That the recommend Council approve an amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 70 Gloucester Street from R5B F(3.0) (Residential Fifth Density Subzone B, Exception 482, FSI 3.0) to R5B[xxxx] -h (Residential Fifth Density Subzone B Exception xxxx, with a Holding symbol) as shown on Document 1 and detailed in Document 2.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité de l’urbanisme recommande au Conseil d’approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage no 2008-250 en vue de changer le zonage du 70, rue Gloucester de R5B F(3.0) (Zone résidentielle de densité 5, sous-zone B, avec exception 482, rapport plancher-sol 3,0) à R5B[xxxx] -h (Zone résidentielle de densité 5, sous-zone B, avec exception xxxx, et avec le symbole d'aménagement différé) tel que le montre le document 1 et l’explique le document 2.
The subject property is located on the south side of Gloucester Street between O’Connor and Metcalfe Streets. The property currently contains a red brick four-storey office building with associated parking. The lot is an L-shaped lot with frontage on both Gloucester (40 metres) and Nepean (16 metres) Streets.
The surrounding land uses are a mix of residential, office, institutional and commercial uses within the immediate area with a variety of buildings ranging in height ranging from two storeys to 27 storeys. To the north of the subject property is the Central Business District which contains buildings with heights from 12 to 26 storeys. St. George’s Anglican Church is located on the north side of Gloucester Street adjacent to a single detached dwelling that is a designated heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act. Adjacent to the west is a commercial parking lot. To the south is also a commercial parking lot and a three-storey apartment building on the south side of Nepean Street. To the east, at the corner of Metcalfe and Gloucester Streets are two, two-storey buildings and at the northwest corner of Metcalfe and Nepean Street, there is a seven-storey office building with ground floor commercial uses, which front onto Metcalfe Street. Further to the west is a nine-storey building that fronts onto Nepean Street and a six-storey mixed use buildings which fronts onto Gloucester Street.
A Zoning By-law Amendment was recently passed for the two lots adjacent to this property at 89-91 Nepean Street to permit the development of a 27-storey residential use building with ground-oriented units. The Site Plan Control application is currently being finalized for 89‑91 Nepean Street.
A Site Plan Control application has also been submitted for 70 Gloucester Street which reflects the proposed Zoning By‑law Amendment application (Document 4).
Proposed Development Concept
The proposed development consists of a 27-storey residential building fronting onto Gloucester Street with 229 dwelling units within the tower and six stacked walk-up units, six storeys in height, fronting onto Nepean Street. The proposal also includes underground parking with a total of 210 parking spaces, 22 of which are designated for visitor parking. The parking access is intended to be shared with the adjacent development at 89-91 Nepean Street. The intent is to have the garage entrance located on the Gloucester Street frontage to access both underground parking areas. The main entrance is proposed on the Gloucester Street frontage with the main floor consisting of a common lounge and live/work units.
The property is currently zoned R5B (482) F(3.0). The R5B zone permits a variety of lower density residential uses such as single and semi-detached dwellings as well as higher density uses such as mid- to high-rise apartment buildings. Exception 482 permits additional commercial uses such as a limited personal service businesses, retail store and restaurant. Higher density uses are limited by an FSI (floor space index) of 3.0.
For zoning purposes, it should be noted that the front lot line is deemed to be that lot line that abuts Nepean Street as it is the shortest lot line abutting a street. As a result, the lot line abutting Gloucester Street is considered the rear lot line. In the case of a through lot such as this, the Zoning By-law requires that the required front yard setback be applied to both the front and rear lot lines.
Purpose of Zoning Amendment
The proposed Zoning By-law amendment is to permit the development of the proposed 27-storey residential building. The amendment is proposing to delete the density restriction (FSI) and replacing it with a height limit of 83.0 metres as well as amend some of the existing performance standards of the R5B zone. As noted above, the existing exception (482) allows for limited retail uses, the proposal does include live/work units and thus part of the amendment has included some minor changes to the additional permitted uses including the addition of office uses to allow for greater flexibility to establish the live/work units.
The Zoning By-law Amendment proposed to modify the performance standards of the R5B (482) F(3.0) zone as follows:
Through the application process, the requested amendments to the performance standards have been modified and some have been deleted. The requested amendments are now as follows:
Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement
Section 2 of the Planning Act outlines those land use matters that are of provincial interest and to which all City planning decisions shall have regard. The provincial interests that apply to this site include the appropriate location of growth and development and the promotion of development that is designed to be sustainable to support public transit and to be oriented to pedestrians.
In addition, the Planning Act requires that all City planning decisions be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), a document that provides further policies on matters of provincial interest related to land use development. The PPS contains policies indicating there should be an appropriate mix of uses to support strong, liveable and healthy communities.
The proposed zoning allows for an increase of residential units, which will efficiently use land and contribute to a balanced community. The site is located in proximity to two arterial roads (Metcalfe and O’Connor Streets), which provide access to the site. The site is conveniently located near transit as well as nearby residential and commercial areas to allow for access by pedestrians and transit. The Department is of the opinion that the proposal is consistent with the matters of provincial interest as outlined in the Planning Act and PPS.
The use of Section 36 is discussed in the Zoning Details section of this report. Section 36 of the Planning Act provides the authority for municipalities the use of a holding symbol to specify requirements that need to be met prior to the use of a property. Once the requirements are met, the holding symbol is then removed by an amendment to the by-law.
Strategic Directions and Land Use Designation
Section 2.3.1 of the Official Plan sets broad
strategic directions to meet the challenge of managing growth and directing
growth to the urban area where services exist, providing infrastructure,
maintaining environmental integrity and creating livable communities within
The site is designated General Urban Area on Schedule B of Volume 1 of the Official Plan. The General Urban designation is intended to facilitate the development of complete and sustainable communities with a full range and choice of housing in combination with conveniently located employment, retail, service, cultural, leisure, entertainment and institutional uses. The Official Plan supports infill development and intensification within the General Urban Area, provided it is developed in a manner that enhances and complements the desirable characteristics of the existing community and ensures its long term vitality. The Official Plan further requires that uses that serve wider parts of the city be located at the edges of neighbourhoods on roads where the needs of these land uses, such as transit, access and parking can be more easily met and their impacts controlled.
Section 2.2.3 “Managing Growth within the Urban Area” provides direction for intensification in the General Urban area. Where a Zoning By-law Amendment is required to facilitate intensification, the appropriateness of the scale of development will be evaluated along with the design and its compatibility. In addition, the policies provide for consideration of intensification and infill development when the lands are within 600 metres of a future or existing rapid-transit station or are currently or formerly used as parking lots.
The site is located one block south of the Central Area at the
northern edge of Centretown. The property is between two arterial streets;
Centretown Secondary Plan
The Centretown Secondary Plan in Volume 2 of the Official Plan intends to conserve and enhance the residential character of Centretown as an inner-city community with several identifiable neighbourhoods focused around defined commercial corridors and public open spaces. Uses which are incompatible with the residential character are restricted through the Secondary Plan policies.
The Secondary Plan recognizes that the
population of Centretown will increase over time, and that this increase will
support the residential character of the area, benefiting the retail and
commercial enterprises within Centretown and the adjacent Central Area. The
Plan also recognizes that an increase in population in Centretown will also be
beneficial to the City-wide distribution of population and the use of existing
public services and facilities. The Secondary Plan acknowledges that the neighbourhoods
of Centretown will absorb some of the anticipated increase in population,
however the Plan also acknowledges certain neighbourhoods, such as the area
west of Kent Street, the area between Elgin and O’Connor Streets south of
Somerset Street, and the area east of Elgin Street, as more suitable to family
living. Other neighbourhoods adjacent to
The subject lands are located immediately south of the Central Area
and as such are designated as “High Profile Residential” on Schedule H of the
Centretown Secondary Plan (the boundary between the Central Area and Centretown
runs east-west along
The proposed residential building is located on the northern portion of the boundary of Centretown and serves as a transition from the retail and office buildings located to the north as part of the Central Area, to the residential areas to the south in the interior of Centretown. The applicant is requesting to maintain the existing flexibility within the R5B zoning which permits limited commercial uses, further meeting the intent of the Secondary Plan by providing a residential use but with the ability, in the future, to also provide accessory uses which serve the local population. The Department is proposing to add greater flexibility to these uses to provide an enhanced opportunity to establish live/work units. The proposed rezoning is in keeping with the intent of the policies of the Centretown Secondary Plan.
Compatibility and Community Design
Section 2.5.1 of the Official Plan recognizes the importance of compatibility and community design when considering new development. The Official Plan recognizes that in order for a development to be compatible, it does not necessarily have to be the same as, or similar to, the existing buildings in the vicinity. Rather, compatible development enhances an established community and coexists with existing development without causing undue adverse impact on surrounding properties. The Official Plan provides objective criteria to evaluate compatibility in Section 4.11.
Section 2.5.1 also addresses community design and acknowledges that good urban design and quality architecture can create lively places with distinctive character which provide tools to shape the environment. This section provides a set of design objectives and principles to be considered in evaluating development proposals. The design objectives include:
· enhancing a sense of community by creating distinct places;
· defining quality public and private spaces;
· creating spaces that are safe and accessible;
· ensuring that new development respects the character of existing areas;
· considering adaptability and diversity when creating spaces; and
· understanding and respecting natural processes and promoting environmental sustainability in development.
The subject property is within the area covered by the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy (DOUDS), and is subject to design review as per Schedule L of the Official Plan. Properties within this area require review by the newly created Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP). The applicant presented its proposal to the UDRP in February 2011 for a pre-consultation and in April 2011 for final review. The comments of the panel are located within Document 5.
As previously mentioned, Section 4.11of the Official Plan provides objective criteria to evaluate compatibility. In addition, in 2009, City Council approved Urban Design Guidelines for High-Rise Housing, in addition to the Transit-Oriented Guidelines which were approved in 2007. The proposal was also reviewed in light of the criteria in Section 4.11 and the Design Guidelines. The following is an analysis of the applicable criteria, including the comments from the UDRP, which demonstrates that the proposed development satisfies the compatibility tests of the Official Plan in a manner that does not result in undue adverse impacts.
Policy 1 of Section 4.11 recognizes that compatibility is not the only tool to evaluate development proposals, and that the City must have regard for the policies of Section 4.1 through 4.10, the objectives of Section 2.5.1, and the policies of any applicable Secondary Plans or site-specific policies. As previously discussed, the proposal meets the intent of the Centretown Secondary Plan and satisfies the policies of the Strategic Directions as contained in the Official Plan. The Department is also satisfied that the applicable policies contained in Sections 4.1 through to 4.10 are also met.
Policy 2 of Section 4.11 acknowledges that not all of the objective criteria contained in the Official Plan are meant to be applicable to all circumstances; some may not apply, or may be evaluated and weighed on the basis of site circumstances.
Policy 2(a) requires that roads should be adequate to serve the development with sufficient capacity to accommodate the anticipated traffic generated by the development. Access to the proposed building will be from Gloucester Street, which is a one-way street running east to west. The original intent for this proposal and the neighbouring property at 89-91 Nepean Street was to have a shared garage entrance on Nepean Street; however the applicant has since changed the location of the garage in response to concerns from a neighbouring property owner. A Community Transportation Study (CTS) was prepared in support of the application, and indicates that the proposed development will result in a modest increase in traffic on most of the adjacent roadway network, with no need for any traffic improvements as a result of the proposed development. Any recommendations of the CTS, as well as site-specific requirements of the City, will be included as conditions of Site Plan Control. As per the Transit-Oriented Guidelines, this development is located within 600 metres of a transit station and underground parking is being provided. The design of the building provides for an appealing architecture, with the main front entrance on Gloucester Street which is clearly the dominant feature of the ground floor facade. The landscaping creates a more desirable microclimate on both the Gloucester Street and Nepean Street frontages.
Policy 2(b) requires that the vehicle ingress and egress to a development should address impacts such as noise, headlight glare and loss of privacy on development adjacent, or immediately opposite, to the subject property. The garage entrance, proposed on the northwest corner of the site is adjacent to an existing driveway for the parking lot to the west. It is not anticipated that the ingress or egress of vehicles from the site will be detrimental to the land uses to the west. Currently, there are three driveway accesses to the site from the Gloucester Street frontage and one access from the Nepean Street frontage. The introduction of one garage entrance to the site on the Gloucester Street frontage is an improvement to the existing condition as it will eliminate two of the existing driveways and thus improve pedestrian movement along the south side of Gloucester Street by concentrating vehicular access in one location rather than a number of different locations along the street. The existing driveway on the Nepean Street frontage will be maintained as there is an easement over the driveway to access parking for the seven-storey office building at the northwest corner of Nepean and Metcalfe Street.
Policy 2(c) requires that a development should have adequate on-site parking to minimize the potential for spill-over on adjacent areas. Opportunities should be considered to reduce parking requirements and promote increased usage of walking, cycling and transit, particularly in the vicinity of transit stations or major transit stations in accordance with Section 4.3. The proposed rezoning includes parking provisions considered adequate for the needs of the proposed development, while recognizing the opportunity to reduce parking and increase other modes of transportation, especially given the proximity of the site to a rapid transit station and to the Central Area, which is accessible by a variety of modes of transportation. The visitor parking rate has been proposed to be reduced to 22 parking spaces, which is considered to be appropriate for the site based on the foregoing information, and is consistent with the visitor parking rates for the Central Area.
Policy 2(d) addresses building heights and massing, recognizing that new buildings should have regard for the area context, which includes not only the massing and height of adjacent buildings but also the planned function of the area. The desire for a transition in building heights can be offset where natural buffers and setbacks exist or through the use of appropriate design measures to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.
With respect to height, the proposal is for the removal of the existing floor space index of 3.0 to be replaced with a maximum building height of 83.0 metres (27 storeys). The proposal also requires a height limit for the proposed six-storey stacked walk-up units which front onto Nepean Street. As previously mentioned this site is located along the northern boundary of Centretown and is designated “High Profile Residential” in the Centretown Secondary Plan. The Central Area is located to the north and contains buildings ranging from two storeys to 26 storeys. To the east of the property is an existing 27-storey office building (Place Bell) and at the southeast corner of Metcalfe and Nepean Streets, a recently approved development for two, 27-storey buildings. To the west, immediately adjacent to the site, is 89-91 Nepean Street which is also a recently approved 27-storey residential use building. Further to the west is a nine-storey apartment building and to the south is a 10‑storey apartment building. The existing context of the area contains a range of building heights and also contains a number of properties where redevelopment is anticipated through the Secondary Plan policies that recognize the surrounding area to the north, east, south and west as “High Profile Residential.”
The area to the north of Gloucester Street is restricted by a maximum building height plane contained in Annexes 8A, 8B and 8D of the Official Plan, which is further implemented through Schedules contained in the Zoning By-law. As noted in the comments by the UDRP, ensuring that the height of the building does not encroach into the viewplane was of concern.
Although this property is not subject to the aforementioned Schedules of the Official Plan or Zoning By-law, as part of the review of the proposed height an analysis of the extension of this viewplane restriction was completed to ensure that the proposed building height, if restricted by a viewplane, would comply. The result of the analysis is that it does comply.
As shown on the site plan contained in Document 3, the applicant is proposing ground-oriented units along the Nepean Street frontage, which is a continuation of the ground-oriented units proposed at 89-91 Nepean Street. Thus the Department is satisfied that in this circumstance the requested 0-metre side yard setback proposed for the easterly side yard is appropriate as it continues the street-fronting orientation of residential units.
With respect to massing and transitioning of building heights, the applicant is proposing reduced interior side yard setbacks for the proposed building. As noted in the comments from the UDRP, the project has improved since the applicant has linked the planning of this development with the one concurrently proposed at 89-91 Nepean Street. Also, the connection between Gloucester and Nepean Streets is an important design element. The development, as proposed, provides a connection between the two streets which results in a transition from the higher built form on Gloucester to the lower built form (ground oriented units) along Nepean Street. The reduced side yard setback to the west of the property abuts the approved development of 89-91 Nepean Street which has been previously discussed in this report. This reduced setback allows for a continuation of the ground-oriented units along the Nepean Street frontage which creates an uninterrupted pedestrian environment.
The requested reduced front yard setback from 3.0 metres to 2.0 metres for the portion of the land fronting onto Nepean Street is consistent with the setback for the ground-oriented units for 89-91 Nepean Street and the proposed zoning provision provides for a minimum and maximum front yard setback to ensure that the residential units proposed on the ground floor are located along Nepean Street. The proposed 0-metre rear yard setback (the lot line abutting Gloucester Street) is considered appropriate given the existing setbacks of the adjacent buildings which front onto Gloucester Street. Bringing the building closer to the street helps to animate the street and provide for a livelier pedestrian-friendly environment. Given the location of the property line in relation to the sidewalk, there will remain an appropriate amount of space to provide for green frontage. These provisions would implement the recommendations of the UDRP, reflect the Transit-Oriented Guidelines and the Guidelines for High-Rise Housing, and will provide for a livelier pedestrian realm on both the Gloucester Street and Nepean Street frontages.
Policy 2e recognizes the pattern of the surrounding community and acknowledges that for development that proposes a different height, building mass, proportion, street setback or distance between buildings from the pattern of the area, the design of the proposed building may compensate for this variation. It is the opinion of the Department that the surrounding area contains a variety of building heights, massing, proportions and setbacks. There is a variety of uses in the immediate area ranging from residential buildings with varying heights, to high-rise office buildings. It is noted that there are existing and new buildings being constructed, similar in height, to the proposed development within a one-block radius of the site. This application, while proposing reduced side, front (Nepean Street) and rear (Gloucester Street) yard setbacks, provides for a continuation of the built form along both Gloucester and Nepean Streets as well as a cohesive development between 70 Gloucester Street and 89-91 Nepean Street. Many of the existing buildings along Nepean Street have very small front yard setbacks, if any at all.
The existing buildings on the north side of Nepean Street, east and west of the site do not have a front yard setback. As noted above, the proposal provides a residential frontage along Nepean Street with a sufficient setback to provide a green frontage as well as amenity space and buffering for those residents. With respect to Gloucester Street, the existing built form along Gloucester Street is also very close to the right-of-way for most buildings on both the north and south sides of Gloucester Street.
The proposed building is higher than the existing buildings along the south side of Gloucester Street. However, it is the same height as the building to be constructed at 89-91 Nepean Street. Through the review of the design with the UDRP and staff, it was concluded that the proposal provides architectural features that contribute to the streetscape and that the height is compatible with the surrounding area.
Policy 2l requires that the development provide supporting neighbourhood services, or alternatively, is able to be supported by existing neighbourhood services. As previously mentioned, the site is located south of the Central Area and on the northern boundary of Centretown. Both areas provide sufficient neighbourhood services for this development.
Other design and compatibility criteria such as noise, lighting, fencing, microclimate and loading areas are addressed through the Site Plan Control process.
Official Plan Amendment 76 (OPA 76)
While OPA 76 is currently under appeal and is not in full force and effect, the amendment was adopted by City Council and thus is taken into consideration in the evaluation of planning applications. When evaluating the appropriateness of a development proposal, one of the main differences between the City of Ottawa’s approved Official Plan and OPA 76, are the compatibility criteria found in Section 4.11.
One new policy is the consideration of whether the design of a proposal takes advantage of opportunities to improve the character and quality of an area and the way it functions. Other new policies appropriate for consideration in a rezoning application are policies related to Building Profile and Compatibility. Development proposals will also address issues of compatibility and integration with surrounding land uses by ensuring an effective transition in built form. This will serve to link the proposed development with existing development.
In terms of height, OPA 76 defines High-Rise as a building of 10 storeys or more and will consider high-rise buildings in those areas that are: characterized by high-rise buildings having direct access to arterial roads; within 600 metres of a rapid transit station; within areas identified for high-rise buildings in the Zoning By-law; or within areas where a built form transition is appropriate.
The policies further provide criteria to achieve a built form transition by:
a. Incremental changes in building height (e.g. angular planes or stepping building profile up or down);
b. Massing (e.g. inserting ground-oriented housing adjacent to the street as part of a high-profile development or incorporating podiums along a Mainstreet);
c. Character (e.g. scale and rhythm, exterior treatment, use of colour and complementary building finishes);
d. Architectural design (e.g. the use of angular planes, cornice lines); and
e. Building setbacks.
The applicant is proposing to incorporate ground-oriented housing adjacent to the street along the Nepean Street frontage. The proposed architecture of the building provides a defined character to the building in terms of exterior treatment, scale and rhythm especially in light of the recently approved Zoning By-law Amendment for 89-91 Nepean Street. As noted in the UDRP’s comments, the exterior treatment and building finishes are vital to the architectural design of the proposed building and will be implemented through the Site Plan Control process. The Department is satisfied that the proposal meets the intent of the policies of OPA 76.
Details of Proposed Zoning
The Zoning By-law Amendment application requests reductions in certain yard requirements, parking reductions and reducing the required individual amenity space and communal amenity space, as well as deleting the FSI of 3.0 and replacing it with a height restriction of 83 metres for the tower and 19.5 metres for the six-storey portion which fronts onto Nepean Street.
The Department is recommending that the requested front yard setback of 2.0 metres for the Nepean Street frontage be both a maximum and minimum setback for the residential units proposed on the main floor to ensure that the residential units on the main floor face the street and not the rear yard of the property. This provision also ensures that the ground-oriented built form within the development at 89-91 Nepean Street continues for this site. This will allow for residential units to face the street while still providing amenity space and buffering for the residents.
As previously discussed, the reduced westerly side yard setback is proposed to create a continued accommodate street-facing residential built form in continuum with 89-91 Nepean Street.
The remaining requested amendments to the R5B performance standards are considered appropriate and are supported by the Department. The above-noted changes will be incorporated into the Zoning By-law amendment via the exception.
With respect to the additional permitted uses, the proposal provides for an opportunity to provide live/work units within the tower which fronts onto Gloucester Street. As a result, there have been some minor additions to the additional permitted uses to allow greater flexibility for this opportunity for a future resident to establish a business as well as reside in the building.
With respect to the holding provision, the Department is recommending the holding provision as the applicant has been in discussions with the Ward Councillor and staff with respect to off-site community benefits. In addition, staff have identified a servicing study requirement which is outlined in the next section of this report. The purpose of the holding provision is to ensure that a Site Plan Control application is approved which reflects this proposed development, that the monies intended for the community benefits are secured, and that the servicing study is completed and capacity is confirmed prior to the lifting of the holding provision.
A servicing study was provided in conjunction with the development applications and staff have identified that an extended capacity analysis for the wastewater flows is required to be completed to confirm capacity. It is recommended that a holding provision is placed on the lands until such capacity analysis is completed and that capacity is therefore confirmed. Further detailed review will be undertaken as part of the Site Plan Control process.
As previously mentioned, a Site Plan Control application has been submitted which reflects the building elevations and site plan submitted with the Zoning By-law amendment application. If approved, the Site Plan Control application would implement the development.
In summary, the proposed increase in height to 83.0 metres (27 storeys) and 19.5 metres (six storeys) supports the direction of the Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement and Strategic Directions of the Official Plan. The high-density residential development, which is located close to a transit station and in an area designated for high-profile residential buildings, will contribute to a greater housing mix and satisfies density targets for the city. Compatibility and design criteria, transportation and servicing have been addressed satisfactorily. The requirement for a holding provision will enable the servicing requirements to be satisfied, to ensure that the site plan application reflects the proposed development and to enable the provision of facilities that will benefit the greater community that can be secured in a site plan agreement for the development. The holding provision can be lifted once the servicing issues and the requirements of the Site Plan Control are met, and the monies for community benefits are secured. In light of the discussion above, the Department recommends approval of the Zoning By-law Amendment application.
Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City’s Public Notification and Consultation Policy. The Department received comments from the public and community groups, which are included in Document 5.
1. In my view the proposed height of 27 storeys, which is more than double that generally approved in the Secondary Policy Plan for ‘High-Rise Residential’ is excessive, especially when seen in the context of the three other towers proposed in the adjacent blocks.
2. I support the addition of lower profile residential units facing onto Nepean Street.
3. If this re-zoning is to be approved, it should be subject to a formula similar to the one already approved for the companion development at 89-91 Nepean Street, with community benefits being provide in exchange for this increased height and density. This should be subject to a holding provision in the Zoning By-law.
If this matter is appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, it is estimated that a one week hearing will result.
Should the application be refused, reasons must be provided. In the event of an appeal of a refusal the City would need to retain outside witnesses including a planner and possibly an architect. The estimated cost for the hearing would be in the range of $40,000 to $50,000.
RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There are no risk implications associated with this report.
There are no direct financial implications associated with this report. The Site Plan Control agreement will require the owner to contribute funds to a City account which is to be used for certain community benefits.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment was submitted as part of the Zoning By-law Amendment application and a subsequent modification to the original submission has been submitted as part of the Site Plan Control application. No significant issues were identified in the Phase I ESA.
There are no technology implications associated with this report.
The proposed development and planning applications align with the City Strategic Plan in that it respects the existing urban fabric, neighbourhood form and the limits of existing hard services so that new growth is integrated seamlessly with established communities; creates a walking, transit, and cycling oriented community; and contributes toward achieving a 30-per cent modal split by 2021.
Document 1 Location Map
Document 2 Details of Recommended Zoning
Document 3 Proposed Site Plan
Document 4 Urban Design Review Panel Recommendations
Document 5 Consultation Details
City Clerk and Solicitor Department, Legislative Services to notify the owner, applicant, OttawaScene.com, 174 Colonnade Road, Unit #33, Ottawa, ON K2E 7J5, Ghislain Lamarche, Program Manager, Assessment, Financial Services Branch (Mail Code: 26-76) of City Council’s decision.
Planning and Growth Management to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services and undertake the statutory notification.
Legal Services to forward the implementing by-law to City Council.
DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING DOCUMENT 2
Proposed Changes to the Comprehensive Zoning By-law
1. Rezone the subejct lands shown on Document 1 from R5B F3.0 to R5B[XXXX] –h.
Column III: Additional Land Uses Permitted:
· personal service business
· place of assembly limited to a club
· retail store
· medical facility
· All uses except existing uses until the holding symbol is removed
Column V: Provisions:
a. additional permitted uses other than place of assembly limited to a club restricted to the ground floor or basement of a residential use building
b. the maximum height of a building is:
i. 83.0 metres for the first 23.0 metres from the rear lot line abutting Gloucester Street
ii. for the remainder of the property 19.5 metres
c. the minimum and maximum front yard setback for an apartment dwelling, mid-high rise is 2.0 metres with residential uses on the ground floor for the lot line abutting Nepean Street;
d. the minimum rear yard setback for an apartment dwelling, mid-high rise is 0 metres;
e. the minimum interior side yard setbacks apply for an apartment dwelling, mid-high rise:
i. 1.7 metres for the westerly side yard for the first 30.16 metres from Gloucester Street;
ii. 1.5 metres for the easterly side yard for first 30.14 metres from Gloucester Street;
iii. 0 metres for the westerly side yard for the first 30.15 metres from Nepean Street;
iv. 3.0 metres for the easterly side yard for the first 30.14 metres from Nepean Street;
1. The interior side yard setback from the remainder of the easterly side lot line 0 metres
g. Despite anything to the contrary, the properties known legally as Lots 47 and 48 (South Gloucester Street) and Lot 48 (North Nepean Street) Registered Plan 2996 are considered a separate lot from the properties known legally as Lots 46 and 47 (South Nepean Street) Registered Plan 2996
h. Despite anything to the contrary, the properties known legally as Lots 47 and 48 (South Gloucester Street) and Lot 48 (North Nepean Street) Registered Plan 2996 may locate required and provided parking spaces, driveways and aisles leading to any parking spaces on properties legally known as Lots 46 and 47 (South Nepean Street) Registered Plan 2996
i. The holding symbol may only be removed upon the completion of the following to the satisfaction of the General Manager, Planning and Growth Management:
i. The execution of a site plan agreement
ii. The conveyance of monies to be directed to a reserve account for offsite community benefits as detailed in the site plan agreement; and,
iii. The completion of an extended capacity analysis for wastewater flows demonstrating adequate capacity for the proposed development which is the subject of the site plan agreement in (a) above.
PROPOSED SITE PLAN DOCUMENT 3
URBAN DESIGN REVIEW PANEL DOCUMENT 4
70 GLOUCESTER | Formal Review April 7, 2011
The Panel likes the project overall and is pleased that the applicant has worked with the Panel to resolve some design issues.
The building design has sophistication, clarity, cleanliness and even a touch of humour that is appreciated.
The project has improved since the applicant has linked the planning of this development with the one concurrently proposed at 89-91 Nepean. There is now an interesting differentiation between the design of the two facades onto Gloucester and Nepean.
The Panel notes that the roof garden is shielded from the southern light and asks if the space could be reversed so that the garden is not in the shade.
The Panel suggests that the applicant detail the live/work units at a larger scale so that the design details are well executed. This will also help the success of other elements such as planting and signage.
The Panel notes that it will be important to consider how the glass and brick will work together; the project should read as an urban building, not as a sculpture.
The landscape proposals are not consistent. Additional street trees are shown in the Nepean Street elevation drawings but not on the plan. This should be corrected. The Panel recommends that the trees across the Nepean frontage be increased from three to at least five.
The Panel suggests that 1:50 façade drawings be provided to staff during review of the site plan. These should show how the building hits the ground and will provide more clarity on material and design details than currently provided by the conceptual drawings.
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.
There were two members of the public and two community groups who provided comments on this application. A summary of the public comments and staff responses are provided below.
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC INPUT
I am the property owner and as an abutting property owner I wish to register my opposition to the above mentioned applications. Please note that this written submission should be considered as a submission satisfying the requirement to provide written comments prior to the adoption by City Council of the above mentioned zoning amendments thus preserving Ontario Municipal Board appeal rights.
I have reviewed the planning rationale for both sites, provided by Fotenn Planning Consultants, for Claridge Homes. Although, the rationale speaks to the site contexts and surrounding uses I do not believe that rationale take a comprehensive approach to the properties surround the subject sites.
The individual nature of these applications presents the greatest challenge to appropriately planning this section of the urban core. Spot rezoning focusing on individual properties do not create the type of urban fabric called for the City of Ottawa Official Plan. In fact, this lack of comprehensive zoning leads to an unattractive patchwork of development that is exactly opposite to what the official plan proposes. More importantly, due to the lack of comprehensiveness these spot rezoning applications will not allow the City to meet the goals of the Centretown Secondary Plan specifically in the important high profile designated sites. One of the key goals of the Centretown Secondary Plan is to encourage innovative building and site development which will contribute to the physical environment of the community and enhance the desirability of Centretown as a place to live.
By allowing spot rezoning and not adopting a more comprehensive approach you are limiting the ability of sites within the context of the Centretown secondary plan to be developed in a manner that would meet the goals of the secondary plan. In forsaking the spot rezoning for a more comprehensive approach the City will be promoting certainty and creating an environment that will allow developers to consolidate sites and with the confidence of a consistent zoning bring forward development proposals that better meet the goals and objectives of the Centretown Secondary Plan.
I would propose that the City declare the above mentioned applications pre-mature pending a more comprehensive approach to provide a more consistent zoning for those high profile areas that are identified in the Centretown Secondary Plan. The planning rationale for the 70 Gloucester site correctly identifies the lack of comprehensiveness when it states on page 19 the following:
“With this framework in mind, it also becomes clear that several of the properties adjacent and in close proximity to the subject site do not reflect the planned function for this area as a high profile area. This should be kept in mind when assessing the proposed development within the context of the existing surrounding development.”
I would submit that the City has a responsibility to ensure that sites such as the one located at 162-164 Metcalfe Street reflect the planned function for this area and that spot rezoning do not restrict the ability of the subject property from achieving the function identified in the secondary plan. In conclusion, I would submit that these applications are premature until such time as those sites in proximity to the subject sites are considered in a comprehensive manner. If the City is unwilling to declare these applications premature I would request that the proposed zoning be expanded to include 162-164 Metcalfe Street and the abutting properties.
With respect to the comments pertaining to ‘spot’ rezoning, the Planning Act allows for such amendments to be made. Decisions with respect to site-specific Zoning By-law Amendments are made using the evaluation criteria contained in the applicable Official Plan and Secondary Plan policies in a comprehensive manner. Discussion on relevant policies pertaining to this Zoning By-law Amendment application is contained in the body of this report. To rezone the property noted above, a separate application would have to be submitted. It is not appropriate to include adjacent lands in a site-specific Zoning By-law Amendment application as these types of applications require Community Transportation Studies, Concept Plans, Planning Rationales and Servicing Studies. These studies are used to evaluate a Zoning By-law Amendment application to assess the merits of the application.
Our client has a 10 foot right-of-way along the easterly boundary of the subject property. Our client has the following comments concerning the application:
As noted in the report, the design of the garage entrance will be further detailed in the Site Plan Control application. The applicant has indicated acknowledgement of the existing right-of-way over the eastern portion of their lands in favour of the neighbouring property to the east. A copy of the easement document was not provided with the application and the Department is of the opinion that the said easement is a private property issue between the two land owners; however it is acknowledged that the underground garage and construction impacts need to be addressed, and some of these impacts can be addressed at the Site Plan Control stage.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION COMMENTS
Centretown Citizens Community Association
March 18, 2011
On behalf of the Centretown Citizens Community Association, I am writing to express the CCCA's objections to the requests made in the rezoning and site plan applications for the proposed development at 70 Gloucester. While we welcome the development of vacant and underdeveloped lots in Centretown, the nature of this development proposal is not appropriate for the site.
Following our extensive concerns that the nearly identical building at 89-91 Nepean was too large for such a small site, we were surprised to see the report to Planning Committee propose a second large building (at 70 Gloucester) on an adjacent small site. We were also disappointed to see that the staff report did not specifically address any of the concerns raised in our comments, but instead essentially dismissed them. With this second building, we were not approached in a pre-consultation by the developer nor by his planner as we were for the first.
Given the uncanny resemblance of 70 Gloucester to the Nepean building, our response to this proposal may also bear some similarity to our comments on the former. In addition to the attached comments we made for 89-91 Nepean, there are some slight differences between the two applications, not only in physical context but in time as well:
While 89-91 Nepean abuts parking lots and 6-12 storey commercial and residential buildings, 70 Gloucester is adjacent to four heritage buildings, which deserve more respect than what this building offers.
St. George's Church is at the north-west corner of Metcalfe and Gloucester, and next to that Nagle House at 77 Gloucester--thought to be the oldest house in Centretown--is immediately across from this proposed development. Both buildings will no doubt bear the brunt of this building's shadow; however the extent to this is not known as a shadow study is not included in the documents at DevApps. On the same block, at the adjacent lots facing Metcalfe on the North half of the block, two three-storey red brick heritage houses stand in good condition.
If you stand on the corner across the street from these houses (see Google Street View linked from http://tinyurl.com/streetview70g), you can see the blank wall of the office building next door pressing against the more southerly of these houses; with the addition of a 27-storey tower with no side yard setback these two houses will be boxed in by two large, flat walls.
We appreciate the planning department's insistence that the two buildings will share one parking access. As the site plan for 89-91 Nepean has not yet been approved, we feel this is an opportunity to consider locating the access on Gloucester Street, as Nepean Street's traffic levels are already over capacity, and demand will only grow as the other vacant and underdeveloped lots receive buildings of their own.
The CCCA maintains that both of these buildings are too tall for the area, as the Centretown Secondary Plan specifically designates this area as a transition zone to the mid-rise zone south of Lisgar, clearly distinguishable as being within Centretown and not the Central Business District. The height for both of these buildings suggests, architecturally, an extension of the height of the Central Business District instead of transition from it. As suggested in the above paragraph, if 27 storeys is set as a precedent for other developments along this block of Nepean and Gloucester, the streets will simply not be able to handle the amount of vehicular traffic that will be generated by them all. The CCCA also maintains that these buildings are oversized for the site, as evidenced by the depth to which the parking garages must be dug to meet the minimum parking requirements.
While the PPS and OP statements regarding intensification goals have been cited in the justification for these buildings, we point out that development of any size building on this site--including one within the existing zoning--will work toward this goal. At time of writing, there are seven rezoning and/or site plan applications in Centretown (East of Bronson, North of the 417, West of the Rideau Canal), which in total are requesting a combined increase of 75 floors of residential development, on top of the existing 61 floors permitted (counting 89-91 Nepean and 70 Gloucester as 12 floors "current" zoning). This is an increase of over 100% from the current zoning, whereas the PPS and OP only require an increase of 40-50%. This does not include approved developments under construction, nor does it include the rezoning request for a 35-storey tower in Somerset Ward on Preston Street, which just five years ago was zoned for six storeys.
As with 89-91 Nepean, we are not satisfied by the amount of bicycle parking proposed in the development. The proponent states only that the minimum required amount of bicycle parking will be provided; however for a development in such a bike-able neighbourhood as Centretown (especially if the Laurier Segregated Bicycle Lane one block to the north is retained as a permanent facility), it is unsettling that there will only be room for one bicycle per two units (and each unit might have more than one resident). The site plan does not state how or where this bicycle parking will be provided. The number of spaces required will take a significant amount of space yet this is not allocated in the parking plan. Bicycle parking must be provided near the surface or else the bicycles will not be used, negating the Transportation Demand Management goal of this provision of the zoning. We understand that a holding provision on the zoning for 89-91 Nepean requires the provision of community benefits as a requirement of the increased density allowed by the zoning. Despite the CCCA's opposition to the height and size of these buildings, should Planning Committee approve these rezoning and site plan applications, we strongly urge the City to negotiate such an agreement on strong terms in order to provide facilities to accommodate the unplanned over intensification permitted by the density uplift.
In this and future such negotiations, these facilities should be selected in a transparent process with consultation of the community.
With respect to the heritage properties in the area, Heritage Staff have reviewed the application and have no objections with respect to the designated single detached dwelling located on the north side of Gloucester Street or any other properties in the area that may have heritage value. The proposed bicycle parking meets the minimum requirements of the Zoning By-law at a rate of 0.5 spaces per unit. Through the site plan process, staff will work with the applicant to locate the bicycle parking in an appropriate location.
The remainder of the comments and concerns with respect to parking, access and the applicable PPS, Official Plan and Secondary Plan policies and community benefits are contained in the body of the report.
Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation
March 18, 2011
I’m writing on behalf of Centretown Citizens
Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) to object to the re-zoning of this site to allow 27
stories. CCOC is generally in favor of increasing density in the City; however
we do not support this proposal in its current form. First, we believe that it
is premature to be approving this kind of variance given the Mid-Centretown
Community Design Plan is so near completion. The proposed by-law changes for 70
We are also opposed to increasing height limits without corresponding community benefits. These benefits could include green space, pocket parks, ground floor commercial, affordable housing, and more interesting building forms. CCOC supports the creative application of community benefits in exchange for increased height – community benefits that extend beyond streetscaping and benefit the residents of the surrounding area and not just the residents or the developer of the condo property.
The Department is of the opinion that the proposed development meets the intent of the applicable policies of the Official Plan and Centretown Secondary Plan. The Mid-Centretown Secondary Plan is currently in the process of the being developed. The Department must process complete applications submitted to the City in accordance with the City’s policies and procedures and the requirements of the Planning Act. As the City does not yet have implementation guidelines to address Section 37 of the Planning Act, the Department is recommending the use of a holding provision to secure monies for community benefits through the Site Plan Control process. As previously mentioned, the Department is recommending that a holding provision be used to ensure that through the Site Plan Control process monies for community benefits are secured, prior to lifting the holding zone on the property.