City to endorse Development despite threats of damage to neighbouring properties
August 21, 2015
Mayor Jim Watson, and members of council,
Re: Development Application by Richcraft Developments
560 Rideau Street
On Council Agenda Aug 26, 2015
Dear City Council,
I am writing on behalf of the property owners at 192-198 Cobourg Street a Grade 3 designated heritage row building built in 1902.
This property was found a few years ago to be at risk of foundation damage from several City planted trees and as a result we had a three year intensive engineering study done as well as full soil sampling. Keller Engineering undertook that work. The City removed their trees before foundation damage occurred, and assisted in the costs associated in the project.
It should be noted that about 5 years earlier the City also assisted the then owner of 383 Daly (at Cobourg) with a six figure repair of his foundation due to water table issues/sewer work in our block, and that the owner of the small apartment building at Besserer and Cobourg is currently undertaking a massive piece of foundation and masonry work on his building.
The recent infrastructure work on Rideau Street caused our homes to shake and damaged plaster.
As this, the oldest part of the City is built on clay soil we are concerned about the impact of construction of the proposed 14 storey tower within a block of our homes. With this in mind we have contacted the engineers and they are reviewing the documents on the city website concerning the engineering aspects of this project. They have some concerns and are having the soil sampling firm also review the documentation. They have already expressed misgivings about blasting, pile driving and the lowering of the water table in an area that has been shown to be problematic.
At Planning Committee July 7, 2015, the City Solicitor, in response to a question indicated to the Committee that in his opinion the City of Ottawa has no responsibility for damage caused by developments despite the fact that the City approves such developments and the City’s engineers review the plans. We have since had a legal opinion that contradicts this. There is, in fact case law showing municipalities have been found responsible.
We urge you to help us protect our homes and the beautiful heritage district that is irreplaceable by voting no to this 14 storey condo tower.
Martha Scott & Brian Murphy