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Protecting Our Neighbourhoods by Drawing a Line

Preston Heights Schedule B
March 14, 2014

 – 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.



Ward Map of CDPs Kitchissippi

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What are your thoughts on local shops and services in your neighbourhood?

December 17, 2013

La version française suit

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a zoning review to determine appropriate locations for new local commercial zones within urban residential neighbourhoods. Existing businesses such as mom-and-pop stores, barber shops, convenience stores and laundromats, often located in a zone which may not permit such businesses, will be reviewed as candidates for the proposed zoning.

This study will consider rezoning these sites, where appropriate, to permit current businesses to continue, or new, low-impact businesses to establish. The goal of the review is to create a Zoning By-law Amendment. Without the By-law Amendment, these businesses and opportunities for other appropriate business could disappear over time without the ability to operate beyond what currently exists.

The City is seeking the input of the general public through an online questionnaire until January 31, 2014.

Feedback is being sought on a number of items including existing commercial uses and location, appropriate commercial uses in a residential neighbourhood, proximity to main streets, and accessibility by way of cycling, walking, transit and driving. For more information or to fill out the questionnaire, click here.

La Ville sollicite des commentaires sur une étude de zonage visant les boutiques et services locaux des quartiers résidentiels Ottawa

La Ville d’Ottawa entreprend un examen du zonage visant à déterminer l’emplacement approprié des nouvelles zones commerciales dans les quartiers résidentiels urbains. Certaines entreprises existantes, comme les petites boutiques familiales, les salons de coiffure, les dépanneurs et les laveries, souvent situées dans une zone où de tels commerces ne sont pas forcément permis, seront examinées en tant que candidates au zonage proposé.

L’étude envisagera la modification du zonage des sites en cause, s’il y a lieu, afin d’y permettre le maintien des commerces existants ou l’établissement de nouveaux commerces à faible incidence. L’examen vise à susciter une modification du Règlement de zonage. À défaut d’une telle modification, ces commerces, ainsi que les possibilités d’établissement d’autres commerces appropriés, risqueraient de disparaître avec le temps, sans capacité de fonctionnement autre que celle qui existe à l’heure actuelle.

La Ville sollicitera l’opinion de la population jusqu’au 31 janvier 2014 au moyen d’un questionnaire en ligne, qui portera notamment sur les utilisations commerciales existantes et leur emplacement, les utilisations commerciales convenant à un quartier résidentiel, leur proximité par rapport aux rues principales et leur accessibilité à bicyclette, à pied, en autobus ou en automobile.

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements ou pour remplir le questionnaire, cliquez ici.

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Scott Street CDP Report

Future Scott Street
November 29, 2013

Hello Neighbours in Mechanicsville, Hintonburg, Wellington Village and Champlain Park,

Below is the report to go to Planning Committee on Tuesday, December 10th at 9:30 AM in the Champlain Room, City Hall. You can also view more details of the plan at ottawa.ca/scottstreetcdp

This report is the culmination of a year’s work creating the Scott Street Community Design Plan, Secondary Plan, and associated Zoning By-law amendments.

Please email the Committee coordinator to express your support for this plan at Christopher.Zwierzchowski@ottawa.ca.

The plan calls for:

  • A complete street for Scott Street, including segregated cycling tracks, green boulevards and much wider sidewalks
  • New public parks on River Street, in Tunney’s Pasture, and an expansion of Laroche Park
  • New cycling and pedestrian greenways and pathways through existing neighbourhoods
  • Protection for Mechanicsville, North Hintonburg, Wellington Village and Champlain Park neighbourhoods from intensive redevelopment through the Neighbourhood Line
  • Strict height limits in areas adjacent to low-rise homes
  • Expansion of our successful commercial maintstreet – Wellington Street West – up Parkdale and Holland and along Scott

I look forward to getting this plan approved and working with the community to make sure it is implemented. Already, I am working with staff to get it done by:

  • Securing funds to move the hydro poles on Scott Street to allow for a complete street
  • Securing an environmental assessment for Scott Street to ensure we can begin construction as soon as the LRT is completed
  • At our request, the federal government has already changed its plans for Tunney’s Pasture to include the greenways, cycling connections, large scale plaza and large community park in their plans. They’ve also amended their plan to make it a real neighbourhood that will connect to the existing ones.
  • The plan is informing the NCC’s Capital Lands Master Plan, and working together, we can expand greenspace for this growing community, as well as better connecting people to the river, all the while allowing substantial expansion in the capital function of their lands in the area.
  • I’m working on a new riverside park with incredible skyline views on River Street bear Lemieux Island, which will be an incredible new community amenity for the area. Partial funding has already been secured.

We built this plan together, and I am grateful for the time and energy you have put in to create such a great plan for our community.

Please express your support to Planning Committee by emailing the coordinator at Christopher.Zwierzchowski@ottawa.ca to let committee members know you support the plan for Scott Street.




Scott Street CDP Report to Planning Committee

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