Neighbouhood "under seige"
November 15, 2015
Mayor, Jim Watson; Planning Committee Chairman, Jan Harder; Planning Committee Members, Councillors Tim Tierney, Shad Qadri, Rick Chiarelli, Tobi Nussbaum, Jeff Leiper, Riley Brockington, Jean Cloutier, Stephen Blais, and Allan Hubley; General Manager, Planning and Growth Management, Michael Mizzi; Manager, Transportation Planning, Vivi Chi; General Manager, Public Works, Kevin Wylie.
Dear Mayor Watson and others,
Re: Planning a COMMUNITY silo by silo
On behalf of the residents of Park Square, CCC #145 at 151 Bay Street, we would like to address issues relating to the many high rise developments, with zoning bylaw amendments, currently proposed for a four-block square of west centretown Ottawa. See map. [page 2] The proposals are as follows:
1. As per the May 24, 2001, OMB ruling regarding Claridge – our records show that there are plans to develop one acre of land at 383 Albert Street (Albert/Lyon/Queen). This would involve the demolition of several buildings and the construction of three residential towers with retail, (28, 28, and 22 stories): a total of 624 units..
2. 400 Albert (383 Slater Street), the demolition of the former Alterna bank building and parking lot, and the construction of 300 apartments in a 27 story building (Phase 1 approved by the Planning Committee on November 10, 2015,) followed by two later phases that will eventually fill one city block.
3. 350 Sparks Street, the demolition of the existing National Hotel [Inn of the Provinces/Delta] and the construction of two podiums consisting of a 23 story residential building with 250 units and retail, and a 27 story hotel with 303 rooms. In addition, there will be changes to the existing 14 story office building.
4. The construction of the Lyon LRT station at Lyon/Queen/Albert Streets.
5. The completion of the office tower component of the Cathedral Hill project at 412 Sparks Street, and the redesign/reconstruction of Queen, Bay and Slater Streets.
So, the City is essentially building a new COMMUNITY. And, in the middle of all of this activity is Park Square, 151 Bay Street, an iconic 14-story, 142 household condominium. We cannot help but feel that we are under siege.
Our main concern is that the city has not taken into account the cumulative effect of so much sudden development all within a few blocks of the city core, i.e., Slater to Sparks Street, and Bay Street to Lyon. This is a classic case of planning in silos!
Have the city planners and councillors factored in the aggregate growth in population, the increase in “traffic” (pedestrians, bicycles, trucks cars, etc.), additional pollution, the wind effects from at least six very high towers, the lack of greenspace and parking, and finally, the severe disruption to the quality of life in the neighbourhood over the upcoming three to five year period? What are the factors that have been considered in granting permits for all of these developments to go on at the same time?
We believe that a sustainable city will grow at a sustainable rate and use resources in a sustainable way if key features include available resources and services, if walking and cycling is safe, and if areas of open space are secure, accessible, and enjoyable. We see no evidence that social issues such as community spaces have been taken into consideration. We would expect that one of the goals in city planning would be to minimize the negative effects of development and to maximize the benefits for the neighbourhood.
Efforts to do this have not been evident. We have already undergone significant upheaval caused by the LRT digging, the Cathedral Hill project, and work on Queen and Lyon Streets. At the very least we would like the City of Ottawa and the developers for these various projects to be more pro-active in involving current residents in their planning, as well as more cognisant of the fact that they are part of a much larger vision: the building of a whole COMMUNITY.
Ken Porter, President, Condo Corporation 151 Bay
c.c. Councillor Catherine McKenney, Thomas McVeigh, CCCA President