a vehicle.)

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Appendix 12 – QTN Public Advisory Committee Members – Representation and Role

 

 

 

A Public Advisory Committee (PAC) was established to provide input and response from the residents of Queensway Terrace North (QTN) to the Interim Control By-law (January 12, 2005) with regards how to handle the illegal triplexes in the neighbourhood.  The PAC consisted of a City Planner, some members of the Queensway Terrace North Community Association, some selected community residents and property owners and the Ward Councillor.

 

The following are members of the Queensway Terrace North (QTN) Public Advisory Committee (PAC):

 

Alex Cullen – City of Ottawa Councillor, Bay Ward

Taavi Siitam – City of Ottawa Planner, Planning and Growth Management Department

Henry Swiech – Queensway Terrace North Community Association (President)

Susan Blakeney - Queensway Terrace North Community Association (Secretary)

Maryann Kalibatas - Queensway Terrace North Community Association (Director)

Anna Bevilacqua – QTN Resident

Jeff Kalibatas - QTN Resident

E. J. (Ted) Legg - QTN Resident

 

Ed Sabourin – (Alternate) Queensway Terrace North Community Association (Director)

 

 

The following were original members of the Queensway Terrace North (QTN) Public Advisory Committee (PAC) but had to withdraw due to other commitments:

 

Tracy Burton - QTN Resident

Allan Gordon – ex- QTN Resident

Tim Stutt - Queensway Terrace North Community Association (Director)

 

 



[1] This is based on a maximum, “worst case” development scenario where  (1) every lot in R2C Zone with a 15m frontage or greater is developed with two, semi-detached dwellings, (2) every lot (including all singles, duplexes, and semi- detached dwellings) is redeveloped with a secondary dwelling unit) and (3) every secondary dwelling unit has a vehicle.