– a ‘Neighbourhood Line’
In December, Planning Committee recommended approval of the Scott Street Community Design Plan (CDP) and Secondary Plan, which included a ‘Neighbourhood Line’ for the first time in Ottawa. The purpose is to draw a line in the sand between areas where greater density and development is expected: on major streets like Holland and Parkdale, and areas where large scale development should not occur, on side-streets like Pinehurst, and Smirle. It’s a new tool for Ottawa and potentially a powerful one.
I pushed for this unique protection because of a hard lesson we learned in Hintonburg following the Wellington West Community Design Plan. The CDP stated that development should be 6 storeys along Wellington and Somerset Streets, but it didn’t directly address the stable neighbourhood adjacent to it. Therefore, when an application for a 28 storey high-rise was received for 1050 Somerset, we all learned that the plan did nothing to protect us from this type of development even though it was just a few metres away from a strictly enforced 6 storey zone. The Neighbourhood Line means this won’t happen in the Scott Street CDP area.
Recognizing the importance of the Neighbourhood Line in the Scott Street CDP to the community, I put forward a motion to Planning Committee in January to direct staff to work with the community in considering a ‘Neighbourhood Line’ to protect our residential neighbourhoods as part of the Preston-Carling and Gladstone Community Design Plans. It’s not currently Council policy to include a Neighbourhood Line, so the motion was necessary to require its consideration. Just because it’s the right tool for one neighbourhood, doesn’t make it right everywhere, so City staff were instructed to consider and discuss it with the community.
I believe that the introduction of the Neighbourhood Line provides the hard and fast restriction our communities need. I asked staff to consider it for the Gladstone and Carling-Preston CDPs because the number one concern I’ve heard from residents in Civic Hospital and Hintonburg in and around the study areas is that their residential streets not be included in large scale redevelopment plans, either intentionally or not, as it was at 1050 Somerset.
A couple weeks ago at a public meeting on the Preston-Carling Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan, staff presented their final draft for public comment. I’m pleased to say that it included its very own ‘Neighbourhood Line.’ In this case, it demarcates where the high-rise vision for the Carling O-Train station area ends and where the established Civic Hospital low-rise residential neighbourhood begins.
In addition, the proposal addresses a number of key community concerns, including ensuring that neither Beech nor Bayswater are changed to ‘collectors’ from local roads, and that transition is provided between the high-rise and low-rise areas. You can see how this shaping up in the map above. Click here to see more about the plan.
Staff are now working on the Gladstone Station Community Design Plan. It’s too early in the process to draw the Neighbourhood Line, but I want to hear from you if you’d like to see it implemented here too. You can see the draft plans here.
I’m proud to have completed the Scott Street CDP, including the Neighbourhood Line, in just one year, providing protection to our neighbourhoods against strong development pressure as quickly as possible. I’m equally proud to be bringing the Preston-Carling CDP to a close after years of worry and doubt about transition in this neighbourhood – with a plan that addresses key community concerns and implements another Neighbourhood Line in Kitchissippi Ward.
Now to Gladstone, for our 6th Community Design Plan in Kitchissippi Ward, as you can see in the map below.
What do you think? Please let me know by replying to this email.