1. Refuse a Minor Variance application to the Permanent Signs on Private Property By-law for an internally illuminated ground sign on the Carling Avenue frontage, with an identification area of 4.5 square metres and a height of 3 metres, with an additional 0.75 square metres electronic message centre.
2. Approve a recommended Minor Variance to the Permanent Signs on Private Property By-law for an internally illuminated ground sign on the Carling Avenue frontage, with an identification area of 3.7 square metres and a height of 2.75 metres, with an additional 0.75 square metres electronic message centre.
RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT
1. de rejeter la demande de dérogation mineure au Règlement municipal sur les enseignes, en ce qu'il a trait aux enseignes permanentes sur les propriétés privées, qui aurait permis l'installation d'une enseigne au sol à éclairage intérieur, faisant face à l'avenue Carling et ayant une hauteur de 3 mètres, une superficie d'identification de 4,5 mètres carrés, en plus d'un panneau d'affichage électronique de 0,75 mètre carré;
2. d'approuver la recommandation de dérogation mineure au Règlement municipal sur les enseignes, en ce qu'il a trait aux enseignes permanentes sur les propriétés privées, qui permettrait l'installation d'une enseigne au sol à éclairage intérieur, faisant face à l'avenue Carling et ayant une hauteur de 2,75 mètres, une superficie d'identification de 3,7 mètres carrés, en plus d'un panneau d'affichage électronique de 0,75 mètre carré.
This variance application is for the Britannia Park and Beach complex, along with the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens community hall, owned and operated by the City of Ottawa. The property begins at the intersection of Carling Avenue and Greenview Avenue and continues north to the Ottawa River (see Document 1). Adjacent uses are predominately high density residential to the south and east of the site, with lower density residential uses located closer to the main facilities. The subject parcel is zoned Leisure in the Zoning By-law and listed as a District 2 use in the Sign By-law. The proposed sign will replace an existing ground sign for the Park. The current sign is non-illuminated, constructed from wood, with an approximate area of 1 square metre and with a height of 1.2 metres, and is barely visible from the roadway.
The new sign will improve way-finding to heavily-used facilities that are not visible from the main roadway. The changeable message centre will provide the public with notification of upcoming and current events, status of the parking lot and rental property functions. The new sign will also include a Greenview address for this site, which will improve way finding for emergency services and assist clients using the complex.
Sign Variance Requested
The applicant requests approval to install one ground sign, using reversed illumination, to identify the Park complex and beach facilities. It will include an electronic message centre providing Park information. This proposed ground sign, to be located on the Carling frontage near the intersection of Greenview, would exceed the height and the permitted sign area of the ground sign provisions of the By-law (see elevation in Document 3).
If approved, the sign would have a height of 3 metres, with an identification area of 4.5 square metres and with an additional electronic message centre having an area of 0.75 square metres. As this site is within a District 2 zone, the By-law allows: a ground sign per each frontage with a maximum area of 3 square metres; a maximum height of 2 metres; and does not allow a message centre. External illumination for a ground sign is permitted provided it is located at least 30 metres from a residential use in a residential zone.
The Department recommends refusal of the requested sign, as the height, area and illumination are not appropriate given the site's natural features and the numerous concerns generated from the circulation that the proposed sign would cause a distraction to adjacent uses. Approval of the requested sign would represent a 50% increase to the maximum permitted area and height regulations found in the Sign By-law for this site (see Document 3).
Although the adjacent apartments are significantly setback from the sign location, the notice of the proposed sign has generated mostly negative feedback from the adjacent community, especially from residents of the nearby apartment building to the east. Meetings were held with staff, the applicant, concerned residents and the Ward Councillor to achieve a consensus on attempting to find appropriate ground sign identification for this active facility.
There was agreement that adequate identification for this Park was necessary to improve way finding to this complex and also to assist emergency response times. Nevertheless, many of the stakeholders believed that this identification would be more appropriate with a smaller sign.
Responses generated from the circulation have included opposition to this application. The Ward Councillor is aware of this application and based on community feedback, did not support the original proposed.
Given the need to adequately identify the Park and facilities, the Department supports a minor increase to the By-law regulations regarding height and area for the signage. The complex hosts many community activities and includes a beach area, a community hall, the children's safety village and the large events planned at this location such as the Ottawa Folk Festival.
Given the vast scale and functions of this Park, this site would compare to institutional zones that are listed within the District 3 provisions of the By-law, rather than it's current designation as a District 2 category. District 3 ground signs are permitted with an area up to 7 square metres and with a maximum height of 3 metres. Although the sign uses internal illumination, most of the sign would have reversed illumination with the lighting only projecting through the graphics of an opaque background. The new sign's message board will be shut off using a timer between the hours of 11pm and 7 am.
The Department, therefore, supports the applicant's revised request for a sign that is slightly smaller with an area of 3.7 metres and with a height not exceeding 2.75 metres. Since the setbacks to the existing uses are significant and Carling Avenue is a busy collector, the recommended variance is deemed to be a minor variance to the By-law. Further to discussions with the stakeholders, the applicant agrees to provide:
· an angled sign so that it does not directly face the adjacent apartment building to the east of this site;
· landscaping installed around the sign as a buffer;
· a reduced scaled sign by condensing the identification message found on the sign;
· that existing trees will be protected during installation;
· that the message centre has controlled hours of operation; and
· that the City remain mindful of the possible negative impact of the adjacent OC Transpo stop bench area.
In conclusion, the Department recommends that the Committee support this reduced scaled sign as the revised sign, in this specific case, would maintain the general purpose and intent of the By-law.
Standard early notification was provided to community and business groups. There were sixteen respondents who were in opposition and six respondents who supported the application. Concerns received included: there was no valid reason to allow a sign so much larger than allowed by the relevant regulations; the proposed height and area is excessive; an illuminated sign may cause unwanted potential light spill over; the sign would have a potential infringement on residential areas; the sign would be an eyesore to the area given the current park setting; the perceived large 50% increase to the regulations would be excessive; the illumination would cause light pollution to residential apartment units; and, the fact that the structure was installed prior to the approval. Some in the community initially suggested that no increase to the By-law was needed.
After consultation with stakeholders on-site, a consensus was reached supporting a smaller scaled sign as noted Recommendation 2, provided that the conditions previously explained in this submission are met. Staff support the conditions agreed to as a positive measure to decrease the impact of the sign upon adjacent uses.
Document 2 Site Plan
Document 3 Elevation of Proposed Sign
Document 4 Elevation of Recommended Sign
Corporate Services Department, Secretariat Services Branch to notify the applicant, City of Ottawa; Attention: Sandra Pilgrim, 100 Constellation Crescent, RPAM Branch, 9th floor, Nepean, Ontario, K2G 6J8; and Councillor Alex Cullen of City Council's decision.
ELEVATION OF PROPOSED SIGN
ELEVATION OF RECOMMENDED SIGN