Report to/Rapport au :


Planning Committee

Comité de l'urbanisme


and Council / et au Conseil


25 October  2011 / le 25 Octobre 2011


Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipale adjointe, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités


Contact Person/Personne-ressource : Richard Kilstrom, Acting Manager/Gestionnaire intérimaire, Development Review-Urban Services, Inner Core/Examen des projets d'aménagement-Services urbains, Unité du Centre intérieur

Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance

(613) 580-2424, 22379



Somerset (14)

Ref N°: ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0210




ZONING – 27 and 29 Balsam street, and 245 to 267 Rochester STREET (FILE NO. D07-12-11-0093)




ZONAGE - 27 et 29, rue Balsam, et 245 À 267, RUE Rochester





That the Planning Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to Zoning By‑law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 245, 247, 2471/2, 249, 261, 263 and 267 Rochester Street and 29 Balsam Street from R4T [497] to R4T[xxx] Sxxx H(12.5) and to change the zoning of 27 Balsam Street from R4H to R4T[xxx] Sxxx H(12.5) to permit infill development as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Documents 2 and 3.




Que le Comité de l’urbanisme recommande ce qui suit au Conseil  approuver une modification au Règlement de zonage 2008-250 de la Ville d’Ottawa en vue de faire passer le zonage des 245, 247, 2471/2, 249, 261, 263 et 267, rue Rochester et du 29, rue Balsam de R4T [497] à R4T [xxx] Sxxx H(12.5) et de faire passer le zonage du 27, rue Balsam de R4H à R4T [xxx] Sxxx H(12.5), afin de permettre l’aménagement intercalaire illustré en détail dans le document no 1 et exposé dans les documents no 2 et no 3.







The property is located at the northeast corner of Rochester Street and Balsam Street, one block north of Gladstone Avenue and one block east of Preston Street.  The site has an approximate area of 1833 square metres and currently contains four, two-storey buildings and a one-storey building facing Rochester Street, and a two-storey residential building facing Balsam Street. Three of the buildings facing Rochester Street are, or have been, used commercially at ground level.  The building frontage along the Rochester Street side of the property is continuous except for two small breaks of approximately 2.5 metres each.

Directly across Balsam Street to the south is a one to two-storey residential development, while at the southwest corner of Booth Street and Balsam Street is St. Anthony's Children's Centre and a church.  Adjacent to the north along the east and west sides of Rochester Street is a mix of two‑storey buildings containing residential and various commercial uses.  To the northeast are low profile residential buildings plus a seven-storey apartment building.  Adjacent to the east along Balsam Street are two-storey dwellings and at the northwest corner of Booth Street and Balsam Street is a recently constructed four-storey apartment building with ground-floor commercial space.  To the west along the north side of Balsam Street are two‑storey dwellings.  Across the intersection of Balsam and Rochester Streets to the southwest is a large seniors housing development including five, seven and 21-storey building segments.


Purpose of Zoning Amendment


The applicant was originally proposing a seven-storey mixed-use building with a small  commercial space on the ground floor, approximately 60 apartment units above, commercial parking at grade (under the building), and residential parking underground.  The original proposal, which has been abandoned, required Official Plan (OP) and Zoning By-law amendments.  The current proposal is for 21 townhouse units arranged around a “U-shaped” private roadway accessed from Rochester Street and one semi-detached dwelling facing Balsam Street, giving a total of 23 proposed units.  In order to facilitate the proposed development, the applicant is requesting that all the property be under one new R4 sub-zone, with reductions and amendments to a number of zoning performance standards, primarily pertaining to yard setbacks and vehicular circulation.


Existing Zoning


Under Zoning By-law 2008-250, the portion of the property facing Rochester Street is currently zoned R4T[497], while the Balsam Street oriented property is zoned R4H.  The base R4 zone permits a variety of residential uses including: apartment dwelling low-rise, bed and breakfast, retirement home and three-unit dwelling.  The R4H and the R4T sub-zones establish specific performance standards related to lot sizes and building setbacks, while the [497] exception allows for limited additional commercial uses, under specific conditions, and prohibits drive‑through facilities for food ordering and pick-up.


Proposed Zoning


The applicant’s proposal is for 21 townhouse units arranged around a “U-shaped” private roadway accessed from Rochester Street and one semi-detached dwelling facing Balsam Street for a total of 23 dwelling units.  There is a single car garage proposed within each of the 23 units. In order to facilitate the proposed development, the applicant is requesting that all the property be under one new R4 sub-zone, with changes to performance standards including the following:


·         reduction to the required minimum front yard from 3.0 metres to 0.8 metres;

·         corner side yards reduced from 3.0 metres to 0.6 metres;

·         rear yard reduced to 1.2 metres;

·         an increase in the maximum height to 12.5 metres from  11.0 metres;

·         minimum width of a private way reduced from 6.0 metres to 3.6 metres;

·         minimum setback of a wall from a private way reduced  from 1.8 metres to 0.0 metres;

·         minimum separation between buildings reduced to 1.2 metres; and

·         reduced driveway to a garage or carport from 2.6 to 2.2 metres.


As discussed below, the Department is recommending one new R4 subzone that allows for the intensity and type of development requested. The recommended performance standard amendments are provided in detail in Document 2.  In addition to the applicant’s requested by‑law changes, the recommended revisions by staff also refine provisions for potential commercial uses, and establish minimum amenity space requirements in this intense inner-city neighbourhood.




Provincial Policy Statement


The recommended re-zoning is intended to facilitate development that promotes the efficient use of land and infrastructure in a pattern consistent with achieving viable liveable communities, which is in keeping with the intent of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS).  The PPS also promotes redevelopment to satisfy a demand for a range of housing types.  The recommended zoning amendment is in keeping with the PPS.


Official Plan


Strategic Directions


Section 2.2.2 – Managing Growth Within the Urban Area, Strategic Directions of the OP indicates that “within lands designated General Urban Area, opportunities for intensification exist and will be supported” at a smaller scale, depending upon factors such as the existing built context and proximity to major roads and transit. The Strategic Directions go on to say that “the quality of the built environment is a significant cornerstone of intensification.”  The OP “requires that intensification proposals have full regard for the existing built context and a full understanding of the impacts the proposal will have on both the immediate and wider surroundings”.


The policies of the Strategic Directions support intensification on lands within 600 metres of future or existing rapid-transit stations provided that all other policies in the OP are met and that “the interior portions of stable, low-rise residential neighbourhoods will continue to be characterized by low-rise buildings” (as defined in Section 4.11, policy 8).  The City supports intensification in the General Urban Area where it will “enhance and complement its desirable characteristics and long term renewal” and “will be designed to complement the area's pattern of built form and open spaces.”  The proposed redevelopment is within 600 metres of the proposed Gladstone Avenue rapid transit station.  The recommended zoning provisions facilitate development that reinforces some of the desirable characteristics of Rochester Street.


The Strategic Directions stress compatibility indicating that development in existing areas “requires a sensitive approach and a respect for a communities established characteristics”, while “allowing for some flexibility and variation that complements the character of existing communities” to achieve successful intensification.  The form and style of the related redevelopment proposal is not the same as the surrounding community but does respect the lower built form of surrounding buildings and community.  Compatibility and design are addressed further below under Ottawa by Design.


General Urban Area


The subject property is designated General Urban Area in the OP.  The OP indicates that “the General Urban Area designation permits the development of a full range and choice of housing types to meet the needs of all ages, incomes and life circumstances, in combination with conveniently located employment, retail, service, cultural, leisure, entertainment and institutional uses.”  The OP directs that “the City supports infill development and other intensification within the General Urban Area in a manner that enhances and complements the desirable characteristics and ensures the long-term vitality of the many existing communities that make up the city.”  The recommended re-zoning provides for town-house  style housing in a compact form, in keeping with the OP intent for a range of housing choices, and with the “tightly knit”, but predominantly low profile character of the neighbourhood.  The added housing will help promote the long term vitality of the community.


Policy 3. indicates that, “when considering a proposal for residential intensification through infill or redevelopment in the General Urban Area, the City will recognize the importance of new development relating to existing community character so that it enhances and builds upon desirable established patterns and built form.”  The recommended re-zoning recognizes the low‑profile built form along the edge that constitutes the east side of the block of Rochester Street containing the proposed development, and prescribes a continuation of these “desirable established patterns and built form.”


Official Plan Part 4. Review of Development Applications


The OP policies of Subsection 4.4 Water and Wastewater Servicing require adequate services for new development.  The property is adequately served by water, and storm and sanitary sewer lines to facilitate the potential development afforded by the recommended rezoning.


Ottawa By Design


Design that is compatible through its conceptual quality and contextual sensitivity is a fundamental precept of the OP for successful residential intensification.  This is part of the OP theme of “Ottawa by Design”.  The Strategic Directions of Section 2 establish a set of Design Objectives and pursuant Principles, a number of which are germane to the subject application, as cited and discussed below.


1. To enhance the sense of community by creating and maintaining places with their own distinct identity.




Design should  create distinctive places and appreciate local identity in patterns of development, landscape and culture and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting.


The recommended re-zoning provides the opportunity for development that is distinctive while prescribing standards to maintain local identity and context in terms of low scale and street orientation.


2. To define quality public and private spaces through development




Design should:


Clearly define and connect public and private spaces by:


Defining and enclosing spaces using buildings, structures and landscaping.


Enhance and enliven the quality, character and spatial delineation of public spaces.


Consider streets as public spaces.


Encourage a continuity of street frontages. Where continuous building facades are not a dominant feature of the streetscape, the gradual in-filling of empty spaces between buildings and between the building and the street edge is to occur over time.  Depending on the stage of evolution of the street, it may be appropriate to achieve this principle in a number of ways e.g., building form, landscape treatment, architectural ornamentation.


Address the relationship between buildings and between buildings and the street.


Meet the needs of pedestrians as a priority.


The recommended re-zoning includes performance standards requiring some segments of building facades adjacent to, and oriented to, the street to help define and enhance the street as a public space.  The standards also limit driveways to help foster an improved pedestrian realm along Balsam Street.


4. To ensure that new development respects the character of existing areas.




Design should:


Integrate new development to complement and enliven the surroundings.


Allow the built form to evolve through architectural style and innovation.


Complement the massing patterns, rhythm, character, and context.


The recommended re-zoning will facilitate innovative residential intensification that is complementary to the low profile character of the existing neighbourhood.


5. To consider adaptability and diversity by creating places that can adapt and evolve easily over time and that are characterized by variety and choice. [OMB decision #2649, September 21, 2006]




Design should:


Achieve a more compact urban form over time.


Provide flexibility for buildings and spaces to adapt to a variety of possible uses in response to changing social, economic and technological conditions.


Allow for varying stages of maturity in different areas of the city, and recognize that buildings and site development will exhibit different characteristics as they evolve over time.


Accommodate the needs of a range of people of different incomes and lifestyles at various stages in the life cycle.


The development fostered by the recommended re-zoning will be compact and provide for a range of housing choices through designs promoting the evolution of the area’s built form.



7. To maximize energy-efficiency and promote sustainable design to reduce the resource consumption, energy use, and carbon footprint of the built environment.




Design should:


Orient development to maximize opportunities for passive solar gain, natural ventilation, and use energy efficient development forms and building measures.


The recommended re-zoning facilitates a development form that promotes opportunities for passive solar gain, the use of natural ventilation and efficient built form.


Section 4.11 of the OP provides policies for “Urban Design and Compatibility” in the review of development applications.  Section 4.11 indicates that, “because land use designations such as General Urban Area, contain broad use permissions, it will be necessary for the zoning by‑law to establish more specific permitted use lists and development regulations within areas and on individual sites in a manner that achieves compatibility among proximate uses and built forms.”


The Urban Design and Compatibility section establishes a set of policies which relate to the subject application, as cited and discussed below.


Policy 1 of Section 4.11 indicates that compatibility analysis for development proposals should have regard to the policies of the site’s land use designation, and all applicable Secondary Plans, Council-approved design guidelines, and the Design Objectives and Principles in Section 2.5.1, and the  policies in Sections 4.1 through 4.10 of the OP.  These OP sections are all discussed in this report, and the applicable design guidelines will be applied through the related Site Plan Control application.  Policy 2 goes on to indicate that “in any given situation individual criteria may not apply and/or may be evaluated and weighted on the basis of site circumstances.”  The most relevant criteria to the subject application are addressed below:


“b. Vehicular Access: The location and orientation of vehicle access and egress should address matters such as the impact of noise, headlight glare and loss of privacy on development adjacent or immediately opposite. Vehicular access and egress for development that has the potential to generate a significant amount of vehicular traffic should be oriented on streets other than local streets, wherever the opportunity exists”, and policy “c” dealing with parking goes on to say that “The development should have adequate on-site parking to minimize the potential for spillover parking on adjacent areas”.  Parking and traffic volumes per se are not an issue with this proposal.  Two units of the proposed development will have direct access to Balsam Street in keeping with the pattern of the street.  The applicant’s development proposal also includes two internal access connections onto Rochester Street, which is a local street but has a “Residential (Employment) Low Profile” designation in the Preston Champagne Secondary plan as discussed further on in this report.


“d. Outdoor Amenity Areas: The development should respect the privacy of outdoor amenity areas of adjacent residential units and minimize any undesirable impacts through the siting and design of the buildings and the use of screening, lighting, landscaping or other mitigative design measures.”  The recommended re-zoning provisions facilitate a design approach that is sensitive to the specific amenity space arrangements on surrounding properties and is intended to require the provision of a minimum amount of amenity area for the benefit of future residents. 

The applicant’s  development proposal relies on communal amenity areas that provide limited functional opportunity, and offer a limited opportunity to establish a vegetated landscape.


“h. Sunlight: The development should minimize shadowing on adjacent properties, to the extent practicable, particularly on outdoor amenity areas, through the siting of buildings or other design measures.”  The low-profile development proposal will have some shadow impacts on adjacent properties.


“i. Microclimate: The development should be designed to minimize adverse effects related to wind, snow drifting, and temperature on adjacent properties.”  The changes inherent in development opportunities pursuant to the recommended rezoning will have minimal impact on the surrounding micro-climate;


“j. Supporting Neighbourhood Services: The development should contribute to or be adequately served by existing or proposed services and amenities such as health facilities, schools, parks and leisure areas. Where the proposed development itself is to contribute such services and amenities, they should be of a scale appropriate to the needs and character of the area.”  The recommended zoning maintains the list of community serving non-residential uses of the existing zoning.  The area is also served by nearby schools, places of worship, and nearby commercial facilities along Rochester Street and along Preston Street.


Policy 4 of section 4.11 states that:  “Buildings, structures and landscaping will be used to clearly define public spaces, such as streets and parks. In density target areas identified in S.2.2.2 of this Plan, development will be in the form of continuous building frontages that frame the street edge and support a more pedestrian-friendly environment. In some parts of the city, this will mean that new development consolidates an existing building fabric through infill or redevelopment opportunities. In other cases, where there is no established building fabric along the street, new buildings will occupy gaps in the streetscape caused by parking and/or deep building setbacks. New buildings must either be properly integrated into their existing building fabric, or help create a new building fabric.”  This development concept will contribute to the continuity of the built form along Balsam Street.  The provisions of the recommended re-zoning pertaining to driveway limitations, front door orientation to the street, and provision of  some continuity of building facades along Rochester Street and Balsam Street are intended to help partially achieve the intent of defining the public streetscape, and of supporting a “more pedestrian-friendly environment”.


Policy 14 deals with “intensification inside stable, low-rise neighbourhoods” and indicates in part that: “Where development is proposed that requires an amendment or variance to the zoning by-law with respect to lot area, yards and/or building setback, or building height, and which varies from the established area’s pattern of built form and open spaces, the appropriateness of the proposal will be considered in light of the following measures:


a.         Building height, massing and scale permitted by the zoning of adjacent residential properties as well as the prevailing patterns established in the immediate area;


b.         Prevailing patterns of rear and side yard setbacks and landscaped open space permitted by the zoning of adjacent residential properties as well as the prevailing patterns established in the immediate area;


c.         The need to provide a transition between areas of different development intensity and scale as set out in policy 12 of this Section;”


The subject property is situated within an established low-rise neighbourhood.  The recommended re-zoning does include significant compromises to the provisions controlling building mass, rear and side yards, the prevailing pattern of rear landscaped areas and intensity transition.  The compromises are considered appropriate given evaluation of the unusual conditions found on the immediate properties to the east with a building set well back from the street along Balsam Street, a large parking lot adjacent to the northeast, and the definition of the northerly yard as a rear yard rather than the traditional side yard function it fulfils. The recommended set of performance standards also facilitate an opportunity for functional residential infill design that can contribute to intensification.


Preston Champagne Secondary Plan


The subject property is located within the area of the Preston Champagne Secondary Plan (PCSP).  The PCSP vision for the Northeast Quadrant states that Rochester Street will retain a more residential character with some at-grade, locally-oriented commercial uses.  The Objective to “Protect Residential Areas/Sensitive Infill looks to “protect and enhance existing residential areas”.  The recommended re-zoning facilitates retention of the residential character of the area while retaining the currently permitted, but limited, commercial and neighbourhood oriented uses.  The PCSP policy for Residential Areas states that “City Council shall impose maximum height limits in all residential areas. The subject property is designated Residential (Employment) Low Profile in the PCSP.  The policy for Residential (Employment) Low Profile is that “City Council shall permit low profile residential uses on Rochester Street, along with ground floor, locally-oriented commercial uses in residential buildings.”  The recommended re-zoning allows for low-profile residential uses with a compatible building height limit of 12.5 metres and allows for limited locally-oriented commercial uses along Rochester Street.




The recommended re-zoning fosters residential intensification in keeping with the policies of the OP, including the Preston Champagne Secondary Plan, while satisfying the intent of a number of the policies focusing on the Ottawa by Design strategy.


Details of Proposed Zoning 


The details and draft schedule of the recommended zoning amendment, as set out in Documents 1, 2 and 3, implement the changes required to allow for a pursuant development concept to proceed in conjunction with the required Site Plan Control and Building Permit applications.


Concurrent Application 


A concurrent application for Site Plan Control approval has been submitted (File  D07-12-11-0093) and will be processed subsequent to the finalization of the subject re-zoning application.








Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City's Public Notification and Consultation Policy.  The City did not receive comments or opposition to this application from the general public. The Dalhousie Community Association expressed support for the low-rise nature of this development but had concerns about specific details of the plan. These concerns, and responses to them from staff, are contained in Document 4.





Councillor Diane Holmes provided the following comment on the subject zoning application:


“This revised proposal for a planned unit development of 23-units is much more appropriate to the scale of the existing neighbourhood than the 7-storey condominium tower originally proposed. I would encourage this type of ground-oriented development because it is likely to be more attractive to families, and bring more children into the community.  I have some concerns about the high density of this development and the number of units per hectare, and the resulting reduced internal yards setbacks that are needed.”


Councillor Diane Holmes provided the following comments on the Site Plan Control application for the development proposal related to this report:


“I am pleased to see a great deal more in-ground shrubbery, trees, and some planters in the courtyard areas than the original concept, which had a continuous surface of pavers from building wall to building wall. The contrasting surface treatment of internal roadway and pavers will differentiate this space.


I support the addition of sodded yards and soft landscaping in the Balsam and Rochester Street boulevards. The columnar crab apples and Japanese Tree Lilacs are not sufficient as street trees. These should be a species that would at least provide some shade and canopy – such as a locust-type tree.


In less heavily trafficked areas, where there will be no vehicular circulation such as the internal ‘front yards’ of the townhouses, there is a need for more water permeable pavers, such as turfstone.”




There are no legal implications associated with this report.








There are no direct financial implications associated with this report.












The recommended rezoning is in keeping with the City Strategic Plan, Service Priorities.  The potential future intensification and zoning provision revisions support Service Priorities for Transportation, Transit, for a Sustainable, Healthy and Active City, and for Planning and Growth Management.  Any related re-development would facilitate efficient use of existing transportation and transit services, and infrastructure through land use planning. The zoning changes are in keeping with the policy of being proactive in requiring walking, transit and cycling oriented communities. The recommended zoning provisions will manage growth to help create a sustainable community.




The application was not processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of Zoning By-law amendments due to the complexity of issues associated with compatible design and submission of significant concept revisions by the applicant.




Document 1    Location Map

Document 2    Details of Recommended Zoning

Document 3    Proposed Schedule of Yards

Document 4    Consultation Details




City Clerk and Solicitor Department, Legislative Services to notify the owner, applicant, OttawaScene Canada Signs, 1565 Chatelain Avenue, Ottawa, ON  K1Z 8B5, Ghislain Lamarche, Program Manager, Assessment, Financial Services Branch (Mail Code:  26-76) of City Council’s decision.


Planning and Growth Management to prepare the implementing by-law, forward to Legal Services and undertake the statutory notification.


Legal Services to forward the implementing by-law to City Council.

LOCATION MAP                                                                                                DOCUMENT 1



DETAILS OF RECOMMENDED ZONING                                                    DOCUMENT 2


Details of Recommended Zoning


1.                  Change the zoning of the property from R4T[497] and R4H to R4T[xxxx] Sxxx H(12.5) as shown on Document 1.


2.                  Section 239 - Urban Exceptions will be amended by adding a new exception with provisions similar in effect to the following:


- Include all of the existing provisions of exception 497

- minimum and maximum yard setbacks are as per schedule xxx

- convenience store is permitted in a mixed use development

- no visitor parking is required

- no parking is required for permitted non-residential uses

- a minimum of 37.6 metres of the frontage along Rochester Street, measured at the building setback, must be occupied by a combination of building face and projecting building features, of which a minimum of 32.4 metres must be occupied by a building face

- 7% of the lot area must be provided as landscaped area for any development

- all non-residential uses must have the main customer entrance facing either Rochester or Balsam Street and must be located within 10 metres of Rochester Street

- despite Table 137 a minimum of 5.0 sq. m. of amenity area is required per dwelling unit, and a minimum of at least one aggregated area of 50.0 sq. m. must be communal amenity area

- total maximum accumulated width of all driveways connecting directly to a public street, other than driveways leading from Balsam Street directly to a parking space in a semi-detached dwelling is 7.2 m.

- maximum of two  driveway connections to Rochester Street are allowed

- all outdoor amenity areas must be a minimum of 1.0 metres from a property line other than a property line adjacent to a street unless screened by a translucent or opaque screen having a minimum height of 1.5 metres

- In either a PUD or a mixed use development the following also applies:

- width of a driveway or private way: 3.0 m

- setback of wall to a private way, driveway or aisle: 0.0 m

- setback of garage or carport  to a private way, driveway or aisle: 0.0 m

- minimum width of 2.2 m. for driveway or aisle providing direct access to a garage or carport

- separation distance between buildings: 1.2 m  

131 (1)(c) also applies to the severance of a development parcel in a mixed use development 


3.                  Part 17 - Schedules will be amended by adding Document 3 as a new schedule.



PROPOSED SCHEDULE OF YARDS                                                             DOCUMENT 3



CONSULTATION DETAILS                                                                             DOCUMENT 4




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 no comments from the general public.




Dalhousie Community Association Comments


“Re:  Zoning By-Law Amendment Proposal:  Balsam and Rochester Streets.


Dear Sir,

We strongly support the concept of low-rise townhouses on this site.

However there are some fundamental problems with the layout presented. Perhaps  this is why the developer and the architect have not returned our calls and we have been able to acquire  only a vague documentation from  the Planning Dept. The dev/apps web page still contains the four year old apartment tower  plans, and not the current ones. Our comments are therefore based only on a site and landscape plans dated Feb/Mar 2011 and an undated partial perspective sketch.

·        With only nominal property line setbacks proposed at the rear northeast corners of the site, the usual mutual open space in the centre of residential blocks is missing. This creates an adverse impact on the abutting properties present and potential enjoyment of light, air and hopefully green space. This is uncharacteristic of the neighbourhood.  Units 5, 6 12 and 13 compromise the usual 7.5m rear yard setback. They should be eliminated in favour of green space.

·        The 4 storey units (Block D) shown in the sketch seem incompatible with the lower rise adjacent properties. 4 stories would be more appropriate along Rochester and at the corner of Balsam, leaving lower units for where they are adjacent to existing 2 storey buildings. The height variance would not required if the 4 storey units were kept within the present “Rochester” zoning area.

·        There is an inappropriate lack of trees and green landscaping. Only 7 dwarf trees are proposed and none on Rochester.  There ought to be 8 trees along Rochester, one more on Balsam and many more internally. The huge wasteland of impermeable asphalt, all presumably directing rainwater to sewers, is a poor environmental solution.

·        Most of the units are extraordinarily close to the adjacent lot lines, which will impair the use and privacy of those properties and may severely restrict those owners ability to redevelop their properties

·        The units on Rochester, despite the slender entries, do not address the street.  As per the Urban Design Guidelines, these units should provide “eyes on the street”.

·        We do appreciate that practically all the garages are off the internal street.

We hope that the proposal can be modified to reflect these concerns and that revised plans will be forthcoming. We are prepared to meet anyone, any time to review this proposal further.


Eric Darwin, President

Dalhousie Community Association”


Response to Comments


The Dalhousie Community Association’s “bullet” comments are addressed in order as follows:


1.      The areas to the north on properties adjacent to units 5 and 6 are traditional side yard situations on the adjacent properties and will constitute a rear yard condition with the proposed development.  No external activity or amenity areas are proposed for units along this edge condition, minimizing opportunities for overlook. As well any roof-top amenity space close to the property line must be screened as per the recommended zoning provisions.  The building on the adjoining property adjacent to units 12 and 13 is set back almost to the rear of the property and the relationship of units 12 and 13 to this building will be similar to a typical side-yard to side-yard condition and is not considered problematic. 


2.      Four-storey semi-detached units along Balsam Street are in keeping with the recent  four-storey development at the nearby corner of Balsam and Booth Streets and within the definition of low-rise development.  The proposed flat-roofed four-storey building is also estimated to have an overall height equivalent to the top of the nearby peaked roof house just to the east and is considered to be a compatible scale of development.


3.      The landscape design concept for development of the property will be finalized through the related site plan application, and will include optimizing opportunities for trees, including along Rochester Street, to the extent practicable.  As well, the recommended zoning provisions add new minimum amenity area requirements to the property.


4.       The subject site abuts other properties to the east and to the north.  As indicated in “1” above, the areas on properties to the north are traditional side yard situations and will likely be unused rear yards with the proposed development.  No external activity or amenity areas are proposed for units along this edge condition, minimizing opportunities for overlook and reducing the potential impact on possible future development of the adjacent lands. The building on the adjoining property adjacent to the east is set back almost to the rear of the property, thus the relationship this building will be similar to a typical side-yard to side-yard condition and is not considered problematic.


5.      The recommended zoning provisions are based on facilitating a more continuous building frontage along Rochester Street along with more entrances oriented to the street.  The development proposal has been revised to add one more unit oriented to Rochester Street.


6.      The recommended zoning contains performance provisions directing most garage entrances away from the street.